Wedding Photography

How Many Hours Should I Book A Wedding Photographer?

The act of organising a wedding can cause one to think about issues that previously had not crossed one's mind. All of a sudden, there are many details to think about, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

For example, you may be wondering how much money you should set aside, which colours are now in vogue, or which speciality drink you should highlight on your bar's menu.

This article can assist you answer the question, "How long should we hire a photographer for?" You may find it difficult to choose among the many wedding photography coverage options offered by most photographers if you haven't yet finalised the specifics of your wedding arrangements.

There are numerous ways to structure your day, so it's best to decide what you want to focus on first.

Either you follow tradition and have the ceremony before the wedding photographs, or you may shake things up a bit and have the first look and bridal portraits at the same time.

If you've done your homework, you know that many photographers offer their services in packages that include time limits. You might be asking why so many hours of photographic coverage are needed.

Although finding a solution to the issue may be challenging, it is essential. Having an agreed-upon maximum number of hours for coverage helps keep everyone on the same page and prevents the wedding day's coverage from coming off as unending.

Thankfully, there are general guidelines that can be used: The typical wedding lasts five to six hours, thus the average couple will want 10 hours of coverage.

Although other plans may give only four hours of coverage, many recommends against selecting those. With experts, eight hours is usually not enough, and some couples may need as much as twelve.

You & your wedding planner should discuss how many hours will work best for you. Wedding photography requires me to pay close attention to the wishes of the happy couple.

In virtually every case, the first thing a newly engaged couple does when starting to plan their wedding is look for a photographer. People often don't know what to look for in a photo or how to obtain the best package for their needs. 

Most photographers provide coverage for six, eight, ten, and occasionally even fourteen hours. Before, you spent a whole day taking pictures.

Finding out how many hours a photographer would cost can be especially challenging. 

Choosing an inconveniently low number of hours can be wasteful and expensive, while going with an insufficient number could mean losing out on priceless memories captured on film. 

There are a number of variables to consider when deciding how many hours a wedding photographer should be hired for.


The entire schedule is great to communicate for your photographer. This also includes things like hotel room numbers, contact information like cell phone numbers, and the exact schedule as it has been laid out for your day. Providing a backup contact like wedding party members is a good option.

Photographers should ask themselves, “How much is my time worth?” and your photography pricing should reflect that. The more experience you get, the more you can increase your cost of labor. Ultimately you're worth what a client will pay for your time.

"Thank you so much for your proposal and taking the time to walk us through your services. We've decided to move forward with another (photographer or any other vendor) that better suited our wedding (or any other reason - budget, personality, style, etc.). Thanks again for your time!" That's it!

You're selling your brand and everything you have to offer from the moment you reach out, so say more than, “Do you want to collaborate with me?” Mention what drew you to the photographer's work – their composition, editing, or conceptual style, or talk about the kind of work you would want to do with them.

If you're happy with the photographer's work, etiquette experts say a 15-20% gratuity is generally appropriate. Regardless of the amount you decide to tip, it is always appreciated and above your responsibilities as a wedding client to tip your wedding photographer.

To What Extent Will You Be Celebrating Your Nuptials?

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As a first step, count the number of guests you expect to invite to the wedding. You need to know the exact number of attendants for the wedding and the groom. 

The number of guests should be taken into account when deciding on a picture package. 

Small, more intimate weddings with 50 guests or fewer are ideal for a six-hour coverage package. For an "average" wedding with between 100 and 150 guests, the eight-hour package offer is the way to go. 

Hiring a photographer for a full 10 hours is recommended if your guest list will exceed 150 people.

Is There Anything Specific You Hope Will Be Photographed?

There is a lot to plan for on your wedding day, but one of the most important things is to secure sufficient coverage to guarantee that your special moments are recorded just as you imagined them. 

You could wonder if it's necessary to have photos of you putting on makeup and zipping up your dress. 

Do you want to remember the ethereal look on your new spouse's face as you say "I do" and go across the aisle? Do you wish for every occasion to be recorded in addition to a great deal of detail?

Do You Wish To Take Pictures Of The Preparation Process?

If you absolutely must take pictures of yourself putting on cosmetics and zipping up a dress, you should leave at least two hours early. The morning routine may drag on longer if you and your partner don't get ready at the same time.

Do You Want to Take a Quick Peek?

Photographs of the newlyweds can be taken during cocktail hour without the happy couple ever having to meet each other's eyes. If you're having a first look, you should schedule extra time for photos before the ceremony.

About three to four hours before the ceremony would be sufficient time to take formal shots at several locations and include everyone in the images.

How Far Will People Have To Go?

Do you have a specific venue in mind for your wedding? Alternatively, are you having the ceremony in one location and the reception in another?

She wants to know how often you'll need the photographers so that you can budget for their travel expenses.

In order to capture the greatest images, photographers, like everyone else, need to move around.

Your Wedding Reception Is How Many Hours?

Since a wedding photographer need not stay for the entire reception, the three hours of dancing at the end of the night could be used for anything else.

Things are bound to grow sweaty and messy as the night go on, so this is one place where you can save time that you can put to better use, such as changing into clean clothes.

If you want professional photos taken at your goodbye party, don't book your photographer till the last minute.

How Long Should a Photographer Be Hired for a 6-Hour Wedding?

Not all photographers require clients to have a large wedding budget, so don't assume that just as this is the cheapest option that it is solely for low-income couples. 

For intimate ceremonies such as elopements, a six-hour time frame is more than sufficient. 

Fewer guests means less chaos and more time for photos at an intimate wedding. However, if both the service and reception will be held at the same venue, then 6 hours of programming would be sufficient.

It is advised  to book a photographer for at least six hours on the big day, unless you're having a small supper instead of a reception or are eloping. 

Some examples of when 6 hours of photography coverage is sufficient are shown below.

  • Both your wedding and reception will be held at the same venue.
  • No one wants to waste time prepping for photos.
  • Since you don't plan on having any wild dance parties at the reception, you won't need an elaborate exit strategy or elaborate photo ops.

Factors To Think About

There will be six hours of coverage. meaning there probably won't be time for images of you getting dressed or of you posing in front of a custom-designed backdrop.

However, everything worth seeing will be shown (ceremony, portraits, family cake cutting, photos, first dance, )

With only 6 minutes of coverage, the night will conclude before the dance even begins, therefore it's likely that the reception will be largely undocumented.

Eight Hours of Wedding Night Coverage

Most weddings don't need more than an 8-hour package.

Having more time means the photographer can snap some wonderful shots of the reception's dance floor, the guests having a good time, and the last phases of the getting-ready process.

A typical wedding photo session lasts about eight hours.

Few reasons why you would want to book a wedding photographer for 8 hours or longer.

  • You've chosen to have a separate venue for the ceremony and the reception.
  • You need to take a quick peek
  • You need pictures of people getting ready and lots of pictures of people dancing.

Wedding Photography

Factors To Think About

It's best to have the ceremony and reception at the same location, but eight hours may seem like a long time to some.

If at all possible, the bride and groom should get ready in different, but yet quite close, rooms.

The longer your policy is in effect, the more time you will have in case of any last-minute delays.

If you want to sneak away for a few more pictures with the newlyweds during the golden hour, plan on setting aside an extra twenty to thirty minutes.

There Will Be a 10-Hour Long Documentary of The Wedding Day.

Want to take your time getting the perfect wedding photos without feeling rushed? Then you should aim for a minimum of 10 hours of coverage. 

The photographers will be present for most of the day, allowing them ample opportunity to capture both the preparations and the big reveal (if you want to do one). 

In addition, the wedding party or family photographs won't have to be rushed in order to make it to the reception on time.

You may need more than 8 hours of photography coverage for your wedding. Consider the following when deciding whether or not to invest in ten hours of photography coverage.

There will be some downtime between the conclusion of the ceremony and the commencement of the celebration (common with church weddings)

Both of your rituals are very important (such as a morning tea ceremony and a traditional afternoon or evening ceremony)

You plan to do a reception line and table visits (which usually take 30–45 minutes each) and you have a lot of people.

Factors to Think About

  • A minimum of ten hours of coverage is suggested if the ceremony and reception will be held in different places. This allows the photographer to reach towards the second location without missing any of the action.
  • When do you hope to make your big getaway? Ten hours usually isn't sufficient to have a camera present till the very end of a reception unless you're ready to sacrifice coverage inside the earlier hours.

There Will Be a Total of 12 Hours Dedicated To Coverage of The Wedding.

You should get 12 coverage hours because it has several advantages for a pair like you.

This amount of covering is almost required when there is a large wedding party, and it's more than enough time to record all of the day's details anyway (bridal parties of 12 or more).

Factors To Think About

  • It is often advised a minimum of 12 hours of footage for a wedding with a large bridal party and relatives. Why? When everyone is in the mood to celebrate, it can be challenging to capture and maintain their attention. It can also be tricky to track down the correct people at the right time.
  • It would be a shame if all of the design aspects weren't photographed if you were really into the layout and had the funds to make all of the Internet inspired ideas come to life. In this case, it is suggested for 12 coverage hours to give your wedding's bespoke signs, beverages, and lounges the time and care they deserve.

When You Wake Up Tomorrow, What Will Your Day Look Like?

It's one thing to have an idea of the kinds of images you want taken at your wedding; it's another to have a plan for how the day itself will go. 

You should also think about logistics, such as whether or not the ceremony and the preparations for it will take place in the same spot. 

Will the site where you exchange vows also host your reception? In that case, how about the time spent getting from point A to point B? 

Do you plan on having any other rituals, like a Chinese tea house or a costume change?

The time commitment of your wedding is the most important factor to consider. Six hours of photographic coverage is actually quite short, despite appearances to the contrary. 

If your wedding and reception will take place in the same location, or if you don't want a lot of extra photos of little details, the 6 coverage is your best bet. 

Two extra hours make an eight-hour reception perfect for people who want enough time to snap photos of the bride in her gown, groom in his suit, and guests enjoying themselves.

Ten hours is ideal if you wish to document every conceivable detail of the event in question.

Your photographer ought to be able to advise you on the best package for your needs. For this reason, it's crucial to work with a professional photographer.

As a photographer, it's indeed your responsibility to pay close attention to and value the wishes of your clients.

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Five to six hours is the average length of a wedding, therefore most couples will desire at least 10 hours of coverage. On average, photographers will cover an event for six, eight, ten, and even fourteen hours.

The ideal number of hours for your wedding planner to work with you is something you should discuss. Picking an inconveniently small number of hours can be both inefficient and costly.

A six-hour coverage package is perfect for a small, intimate wedding with fifty guests or less.

If you expect more than 150 people to attend, it's a good idea to hire a photographer for at least 10 hours. For a wedding that lasts 6 hours, how long should the photographer be hired?

A time period of six hours is more than plenty for small, private weddings like elopements. A time frame of 6 hours would be adequate if the ceremony and the reception are to be held at the same location.

In general, a wedding reception does not require more than an 8-hour package.

With more time on their hands, the photographer at the reception can capture some truly memorable moments on the dance floor.

The photographer will be present throughout the day, giving them plenty of time to capture all of the action leading up to the big reveal.

For a wedding with lots of guests and the bride and groom's families both live far away, 12 hours of footage is the standard recommendation.

This much coverage is practically necessary for a wedding with a large guest list, and it's more than plenty for documenting everything that goes down. Planning how much time your wedding will take is crucial.

Despite appearances to the contrary, six hours of photographic coverage is relatively brief. An eight-hour celebration is just right for those who wish to take pictures of the bride and groom while they are still dressed up.

Content Summary

  • If you haven't settled on the specifics of your wedding, you may have trouble selecting among the many wedding photography coverage options available by most photographers.
  • There are many ways to organise your day, so figuring out what you want to prioritise is the first step.
  • A set number of hours for coverage helps keep everyone on the same page and keeps the wedding day from feeling like an endless media spectacle.
  • The ideal number of hours for your wedding planner to work with you is something you should discuss.
  • When considering how many hours a wedding photographer should be engaged for, there are a number of factors to take into account.
  • Find out how many people will be attending the wedding as well as the groom.
  • When choosing a photo package, keep in mind the total number of expected visitors.
  • If you expect more than 150 people to attend, it's a good idea to hire a photographer for at least 10 hours.
  • Time for photos before the ceremony should be extended if a first glance is planned.
  • In order to plan for the photographers' travel costs, she needs to know how often you'll require their services.
  • The three hours of free time at the conclusion of the reception, when nobody is dancing, can be used for whatever the happy couple wants.
  • Don't procrastinate on booking a photographer if you want high-quality images taken at your farewell party.
  • A time period of six hours is more than plenty for small, private weddings like elopements.
  • If the ceremony and the reception are to be held at the same location, however, only 6 hours of programming will be required.
  • Unless you're only hosting a modest dinner as a reception or are eloping, you should hire a photographer for at least six hours on the big day.
  • It's possible that your wedding will last longer than 8 hours, necessitating additional photography coverage.
  • Coverage of the wedding will run for a total of 12 hours.
  • When there is a huge wedding party, this quantity of coverage is practically necessary, and it's more than enough time to document everything that happens (bridal parties of 12 or more).
  • For a wedding with lots of guests and the bride and groom's families both live far away, 12 hours of footage is the standard recommendation.
  • There should be a minimum of 12 hours of coverage to give personalised details like signs, drinks, and seating areas their due attention at your wedding.
  • It's one thing to know what sort of photos you want taken at your wedding; it's another to have a game plan for the day of the event.
  • Logistical concerns should be taken into account as well, such as whether or not the ceremony and the pre-ceremony activities will take place in the same location.
  • The 6 coverage is the best option if both the ceremony and the reception will be held at the same venue, or if you do not want a large number of images of little details.
  • It's so important to collaborate with a skilled photographer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Photographer

Your wedding florist will make your wedding day even more beautiful by providing gorgeous floral arrangements. Depending on your style and needs, your wedding flowers cost will vary, but the average cost of wedding flowers in the U.S. is around $1,500 with most couples spending between $700 and $2,500

Two photographers allow for one to be with the bride before the wedding and the other to photograph the groom before the wedding. If the bride and groom are getting ready in two separate locations it may be a good idea to have a second shooter.

Editing is one of the reasons why wedding photography costs so much. ... The time varies depending on the photographer, but it would probably take 3-4 hours to cull the images for an 8-hour wedding. The actual editing process takes much longer and is an even more significant factor in why wedding photography costs so much.

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