You’ve booked your venue, you’ve set a wedding date, and you have found your dream wedding photographer. (hopefully it is Pink Spruce Photography) But, how many hours of wedding photography do you need? The answer lies within one very simple question: What do you want your wedding photographer to capture?
Okay, that might not be a simple question. Especially in the beginning stages of wedding planning, and I totally understand that. So today I wanted to provide a comparison of different wedding day timelines while looking at various hours of wedding photography. Hopefully this will help you to narrow down your needs, wants, and wish list. You can then decide which package you need to book with your wedding photographer.
START BY DETERMINING YOUR NEEDS, WANTS, AND WISHLIST
Here at Pink Spruce Photography, I offer different levels for hours of wedding photography. The coverage in each ranging from 6 to 11 hours of wedding day coverage. Each hourly amount will provide coverage for crucial parts of the wedding day to be captured. Crucial moments being things such as the ceremony, couple portraits, family portraits, and wedding party portraits. However, if you want photos from getting ready until your bouquet toss, you are going to need more coverage.
DECIDE IF YOU ARE DOING A FIRST LOOK
You will also need to consider whether or not you plan to do a first look. This decision will impact the flow of your day and determine when you will need your wedding photographer for.
HOW MANY HOURS OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COVERAGE DO YOU NEED, THEN?
So what exactly can be covered and when? The following graphic outlines many of the things couples choose to have incorporated into their wedding day. It shows how many hours you would need to get from point A to point B on wedding day. There’s a timeline example for both the first look route and the traditional look route. This should also give you an understanding of the difference in flow for the day between the two.
6 HOURS VS 11 HOURS OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT’S THE MAIN DIFFERENCE?
For a wedding that has 6 hours of coverage you can get the main crucial moments captured. Including a first look, the ceremony, family portraits, wedding party portraits, and couple portraits.
By increasing to 11 hours of wedding photography, though, you would also be able to capture those extra special moments. Such as: getting ready, detail shots, reception, speeches, first dance, special dances, sunset photos, a twilight session, and the dance party.
TIPS FOR DETERMINING HOW MANY HOURS OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY YOU NEED
I suggest sitting down with your fiance and looking through your photographer’s full wedding galleries. If you do not know where to find these, ask the photographer to view them BEFORE you book. This is truly the way to see their body of work.
While looking through these galleries, if you find yourself gushing over the dress photos or start-of-the-day detail photos, you will want to make sure you have ample hours of wedding photography to cover “getting ready” and “details” portions into the timeline. If you fall head over heels in love with the photographer’s golden glow, sunset, or twilight hour photos, definitely make sure you have enough coverage for the photographer to stay until the sun is at that point in the day.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PUTTING TOGETHER A WEDDING DAY TIMELINE
Deciding whether or not you are doing a first look will not be the only other timeline determination factor. You will also need to consider a few additional things that the chart above cannot account for.
THE SUNSET TIME ON YOUR WEDDING DAY DOES MATTER
For example, the summary chart above assumes sunset is around 8:45 pm. If you are getting married in October in Wisconsin, your sunset is going to happen much earlier. You will need to move the timeline pieces around a bit to adjust for the earlier sunset. The sunset time will greatly determine how to fit in a golden glow, sunset, or twilight hour session.
WHAT TYPE OF CEREMONY ARE YOU HAVING AND HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
You also need to consider how long your ceremony will last when choosing the appropriate hours of wedding photography. In addition, you will need to decide if you are going to do a receiving line after your ceremony. For example, I have been witness to Catholic wedding ceremonies that have lasted a full 90 minutes. Receiving lines can also take up to 30 minutes.
WHY YOU MAY WANT A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER
One big factor in making a wedding day timeline work can hinge on whether or not you have multiple photographers. A person can only be in one place at a time. For example, a solo photographer may not have enough time to capture BOTH the bride and groom getting ready with fewer hours of wedding photography planned. With two photographers, one can be dedicated to the bride while the other photographer focuses on the groom.
Read more of my wedding planning blog posts here! If you are interested in finding out more about having Pink Spruce Photography capture your big day, please fill out the form located on my Contact page.