Monson Photography FAQ: How many hours coverage do I need to purchase?

February 03, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

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Please note, as every wedding is unique, the coverage period samples below are simply meant to be a guideline for estimating the amount of coverage recommended for your needs.  Amount of coverage hours depends on many things, including but not limited to: the particulars of your day you wish to have professionally captured, the complexity and scheduling of the bride’s desired makeup, hair, and gown dressing, logistics (i.e. Where the bride/bridesmaids and groom/groomsmen will be preparing; how far the reception venue and photo locations are from the ceremony venue.), time allotted for photos between the ceremony and reception (recommended – at least 2 hours if no receiving line will take place), size of wedding party and family, and amount of bridal party and family photos being requested (i.e. immediate, average-sized family vs. large and/or extended family; requesting individual photos of bride with each bridesmaid & groom with each groomsmen, or desire for many bridal party images.)

 

I have carefully thought through these recommendations, based on my experience from participation in  20+ weddings (as the photographer and/or “second shooter”) and am more than happy to sit down or call and discuss with you what would be the best option to assure the activities you wish to have photographed are covered. 

 

I strongly urge my Clients to consider the possibility of a “First Look” session prior to the ceremony to allow for a more relaxed schedule and a unique capture of the bride and groom seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day.

 

When considering the time it takes for photography, please remember that a professional does not simply bring the camera to their eye and click the shutter button.  Time must be allowed for proper posing, lighting setup, etc. to ensure the best outcome of your photographs. 

 

ESTIMATED time to consider allowing for….

 

Makeup……….1 hour

Bridal hairstyling……….2 hours for bride only; more if one stylist is covering all bridesmaids

Dressing bridal gown/shoes/jewelry……….30 minutes; depending on complexity of gown

Bride/bridesmaid photography……….1 hour

Groom/groomsmen photography……….30 minutes

“First Look” Session with one or both parents………..20 minutes

“First Look” Session pre-ceremony, followed by bride/groom photos…….1 hour, or 1 ½ hours if no photos will be taken of the bride/groom after the ceremony

Ceremony……….varies; typically 20 minutes if no religious ceremony is entailed

Immediate family photos (bride/groom with parents, parents/siblings, grandparents)…….30 minutes; add 30 minutes for extended family or additional time if more family photos are requested

Wedding party group photos……….30 minutes

Travel to 2nd photo location and/or reception venue………varies; map it out!

“Pit Stops” (Celebratory drink, restroom break, time to freshen up before reception entrance)……15-30 minutes

Bridal party reception entrance……….15 minutes

Toasts……….20-30 minutes

Dinner………..up to 1 hour; depends on if food is served immediately

Cake Cutting……….15 minutes

Garter/bouquet removal/toss…………..20 minutes

Dances (First dance, father/daughter, mother/son, bridal party, etc.)……….10 minutes each, to allow for deejay introduction, where applicable

Reception bride/groom photo session…………20-25 minutes (I try to not steal you from your guests for too long)

 

Sample Coverage Periods

 


  • 3 hours: Brief (15-20 minute) ceremony coverage, some photos prior to ceremony, few immediate family/wedding party photos after the ceremony, and bride/groom photos at the ceremony venue.

 

  • 4 hours: Ceremony coverage that may last ~ 30 minutes, some photos prior to ceremony, including staged bridal preparation images, immediate/extended family/wedding party photos after the ceremony, and bride/groom photos at the ceremony venue and possibly one other nearby location.

  • 6 hours: Ceremony coverage that may last ~ 30-40 minutes, some photos prior to ceremony - depending on logistics may include both bride/bridesmaids and groom/groomsmen prior to ceremony, staged bridal preparation images, immediate/extended family/wedding party photos after the ceremony, bride/groom photos at the ceremony venue and one other nearby or ‘on the way’ location, up to 2 hours of reception coverage that typically covers toasts, first dance, cake cutting, garter/bouquet tosses and venue décor if dinner is served shortly after the bridal party entrance and activities are done immediately following the bridal party’s meal

 

  • 8  hours: Photographer arrives near the end of hair/makeup application for bridal preparation images, photographs of the bride being dressed in her gown, bride/bridesmaid and groom/groomsmen photos prior to ceremony – depending on logistics, staged bridal and possibly groom preparation images ceremony coverage that may also include a religious mass, immediate/extended family/wedding party photos after the ceremony, bride/groom photos at the ceremony venue and one other location, 3 hours or more of reception coverage that typically covers toasts, first dance/parent dances/bridal party dances, cake cutting, garter/bouquet tosses and venue décor, candid photos of guests and the bride/groom mingling with guests after their meal, photos of guests & bridal party dancing, and an additional brief photo session of the bride and groom at the reception venue.  Depending on time frame, possibly outdoor nighttime photography with the bride and groom.

 

  • 10 or more hours: Photographer arrives near the end of hair/makeup application for bridal preparation images, photographs of the bride being dressed in her gown, bride/bridesmaid and groom/groomsmen photos prior to ceremony – depending on logistics, ceremony coverage that may also include a religious mass, immediate/extended family/wedding party photos after the ceremony, bride/groom photos at the ceremony venue and one other location, 4 hours or more of reception coverage that typically covers toasts, first dance/parent dances/bridal party dances, cake cutting, garter/bouquet tosses and venue décor, candid photos of guests and the bride/groom mingling with guests after their meal, photos of guests & bridal party dancing, and an additional brief photo session of the bride and groom at the reception venue, including the possibility of an outdoor nighttime photography session with the bride and groom.

 


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