This tends to be a BIG item on our list when we pair our new clients with Photographers. Taking the time to educate couples from the get go on how long they should book their photographer for, really allows us to pave the way for success as we get closer to the wedding day. Too many times (mainly with our day of coordination clients) we find that after reviewing their event details, that they have not booked their photographer for as long as they actually need it.
Photo by Cotton Weddings
So, we wanted to take a moment to share our insight to booking the right amount of hours with your photographer at the beginning of the booking experience. Here are a few tips we would LOVE to share!:
Photo by Grant Daniels Photography
Here is a breakdown of the typical packages that we see photographers offer most often:
6-7 Hour Photography Package
We do not recommend this for a typical wedding day as it is more common for elopements. This package means there is not as much going on for the photographer to capture, which is why a smaller affair seems better suited for a 6 hour package.
A timeline for this package would generally be the photographer arriving an hour before walking down the aisle, briefly through open dance floor, and leaving after all the important events have commenced for the evening such as cake cutting, as well as bouquet and garter toss.
8 Hour Photography Package
This is what I like to consider our “sweet spot” in photography world as a planner. This allows for the photographer to be there briefly while you are getting ready, photograph details, putting on your dress and suit, a first look, and all the other items on the wedding day. More times than not, it will also last all the way up until the grand exit. If you want your photographers to tell a full story of the wedding day, this is the package you will want at minimum.
9-10 Hour Photography Package
As mentioned previously, the 8 hours is a sweet spot, and if your events are in separate locations for ceremony and reception, 9 hours is recommended for a full experience. A 10 hour package is for our clients who want somewhere there with them every step of the way. No moments missed is the motto for a 10 hour package. With this sort of package however, it is rarely booked. Not saying that it isn’t needed, but most couples feel perfectly content with 8-9 hours of service. A 10 hour package is great if you want the photographer to capture a bridal brunch the morning of the wedding, or if you are having an extended reception (where my New Year’s couples at?!)
Photo by My Happy Lens
Final Tip: It is important to realize your expectations when hiring a photographer as far as timing goes. With our couples, photography is usually the most important expense of their wedding day, so we are very mindful of this in the process when not only pairing them with photographers, but also when considering how many hours they are looking for. What type of experience do they want to have on the wedding day when it comes to their photographs and photographer.
We hope that this helps a little in deciding your photography package! Our goal with this post was to share our knowledge of booking photography packages to ensure you are getting the most out of your budget, without having to end up paying for additional coverage closer to the wedding day. The good thing is that you can always add hours to your package. So, if you have already booked your wedding photographer, look at your timeline now so that you can decide if additional hours are necessary. Any questions about photography packages, feel free to reach out to us directly!
Team Weddings by Jessee