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How To Figure Out How Many Hours You Need Your Wedding Photographer For

Wedding Wednesday | How Many Hours Do You Need Your Wedding Photographer For?

How To Figure Out How Many Hours You Need Your Wedding Photographer For

Because really, how many hours do you REALLY need your wedding photographer for?

Today’s main topic is to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of coverage for your wedding that you and your photographer have agreed upon while also ensuring that you can add more time if needed.

My couples already know this because we talk about all of these topics in person and it’s clearly disclosed in my contracts but not everyone has things laid out as I do. This series is made for those that might not know where to start and what a wedding day, in general, includes for the standard length of time.

Now, how do you figure out how many hours of coverage you actually want?

It’s really difficult, especially when you’re so far out from your wedding day so the simple answer, book them for 8 hours as that is the standard amongst photographers. The complex answer with all of my reasons why starts below.

This allows your photographer to see the bare minimum of a majority of the events of the day regardless of if you have planned to do a First Look or not. It’s covers you for now so you can make decisions later instead of making them under pressure.

bride and groom having first dance

So what does that bare minimum amount of photo coverage get you? Here are the main events that your photographer should be able to input into some of your timeline:

Bridal Details

You Getting Ready

Your Fiancé Getting Ready

Bridal Party

First Look

Romantic Couple Portraits


Family Portraits

Grand Entrance

First Dance

Cake Cutting

***Ideally a few dance songs***

Now, what happens if you realize that this doesn’t cover everything you want to be photographed for your wedding day?

Don’t be scared! This is the next bit we need to talk about!

There should be a clause in the contract that states that additional hours can be added and you should also see pricing write down. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You should know what any additional hourly coverage should be priced at the time you sign the contract initially so that you won’t get surprised by a higher fee because your photographer might raise their prices from the time when you first signed the contract to the time you want to increase your hourly photography coverage.

I tell all of my couples this because we won’t be putting together their timeline until about 3 months before their wedding day and a lot can happen from the time when they book me (a year or more out) to that 3 month away period. It all could change and that’s ok because we can add time on as needed but sometimes a couple really doesn’t need that extra time, it’s why clauses like this exist.

So hopefully this helped you to understand just one small portion of what you should be looking at when you book your wedding photographer, stay tuned for next week when I discuss bigger items like Wedding Albums, Second Shooters, and even Tipping because those are big aspects that could easily affect your wedding budget.

Hope it helps!

Cheers & Happy Wedding Planning



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