As a wedding photographer, one of the toughest questions I get asked is how many hours of wedding photography they should book for their big day. Of course, this isn’t an easy answer. It really depends on what kind of coverage you’re looking for, what kind of photography style you prefer, and what your budget allows. When it comes to wedding photography, it’s not just about shooting images. I make sure to build a relationship with my clients throughout the whole planning process, so their day is stress-free and actually enjoyable!
When it comes to how many hours of wedding photography coverage you’ll need, eight should be enough for most weddings. However, if your day is a bit longer or there are extra events, don’t be shy about adding on coverage. For example, if you plan on having activities throughout the day leading up to the ceremony, you’d probably need extra coverage. If you plan on having an early morning and want a lot of getting ready shots for both the bride and groom that will definitely require additional hours.
If you want photos taken at the rehearsal dinner the night before, just talk to your photographer about how to include that or add it to your package. Additionally, if you want to dance the night away after the ceremony and capture every moment, that will definitely require more time. A very common moment couples want captured is their grand exit at the end of the night. So, if you plan on having a late night, definitely booking an extra 3-4 hours will ensure you don’t miss a thing.
A lot of times instead of extending how many hours you book, couples will hire a second photographer. This can help get all the shots you want within the standard 8 hours, or sometimes less! The best way to know is to talk to your photographer and see if they’re comfortable with having a second shooter, or if that’s something they offer.
Some couples choose to have a photo booth area to allow their guests to get photos with each other and the bride and groom. If this is something you’re interested in, I would definitely suggest either booking extra time, or a second shooter. Or, you can get disposable cameras or polaroids and let your guests take pictures with those. That way the photographer can put all of their attention on the couple.
When you’re planning your wedding photography coverage, the key is to find what kind of coverage is right for you. With that said, don’t forget that you’re going to be investing a lot of time with your wedding photographer. It’s important to find someone you trust and can rely on to capture your special day without missing those important moments. That’s why I suggest speaking to at least 3-4 wedding photographers before making a decision. No matter how many hours you settle on, remember that your wedding photographer is the best source for the photos and memories you’ll look back on for years to come. They should be worth every penny!
“Gracie is your photographer. That’s all! She got me (a total introvert) to smile and have fun! I’m just so glad I met her, she’s my photog for life!” – Brianna