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How Much Photography Coverage Do You Need on Your Wedding Day?

One of the questions that's top of mind when a couple is searching for a wedding photographer is how much coverage is needed? Many wedding photographers have hourly packages. Having never planned a wedding before, this can be an area of confusion for many couples!

I sometimes photograph intimate weddings, but in general, for a wedding at a wedding venue, where the couple wants full coverage of their day, I recommend no less than 8 hours. See the times recommended for each section of the day below:

Getting Ready + Detail Photos 90 Minutes
Bride + Groom Getting Dressed + Portraits 30 Minutes
First Look + Couples Portraits 30 Minutes
Bridal Party Photos
30 Minutes
Family Photos 30 Minutes
Details + Pre-Ceremony Photos 30 Minutes
Ceremony 30 Minutes
Cocktail Hour 60 Minutes
Sunset Photos with Couple 30 Minutes
Dinner + Speeches 90 Minutes
Reception Dancing 30 - 60 Minutes
Total 8 - 8.5 Hours

These are ideal times for each section of the day where a wedding is taking place entirely in one location. If you are having a ceremony at a separate location and getting ready at a hotel beforehand, it's always important to account for travel time in these estimates.

You'll notice when adding up all the portrait time recommended on a wedding day, it's about 2 hours total. Without a first look, almost all this portrait time is moved to cocktail hour. It's important to have a more compact family formals list in this scenario so I can move through those images in about 20 minutes. Additionally, I will shoot separate bridal party photos + pictures of the bride and groom with their immediate family before the ceremony. This allows me to spend most of cocktail hour getting portraits with the happy couple - my favorite part of the day!

Location: 43455 Corona Cala Camino, Murrieta, CA 92562.

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