This might be a little controversial, but I’m here to say it. For a regular wedding day, you do not need more than 6-8 hours of wedding coverage. Why? Because it’s a waste of time and money.
I say this lightly to all couples out there planning their wedding days. Unless their photographer does all-day coverage, it really is a waste of your money to pay extra for your wedding photographer to stay longer than 8 hours. A typical wedding day can be accomplished in 6-8 hours, between getting ready and photographing details, from the ceremony to reception coverage. In fact, I’ve photographed full wedding days in five hours and had plenty of time!
Here is a break down of my wedding day timeline that gives us plenty of time to accomplish everything for our couples.
- Details & Getting ready – 1.5 hours of time
- Bridal party photos – 1.5 hours
- Ceremony – 1 hour
- Family formals, Bridal party photos, and Cocktail hour – 1 hour
- Bride & Groom portraits (split up between cocktail hour and sunset) – 45 minutes-1 hour
- Reception – 2-3 hours
When helping my couples plan out their timeline, I always suggest around 3 hours before the ceremony to give you plenty of time for details, getting ready, and almost all bridesmaid and groomsmen portraits done before the ceremony. The end of the ceremony should be the middle of the coverage, with Family formals taking up the beginning of the 4th hour. Reception should be the biggest chunk of time.
I hope this helps when planning your timeline for your wedding day! And remember – you DON’T need more than 8 hours of time to get everything in.