How Long Does It Take To Get Wedding Photos Back (Why It Takes So Long)

There are lots of different things for you to think about and keep you busy when you are leading up to your big day, but once all of the fun and excitement is over, and you are back from your honeymoon, there is only one thing left to wait for. Your wedding photos. 

If this is the stage that you are at right now, then you might be wondering how long it is going to take until you are able to relive your special day for the first time. Unfortunately, this may take quite some time, so you might be in for a bit of a wait.

If you are looking to find out how long it will take for your wedding photos to be ready, then you have come to the right place. We are going to tell you everything that you need to know about this in this article.

How Long Does It Take To Get Wedding Photos Back?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question, as there is no specific time in which your photographer should deliver your images. All wedding photographers will have different schedules and timeframes, and there are lots of factors that could influence the length of time that your final photos will take.

ANything from the time of the year to the length of your wedding day can have an impact on the length of time it takes to get through your photos.

However, you can get a rough idea of how long it will take by asking your photographer for their average waiting time. This can help you to manage your expectations and stop you from worrying about it.

During the peak wedding season, which is usually between May and September, it can take even long for your photographer to complete your final images. This is because there are more weddings taking place at this time of the year, so waiting times can be increased due to this. 

The majority of photographers will be able to give you a rough time frame of how long it will take for you to receive your completed wedding photos.

It is not uncommon for this length of time to be anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, but this will vary depending on your photographer and their workload. Some photographers will have wait times that are even longer than this, potentially even up to 6 months.

The main reason why these wait times can vary so significantly is that wedding photography is not linear and done in one way. Some photographers may have natural and simplistic editing, whereas others may go all out and airbrush your photos to perfection.

Most will be somewhere in between, but everyone works differently, which is why there are such varying waiting times between photographers.

Outsourcing Editing

One thing that can help to speed up the process is outsourcing editing, which is when your wedding photos will be sent off to a professional image editor. More often than not, this will speed up the turnaround time, as it is not taken from the photographer’s workload as they don’t have to edit the photos themselves.

Why Does it Take So Long to Get Wedding Photos Back?

There are lots of reasons that can explain why your wedding photos are taking a long time to be sent back to you. We are going to explain some of these reasons below to help you to better understand the situation.

Number of Weddings

The number of weddings that your photographer has booked in can heavily influence the amount of time that it takes for you to get your photos back. A photographer that is shooting several weddings a week is likely to have a longer delivery time than one who shoots one wedding per week.


A photographer that shoots destination weddings will have lots of their time taken up with travelling, giving them fewer opportunities to edit, and increasing their turnaround time.

Length of the Wedding

It can also depend on how long the photographer was at your wedding for. If they were only at the ceremony, the photos won’t take as long to get through. However, if they have been with you all day, they are going to have lots of photos to go through and edit.

Editing Takes Time

Unfortunately, editing photos is something that takes up a lot of time, and most wedding photographers will spend much more time editing your photos than they did taking them.

They will need to go through hundreds or even thousands of images, get rid of test shots, ones that didn’t work, or photos where people’s eyes are shut. After all of this, the editing can finally begin, and this takes a lot of time.

Additional Requirements

If you are having any extra work done, like an additional photo album, then this is going to take even more time. They will need to edit, order, and sort all of the photos to go into the album. They will also need to consider things like placement of the photos to ensure that they flow to tell your story.

Check Your Contract

If you are wondering how long your photos are going to take, you can usually check your contract to find out a rough time frame. Most reputable photographers will have you sign a contract,and this should usually include the time that will be taken to prepare your photos.

This period of time will depend on your photographer, as it is completely up to them to decide how long it is going to take based on their circumstances. 

Try to Be Patient

Once your wedding day is over and things get back to normal, you should try to be patient when it comes to waiting for your wedding pictures. Although you are excited to relieve the best day of your life, your photographer is doing their best to be as quick as they can.

However, they can only go so fast if they are going to be able to focus on quality. Just hang in there, it will be worth the wait in the end.