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How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do You REALLY Need?

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do You REALLY Need?

Wow! So, you have a venue, you have a date and now you’re going to seal the deal with a wedding photographer. But how the HECK do you know how many hours to book? Two hours, twelve hours? There are so many possibilities and all of them come with a price tag.
Now, over here I do things a little differently. Since your wedding day is the most customized day of your life, I believe your wedding photography should be no different. I have all my couples build their custom packages via an a-la-carte style menu. Over the past few years I have found that weddings are so different (duh!) and that everyone’s situation is unique. From budget to guest count, all these things help guide my clients in their decisions.
Here are the 5 things that will impact your wedding day coverage:

1. How much time do you have at your venue?

Some venues have really small hourly packages they allow couples to book. Usually when this happens you cannot access the property till later in the day which means you’ll most likely get ready at a separate location. Knowing if your getting ready elsewhere, how far that is from the venue and accounting for travel time will give you a better idea of the time needed. All wedding photography is continuous so you’ll want to make it count.

2. How many guests will you have?

Based on the number of guests you have, your wedding photographer may advise adding a second shooter. What this allows her to do is spend more time with the key players (Bride, Groom, Bridal Party, Family) while her assistant can shoot details, venue shots, candids of guests and really expand upon the “second view” you’d get from your day.

3. What time is sunset?

Getting married at the height of summer solstice? Depending on when sunset is, you might keep your photographer later into the evening so that you can capture those dreamy golden hour portraits. Also, you’ll most likely want to start your wedding day later if the sunset is later so that your earlier photos are in direct, over head sunlight (gross!).

4. Are we going off site for some epic photos?

Some venues of epic locations right next store or a hop down the road. If you plan on adding a few epic shots to your day, this will add travel time to your wedding day timeline. (My record is 4 locations with a full 18 person bridal party…before the ceremony!)

5. What’s important to have documented?

When it comes to building your timeline (check out that blog over here!), knowing what’s most important to you to have documented will also dictate the number of hours you book. Are you an A-Z type person? From the first eyelash to the final sparkler? Or, do you just want from getting ready to the first dances (leave the drunk dance moves for the cell phones)? Deciding if you’d like your FULL day covered or maybe just the main events will contribute to your hours booked with your photographer.
As mentioned early, the sooner you get a timeline put together, the easier it’ll be to make these decisions. Having a killer coordinator who can help point you in the right direction will also help!
As always, if you have more questions comment below and let me know!
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