A question I often get asked, is 'how long is it going to take for the photos I want?' This is an important question to ask when planning your day, as all weddings run to a schedule and you do need to make sure that you allow enough time for photographs before you need to sit down for your meal. Understand, I am really only talking about the formal or arranged shots, most of the coverage of your wedding will be reportage style; and by that I mean candid photos taken without direction (and in some cases without an awareness of the camera, those are my favourites)!
As your photographer, I think it's very important to get the formal group shots out of the way first, directly after the ceremony and before your guests have a chance to start disappearing off to the bar! I can usually get these photos done within 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many guests you have and the variety of shots that you want.
After that, I will send all your guests off to entertain themselves, while I take you (the bride and groom) off on your own to get some lovely photos of just the two of you, as naturally as possible. We'll have a little wander around your venue to find nice locations and give you a chance to relax after the ceremony. This can take between 20 minutes and an hour - it really depends how creative we get and how comfortable you are in front of the camera.
That's pretty much it for the formal photos, the rest will be taken as I wander around, trying to look inobtrusive in order to catch you and your guests in a more natural way. It's surprisingly (or not) difficult to do this when you have an enormous camera and lens, but I do my best!
So, to sum up, allow around 2 hours between the end of the ceremony and sitting down for your wedding breakfast; enough time for the photographs without rushing around, but not long enough that you are standing around waiting to eat either!