May 31, 2022  •  5min read

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do You Need

wedding photography duration

When you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, you’ll come across so many questions you never knew you would ask. These questions include what flowers do you want? And are they in season? What about wedding photography? You’ll likely know the budget of every service, which makes you instantly an expert in events.

The Hours of Service in a Wedding Day Coverage

Here, we’re listing down and offering resources you can refer to if you ask yourself. “Hey, how long do we need to book our photographer?” Read along for a complete list of the hours available within a wedding photography coverage. 

6 Hours of Coverage

The 6-hour coverage is usually the minimal hour coverage wedding photographers offer; therefore, it’s the least expensive. However, just because this wedding photo package costs the least doesn’t mean that it’s only for you who have a tight budget!

A six-hour coverage is ideal for small weddings and elopements. There aren’t many people who can manage to photograph an intimate wedding, so things can whoosh by quickly. Thus, the 6-hour coverage service only works best when the ceremony and the reception are in the same location.

Things to remember:

Looking for Professional Wedding Photography?

"(Required)" indicates required fields

✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number

"(Required)" indicates required fields

✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number

  • A 6-hour coverage usually means that there isn’t a lot of time for detail/design shots of you before the wedding
  • The coverage will mainly focus on the crucial moments (ceremony, portraits, family photos, cake cutting, first dance)
  •  As the main ceremony may last for hours, there won’t be many photos of the reception once the dancing starts

8 Hours of Coverage

An 8-hour package should be enough for an average-size wedding (for 100 to 150 people). The extra 2 hours of coverage should let the photographer capture your last few minutes of getting ready, some shots of the reception, and the dance party’s beginning.

Things to remember:

  • If you’re looking forward to doing a first look, then an 8-hour coverage is the minimal choice
  • Even if you think 8 hour seems enough, this time frame is suitable for a wedding where the reception and ceremony are at the same location. The additional 2 hours provide just enough time for the photographers to take some getting ready, detail and dancing photos. You wouldn’t want to waste 30 to 40 minutes on your photographer to back up their gear and drive to another location where they need to set their gears back up.

10 Hours of Coverage

If you want all the Instagram-worthy shots every couple wants on their wedding day; then the 10-hour coverage is a perfect choice. Your photographers won’t be rushing to capture everything and as they’ll be on-site for most of the time, there should be enough time for all the prep shots and a first look if you want to do one. Besides that, no one will need to rush through any wedding party and family portraits before going to the reception and dancing.

Things to remember:

  • If you plan to have a wedding ceremony and reception in different locations, then the 10-hour coverage is the minimal choice. This provides enough time for the photographer to travel to the second location and capture all the important events.
  • A 10-hour coverage may still not be enough if you’re planning to have a photographer until the last minute of the reception unless you are willing to give up coverage during the starting hours.

12 hours of coverage

There are many reasons why a 12-hour coverage is the best choice for any wedding. Besides having more than enough time to capture every detail of the day, this amount of coverage is essential, especially for larger wedding parties.

Things to remember:

  • If you have a bigger wedding party with all your friends and families invited, the 12 hours of coverage are the way. As when everyone is in “party mode”, it can be challenging to keep everyone’s attention, not to mention that it’s even more challenging to get the right people at the right place at the right time!
  • If you’ve been preparing and spending a lot to make your dream wedding decorations and details come true, it will suck if all the details don’t get photographed. So if you’ve arranged custom cocktails, wedding signs and lounges that you’re proud of, then you should go for the 12 hours of coverage to ensure all the design details get captured!

What’s the Right Amount of Coverage for Your Wedding?

Now that you know the different hour coverages of wedding photography, have you got an idea of how long you need for your special day? In our opinion, the six-hour coverage is indeed short, but it’s a good choice if you don’t want the extra pictures of the small details. With two extra hours, the eight-hour coverage is an excellent option for those who want extra shots of their jewelry, dress, shoes and the action at the reception. If you’re going to capture everything from the start of your wedding to the grand exit, then the ten- and twelve-hour coverage is highly recommended.

Your photographer should ideally help you determine which package suits you best. This is why hiring an experienced photographer is essential.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

Related Articles

Have to decide how your dream wedding will look like?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr.