How Many Hours of Photography Coverage Do You Need?

Wedding Tips

One of the most common questions I get asked as a wedding photographer is – how many hours of coverage do I need? I get it, this can be confusing! Most photographers will offer multiple packages for you to pick from. Most will have it set in 6 hours, 8 hours, and 10 hour packages. Picking a package with too few hours may mean that certain moments get missed, or you are rushed through portraits. I want to break down this question so you can book your photographer with confidence knowing you are getting exactly the right amount of coverage. Let’s dive in, and make this part of the planning process much easier!

6 Hours Of Coverage

Having 6 hours of photography coverage is not only for those with limited budgets. This amount of coverage is great for small, intimate weddings. These are weddings with under 50 guests, so you will often have fewer family formal pictures needed. This also works great if the ceremony and reception are in the same location, since traveling can take up a bit of time. If you do want to have some getting ready pictures, and time for more family shots, you may need more hours.

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8 Hours Of Coverage

8 hours of photography coverage is more for an average-sized wedding. With the extra time included, the photographer can capture the tail end of getting ready and have plenty of time for detail shots. It is also possible to add a first look if you would like to do that. If you are not sure what that is, it’s when the bride and groom have a special moment alone together before the ceremony! Typically, 8 hours can work if you have your ceremony and reception at two different venues. However, if there is a long drive between the two locations, I would consider adding on a few more hours.


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10 Hours Of Coverage

With the extra time, the photographer will be on-site for most of the day with 10 hours of coverage.  This gives plenty of time to capture getting ready and detail shots, as well as any other photographs before the ceremony. This is also perfect for weddings with multiple locations for portraits, the ceremony, and reception. If you are planning an exit, giving up hours in the earlier hours will give the photographer time to photograph the exit as well!

While 10 hours may seem like a lot of time, your wedding day is typically 10-14 hours long! If you get hair and makeup started at 11:00 AM, with a 4:00 PM Ceremony, and the reception ends at 10:00 PM, that is 12 hours! So a 10-hour package will allow you to get most of your wedding day captured.


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12 Hours Of Coverage

12 hours works perfectly for larger weddings and couples who are wanting to focus on creating plenty of photo memories throughout the entire day. This will allow a photographer to capture the ‘party’ during the reception as well as capture a grand exit. This is made for the couple who want coverage from start to finish without missing a moment.


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There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding how many hours of photography coverage you will need for your wedding day. It all comes down to the logistics, and how much of the day you want to be captured on film. No matter how many hours you go with, you will have plenty of gorgeous photos and memories.

If you are planning a wedding and looking for a photographer to capture your big day – make sure to get in touch. I would be happy to chat about how many hours of coverage would work best for you and your plans for your wedding.

Wedding photography tips

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