How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage You Need

My job as your photographer is to capture every moment of your big day! Sometimes that means full-on directing you and other times it means totally blending into the crowd to capture the sweetest candid moments. But how many hours of wedding photography coverage do you really need? It is a question all brides ask and from my experience in the industry and as a past bride myself, my recommendations are below!

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage by chattanooga photographer alyssa rachelle photography

8 hours is the bare minimum. End of story here. If you’re having a full-on wedding, save yourself from the stress of trying to get it all photographed in less than 8 hours. It just isn’t worth it!

Perks of 8 Hours:

  • Bridal details are covered! Those pretty images of your dress, the rings, invitations, bouquets, and all the in-between moments are captured.
  • Reception formalities like speeches and toasts are captured in an 8-hour day as well as cake cutting!
  • Some open dancing included
  • Staged Exit – Unless your reception is shorter in length, an 8-hour day typically requires a staged exit and the party then continues long after we’re gone!

The downside of 8 Hours:

  • Little buffer time for the unexpected! Wedding days are quickly moving from one moment to the next. You’d be surprised how quickly one part of the day can crunch into subsequent times if things get slightly off track.
  • If you’re hosting your big day without a day-of coordinator to keep logistics, vendors, and friends and family in check, making sure everyone is where they need to be and when can be a lot for an 8-hour timeframe.

10 hours is the sweet spot and what we recommend considering if you’re after the following…

Perks of 10 Hours:

  • If you’re a bride who appreciates some buffer and transition time, 10 hours of coverage allows for that breathing room!
  • Ceremony in one location and the reception in another? Getting ready in a salon before traveling to your wedding venue? With 10 hours of coverage, you can have more of your day captured when there are multiple locations on your wedding day. If the bride and groom are starting the day at different locations, this also allows us to capture both sides!
  • First look! 10 hours gives us extra time to capture first looks or gift exchanges which are very tender moments that lead to fantastic photos before saying ‘I do.’
  • Extra details like getting into your dress or toasting with your bridesmaids are fun images that are more likely captured with more coverage!
  • If you’re hosting a long reception, 10 hours allows us to cover most, if not all, of the evening.
  • Are all your sorority sisters your bridesmaids? That’s a lot of bridal party images to get through! You will need double the normal shot time.
  • Long family formals photos fit in here too! If your bridal party or family is large, 10 hours makes sure we get every image you want and we do so un-rushed.

All in all, 10 hours of coverage seems to bring our couples the most peace and the right mix of memorable images.

12 hours is a full-day affair!

If you have most of the dynamics for a 10-hour day but maybe want more morning events covered, consider 12 hours. Many of our couples that choose 12 hours have some of the following in their morning.

  • Boys golf trip or shooting range
  • Ladies brunch
  • Ladies gift exchange
  • On-site venue activities like fishing or life-size chess
  • Firework endings

I hope this information helps you when considering how many hours of wedding photography coverage you want to book. It’s no small investment! If you have more questions please feel free to reach out!

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