Before you start looking for a wedding photographer. Ask yourself the question: How much wedding photography do I need for my wedding day?
Think about what you would like photographed on your wedding day. Would you like the whole day covered or just what you think is important?
Some brides and grooms want everything covered from the getting ready stage to the exit. While other couples just want the ceremony and key moments covered.
I’ll be breaking down each section of a wedding day for you. And let you know realistically how much time it takes to photograph each section.
Getting Ready ( 2hrs – 2 1/2hrs )
Let’s start off with the getting ready coverage. Your photographer does not need to be there from the first moment you put a roller into your hair
Ideally you would want is at least about 40 minutes to an hour coverage. Just at the end of the make-up, since after makeup you be putting on your wedding dress.
A lot more goes on during the bride getting ready location and so a little more time might be needed than the groom.
The guys need less time to get ready generally. It’s 15 minutes for the getting photos and the rest of the hour is spent taking candid relaxed photos of the groom and groomsmen.
The Wedding Ceremony ( 30 min – 1hr )
A ceremony conducted by a celebrant is going to be anywhere between 30 minutes to 45 at the very very most
If it’s a very simple ceremony with no readings or even if it’s just one reading it could be over within 30 minutes.
If you’re having church wedding, a Catholic or Anglican wedding it can take up to an hour. European weddings such as a Greek Wedding, The service is going to be at least an hour or maybe just a little over.
Group Photos / Family Photos / Bridal Party ( 1hr – 2hrs )
After the ceremony you would generally have the group photos. Having the priest or celebrant let the guests know to wait around after the ceremony for the group photos saves time.
The group photo it will take you no longer than 10 minutes
From here you can do the family portraits straight after and will depend who you include in your photos and if you need to go an round them up.
Leave 2 to 3 minutes for each family photo, this takes into account rounding up people.
Bridal party photos will take a little bit longer as you will generally go to 1 – 2 locations. Try to keep your locations close to each other. Making sure not to forget travel time. Assign at least 1hr to 1 1/2 hrs to do it properly.
The Reception (2 hrs – 4 hrs)
I’ve seen a lot of brides and grooms get creative with their reception. Traditionally the reception is a sit down three course meal, including the speeches, cake cutting and first dance it can be done in 4hrs.
I’ve noticed some couples are going against the norm and having a stand up reception. This includes canapes and drinks only for the duration of the ceremony. Allowing them to do the speeches, cake cutting and first dance much earlier and completing the formalities in 2hrs.
Allow Time For Delays
A lot of couples unfortunately are not allowing any time for delays on their wedding day.
There are so many things going on to create the whole experience that it’s easy for small thing to happen, which are out of your control. And can cause big delays.
Someone could be late, a vendor may make a mistake or simply traffic being bad can cause delays and push other parts of your wedding day back, or worse having to Skip them all together.
You should put some buffer into your schedule. Working out ahead of time how long it’s going to take to get to and from locations.
Then adding another 10 minutes to account for moving a whole group of people or if you’ve got a big wedding dress to manoeuvre that in and out of the hire car.
Leave Time To Relax
It’s a long day, relax and take it in at some point.
This is something I encourage all my couples to do. Leaving at least 30 minutes for you to relax and enjoy the day for what it is.
If you have the time, do it you will be glad you did.
Generally on a wedding day it takes a lot longer to do the most simplest of things. My advice to any bride or groom, is workout what is important to you both on your wedding. This will answer the question of how much Wedding photography do I need?
Your wedding day will be long. It will start early and end late in to the night. When it comes to your wedding photography coverage. Don’t try to rush and cram everything in a s short period of time, It will only lead to stress. And remember to leave a little bit of extra time just in case.