Planning a wedding can be extremely overwhelming at times. From picking your venue and dress, to tasting cakes and viewing flowers, there are so many options to choose from. When it comes to your photography, the biggest decision (besides who you love as a photographer!) is how much wedding coverage time you need. Today, we are going to break down how long every aspect of your wedding can take and what options may be best for you.
How Long Does Each Part of a Wedding Take??
First, let’s talk logistics. There are many elements that are involved in the wedding day, from getting ready through your grand exit. You can expect this timing for each aspect of your wedding day:
- Hair and makeup: 2 Hours for the Bride and 1 ½ hours per bridesmaid
- Getting Dressed (the ladies): Up to 30 minutes
- Getting Dressed (the men): 15 minutes
- Bridal Portraits: 15-30 minutes
- Wedding Party Photos: 15 minutes
- Groom Portraits: 15 minutes
- First Look: 15 minutes
- Couple Portraits: 45 minutes to an hour
- Ceremony: Anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour
- Family Formals: 30-45 minutes
- Exit: 10 minutes
Wedding Coverage Times
So, you have your approximate timing of all typical wedding events, but what the heck do you actually need covered?? If you are planning a full wedding, we always suggest 8 hours of wedding coverage time for your day. But, if you don’t want EVERY piece covered, or want more than the average, there are options your photographer can give you!
If you are a bride or groom who isn’t too fond of detail or getting ready photos, or really don’t care about the reception being covered, 6 hours of wedding coverage time is for you! With 6 hours, we can typically cover from either an hour before the ceremony through the main parts of the reception, or your getting ready process through the start of dinner.
For brides and grooms who want to remember every part of the wedding day, but don’t necessarily want 2 hours of dancing photos, 8 hours of wedding coverage time is perfect! With 8 hours, we can cover the tail end of getting ready through two hours of the reception. If you really want your exit photographed, but not your dancing friends, ask your photographer about a controlled exit!
Brides and grooms who want every single aspect of the day covered should ask their photographer for 10 hours of wedding coverage time. With 10 hours, we can cover the bride’s hair and makeup through the end of the reception. You will receive everything you could possibly want out of your photos and probably more!
Elopements and Small Weddings
Now, for our couples who are eloping or are having an extremely small wedding, we personally offer two different smaller packages for 2 and 4 hours of wedding coverage time. When you are having such a small ceremony, all of the usual wedding day averages are out the window!
For brides and grooms who only want their ceremony, family formals, and couple portraits captured, 2 hours is plenty of time! We would suggest upgrading to 4 hours if you would like getting ready photos or some of your reception covered.
Wedding coverage times and timelines can seem difficult to decide on when you first start planning, but these key facts can really help change the game! If you need help planning your timeline, check out our blog on timelines here! You can view the rest of our wedding planning tips through our series “Advice on the Inside.”