What happens to your wedding photos after the big day?

After the excitement of your wedding day, you’re likely to be keen to relive your favorite moments. Whether you just hired a wedding photographer or videographer as well, the anticipation of getting your images can be a very strong feeling. Most photographers will advise you’ll receive your snaps within a time window of four to twelve weeks, depending on the time of year and their individual workloads. If you haven’t yet had your wedding, be sure to ask your photographer about their specific turnaround times when you book them.

But what is happening during that time? To help you wait, read on to learn what typically happens to your wedding photos after the big day.

Picking the best shots

During the course of an entire wedding day, your photographer will take hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. This is crucial as it’s a one-shot event, with no chance to go back and redo any that are blurred or feature somebody with their eyes shut. As a result, however, your photographer will have a large amount of images to work through, which takes time.

In the weeks after your wedding, they’ll be sifting through your photos to find the best of the best, and discarding any that are sub-par. Whilst you’ll have to wait for your complete album, you can usually expect to receive your images about 3-6 weeks after your wedding, to enable you to share them with family and friends and begin reliving the best moments of your day. Images are shared to a third party website making them easy to show everyone.


A professional photographer will also edit each of your images to a high standard. This includes adjusting the lighting and contrast, cropping and adding any specific tones or styles such as black and white or special effects that you’ve requested.

Although you’re bound to be keen to see your shots, this is not something to be rushed, as editing has to be done carefully. Try to avoid rushing your photographer in this stage, as you want your final images to be perfect. As with any craft, photo editing often requires a second pair of eyes, or time away from the screen to then come back and double check there isn’t a flyaway hair, distracting object in the background, or something else that’s been missed.


After they’re happy with the selection and editing of your final images, your photographer will often print them for you. The timescale for this element can vary, depending on whether you’ve ordered a full printed album, canvas or larger images, or if you just want them digitally. Be sure to check your usage rights over your photos, as stated in your contract between you and your photographer – this will help you understand how you can and can’t use your images.

Most professional photographers will always send you the digital copies of your images and sometimes printed versions of them, but be sure to back these up onto cloud storage or another storage device. If your computer should suddenly crash, it’s unlikely your photographer will still have your photos in years to come.

Worth the wait

Naturally, you want to see your wedding photos as soon as possible after your big day – but be patient. Good work takes time, so allow your photographer what they need to ensure you receive a wedding album that is everything you dreamed of.

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