• The Ivory Story

How many hours of wedding photography coverage do you need?



You're newly engaged and are searching for your perfect wedding photographer... you know, the one that will capture all the details you spent months dreaming up, as well as those show-stopping portraits, all while making you feel completely comfortable and in the moment.


If you've enquired with a few photographers, you would have discovered that everyone offers different amounts of coverage and it can be really overwhelming to figure out exactly what will suit your day best - especially when it's at least a year away!


Read on for tips to help you consider what you really need and should lock in now, so you feel confident in the photographer and package you select.


Getting Ready


While your bridal prep may be starting in the early hours of the morning, you really don't need to allow for your photographer to be there for the whole time. So, breathe a sigh of relief and read the rest of this post before booking any extra hours or the longest package you can find. As photographers ourselves, we will capture the tail end of our couples' morning preparations. About an hour for each of you is perfect to get all those gorgeous details and your final touches. Plus, you can start the morning without a camera in your face, have a bite to eat and take in the fact it's your wedding day while you slowly begin getting ready.




Ceremony

Ceremony length can vary significantly depending on the culture and tradition you are including in your ceremony. If you are keeping it simple though, most ceremonies are over within about 30 minutes, although you might like to allow a further 30 minutes before the ceremony for your photographer to arrive and capture the scene, like the details, and guests arriving - after all you likely won't see this part of the day.




Family Formals

This is the part of the day that we have found most couples feel the most concern about...but it can be done efficiently and painlessly. Usually, this will happen immediately following the ceremony and 30 minutes is more than enough to get all the group combinations. If you're unsure though, you can use the rule of 2 minutes per family group to gauge how long you need to allow.


Bonus tip: Create a list of all the group combinations and then delegate a close friend who won't be in any of the formal photos to be in charge of the list and round everyone up. (Trust us, it will save time, we've seen too many times where someone goes missing while looking for someone else!)




Portraits

Personally, our favorite part of the day! Portraits timeframe can be really flexible and will depend on how many locations you choose and how big your bridal party is. A minimum of 45 minutes is ideal, but portraits could go for up to 3 hours or longer. (Although we normally find that anything longer than 1 1/2 hours can be draining and eat up your day)


Bonus tip: Try to find locations that are reasonably close together, your photographer can help you with this but also, your venue might just be the right place to stay at and make the most of the time there.




Reception

The ideal reception coverage time really depends on what parts are important for you to have captured.


Maybe you are happy to leave the party moments up to your guests and their iphones and minimise coverage time? Or you want just the formalities, like the cake cutting and dances? Or maybe you want a grand sparkler exit at midnight, in which case you might just need to book those extra hours.



There's no right or wrong when it comes to photography coverage. It all comes down to your personal preference, so take some time to think about what you will absolutely regret not having captured and use this as a starting place to understand the coverage time you need for your wedding day.




Get an idea of what you can expect to have captured in some different coverage times below:

4 Hours Coverage

8 Hours Coverage

10+ Hours Coverage

Getting Ready

(Same location as ceremony)

Ceremony

Family Formals

Portraits

Getting Ready

(Separate locations)

Ceremony

Family Formals

Portraits

Reception Entrance + Early Formalities

Getting Ready

(Separate locations)

Ceremony

Family Formals

Portraits

Reception Formalities + Exit