When we first started shooting weddings, we ONLY shot 12 hour days. We wanted to cover every aspect of the day, make sure “the first shot of espresso to the last shot of tequila” were all properly documented, and be ready for anything. Aaaaaand holy moly do you know how long a 12 hour day is? It’s A LOT OF TIME AND PHOTOS.
After a huge season of these shenanigans, we realized two things:
- 99% of you do not need us for that long on your wedding day. Who wants photos from before their concealer goes on? Who needs photos after that last shot of tequila actually kicks in and you start to get a leeeetle sloppy on the ol’ dance floor? At a certain point, you should enjoy the day without your photogs covering it as well.
- We weren’t helping you by offering that much coverage. We could drop our rates a bit and still cover every bit of important detail on your wedding day, and leave the extra hours of coverage as cash in yo’ pocket to fly a little further on your honeymoon.
So a year or two ago we looked at every one of the 100ish weddings we’d shot, figured out exactly how much coverage the couple would have REALLY needed, and created a new setup:
Eight hours of coverage as a baseline. Bam. Anything more, optional (and some weddings do need more! We’re just not going to push for more coverage if we don’t think you need it. Save that dough for the late night Seattle dog cart that shows up on your dance floor). To help you visualize, I wrote out what this shakes out to for most weddings– keeping in mind that for many situations, like Indian wedding weekends, days with multiple locations, or weddings with just more going on than the usual, more hours are wise. I also hate the phrase “normal wedding” because what even is that, but you follow right? And keep in mind that once you book with us, you’ll get your very own North Star, our big ass guide to pulling together the wedding schedule of yo’ dreams, because how would you ever know how to do that until someone helped you? ANYWAY! Here’s a general idea of how most people use an 8 hour day with two photographers:
SAMPLE WEDDING SCHEDULE
1-2 pm: 15 minutes of detail shots, 45 minutes of prep/makeup/getting in your finest wedding gear
2-3:30 pm: 30-90 minutes for first look and bridal party photos (this includes a bit of time for travel if you’re changing sites, as well as a cushion for when one of you is running a little late. It’s inevitable, and we don’t want you to be stressed!)
3:30-4 pm: 30 minutes for family photos (we will help decide the location and be sure to wrangle family, and doing these shots before the ceremony is freaking priceless in terms of herding cats)
4-5 pm: 60 minutes for ceremony and license signing (this also gives you wiggle room to have a longer ceremony AND we like to save you 10-15 minutes of alone time after you say your vows– it’s SO NICE to be alone for the first time that day)
5-6:30 pm: 90 minutes of cocktail hour, sunset portraits, and us scurrying to get reception details (this is also a great time for couples portraits if you didn’t do a first look!)
6:30-7:15: 30-45 minutes for speeches
Dinner hour break! We don’t photograph people eating– not trying to ruin the evening and honestly has anyone ever been happy to see a photographer when they’re halfway through a salad?! We’re eating quickly behind the scenes while we prep your sneak peek– our break time for most weddings is between 10 and 45 minutes, depending on the structure of your reception. This also lets you be sure you eat without missing anything. And side note, if you have a wedding where dances and speeches are scattered in between courses at dinner, no problemo– we’ll be ready.
8-9 pm: first dances and THE TURN UP. We quickly learned that we don’t need more than 3-4 songs to capture everyone’s best moves on the dance floor so we can let you be free to let the tequila flow.
Occasionally, the sparkler exit becomes a priority and couples either shorten time at the beginning of the day or add an hour at the end, but it’s purely optional– that way you can party late into the night without worrying about too much photo coverage, but still have the option if you want it.
Ok our beautiful babies. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably knee deep in planning your own day– we’re ready to help you pull off the wedding of the century and our camera batteries are charging AS WE SPEAK. Bai!