top of page
  • Writer's pictureBree Renee

How Many Hours You Actually Need a Wedding Photographer

Updated: Jan 5

How long do you actually need to hire your wedding photographer for?

Wedding party celebrating

One of the most important questions my wedding clients ask me when choosing a package is "How many hours will be enough?" This is probably the first time you're planning a wedding, so take a deep breath - it's okay not to know! It boils down to how much is going to be right for you because every couple's day is going to look a little different and not everyone wants the same things. I'm here to help!


Not sure how many is right for you? Let's take a peek at some options.


6 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage


Typically, 6 hours will be your bare minimum of coverage for a traditional wedding. This amount of coverage is great for smaller weddings where the ceremony and reception are happening at the same place. Depending on the your desired timeline, there may not be time for detail/flat lay photos (your invitation suite, accessories, etc.), getting ready coverage, photos at different locations or all of your reception events. It can be a tight timeframe but can work with simpler weddings or couples who aren't interested in every little detail!


What a 6 hour day may look like:

2pm: Photographer arrives

2-3pm: Getting ready photos

3-3:20pm: Wedding party photos - side 1

3:20-3:40pm: Wedding party photos - side 2

3:45-4pm: Break before Ceremony

4pm: Ceremony

4:30-5pm: Family photos

5-5:30pm: Couple's photos

5:45pm: Reception entrance

6-7pm: Dinner

7-7:10pm: Cake Cutting

7:10-7:30pm: Special Dances

7:30-8pm: Open Dancing

8pm: Photographer departs



8 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage


This is the most popular choice for many couples! I find that most mid- to large-sized weddings go with 8 hours. In most cases, it will cover a wedding day from start to finish but again, it depends on each individual couple. I recommend at least 8 hours of coverage if; you want to do a first look, you both want getting ready photos and/or detail photos are important to you.


What an 8 hour day with a first look may look like:

1pm: Photographer arrives

1-2pm: Getting ready + Detail photos - side 1

2-3pm: Getting ready + Detail photos - side 2

3-3:45pm: First look and couples photos

3:45-4:15pm: Wedding party photos

4:15-4:30pm: Break before Ceremony

4:30-5pm: Ceremony

5-5:30pm: Family photos

5:30pm: Couple joins cocktail hour or takes a break

6pm: Reception entrance

6:10-7:10pm: Dinner

7:10-7:20pm: Cake Cutting

7:20-7:30: Special Dances

7:30pm: Open dancing

8/8:30pm: Golden hour photos

9pm: Photographer departs


10 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage


This is a great option for the couples that want every big and little moment and all the details documented - or just want a totally stress free day incase something stretches the timeline (hair and makeup or a groomsman that wanders off...). I also recommend this for the larger than life weddings; those with big families on both sides and large wedding parties.


What a 10 hour day with a first look may look like:

12pm: Photographer arrives

12-1pm: Getting ready + Detail photos - side 1

1-2pm: Getting ready + Detail photos - side 2

2-2:30pm: First look and couples photos

2:30-2:45pm: Travel to secondary location

2:45-3:30pm: Wedding party photos (can also do extra couples photos)

3:30-3:45pm: Travel to ceremony & reception location

3:45-4pm: Break before Ceremony

4pm: Ceremony

4:30-5pm: Family photos

5-5:30pm: Couple joins cocktail hour or takes a break

5:45pm: Reception entrance

6-7pm: Dinner

7-7:10pm: Speeches

7:10-7:20: Special Dances

7:30pm: Open dancing

8pm: Cake Cutting

8:30pm: Golden hour photos

9:30pm: Grand exit

10pm: Photographer departs


Things to consider:


  • The amount of coverage you need is going to be unique to you and how you want your day to look. Don't hesitate to reach out to your wedding photographer to talk over different options and figure out what will work best for you.

  • If the offered packages don't fit with how your day is structured, talk about customizing a package! Personally, I offer extra hours a la carte so you can truly personalize your package; 7 or 9 hours may be perfect for you. I also offer adding on hours the day of if things run over or longer than expected (no need to stress! yay!).

  • Think about adding on a second photographer! This can really maximize what is covered in a shorter period of time. While the lead is with one side of the wedding party, the second can be with the other or while the lead is taking family photos, the second can be getting photos of people enjoying cocktail hour.

  • Hours of coverage are always continuous. For example; you want your photographer to arrive at 1pm and have hired them for 8 hours. The will arrive at 1pm and depart at 9pm.


Still not sure what's going to work for your day?


That's okay! Again, the amount of hours you'll need coverage for on your wedding day will be unique to your day. Don't hesitate to reach out to your photographer (hopefully me!) about what they think will work best - they're the expert! We're here to help and make sure you hire us for only the time you need us.


I would love to help you figure out what's going to work for you and your boo! Let's chat!


I'm Bree from Bree Renee Photography and I'm a documentary wedding photographer serving New York: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City, Finger Lakes, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Central PA and Beyond.


If you're still looking for your wedding photographer - I would love to hear more about your wedding day and figure out a plan of action to cover everything you want captured. Plus, I'll share all my tips and tricks I've learned along the way. Let's make magic together!

4 views0 comments

Comentarios


bottom of page