The McCutcheons Pennsylvania church wedding was *almost* one year ago and it was FABULOUS. They got married at St. MAtthew’s Roman Catholic Church in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and as you’ll see from their gallery, it was absolutely STUNNING. There are simply so many things about this wedding that I am absolutely HAD to share with you, so we’re breaking it up into three parts. Today, I want to talk about the choosing the right amount of time for your photographer to be with you. Ready? Let’s dive in…
The McCutcheons’ Pennsylvania church wedding was one of the biggest weddings I’ve captured, and the longest. I captured getting ready portraits all the way through to the very end — which ended up being around a 12 hour day.
Here are 5 tips for you to consider when choosing the hours you would like to have a photographer present for your wedding.
Tip #1: Have a wedding timeline.
I’ve share some tips on creating the perfect wedding timeline on the blog before 👇
The biggest takeaway from those posts however, is that having a wedding timeline will ultimately help you decide on how many hours you will need your photographer for. Break down the day into segments, such as preparation, ceremony, post-ceremony, reception, and party, and estimate how much time each will take. Here’s an example:
- Getting Ready (1-2 hours): Capturing the bride and groom getting ready, detail shots of the dress, shoes, and rings, and candid moments with close friends and family.
- First Look/Touch (30 minutes): Whether it’s a first look with the bride and groom or even with the bride and her dad, take this moment into account.
- Ceremony (30 minutes – 1 hour): From processional to recessional, ensure your photographer has enough time to capture every crucial moment.
- Post-Ceremony (30 minutes – 1 hour): For family portraits, bridal party shots, and couple’s session. The time needed can vary based on the size of the group and the number of photos you want.
- Reception (3-4 hours): Covering speeches, first dance, cake cutting, and general festivities.
- Party (1-2 hours): Capturing the dance floor, candid moments, and the grand exit.
Tip #2: Consider Travel and Transition Times
If your wedding involves multiple locations, factor in the travel time when choosing your photography package. Transition times between different parts of the day also need consideration. Ensure there’s a buffer for any potential delays to avoid missing out on crucial photo opportunities.
Tip #3: Prioritize Key Moments
Every couple has different priorities for their wedding day, and it’s crucial to communicate these with your photographer. Decide which parts of the day are most important to you and ensure they are covered. For example:
- If getting ready photos are significant, ensure your photographer starts early enough to capture these moments.
- If you have specific traditions during your reception that you want to be documented, discuss these with your photographer to make sure they are present and prepared.
Understanding and communicating your priorities helps in optimizing the coverage and ensures that the most crucial moments are captured.
Tip #4: Consider Add-Ons
Once you have a clear understanding of your timeline and priorities, choose a photography package that suits your needs. Most photographers offer packages ranging from 6-12 hours. If you find that your desired coverage slightly exceeds a package, inquire about hourly add-ons instead of jumping to a higher package.
- Second Shooter: For larger weddings or to ensure no moment is missed, consider hiring a second shooter. This provides more coverage and different perspectives of the same moments.
- Albums and Prints: Some packages may include albums or prints. Discuss these options with your photographer to ensure you are getting the best value for your investment.
- Engagement Session: An engagement session is a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera and with your photographer’s style. All my wedding packages include an engagement session, but if the photographer you are looking at doesn’t include theirs, you can ask for it to be added on.
- High-Resolution Images and Rights: Ensure that the package includes high-resolution images and clarify the rights you have over the photos, such as printing and sharing.
Tip #5: Ask your photographer for help!
Your photographer is a treasure trove of experience and knowledge, having covered numerous weddings of varying scales and styles. Use this to your advantage. Share your preliminary timeline, list of priorities, and any concerns you might have. A seasoned photographer can provide invaluable advice on realistic time allocations, potential logistical challenges, and suggestions to optimize your schedule for the best photo outcomes. This collaborative approach not only fosters a stronger photographer-client relationship but also ensures that your timeline is polished and well-coordinated.
There they are, my 5 tips to deciding on how long you should book your photographer for! Now, scroll through part one of the McCutcheons’ Pennsylvania church wedding gallery to see 1/3 of a 12 hour wedding day package!
Part One of McCutcheon’s Pennsylvania Church Wedding Gallery
Looking for a photographer to capture your wedding? I’d love to chat more with you, just click the image below to get in touch! Keep browsing the blog, or head over to IG to see more galleries! > @brookebakken