I get this question all the time: “how many hours of photo coverage do I need for my wedding day?” The answer varies from couple to couple, but I’m totally here to help you. Through a series of questions, I estimate how many hours of coverage you’ll be needing for your big day.
I always remind my couples, as their wedding day approaches, we can always add on more coverage as needed. Once your timeline is ironed out, this is a good time to possibly reevaluate photo coverage.
Photo Coverage Questionnaire
To help determine the amount of photo coverage you’ll need, I send out a questionnaire for a photo-based timeline. This will allow me to structure a customized timeline for you. This timeline is based on your priorities as a couple, including your needs for your wedding. This photo coverage questionnaire is sent out 3 months prior to your wedding date.
Once the questionnaire is filled out, I’ll recommend extra coverage time (if I feel it’s needed). In addition, I will give you a variety of options you may want to compromise to stay within budget. I know how important that wedding budget is for you!
I also have a family-based photo questionnaire. This will help structure the formal family photos we’ll take for your wedding. We’ll compile a list of the variations you want, and put someone in charge to organize all of your family members. On the day of, we’ll roll through the list, easy-peasy! The key is making this portion of your wedding day as streamlined as possible.
“What kind of packages do you have for photo coverage?”
Most wedding photographers have 6, 8, 10, 12, and “all day” coverage packages. An all day package is about 10-12 hours without guesswork or limitations on specific start and end times. The “all day” package is a great option if you don’t want to worry about time limitations.
Are you looking to elope? Elopement photographers have packages ranging from 1-2 hours all the way up to all day photo coverage. It truly depends on the scope of documentation you’d like for your elopement.
My most commonly booked package is my 8 coverage hours package. The 8 hour package allows me to be with the couple through all the major events. This includes the tail end of getting ready, the ceremony, formal portraits and romantics, and main reception events.
I typically take my leave about 15 minutes into open dancing. At this point, the photos start to get a little repetitive and the people start to not look as cute (especially if you’ve got an open bar… if you know what I mean).
Let’s talk more about timelines
With a structured timeline, I consider the time of sunset, what time your ceremony begins, and what time dinner is set. If you haven’t chosen a timeframe, I can help you hash out all of the details when we chat!
The only instance where I stay later into the evening, is if the couple is wanting more documentation. This looks something like more documentation of getting ready, a slower paced day, distance between getting ready space and venue, etc.
A couple’s photo coverage also is dependent on if they are planning on a grand exit. This will make your photo coverage jump from an 8 hour day to 10-12 hours.
Timelines, though similar in layout, are not a one-size-fits-all situation, and I prefer not to treat them as such. I always work closely with my couples, in determining what is right for them and their wedding day. After all, this day is all about you!
Hopefully this blog answered the question "how many hours of photo coverage do I need for my wedding day?” for you! If you want any additional information or guidance regarding photo coverage, you can contact me here.
Venue from photos above: Golf Club at Echo Falls
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