Updated: Apr 1
Wedding Photography and Videography packages are based on hours for 1 main reason:
to get what you want covered throughout your big day!
What do I mean by that? Well if you haven't been a part of a wedding before, you're probably wondering "Why the heck do I need a photographer for 8-10 hours out of the day?!" Not even realizing that is how long wedding days are! Shoot, they're way longer than that, but for to get coverage from beginning to end, you're going to want at LEAST 8 hours! Sometimes wedding days can be longer if you have a family who loves partying it up allllll through the night, but most venues also give a time limit for your big day so you know how many hours you get to have at the venue.
To look at hours of coverage, let's look at a sample timeline so you can see what's going on throughout a wedding day. For most weddings I capture, they contain getting ready, details, bridal party, family photos, first look, couple photos, bridal portraits, etc., ceremony, reception, and a big grand exit.
My sample timeline:
This timeline is from a Photography point of view, and can go into much more detail with other vendors, first dance, cake cutting, etc if looking at The Wedding Couple's point of view. This timeline is here to show you what goes on throughout the day and what coverage is needed and when. This timeline is also based on if you have a first look. Timelines will look significantly different if you don't have a first look, because you'll have to squeeze all of your big group photos in during cocktail hour, instead of beforehand- which can be tricky and cause you to have not as "many" photos of everything that you want- with your girls, family, and your lover.
That's why people choose to do first looks rather than wait until walking down the aisle to see them for the first time. First looks are when the bride and groom have alone time to see each other for the first day. The groom is turned around, and the bride comes up behinds him and surprises him. On wedding days it's hard to get that alone time with your future husband/wife if you don't plan on a dedicated time to do so beforehand, so this is one of the little ways you can have alone intimate time with them on your special day. So intimate, so in love, so many tears and happiness. And maybe some tears, or a lot of tears if you're a crier like me LOL!
For this timeline, the photographer is there for about 8.5 hours starting at when they are finishing up getting ready and getting dressed, all the way to the Sparklers exit. Around 8 hours would be the standard time for a full day coverage...but if you upped it to 10 hours you'd get even more behind the scene coverage like-
- your makeup actually being done (start to finish)
- all the fun, happy, dancing with your girls moments while getting ready
- exchanging gifts
- all the guys playing games and toasting beers moments
If you wanted less and didn't really want getting ready photos then your photographer would likely arrive when everyone is dressed and ready to go and ready for the first look!
As a Wedding Photographer, we all SHOULD be able to educate you on this when it comes to your personal timeline and needs for your big day, just ask and your photographer will help you! You do not have to stress about doing this alone, this is what we are here for- to serve you and guide you through anything you need help with, including Timeline Assistance. (this is something I provide ALL my couples no matter how many hours booked.)