For brides

February 26, 2019

How Many Hours of Coverage Do You Need?

the blog

One question that I always get asked is “How many hours of wedding photography coverage do I need?”

My wedding packages range from 7-9 hours with the option to add on even more additional hours of coverage. When you’re just starting to plan your wedding, it can seem overwhelming trying to decide how much coverage you need and choosing a package.

3 months before every wedding that I shoot, I create a custom wedding day timeline for my couples. If at that time you decide you need less or more coverage, you can always change your package.

If you’re looking to get a rough estimate of how many hours of coverage you need though, I’ve put together this guide. Simply choose what you’ll need pictures of, and add up the minutes.


Getting Ready

  • Bridal details and getting ready candids + 60 minutes
  • Bride getting in dress + 30 minutes
  • Groom and groomsmen getting ready + 30 minutes
  • Bridesmaids first look +10 minutes
  • Father/Daughter first look +10 minutes



  • Bride and groom portraits +30 – 45 minutes
  • Sunset portraits + 15 minutes
  • Bridal party portraits + 45 minutes
  • Large bridal party (over 14 people) + 15 minutes
  • Family portraits +30 minutes
  • Large family portraits (groups over 15 people) +15 minutes



  • Rest before ceremony +30 minutes
  • Length of ceremony +___ minutes
  • Receiving line +30 minutes



  • Cocktail hour + 60 minutes
  • Dinner + 30 – 60 minutes
  • Speeches and toasts + 15 minutes
  • First dances + 15 minutes
  • Open dance floor pictures + ___ minutes
  • Bouquet and garter toss + 10 minutes
  • Send off + 10 minutes


Travel Time

  • Time between ceremony and reception venue +___ minutes
  • Time between bride and groom getting ready location +___minutes
  • Time between getting ready and portrait/ceremony venue +___minutes


Total = ___ minutes

Total minutes/60 = ___ hours of coverage

Hopefully this post has been helpful in giving you a general estimate of how many hours of photography coverage you’ll need on your wedding day. Of course, there are many other factors that could influence the amount of coverage you need such as whether or not you have a second photographer and whether or not you choose to do a first look.

If you’re one of my brides, I will help you create your perfect wedding day timeline based on your day, so don’t stress about figuring it out down to the minute. A general estimate is a great place to start, and can be changed as your day gets closer.