If you’re in the middle of wedding planning you might be starting to look for some opinions on how many hours to book a wedding photographer for. You want to make sure that every important moment is captured, but don’t want to waste money on booking your photographer for unnecessary time. If that sounds like you, I hope you find this helpful and gives you clarity when it comes to deciding how many hours to book a wedding photographer for. I’ve included below example timelines are real weddings I have recently photographed.
Example 2-hour wedding photography timeline
|2:10||Hugs + Congratulations|
|3:00||Photography coverage ends|
Example 4-hour wedding photography timeline
|2:20||Travel to Bride prep (~20mins)|
|3:10||Travel to ceremony (~25mins)|
|4:35||Hugs & congratulations|
|6:00||Photography coverage ends|
Example 8-hour wedding photography timeline
|4:50||Hugs + Congratulations|
|6:15||Bridal party entrance|
|8:40||Dance floor opens|
|10:00||Photography coverage ends|
A few points to consider when deciding how many hours to book a wedding photographer for:
Travel time between all locations (where you’re getting ready, ceremony, photo locations, and reception). The number of hours you book your photographer for includes the time used traveling between locations.
Certain events can be flexible in terms of how much time it needs to be photographed. For example, bridal prep can be only 30mins or up to 90mins depending on how many details you have, if you want hair/makeup photographed, and how many bridesmaids you have. Another flexible moment in the day is couple portraits. Personally, I recommend the minimum time allotted for these photos is 30mins for one location, however allowing more time will help you stay relaxed and able to get more variety in your photos.
Your photographer should be able to suggest timings and recommend how many hours to book based on your wants. Before booking a wedding photographer, ask them to go through the package options with you and explain what each will cover.
2 hours of wedding photography = ceremony, family photos, and couple portraits
4 hours of wedding photography = ceremony, family photos, couple portraits, and reception entrance
8 hours of wedding photography = Getting ready, ceremony, family photos, couple portraits, and reception
If you still have questions about how many hours to book a wedding photographer for, please reach out! I’d be more than happy to chat with you about your wedding plans and help you decide on the perfect amount of photography coverage for your big day!