How long does it take to get your Wedding Photos back? And Why the Wait?

Published by Sam, Editor -
How long does it take to get your Wedding Photos back? And Why the Wait?

Your wedding day is over, you have been on your honeymoon and your dress is already stored away in the loft for safe keeping, the one thing left are those wedding photos that you are excited to get back, to relive your day and see moments you missed. But where are those photos?!

Where are my Wedding Photos?!

A common question that quickly follows the wedding day is an email to your photographer asking where your photos are and when will you get to see them. When a photographer attends your wedding and captures your day they are only just starting the job you are paying them for, the taking of the photos is just a small part of what it is they do and because of that there will be a wait till you get your photos while they are edited.

How long does it take to get wedding photos back from photographer?

Your photographer should be able to advise when you are likely to get your photos and they should also be able to advise before you book them, experienced photographers will know based on past experiences and the time f year your wedding is, if it is peak season then they will also be capturing lots of weddings meaning they are away from the computer for the day.

Average wait time for wedding photos

Average wait time for wedding photos

The time it takes to get your wedding photos will vary depending on the photographer, their schedule and also how many photos were taken on the day, if they were there all day from the moment you got ready all the way through to that first dance at 8pm, then they will have a lot of photos to edit and go through.

Typically it can average anywhere between 2-6 weeks. Of course photographers will try and get your photos to you as soon as possible, many will send some sneak peak photos of a selection that have been edited for you to view. However for the full album it can take some time, but it is important that what they are doing does take time, and it is usually worth the wait.

Why do wedding photos take so long to get back?

Of course the excitement of seeing your beautiful wedding photos makes us impatient and question what the hell we are waiting for. We have an in-depth article and wedding photography infographic that shows what a photographer does here, the fact is wedding photographers spend more time editing photos then they do capturing them! In summary what you are waiting for is your photographer to go 100’s or maybe over a thousand photos binning those test shots, those awful shots, those shots where people have their eyes closed. Then there is the editing, cropping photos, adjusting the colour balance and creating that finished style you hired them for. There is a lot more work to be done once the photos are captured.

If you are having an album created too then this will take additional time too, once the photos have been edited they then need to be ordered and edited down to fit into an album, telling a story of your day and highlighting key moments and have the best selection of photos in there, once done it then needs to be sent away for printing too.

Be patient, it will be worth the wait

You have hired a fantastic wedding photographer, be patient, it will be worth the wait and when you see your photos I am sure there will be smiles, joy, happiness and even some happy tears as all those emotions come back as you relive the best day of your life.


How long did you have to wait for your photos? Photographers, what is your average turn around time?


  1. Kerri

    My turn around to view the images is typically 2-3 weeks. This doesn’t include having actual products in hand since that depends on when the couple makes their final decisions.

  2. Philip Chambers

    I get my photos all edited and back to the client in 7 days and i do Wedding photography full time
    where some photographers take longer because they have another job,and don’t have the time to do it quickly. Another reason to get a full time Professional and not some wannabe weekend warrior!!

  3. Craig Travis

    Some of those wannabe weekend warriors do some fantastic jobs. And, not everyone can afford 3-4K plus for a wedding photog.

  4. Rachael

    I am a full time wedding photographer. In the summer, my turn around time is 6 weeks or sometimes even 7. Editing a wedding takes me one week (Monday-Friday 9-5). Every time I have two weddings in one week, it pushes my queue back another week. A 6 week turn around time doesn’t mean you have another job, what nonsense!

  5. Veronica Taylor

    6 months seems excessively long!! What was in your contract with the photographer for turnaround time??? I can’t imagine that is normal to wait that long.

  6. Kathleen

    My turnaround time is 6 weeks and I do photography full time. I don’t farm out my work. I edit all the images myself and with my team, that way I know I am keeping with my style and I save the $$$. I cannot stand pompous arrogant photographers that think they have all the answers. If your photographer doesn’t have the turnaround time in their contract, then get it and have them add it.

  7. Sam & Louise photography

    Managing expectations is the most important thing.
    If a couple know before booking they are looking at a 2 month turn around, many will be fine with that if it means they’re securing a photographer who’s work they love. If they’re told a week and it becomes 2 weeks, then 3 etc, that’s when problems arise.

    Ultimately, quality over quickness….(within reason of course)
    Sometimes people have a very quick turn around and it shows in the final product.

  8. Brandy Barnard

    My photographer said it would take 12- 16 weeks. i am now on week 18 an still have not received my photos i have less than 60 people at our wedding and it was for 8 hour span of photos bridal party getting ready and groomsman getting ready. then the wedding guest and after the wedding. Did not have bridal photos done or anything like that.

    When should i ask about my photos or should i still wait for them?

  9. Sarah

    It’s been 8 weeks since my wedding and I’ve only received 15 sneak peak photos. My photographer says we’ll get them ‘soon’ but won’t give an estimated date. In fact, she doesn’t respond to my messages due 1-2 weeks after I ask for an update. She seems to ignore my past few emails since the wedding and won’t agree to a finish date. Is that normal? It’s Covid time so I know wedding season is much slower than usual. I find it strange we haven’t seen our photos after almost 8 weeks. Our photographer has a second job, but we paid $1200 for 6 hours of coverage. Seems amateurish and not professional to me to stop communicating after being paid and not commit to a completion date. Am I being unreasonable?

  10. Megan Kinane

    I found myself here wondering about average time…recently got married, but also familiar with photography and the behind the scenes….to the guy who mentioned “weekend warriors”…. or wannabes….dude…or should I say, Karen…… support your people. Putting others in your field down in hopes that you can rise above them is not an attractive state. I would never choose you. Make your work better and not your availability. Silly comment on your end

  11. Leah

    Ah we had a Covid wedding… 6.5 months ago. Still waiting for our wedding photos. Paid 4k for 4.5 hours. Super frustrated. Every time I ask, photographer says “almost done”…. For a fact I know she does not have wedding going on right now. My concern is that they are awful or she lost them.. I just sold my dress too or id retake them. I am so sad!

  12. Dave

    Loving all these people saying that they get their wedding pics back in 7 days or something daft because they are pros… giving pics back this quick means that you probably do a crappy job at editing, don’t have many weddings or outsource your editing.

    Its crappy amateurs (who think they are pro) that tend to throw poorly edited pictures back at couples in a few days.

    I can sometimes have 2 or 3 weddings in a week. I take about a week to edit my images (taking into account other priorities… such as actually doing weddings) – so this means that in any given week I can potentially be adding 2 weeks wait for everyone… it adds up quick.

    could I edit a full wedding in a day? yes. Would I? not at all… I wouldn’t be doing my couples any favours by doing that.

    I sometimes get couples worried about the time its taken for their pictures to be ready and sometimes a little frustrated – but I never get any complaints when they do receive them and they always tell me that it was completely worth the wait.

    I had a couple once worried that their friend got married after them, but had already received their pics – so why were they still waiting for theirs? when they got their pictures back they were over the moon and told me that they completely understood now, as their pictures were on a totally different level to their friends.

    Boasting about short turn arounds really does the opposite to what you think its doing – its doesn’t make you look like a super pro… but it does have couples read your post and become anxious about their own photographer.


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