Do You Really Need All Day Wedding Coverage?

If you found your way to this post, you’re probably trying to decide on how many hours of coverage you need to capture your special day. Some of you may be thinking “Anywhere between 4-6 should be enough, right?” while others are saying “All day all the way!”. To answer the question of “Do I need all day wedding cover?”, the short answer is no. For those who choose all day wedding coverage, be prepared to fill every second of your day with events to make the price you’re paying worth it.

So here’s the thing! There’s sweet spot when it comes to wedding photography and video coverage. While everyone’s wedding is different, there are a lot of key events that play out on any given wedding day. Here’s a list of some of those key events:

  • Preparations/Getting Ready

  • First Look

  • Ceremony

  • Bridal Portraits

  • Family Formals

  • Cake Cutting

  • First Dance

That was just a short list but all of these events total to around 6 and a half hours worth of coverage! So what’s that magic number? Considering the following:

A Typical Wedding Day

A typical wedding day for photos starts about 3 hours before the ceremony starts.  This time allows the photographer time to photograph the bridal details, the ceremony setup, the reception space and bridal party getting ready.  Once the preparations are over, the rest of the morning will quickly transition from the first look to bridal portraits.  While you’re in hair and makeup, there’s only so much the photographer and videographer can capture that is flattering so we try to aim our focus on the details instead. Let’s face it, half done makeup and hair in rollers will NOT be a contender for your heirloom album.

Let’s Talk Receptions

Receptions are where the fun happens! And sometimes there’s a bit too much fun happening on that dance floor. The most important parts of the reception, thankfully, are at the beginning of the reception. So there’s no need to worry about everyone already being drunk or only having half of your guest still in attendance. Once the reception formalities are done, it’s time for open. Make sure your DJ gets the party started early so your photographer can grab some really great dance floor shots. An hour of open dance is really all you’ll need. After that, people start sitting down and the last thing you want is to be paying for your photographers and videographers to hold up the wall.

After considering what we discussed above, the magic number of hours need for a wedding day is 8.

If you’d like access to a one of my full day wedding timelines, click here.