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Picking Your Wedding Photography Package: Tips for Determining the Ideal Number of Hours to Book Your Wedding Photographer

Have you found yourself asking, "How many hours should I book my wedding photographer for?" If so, this post is for you!

A bride and groom showing off their wedding rings at the end of the night.
Stole the happy couple Ray + Wilma away for one final shoot at the end of the night

Hey there, how's wedding planning going? Are you having the most fun, fulfilling journey putting together your perfect dream day, or are you kind of freaking out and already a little over it? Whether you're one or the other, or a lovely in-between, I wanted to offer you some help as you trudge along.

The number one question I get from couples who are ready to book with me is, "How many hours should I book you for?" I understand why this is such a common question; this is likely your first time planning a wedding, so how are you to know what's enough? A lot of wedding photographers price out their packages based on an hourly rate. And while this isn't all that goes into the job for a wedding photographer (I talk more about this here), it's still the most crucial part of their job as far as capturing the entirety of your day goes.

No single wedding is the same: maybe you want those cute flatlays with your rings and wedding invitations, or maybe details don't matter to you as much, maybe you don't want any getting ready shots or maybe you want your photographer there first thing in the morning to capture every moment of the day. I can keep throwing examples out there, but I'm sure you get the point; there will always be unique aspects to your day that you should take into consideration while figuring out how long to book your photographer for.


The most helpful tips I give to my couples who are determining the amount of hours they'd like to book are listed below:

Use Your Schedule as Your Guideline

This part is kind of a no-brainer - it's only useful advice if you have at least a tentative schedule going. Say you already know your ceremony will start at 4PM, cocktail hour from 5-6PM, and reception from 6-10PM. Here you already have 6hours of coverage needed. Most photographers (such as myself) like to arrive at least 2 hours before the ceremony begins. Why 2 whole hours before? I'll answer that in the next point,

Make a List of Your "Wants"

Where Are You Getting Ready?

Is Your Ceremony Close to the Reception Location?

Will You Have a Send Off?


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