“Oh, I don’t need that many hours.”

I hear this ALL. THE. TIME. when I’m talking to potential bridal clients.  Many of my brides are doing a short, simple ceremony with a simple reception and think they only need an hour.  Maybe 2 hours tops.  By the way, I love simplified weddings as much as I love the $20,000 ones so don’t think that’s where I’m going with this.

But here’s the thing.  My time starts when I get there.  Are you getting married at 5:00pm? Great.  I’ll be there NO LATER than 4:15  (and that’s pushing it).  This gives me time to check in with the bride and groom, feel out the ceremony site and get a general idea of what I’m going to need for lighting, capture images of the site before guests take over, etc….. So by the time your ceremony starts, we’re almost an hour in (and I’m figuring this up as though you didn’t want getting ready portraits.  It always crushes me when a bride decides to leave those images out).

Now it’s 5:30, the ceremony is over, and we’re more than an hour into your wedding coverage.  To keep this simple, here’s an idea of how the rest of the afternoon may go.


4:15-photographer arrives

5:00-wedding ceremony

5:30-family formal portraits

6:00-7:00 bridal party/bride & groom portraits/ring images, etc…

7:00 Reception-immediately jumping to cake cutting

7:15 wrapping up any detail shots, etc….

7:30 photographer finishes


3 hours!  Already!  That’s also with the assumption that everything is running smooth and on time.  Can some of this be cut back?  A little bit.  If you have a small family and a little bridal party, we can shave a few minutes here and there.  Maybe 30 minutes.  You are still looking at over 2 hours for just a sweet and simple wedding.    If you have a big family or a big bridal party, you’re looking at even more time!  And you thought you just needed a few images, right? 😉

Do you need more coverage hours than you thought? Yeah, probably.   Talk to your photographer about what you want and let them help you figure out what you need.

Navy and white wedding cake; Kentucky wedding photographer


How many wedding hours do I really need?

July 30, 2013

  1. Lorie Murley says:

    Hello. Do you have any wedding packages that includes pictures in it? EX: 200 4×6 1 16×20 & on for a set price?

    • nkphotoky@gmail.com says:

      Hi! You receive a print credit with every hour of wedding coverage you purchase. You get to choose how you want to apply the print credit. Not everyone wants the same things so I have flexible wedding collections. Does that make sense? If you’ll contact me at nkphotoky@gmail.com or 256.2414 I can answer your questions. Thanks!