How Many Hours of Photography are needed on Wedding Day?

Hours of Photography on Wedding Day – How much is enough?

Like other engaged couples you are researching to find the best vendors for your wedding – which involves searching online, looking at different proposals, comparing packages, pricing, and services.  When it comes to your photographer, are your truly covered for your wedding day?  You might find a great photographer that offers 6 hours of photography at a great price, and think you’ve find a gem!  After all, your ceremony starts at 5pm and reception ends at 11pm, so you are covered, right?  Unfortunately, no.  I cringe when I see photographers offer 6 hour packages, because it’s truly not enough coverage.  If this is your first time planning a wedding you probably don’t realize how many hours you actually need.  When you see a photographer’s portfolio, do you love the shots of the bride getting final touches of hair and makeup done, getting into her wedding dress while surrounded by her bridal party, that gorgeous shot of the wedding dress hanging in the bridal suite?  What about the emotional photo shoot of a First Look, when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony for an intimate photo session together?  Or how about the bride reading a personal note from her soon-to-be husband as she is getting ready?  All those photos are not covered in 6 hours.  When our wedding planners build a timeline of the wedding day, we account for how much time is needed for photography – including the first look, detail shots of the dress/rings/invitations, bridal party getting ready together, portraits prior to ceremony, etc.  We also take into consideration the different locations of the day – the hotel where the bride and groom get dressed, the ceremony venue, the reception venue, travel time, not to mention possible gaps of time between ceremony and reception.  This can easily require 10+ hours of photography on wedding day – sometimes 8 isn’t even enough!  We often encounter this problem when a client has 8 hours of photography contracted, and we are trying to decide what gets captured and what doesn’t – sometimes the photographer is gone for the bouquet and garter toss, or the last fun hours of dancing at night, or the excitement of getting ready at the beginning of the day.  So when you’re selecting your photographer and videographer, considering investing in full day coverage.  After the big day is over, you will only have your photos and video – and you will want to have every detail and special moment captured.