5 Tips for the Busy Wedding Season (for Photographers)

Wedding season. To anyone not in the wedding industry, it typically means a summer full of traveling, dressing up, dancing the night away, and catching up with old friends in beautiful places. 

To wedding photographers, wedding season looks a little different. We get to see all the beautiful details, the happy couples, and fancy venues. We have a hand in documenting one of the most important days in a person’s life, and we love our job. I wouldn’t be 10 years in if I didn’t love this job! 

A bride and groom kissing

What most people don’t see, however, is all the behind the scenes and in-between work that goes into getting that gorgeous image gallery into the hands of our clients.

Sending copious amounts of emails finalizing plans for months’ worth of weddings, long days carrying camera gear, managing every lighting and weather scenario out there (not to mention every personality out there), late night editing marathons, album and product design, and never, ever drinking enough water. 

That’s just a small glimpse at what life looks like for a busy wedding photographer. A recipe for quick burn out, too, if steps aren’t taken to sustainably manage your long list of to-dos. 

Black and white photo of a bride

So how do you end on a high note without feeling the need to say you “survived” the season?  Here are a handful of tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to keep me thriving through wedding season:

1. Utilize a CRM and Task Management System

The very best thing any wedding photographer can do to is get organized with a CRM system to manage contracts, invoices, emails, and tasks in one place. Honeybook, Dubsado, 17Hats, Sprout Studio, ShootQ… these are just a few on a long list of systems out there that keep track of everything for us so that no detail slips through the cracks. 

Contracts and invoicing can be done online with a few clicks. Family lists and timelines can be organized and approved quickly. To-do lists and workflows can be setup to remind you what’s left to do with each client. Some even allow you to track expenses and set up workspaces for your team!

It saves you AND your clients time, headaches, and money when everything is streamlined and organized to get done quickly and seamlessly. Less time working in your business means more time doing what you love most – being creative behind your camera. 

Invest in a good CRM. I promise it’s worth it!

An outdoor wedding in the mountains

2. Automation is King

This ties in with the first tip and is has been absolutely key in keeping me sane through wedding season. Automate as much as you can in your workflow through your CRM, email/contract/questionnaire templates, and guides. Anything that is repeated for every client can be made into a template. 

Inquiry reply email, scheduling emails, reminder emails, engagement session prep emails, gallery delivery emails, – type it out and create a template!

Contracts – templates!

Questionnaires – templates!

What should I wear for my engagement session? – template!


Happy {SUNDAY} and congratulations on your engagement! Thank you so much for reaching out about your wedding at {VENUE – personalize} I’m honored that you are considering me to document such an important day.

I am available on your wedding date and would love to talk more about it. I create custom proposals for each of my clients and I would love to set up some time to talk with you both this week. Once I get a chance to talk and hear all about what you are envisioning, I will put together a custom proposal and send it your way to review!

Are there any days this week, maybe during the lunch hour, or later in the evenings that would work to set up a zoom call? I’m available {DAYS/TIMES} this week. 



Another thing you can automate is the workflow itself. With a good CRM, you can set up every task to include an attached template and the date you’d like it to happen and a reminder for you to complete the task. 

Again, saving you time on your tasks, and giving your clients an amazing experience working with such an organized photographer.  

A black and white photo of a bride and groom outdoors

3. Outsource

Outsourcing the things in your business – or personal life – that don’t require YOU specifically can really help when the thick of a busy season kicks in. Think about the things you really just don’t like doing, or the things you aren’t good at and start there.

Here are some ideas:

Editing. Working closely with an editor to help them learn your style is a huge game changer for those of us who don’t love the editing side of photography. Outsource editors can do everything from culling, to organizing, to basic color edits and image straightening, to full on photoshop magic for you.

Bookkeeping. This is the part of your business you should never let slip through the cracks if you want to have a sustainable, profitable business. 

Social Media/Blogging. It’s hard to imagine running a business without using social media tools in today’s world, but it’s tough keeping up with all the apps and algorithms. Luckily, there are people out there who can do this work for us!

Office Admin. Emailing clients, organizing tasks, creating mood boards, running errands, etc. 

Housekeeping and other household chores. Maybe it’s once a week all year long, or maybe it’s once a month during wedding season. A clean space does wonders for a clear mind. 

A father walking the bride down the aisle in an outdoor wedding.

4. Set Boundaries

Boundaries look different for everyone, but making space for you to feel prepared before a wedding recharge after a wedding is a must to make it through a busy season without feeling overwhelmed and burnt out when it comes to an end. 

Maybe you need to go to bed a certain time to feel rested for the next day, or stick to strict working hours to allow for time “off” to truly rest or play. 

Maybe you know you won’t drink enough water on a wedding day, so you make that a priority throughout the preceding week. 

Boundaries might mean requiring a phone call with a potential client before sending a contract, so that you don’t book with people who don’t align with your style of work. There’s nothing more draining and disheartening than dealing with a client that doesn’t value or trust your process as a photographer! 

A bride holding a bouquet of flowers.

5. Take Time to Fill Your Cup

As wedding photographers, we pour our hearts and souls into our work. We do our best for our clients from the first email to the final image gallery, and it’s physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to give so much of ourselves for months on end. 

If there is one thing to remind yourself throughout the season, it’s that you cannot pour from an empty cup. 

Cliché? Maybe. 

True? Absolutely. 

Set aside time to doing something you love, outside of photography. Bake a cake. Go to the gym. Read a book. Get out into nature. Do a puzzle. Snuggle with your kiddos. Go to a concert. Find inspiration in the world around you, in a way that speaks to you and truly recharges you.

Give yourself permission to take time off. You are your own boss, after all. 

Ultimately, a perfect work/life balance may not be possible, but reaching the end of a busy wedding season feeling fulfilled and excited is possible. Knowing what helps you thrive might be different from myself. It’s an individual learning curve that we figure out through experience and time, but hopefully what I’ve left with you here is something helpful! 

Best of luck on your upcoming wedding season!

Curious how to get started in wedding photography? Check out this article!


  • Stella Throop

    Stella Throop is a wedding and portrait photographer with an eye for finding beauty in unexpected places and a passion for intentional living. She serves couples from all over the world who choose to celebrate their marriages in the gorgeous, natural landscape that Montana offers. Her work has been featured in UsWeekly, People Magazine, TLC, Martha Stewart, Rocky Mountain Bride, Montana Bride, as well as being published internationally. Stella’s style is both fine art and journalistic, blending the two to create one-of-a-kind imagery that is both timeless and rich with emotion. She helps her clients connect with each other and their environment with presence and purpose, showing them that their story is beautiful and worth sharing.