Updated July 8, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Determining Your Coverage Needs

Since wedding photography rates are based on time, "How much coverage do we want?" is a question every couple has to ask themselves before booking a wedding photographer. As a wedding photojournalist, I capture your day as it unfolds - and how it unfolds is completely up to you! But, since I've shot over 85 weddings, I can definitely provide a sample timeline based on many of these past weddings, as a way to help you make your wedding photography booking decision. This sample timeline is based on ten hours and assumes that the bride and groom are getting ready in the same hotel or venue. To fit a smaller budget, you can condense it by reducing it some!

Before the Ceremony: 4 Hours

1st Hour

Photographer arrives 90 minutes before bride's hair and make-up is fully complete

Groom and groomsmen are getting dressed (not photographed) - groom leaves off shoes, vest / jacket, tie, watch, cuff links, boutonniere, pocket napkin, etc

Bridal details are photographed - bride's dress, shoes, jewelry, wedding rings, bouquet, garter, veil, something old/new/borrowed/blue, etc (20 mins)

Bride / bridal party are photographed getting hair & make-up done (10 mins)

Groom details are photographed (10 mins)

Groom opens gift from Bride (5 mins)

Groomsmen assist groom with putting on final details (15 mins)

2nd Hour

Groom cheers / drinks with groomsmen / candid photos (10 mins)

Portraits of groom, portraits of groom with groomsmen, portraits with mom and dad (20 mins)

Bride and bridal party have fun in their robes / pajamas (pop champagne, toast, candid photos) (20 mins)

Bride opens gift from Groom, puts on garter, while bridal party gets dressed (10 mins)

3rd Hour

Bridal party / mom assist bride into dress, assist bride with details (30 mins)

Bridal portraits, bride with bridal party portraits (20 mins)

Bride's first look with dad, portraits with mom and dad (10 mins)

4th Hour

Couple’s first look & portraits (30 mins)

Wedding party portraits (15 mins)

Travel to ceremony site (varies)


Ceremony & Portraits / Cocktail Hour: 2 Hours

5th Hour

Ceremony details are photographed, guests arriving / signing guest book / being seated while wedding party lines up (15 mins)

Ceremony (varies; allow a buffer for the ceremony to start late due to outside factors)

Ceremony exit and moments / congratulations (15 mins)

6th Hour

Family photos using couple's list of desired portraits (varies - estimate an average two minutes per portrait)

Wedding party photo (5 mins depending on family portraits)

Couple's portraits (15 mins depending on family portraits)

Travel to Reception site (varies)


Reception: 4 Hours

7th Hour

Wedding party and couple line up and do Reception Grand Entrance (10 mins)

Couple and photographer eat (30 mins)

Couple’s "sneak-away" golden hour session (20 mins; depending on sunset time, will fit somewhere during reception)

8th Hour

Couple visits with guests (30 mins)

Toasts (20 mins)

Cake-cutting (10 mins)

9th Hour

First Dances (10 mins)

Open dancing (35 minutes)

Bouquet / garter tosses (15 mins)

10th Hour

More open dancing (45 mins)

Grand Exit (15 mins; can be staged earlier in the evening for photos if needed)

Ready to Book?