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

Tips & Advice // Published by Sam, Editor - May 15, 2017

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?

Your Thoughts - 7 Comments

  1. 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. Rob says:
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Good posts, shall share this on my site.

  3. 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!!

  4. Craig Travis says:
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

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

  5. 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!

  6. linda says:
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    I am getting so inpatient! I am still waiting for mine and it’s been 6 months!!

  7. 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.

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