If you are recently engaged, you’re probably asking yourself how many hours of wedding photography coverage you really need for your special day. All the choices and options in different wedding photographers can be overwhelming. I get it! But picking your collection coverage doesn’t have to be a complicated choice. There are a few things to consider that will help make your decision a slice of cake!
Before I get into what each coverage typically spans, it’s important to remember one thing about wedding photography. Wedding photography is typically “continuous coverage”. What does this mean exactly? With an eight hour collection, for example, this means that your collection coverage starts when the photographer arrives and ends eight hours later. There is no stopping and starting or gaps in your coverage. This ensures that we capture every important moment of the day!
Another important thing to consider is if you will be doing a first look or not. The choice is always up to you and your future spouse. Interested in learning more about first looks? Check out my blog post here to help you decide if it’s right for you!
Okay, so now that we’ve got the basics in place, let’s talk about the different hours of coverage!
Six Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage
This is the bare minimum amount of hours most photographers give for a wedding day. Six hours aren’t booked very often, but there a few things to consider to see if it’s a good fit for your day.
- Smaller, Intimate Weddings (Less than 75 Guests)
- One Location
- No Hair & Makeup Coverage
- Sometimes “Fake” Getting Ready Photos
- Minimum Reception Coverage, about 90 minutes, with typically a “Fake” exit (or consider a Ceremony Exit or Grand Entrance into the reception)
Eight Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage
This is the most popular amount of hours for wedding photography. It allows the photographer to capture the majority of your wedding day.
- Medium Sized Wedding (75-200 Guests)
- One or Two Locations (depending on the travel distance)
- Finishing Touches of Hair & Makeup Coverage
- Two and a Half Hours of Reception Coverage on average
Nine Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage
While I don’t have a collection for nine hours of coverage, consider adding on an additional hour to the eight hour collection if you’re having a Catholic Church ceremony. Catholic weddings can typically last an hour on average, with typically 15 minutes allotted for portraits afterwards inside the church. Add in the travel time from your getting ready location and then back to your reception space and you’ve blocked off at least 2 hours of time. Nine hours of coverage typically allows for about a 3 hour reception.
Ten Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage
Ten hours is typically considered full day coverage. The really nice thing about having ten hours of coverage is the included buffer time. You won’t feel rushed throughout the day because we can space all the events out for you. So even if things are running late, it’s never a problem with this many hours! This is another great option for Catholic weddings, as it adds in even more time for travel, multiple locations, and details.
- Large Sized Wedding (200+ Guests)
- Multiple Locations
- Full day coverage – From hair and makeup to exit
- Buffer Time throughout the day for breaks or touchups
- Multiple Bride & Groom Portraits Sessions (First Look, Sunset, or Night Portraits)
- Multiple First Looks (Bride & Groom, Dad, Bridesmaid, etc)
Hopefully this guide will help you decided how many hours of coverage is right for you. As a bonus for working with me, I help all of my couples with timeline planning! There is never any need to stress over how to schedule the day. Once you’re booked, sample timelines can be sent your way!
Ready to reserve your date and get the luxury wedding photography experience? Inquire with me here and let’s see if we’re a match! I’d love the chance to serve you on your special day!
And follow along on my Instagram to see all the latest work!