How many hours of Wedding Photography coverage do you need?

August 28, 2021

Yay! You’re engaged, you may even have your wedding date picked, and your venue chosen. Now it’s time to book your wedding photographer! As if figuring out WHO to hire isn’t hard enough, you need to figure out how much coverage you need. Chances are you probably haven’t done this before so you don’t know how long everything takes or what you might even want coverage of. Too little coverage will cause undue stress, too much coverage is unnecessary. This is why I help and guide my couples in choosing the right amount of coverage for them. If you inquire with me I will help you by creating sample timelines that show you what 6, 8, 10 or even 12 hours of coverage might look like on YOUR wedding day.

When deciding how much wedding photography coverage you need ask yourself these questions.

  • What does my wedding day look like?
  • Am I having a traditional wedding?
  • Am I eloping?
  • Am I having a church ceremony?
  • Do I have a large family who I want photographs of?
  • Am I having a large reception with a few hundred guests that I want photographs of?
  • Are getting ready images important to me?
  • Are detail photographs important to me?
  • Do I want images of my guests on the dance floor?
  • Will I have an exit at the end of the night? (ie sparkler exit)

My best advice is to start with what you HAVE to have then add from there.

4 hours of Wedding Photography Coverage

Typically I only recommend 4 hours of coverage for an elopement, some elopements can even get by with 3 hours of coverage if you don’t have a bridal party or friends and family present.

4 hours of wedding coverage might include

  • First look
  • Ceremony
  • Family Portraits
  • Couples Portraits

Don’t forget to include the driving time between different locations.

6 hours of Wedding Photography Coverage

Some smaller weddings can get away with only 6 hours of coverage when everything is happening in the same location. This typically works if you don’t want detail photos, getting ready, first look, and have no special exit planned.

6 hours of wedding coverage might include

  • Ceremony
  • Family Portraits
  • Bridal Party Portraits
  • Couples Portraits
  • Reception Traditions (limited dance floor photos)

8 hours of Wedding Photography Coverage

8 hours is the sweet spot of coverage. It typically works best for most wedding days, my most popular wedding package includes 8 hours of coverage with 2 photographers. It will usually afford you coverage from getting ready images up to open reception dancing.

8 hours of wedding coverage might include

  • Getting ready
  • Details
  • First look
  • Ceremony
  • Family Portraits
  • Bridal Party
  • Couple Portraits
  • Reception

10 hours of Wedding Photography Coverage

You may find that 8 hours of coverage isn’t enough for you. If you have multiple locations throughout the day, a long ceremony with several religious traditions, or you just want to remember every moment, you might need 10-12 hours of coverage.

10 hours of wedding coverage might include

  • Getting Ready
  • Details
  • First Look
  • Ceremony
  • Family Portraits
  • Bridal Party Portraits
  • Couples Portraits
  • Reception
  • Dancing
  • Sparkler Exit


Do you need a second photographer?

The answer is, well, it depends. I always guide my couples into the right choice for them. Are you having a small elopement? You probably won’t need a second photographer. Church wedding with 400 guests? Your best bet is to have at least 2 photographers capture your day.

I will always suggest a second photographer if it is within your budget. It means more angles, more time saved (we can be in two places at the same time), cocktail hour photography coverage, and bride and groom getting ready shots. If you are getting married in a church a second photographer is almost a requirement. A lot of churches do not allow your photographer to move around and get different angles. Have a second means you get various angles during your ceremony that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Another thing to consider is that having a second photographer automatically means there is more gear and more back-ups at your wedding (I bring no less than 3 cameras and several lenses to a wedding myself, in case anything should fail). Should something happen to the main photographer, sprained ankle, car accident, or anything. You have someone fully capable able to step in instantly and no important shots are going to be missed on your wedding day.

Ready to take the leap and inquire? I will help you figure out exactly how much coverage is right for you when you book your wedding photography services with me.

Inquire here

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