“How Many Hours of Wedding Coverage Do I Need?”


When you start planning your wedding, we can only imagine that a million questions are running through your head. How much is that venue going to cost? How many bottles of champagne do we need? And, at some point, you’re bound to ask yourself, “How many hours should I book my wedding photographer for?”

Today then, we wanted to help answer that question for you! Now, we know that the amount of coverage and what you get for it will be different from photographer to photographer so, use this as a general guide – and know that this is based off of our experience as well as how quickly we work.

Shane and Lauren Photography How Many Hours Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer For

6 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

Just because this is the least expensive package we offer, that doesn’t mean it is just for couples with tight budgets! 6 hours of coverage is plenty for small weddings and elopements. When weddings are intimate, there aren’t very many people to manage and photograph, so things tend to move quickly. That being said, 6 hours of coverage only works logistically if the ceremony and reception are in the same location.
Things to consider

  • 6 hours of coverage most likely means that there will not be much (or any) time for detail shots or photos of you getting ready
  • But, you will have coverage of all of the important moments (portraits, ceremony, family photos, first dance, cake cutting)
  • The end of the night comes early with just 6 hours of coverage so, you will not end up with many photos of the reception once dancing starts

Shane and Lauren Photography How Many Hours Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer For

8 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

An 8 hour package is usually enough time for an “average size” wedding (about 100-150 people) and the extra 2 hours of coverage allows us to capture: the tail end of you getting ready, some detail shots of the reception space, and the start of the dance party.

Things to consider

  • If you have your heart set on doing a first look, then we recommend at least 8 hours of coverage
  • Even though 8 hours seems like a lot of time, we still feel like this works best for weddings where the ceremony and reception are at the same location. Since the additional 2 hours gives us just enough time to take a few getting ready, detail, and dancing shots, you don’t want to waste 30 or 40 minutes on us needing to pack up our gear, drive to, and set back up at a second location

Shane and Lauren Photography How Many Hours Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer For

10 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

Don’t want to feel rushed to get all of the shots you want on wedding day? Then at least 10 hours of coverage is the right way to go. Since we would be with you for most of the day, we will have time to get all of the detail and prep shots you want, plus have plenty of time for a first look (if you want to do one). On top of that, we won’t have to rush through any of the wedding party and family portraits before getting to dinner and dancing.

Things to consider

  • If your wedding ceremony and reception are taking place in different locations, then we recommend at least 10 hours of coverage. This gives us enough time to travel to the second location and still get all of the shots you want!
  • Planning a grand exit? Unless you are willing to give up coverage of your wedding day in the earlier hours, 10 hours is usually not enough to have us there until the end of your reception

Shane and Lauren Photography How Many Hours Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer For

12 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

There are a couple reasons why 12 hours of coverage would be right for you. Aside from it being more than enough time to capture all of the details of the day, this amount of coverage is almost necessary if you have a very large wedding party (8-12 groomsmen/bridesmaids).

Things to consider

  • If you have a huge wedding party and family, we usually recommend 12 hours of coverage. Why? With everyone in “party mode” it means that it can be hard to get and keep people’s attention (not to mention the fact that it can be difficult to find and get the right people in the right place all at the right time!)
  • Are you working with a really awesome wedding planner or designer? If you are, you’ve put in a ton or work with design the wedding you’ve always wanted and, it would be a bummer if all of those details didn’t get photographed. So, if you have that custom invitation suite, wedding signs, custom cocktails, and lounges that everybody dreams of, we definitely recommend 12 hours of coverage to make sure that every detail gets the attention it deserves!

Still trying to decide how much coverage is the right amount for you? Don’t worry, we know there are a bunch of things that can make one package work over another and are happy to chat! You can get in touch with us here.