You’re planning your wedding and have found the wedding photography of your dreams! But what package do you want from them? Will you want photos of the whole day, from getting ready to leave the reception, or would just half the day do? Do you need to add on extra hours? Does your photography package include prints such as album or wall art? This seemingly simple concept can quickly become confusing.

According to the Brides magazine, they have an average for 8 hours need for wedding photos. Every wedding and every couple are different, and the amount and type of coverage you need for your big day depends on a variety of factors, but there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:

Wedding photography coverage is continuous

When you book a wedding photographer, that means they will photograph your day without breaks. For example, if you have eight hours of coverage, that’s eight hours from when they arrive at the venue. A photographer won’t pause between events or segment their coverage unless you make special arrangements.

Every wedding is different, but most weddings can be broken up into getting ready, the first look, the ceremony, family portraits, and the reception. Let’s take a look at how long on average each part of the day will take.

Getting Ready

A safe assumption is that each bridesmaid will take about an hour and a half to get ready, while the bride should have about three hours, just in case anything doesn’t go according to plan. However, if you only have one person doing hair and makeup, add extra time to everyone’s preparations as a buffer.

Getting ready may not seem like a huge deal, but it takes a significant amount of time, and couples often don’t schedule enough time for hair and makeup. If this part of the day takes too long, it can mess up your entire timeline and throw off the whole day, which is the last thing you want!

The First Look

If you choose to have a first look with your partner before the ceremony, allot about 30 minutes for photos. Your first look should be an intimate, special moment, but it shouldn’t take long, especially if it’s just you, your soon-to-be spouse, and the photographer. Try to keep parents or the wedding party from hanging around and causing distractions or taking away from the moment.

On a fence to consider first look in your wedding timeline, look at “7 reasons more brides are doing first look”.

The Ceremony

The length of your ceremony is entirely up to you and depends on what traditions you choose to include. Regardless of the length of your ceremony, consider adding 15 to 20 minutes of buffer time, just in case your officiant is running late, or something else goes wrong.

Wedding photography documentary style

Post-Ceremony Family Portraits

After the ceremony, guests will head to the reception venue, leaving the couple, the wedding party, and family members to hang around for formal portraits. How long these portraits will take depends on the number of people being photographed and whether you have a first look because, if you choose not to have a first look, couple portraits will also take place after the ceremony.

If all portraits will be taken post-ceremony, consider allocating about two hours for those images. That may seem like a long time, but you’d be surprised how long it takes to get everyone together and pose. But, if you only need a few wedding party photos and images of your immediate family, you may only need an hour for photos after the ceremony.

The Reception

Like your ceremony, your reception will last for a specific amount of time, depending on how long you have your venue. However, your photographer doesn’t need to be there for the entire four or five hours, just long enough to capture all the significant events, like the first dance, parent dances, toasts, and cutting of the cake, as well as a few shots of everyone grooving on the dance floor. You can usually end your photography coverage an hour or so before the reception ends, when things are wrapping up and guests have begun to go home.

Stay in conversation with your wedding photographer.

To ensure you get the coverage you want for your wedding, you must talk to your photographer about what details and moments matter most. Maybe you only want images of the ceremony. Perhaps you want to capture every second of your day. Whatever you want, your wedding photographer can work with you to ensure you have the coverage you need. At Loc Le Films, Seattle Wedding photographer, we work with every couples on their timeline so we can capture the story if your wedding day, not just how it looks, but how it feels in your hearts.

Experience the artistry and passion behind Loc Le Films. Contact us today to discuss your photography needs, and let’s start crafting your love story in images.

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Your love story deserves to be told through the lens of true artists. Secure your date and create memories that will last a lifetime. We can’t wait to be a part of your special day!

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