How many hours of photography is suggested for a wedding?
We find six hours to be the average amount of time needed to have a photographer on site. You may need more and you may need less. Typically, we arrive at a wedding about an hour and a half prior to the start time. We don't show up at the start of the "getting ready" process because when you're just starting out (putting deodorant on and brushing your teeth) it's not essential that this be photographed. What is important is that we get those final touches and details, such as pictures of the dress and accessories, and the girls helping put the bride's gown on.
The same holds true for the end of the evening. Fifteen minutes of dancing with two photographers photographing non-stop will look like three hours of dancing. So it is most important to think about when your last traditional event will take place. For example: the cake cutting, final speech, or bouquet toss. Then, add twenty minutes to that and you should be in great shape.
We rarely stay until the end of the wedding. Usually, the end of the evening entails a few people leaving in the dark, with a few other people waving goodbye. Your guests are partied out, a little sweaty, and maybe have had a few drinks, so the end of evening photos are not nearly as amazing as you'd think they may be.
Of course, there are exceptions to all of this. For example, if there is a big gap of time between the ceremony and reception. Or if you are having a late-night activity, such as fireworks or sparklers, etc. In these cases, it's best to discuss your timeline with our photography team, so we can create the best solution for you.
We always suggest hiring us for the minimum amount of time that you know you'll need. That way, you're paying for the amount of time that you know you'll need. You always have the option to add on more time at the event if needed. Twenty minutes before we are scheduled to wrap up, we will come up to you to make sure that everything was covered. If we feel that there is more to photograph, we will try to get it done within that time period, or let you know if more time is necessary.
Here is an example timeline:
6hr package with wedding starting at 5:30pm
- 4:00pm-4:30pm arrive to photograph final getting ready shots. Bride should be 90% ready with exception of dress being put on. Bridesmaids should be 100% ready
- 4:30-5:00 photograph bridesmaids
- 5:00-5:20 photograph groomsmen
- 5:30-6:00 photograph ceremony
- 6:00-7:00 cocktail hr (one photographer will head to cocktail hour and photograph the room details)
- 6:00-6:25 photograph family (this is the most important part of the day, it is vital that all family know where to be and are present. If we are chasing after an uncle that went to cocktail hour by accident, there is a domino affect and it takes away from the couple's photos as there isn’t a lot of makeup time on the wedding day.) After the pics, the family heads to cocktail hour
- 6:25-6:40 bridal party (bridal party needs to stay and not head to cocktail hour until after the pictures)
- 6:40-7:05 Pictures of the wedding couple (If more time is needed we will pull you out during salads to get a few more portraits)
- 7:00-10:00 Photograph dances and traditional reception events
More time may be needed depending on your events taking place.