What a great question. When I meet up with bridal couple’s, they have often not given this too much thought, they just know they don’t want it to last for too long.
So generally I would take the entire bridal party for a group shoot. If you have a large party, then of course this can be more time consuming, but if this can be done within a maximum of 20 minutes, that is my goal. Once that is done and out of the way, I will take the bridal couple alone for a walk around and their own shoot. Sometimes a maid of honour or groomsman will come with, to help with holding a reflector or making sure the dress is looking good…but these shoots are generally done with just the bridal couple. This gives you a chance to be alone, to breathe out…the ceremony is over and you’ve done it!! Take this time to be together and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard and planned so much for.
The couple shoot will last a maximum of 30 minutes, anything much longer than this can feel tedious. Also, depending on the location, if we are in a field and walking back toward the reception venue, that’s also a great photo opportunity for more relaxed image’s of the two of you together so any moment can be used for your couple’s shoot, it adds no extra time to your shoot and I will try make it as natural and relaxed as possible.
To sum up, for me, an absolute maximum time is 30 minutes for the couple’s shoot. This needs to be factored into your day. When you sit down and start writing out your plans and timing for ceremony, travelling to the reception venue, drinks and canapés etc, this needs to be built into your timings. Let’s be honest, there are friends and family and a party waiting for you to get back to!!