Continuing on with point #2 of Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer.
(#1 – The Importance of Photography)

2.  Amount of Coverage Time

Some photographers offer certain options of how many hours of coverage you will receive throughout the wedding day. This would probably be something to the effect of “8 hours of continuous coverage on your wedding day”. That means that you would get 8 hours of coverage on your wedding day, starting at the time of your choosing, but only 8 continuous hours. This means the photographer wouldn’t be able to cover the bride getting ready starting at 6 am, and wrap up the day with the bouquet/garter toss at 11 PM, as that would be over the allotted time. Your photographer would most likely allow you to add additional hours, which would then mean additional hourly charge as well.

Other photographers give you package options that allow you to choose how much of the wedding day you would like captured. This could mean you would choose ‘segments’ of the wedding day that you want covered by a photographer- such as the bridal preparation, wedding ceremony, and bridal formals. Or perhaps that would mean coverage by the photographer at the wedding ceremony, bridal formals, and the wedding reception, or any variation in between.

The last option you may encounter would be the photographer that charges a flat rate to be there the entire day. From as early as the bride waking up on her wedding day, to as late as the couple leaving for the night. There are many options to choose from- you need to find what works best for both of you and what you envision for your wedding day.

A few things to consider as a couple:

  • Agree on what you both think MUST be captured- probably the wedding ceremony, bridal party formals, and at least the formal part of the wedding reception. Your wedding album is going to be your first family heirloom, make sure that it tells the story of your wedding day as you’d want it to.
  • While it is hard to do before it even happens, think past the wedding day for a moment. Think about flipping through your wedding album- what kind of pictures do you see in there? Do you see details of the wedding day, such as the bride’s wedding dress and shoes, wedding rings, the bride/groom getting ready? Or do you just see pictures of the wedding ceremony and the family formals? Do you see pictures of people dancing after a few too many cocktails? Thinking about what you’d like your end result to be before it even happens, may help you narrow down what you’re looking for in your wedding photographer.
  • When considering the timeline of the wedding day, also communicate with your photographer to ensure their timeline is sufficient. If you envision taking your bridal party to 5 different locations after the family portraits have all been completed, but the ceremony starts at 3, and you want to be at the reception by 5, that may not leave your photographer sufficient time to capture all that you were hoping for. Having an open dialogue with your photographer is one of the key points to having a successful relationship and experience overall.