How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do I Need?

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    When it comes to picking out a wedding package, this is one of the most frequent questions that every couple has. There is a wide range of coverage available, including four hours, eight hours, ten hours, one-half day, full day, and all day coverage, among other options. However, what does it all signify? What is the distinction between coverage that lasts the full day and coverage that lasts all day? This question, which at first glance appears to be straightforward, can quickly become complex.

    In this article, I'm going to share with you some incredible advice that will help you figure out how much photography coverage you require for your wedding! When it comes to the planning of weddings, there are a lot of questions to which the response "that depends" is the appropriate response. Unfortunately, because every couple and every wedding has unique requirements, it is impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all response to the vast majority of questions pertaining to weddings.

    If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    When you're in the thick of things, planning a wedding, you're going to find yourself confronted with a lot of questions you never even thought to ask. You are all of a sudden expected to become an expert on everything having to do with events, from determining which flowers are in season to being aware of how much money to budget. Therefore, we decided that today would be a good day to provide you with a resource that you can consult when the question "Wait... how many hours do we need to book our photographer for?" inevitably arises. Continue reading for a comprehensive rundown of the wedding photography coverage we offer.

    When it comes to the photography coverage, the term "continuous" coverage is the first thing that needs to be understood. Your wedding will not be photographed in stages unless you have made prior and separate arrangements with your photographer to do so. For instance, if you select an 8-hour package, they won't provide photography from 12 to 4 p.m., take a break from 4 to 7 p.m., and then continue coverage from 7 pm to 11 pm. Instead, they'll just provide photography for the entire 8 hours.

    It is simple to understand precisely what you are getting if the packages offered by your photographer include a specific indication of the number of hours of coverage. When you purchase an 8-hour package, you will receive coverage for the full 8 hours. But what exactly does it mean when your photographer talks about "half a day coverage" or "full day coverage"? Don't make any assumptions at all, as that is the best piece of advice I can give you! These terms are typically interpreted differently by different photographers. Some people consider eight hours to be full day coverage, while others think that twelve is more appropriate. The phrase "all day" coverage gives you the impression that you are getting more, even though it is extremely ambiguous.

    Getting Ready Photos (general time allotted – 1-2 hours)

    The vast majority of the engaged couples we've worked with have expressed an interest in having photographs taken of them getting ready during their all-day coverage. There are a few considerations that can play a significant role in determining whether or not you will require one hour or two for this section of the day's schedule. If taking pictures of the bride getting ready is your only objective, this should take about an hour. This is assuming that you catch the end of the bride's makeup application and hair styling, as well as cute moments in between (think of photos with your best friends wearing the lovely robes you got them), your mother helping you put on your dress, and putting on your veil, your shoes, and any jewellery that you may have forgotten.

    When it comes to these photographs, the vast majority of the customers we've worked with have a tendency to want something that is quite simple and uncluttered like this. If, on the other hand, you have four or more bridesmaids and you want photos of everyone getting ready from beginning to end including everything that was previously listed, you should anticipate spending at least two hours during this portion of the day. To shave 20 or 30 minutes off your overall wedding day schedule, you might want to think about having your wedding photographer arrive just as you are finishing up your hair preparations. I didn't include the guys on purpose because we always work in teams of two, and since it takes the guys less than twenty minutes, on average, to get ready from head to toe, their time is almost always included in the total amount of time that we spend on the ladies!

    This is also a wonderful opportunity for me to take pictures of the decorations at the ceremony location, the reception area, the floral arrangements, and other details. On the other hand, if you hire a wedding photographer who operates on their own, it is possible that it will take them more time to cover all of these specific items, given that they can only be in one place at a time. It is possible that this will require you to arrive earlier in order to take pictures of the decorations, photographs of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready, and then photographs of the groom and his groomsmen. Because we work as a team, we are able to complete a number of these tasks concurrently, which, in most cases, results in time savings for our couples.

    Check out our range of wedding photography for your wedding day.

    Getting Ready

    This portion of the day is reserved for styling hair and applying makeup, respectively. In general, you will be spending time with members of your bridal party as well as some members of your family. You could even have a couple of cocktails if you want. When you are spending high-quality time with people who are important to you, this portion of the day tends to be one of the more relaxed parts of the day.

    From the viewpoint of the photographer, the getting ready portion of the wedding day provides opportunities for photographs that many couples find to be memorable. It's not uncommon for people to give one another presents at this point in the day, and when they do, the resulting photographs frequently capture some truly touching moments. During this portion of the day, we will also take the artistic photographs that we have planned of your wedding details (wedding dress, rings, shoes, etc.). After you've finished getting ready, there will be time allotted for those lovely bridal portraits. The combined effect of all of these photographs will add another level of depth to the narrative value of your wedding celebration.

    Pre- Ceremony Photos (general time allotted – 1-2 hours)

    These photos include things like group photos with the bride and bridesmaids, the groom and groomsmen, first looks, family photos, first prayer, bridal portraits, and groom portraits. Depending on how you want the day to unfold, a combination of most of these photos may also be taken. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to take some of the bridal party group photos that you may have been hoping to get in before the ceremony.

    How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do I Need?

    The larger the bridal party, in general, the more time these can take due to the need to move more people around and if the bride or groom wants individual portraits with everyone in the bridal party in addition to the group shots. In addition, these can take longer if the bride or groom wants individual portraits with everyone in the bridal party in addition to the group shots. In most cases, these won't take more than a half an hour to complete, and that's only if your bridal party is on the smaller side (with four bridesmaids or groomsmen or fewer).

    If it is on the larger side (five people or more), expect it to take between thirty and forty-five minutes, depending on the number of different combinations and the style of these photographs. How much you have to move locations (if at all), and if it is very large (eight or more), it could take anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour because you will probably want more combos and different placements. First impressions don't take too much time if you don't have to travel too far; typically, it only takes about ten to fifteen minutes. In spite of this, there is always the possibility of squeezing in some portraits of couples during this time. Our advice is that you should always get some couple portraits right after the event, provided that the lighting is appropriate and you are on track to finish on time.

    During this time, you should set aside an additional twenty to thirty minutes for the couple's portraits depending on how much you are able to move around and whether or not you want the guests to see you. It is also a great time to take individual portraits of the bride and groom, which many couples choose to do during this time. Again, this will depend on the locations you choose as well as the amount of time spent walking from one location to the next, changing poses, and actually taking the photos; however, you should aim to set aside at least 15–30 minutes for these as well. If you are like a lot of other couples, you will probably try to get as many of these done before the ceremony as you can. Because of this, you should try to figure out which specific photos you would like to do before the ceremony, as this will help you plan your timeline. In the following section, we will discuss family photographs (post-ceremony photos section)

    The Ceremony

    The ceremony is pretty self-explanatory; after all, this is the moment when you and your partner make the commitment to spend the rest of your lives together as one. This is the heart of your wedding.

    From the viewpoint of the photographer, your ceremony is the primary event, and the moments that occur during the ceremony are special and one-of-a-kind. One piece of advice that each couple should think about taking is to have a "unplugged wedding." During the ceremony of an unplugged wedding, guests are not permitted to take photographs or videos of the event. I am unable to estimate the number of wedding photographs that were ruined either by the flash of a camera phone or by a guest who jumped in front of the photographer to take a blurry picture with their cell phone. Your ceremony photos will be filled with arms and hands raised in the air trying to capture that award-winning photo, and this degrades the images that were captured during this special moment even if everyone remains seated.

    In Between Time (general time allotted – 15-30 minutes)

    Even with the most meticulously planned timelines, there is always some sort of a transitional period between the pre-ceremony photos and the actual ceremony itself. This is true even if you didn't do a lot of pre-ceremony photos. On a good day, the break between the group photos and the ceremony lasts about 15 minutes; on a busier day, it lasts about 30 minutes. No bride or groom ever goes from group photos directly to the altar (lol); rather, there is typically a small little break in between. This time is wonderful for a number of reasons: first, it gives guests the opportunity to arrive; second, it gives us, as wedding photographers, the opportunity to get set up for the ceremony and game plan; and third, it gives you the opportunity to make any last-minute adjustments to your outfit, hair, or makeup.

    The vast majority of the couples with whom we have worked spend typically between twenty and thirty minutes performing their ceremony. This is the most basic part of the ceremony, and it is typically the time when no one other than the officiant, the bride and groom speak. You will need to account for this additional bit of time if you are going to have family members perform any special readings or if you are going to have members of the church sing, etc. Also, take into consideration whether or not you intend to have a ceremony involving sand or a knot, both of which require additional time during this portion of your wedding day.

    Looking for a Yarra Valley wedding photographer? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    Recessional & post-ceremony in-between time (general time allotted 10-30 minutes)

    It typically takes between five and ten minutes for everyone to leave the venue during the recessional portion of a wedding with an average number of guests, which estimates to be 120. If the bride and groom have any special plans, such as shaking everyone's hand and hugging them, or releasing them row by row after you've shaken their hands and hugged them (possibly conversing with them as well), this can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. I bring this up again because there is typically a brief window of five to ten minutes in the middle of the ceremony and the reception during which the bride and groom are able to return to their original positions without making anyone feel as though they have ignored them. During this time, the family members who you want to be present for the family group photos can also be accommodated.

    Post Ceremony Family Photos (general time allotted 30-60 minutes)

    In general, it will take about half an hour to get through all of the family photo combinations that you'll probably want to have taken at your wedding, assuming that the average size wedding consists of 120 guests. There are, however, a few notable exceptions to this general rule. When it comes to these photo combinations, if you are dead set on doing only the bare minimum, you should be able to complete them in approximately twenty minutes if you have the right coordination and a game plan in place. If you want to include just about every family member you can think of, some of the non-family guests, and many different combos with the same or different people, these can easily take up to an hour or more depending on the size of your family. If you want to include just about every family member you can think of, some of the non-family guests, and many different combos with the same or different people, these can These typically last for about half an hour, which is about average for the weddings that Jenny and I have attended and been a part of.  

    Reception: (general allotted time 3-4 hours)

    It's time to get the party started! In accordance with custom, the wedding party will be presented, and the majority of the time, the bride and groom will begin their first dance immediately afterwards (total time 5-10 minutes). Consider adding an additional five to ten minutes to the total amount of time you have available for dancing at some point during the evening if you intend to carry out a mother-son dance in addition to a father-daughter dance.

    Aside from that, at this point, you've probably worked up an appetite, haven't you? You should give yourselves between twenty and forty minutes to eat, depending on whether the food will be served to you or if you will be selecting items from a buffet for your wedding reception. Another alternative is to provide food bars, which have recently gained a lot of popularity. At these bars, you can let the couples make their own omelettes or fajitas according to their preferences. These are a lot of fun to do! Let's say you danced for ten minutes and then ate for twenty. How do you feel?

    It is highly likely that you have only 2.5 hours left out of your allotted 8 hours for coverage. Somewhere in that last half an hour, you will probably have some fun with a cake cutting, bouquet toss, and possibly a garter toss or some other fun wedding traditions like the shoe game or other unique variations we've seen along the way. Also, somewhere in that last half an hour, you will probably have some time to cut the cake. Now is the time to get up and dance and talk to new people. In most cases, approximately 1.75 to 2 hours will be spent covering candid moments as well as moments on the dance floor during your reception. I say 1.75 because you may be having a special exit or you may have budgeted in some time with your photographer to go outside at night and do some fun off-camera flash shots. Either way, I want to make sure you have enough time for both of these things.

    Just the Basic Coverage

    Just the essentials usually take about six hours, but trust me when I say that you'd be surprised at how quickly the time passes when you're busy greeting guests, running around, and, you know, getting married. If you are planning a small, intimate wedding where everything is going to happen at the same location and your reception isn't going to be extended, this is the option that is best for you to go with. When it comes to larger weddings, it is sometimes possible to cram a little bit of everything into a span of six hours. Having said that, you also need to consider the fact that dinner takes an hour, which means that, depending on when I get there, I could end up leaving right after dinner and right before the reception.

    Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    6 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

    It is not necessarily true that only couples with limited financial resources should consider purchasing this package simply because it is typically the photographer's most affordable option. For intimate ceremonies and elopements, a coverage time of six hours should be sufficient. When weddings are kept small, there aren't very many guests to keep track of or photograph, and as a result, the ceremony and reception tend to go by rather quickly. However, in order for the 6-hour coverage to be feasible from a logistical standpoint, both the ceremony and the reception must take place at the same venue.

    Things to consider

    • 6 hours of coverage almost certainly means that there won't be much (or any) time for detail shots of the decor or design, or photos of you getting ready before the event.
    • However, there will be coverage of all the significant moments in the event (portraits, ceremony, family photos, first dance, cake cutting)
    • Because there will only be coverage for six hours, the night will end relatively quickly; as a result, it is highly unlikely that there will be many photographs taken during the reception once the dancing begins.

    Medium Length Coverage

    The most common choice provides protection for a period of approximately 8 hours and has a medium level of coverage. It gives married couples the opportunity to participate in a little bit of everything throughout the course of the day. You won't have to rush to get photos taken before the ceremony, during the ceremony, or at the reception if you have 8 hours at your disposal. The only circumstances in which I would recommend additional hours to my clients are the following: if they want every part of the day to be covered in full, if everything is taking place in a different location, or if they have a special send-off at the end of the night!

    8 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

    The extra two hours of coverage will usually allow the photographer to capture the tail end of you getting ready, some detailed shots of the reception space, and the beginning of the dance party. An 8-hour package is usually enough time for an average-size wedding (about 100-150 people), and the extra two hours of coverage will usually allow for an average-size wedding.

    Things to consider

    • If you have your heart set on doing a first look, then we recommend that you have coverage that is at least eight hours long.
    • It may seem like a lot of time, but this plan is ideal for weddings in which both the ceremony and reception take place at the same location. You don't want to waste 30 or 40 minutes on your photographer having to pack up her/his gear and drive to (and set back up at) a second location because the additional two hours give the photographer just enough time to take a few getting ready, detail, and dancing shots. This is because the additional two hours give the photographer just enough time to take these shots.

    Full-day Coverage

    Up to 10 or more hours of coverage is what I consider a full day's worth of coverage. This option is best for couples who want a more relaxed time frame (which translates to more candid photographs and less stress!). or if everything is taking place in a variety of different places. It frees up our schedules, allowing us to travel to a variety of locations or simply relax without the pressure of a condensed period of time.

    How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do I Need?

    10 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

    You don't want to feel rushed on your wedding day to get all of the photos that are Pinterest-worthy that everyone wants, do you? If this is the case, a minimum of ten hours of coverage is the way to go. Because the photographers will be present for the majority of the day, there will be sufficient time to capture all of the preparation and detail shots, in addition to having plenty of spare time for the first look (if you want to do one). In addition to this, nobody will need to rush through any of the wedding party portraits or family photos in order to get to the reception in time for dinner and dancing. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day.

    Things to consider

    • We recommend booking a photographer for at least ten hours of coverage for a wedding that will have both the ceremony and reception in separate locations. This allows the photographer to move on to the next location while still capturing all of the necessary shots in the allotted time.
    • Are you going to make a big entrance? In most cases, 10 hours is not sufficient to have a photographer present until the very end of the reception, and this is true even if you are willing to forego coverage during the earlier hours of the event.

    12 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

    There are a few reasons why you and your partner would benefit from having coverage for a full twelve hours. This amount of coverage is not only more than sufficient to capture all of the important moments of the day, but it is also nearly essential in situations where there is a very large wedding party (bridal parties of 12 or more).

    Several things to think about

    • We typically advise booking 12 hours of coverage for a wedding with a large number of guests, including both family and friends. Why? When everyone is in "party mode," it can be difficult to get and keep people's attention (not to mention the fact that it can be difficult to find and get the appropriate people in the appropriate place at the appropriate time!).
    • It would be a shame if none of those Pinterest-worthy inspiration ideas were brought to life, and it would also be a shame if none of the design details were photographed. If you are extremely into the design, or if you have the budget to make all of those ideas a reality, Therefore, if you have the wedding signs, custom cocktails, and lounges that everybody dreams of, we recommend having coverage for a total of 12 hours to ensure that every design detail receives the attention it deserves.

    What Other Factors Influence the Time You Will Need for Wedding Photography?

    It has just come to our attention that the time required to photograph a wedding typically ranges from eight to twelve hours. However, the amount of time that you will require can also be determined by a variety of other factors. How big is your wedding party? What is the size of their families? How many different settings will be necessary for the photographs? (i.e., will the ceremony take place at the reception site, or at the church?) Do you need to set aside time in your schedule to drive? (Which location should we use for the reception?)

    The number of hours that you hire a photographer for will be heavily influenced by both the size of your wedding party and the number of people in each of your families. The time frames that are provided in this article reflect the "average" size of the wedding party, which consists of three people on each side of the family, as well as the average size of the families (parents, 1-2 siblings and grandparents).

    Each and every wedding day is completely one of a kind and distinctive. There are numerous aspects, customs, and rituals that contribute to the uniqueness of your wedding day (imagine how uninteresting it would be if every wedding were exactly the same)! All of the information presented above is based solely on my nine years of experience working as a photographer for weddings. I am aware that there are times when a particular spending limit has been established for photography, and that hiring the photographer of your dreams may require you to reduce the total number of hours that you want or need.

    On the day of your wedding, your photographer is not a magician, and she cannot make more time for you. Please keep this in mind. The last thing you want to do is cram all of your main events into a space that is too small (imagine the stepsisters in Cinderella trying to fit the glass slipper onto their feet that are too big!). This will only result in increased levels of stress and frustration, which are two emotions that have no place on a wedding day.

    If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    On the day of your wedding, I guarantee to do everything in my power to record as much of it as I possibly can, and this is my promise to each and every one of my brides and grooms. It's just one more reason why I make detailed timelines for all of my couples getting married several weeks before the actual ceremony or reception. If I sincerely suggest that we add an extra hour or two of coverage, I assure you that my intention is not to try to make more money for myself. If we try to cram the events of your wedding day into a schedule that is too restrictive, I have no doubt that we will miss some important moments. If we are trying to determine whether or not an additional hour of coverage might make the day perfect, open and honest communication is always the key to success in any endeavour.

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