Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and it’s important to choose the perfect wedding photographer who can capture all those precious memories. But with so many wedding photography packages to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is the best fit for you.
Don’t worry, I completely understand that planning a wedding involves a lot of organization. My goal is to make the photography part as simple as possible for you!
One of the questions that get asked the most is how to choose the best wedding photography package. I’m here to provide you with a better understanding of how it all works. You’ll learn about what kind of work is involved, and how we can streamline the process to make it easy for you.
Let’s have a chat about it and find the perfect package that will turn your dream wedding into a beautiful reality!
One common misconception brides make is that they think a wedding photographer only gets booked from the time of the ceremony til the end of reception.
Here’s the thing, there’s a lot more involved!
Believe it or not, the part where we need to gather all the family members for the photos does require a lot of effort when everyone’s having fun!
Setting up shots, capturing details, and relocating guests, whether it’s Uncle Bob from the cocktail hour or Aunt Suzy catching up with her long-lost cousin Larry, does take a significant amount of time.
Additional time should also be considered if the ceremony and reception is taking place in different locations.
2 more things to think about how much time is needed is:
- If there isn’t a First Look
- Whether there’s a plated dinner vs. buffet dinner
If you’re not sure what a First Look is, read all about it here!
Now let’s break down the times.
This is how much estimated time you’d need for each part of the day with a photographer team (Main and Second Shooter)
- Getting ready: 1.5-2hr
- Ceremony & post ceremony photos (the family portraits):1.25-1.45hr
- Bride and Groom Portrait: 0.5-0.75 hr
- Wedding Party Portrait: 0.5 hr
- Reception: 3-4 hours
- Transportation time: minimum 0.5 hr
Some additional times you’d need to factor in would be for:
- First Look : 0.5 hr
- Send off: 0.25-0.50 hr
- Receiving Line: 1 hour
- Plated Dinner: 1.5 hr
- Buffet Dinner: 1 hour
When it comes to capturing your special day, the number of hours of coverage you choose will depend on how long your wedding day is and what moments you want to be documented.
It’s important to carefully consider your requirements using the guide above, so you can select a package that perfectly fits your needs.
Over time, I’ve offered various packages ranging from 6 to 10 hours of coverage. However, through my experience working with different types of weddings, I’ve come to realize that the magic hours truly lie between 8 to 10.
This allows me to capture all the special moments and details that matter most to my brides and grooms. I want to make sure you have ample time to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!
Weddings have grown larger over time, and they now include so much more than they did 10 or even 5 years ago!
Clients are looking for more coverage to capture all the personalized details of their special day. For example, the groom may get a haircut, shave, or barbering services with his groomsmen before getting ready at the hotel. The bride may have a joy-filled first look with her bridesmaids or share a champagne toast with them while wearing matching robes, creating cherished memories before the day begins.
First looks with the bride’s daughter, her father, and the groom are all special moments that typically take about 30-45 minutes to complete.
It’s important to allocate enough time to capture these unique moments that make your wedding day truly yours!
Still not sure whether a ½ day or a full day would be best suited to what you’re looking for?
Here are some things to ask yourself!
Would you be having a First Look or Traditional?
First Look – You’ll be able to get half of your couple portraits, wedding party photos, and even family photos done before heading to cocktail hour after the ceremony. It’s a great way to make the most of your time and ensure you get all the shots you want!
Traditional – Plan for about 1-1.5 hours of cocktail hour. During this time, I recommend focusing on portraits of the newlyweds and their immediate family, as well as wedding party photos with the newlyweds. The duration of the newlywed portraits can be adjusted based on the time of year and lighting conditions.
Wedding Logistics including Travels
Location Travel – Plan 30 minutes of travel time between locations if your ceremony and reception is in 2 different locations.
Hair & Makeup – Make sure to include some buffer time as hair and makeup can often run late!
Group Travels – Keep in mind that travelling as a group takes twice as long, especially things like getting on and off the shuttle, or even the elderly taking a bit more time than others if they may also need extra assistance.
Additionals – Consider things like traffic and weather, if it’s raining then the drive could take longer, adding to the whole travel time.
Will you be having a receiving line?
A receiving line is a chance for the newlyweds, their families, and the wedding party to say hello and thank you to all of the guests who attended the ceremony. It usually happens after the ceremony, but before the reception, and it’s a nice way for the couple to show their appreciation to everyone who took the time to celebrate their special day!
The newlyweds and their loved ones stand in a line to greet each guest as they exit the ceremony venue, and it’s a great opportunity to chat for a bit and share in the joy of the occasion. It’s a sweet and time-honored tradition that although is not as popular as it once used to be, it’s still quite common in certain cultures like Vietnamese weddings. It’s a lovely way to make sure every guest feels appreciated and included in the celebration.
Time to plan: 1 hour
Time of the year you are getting married
I must confess, I’m a total sucker for amazing lighting! It plays a pivotal role in photography, especially for those breathtaking golden hour shots that I know you’ll love just as much as I do!
To make sure we capture that perfect light, we’ll plan your wedding timeline backwards from sunset. It’s crucial to allow enough time for everything before the reception, so we don’t feel rushed as the day turns to dusk.
Keep in mind a few key factors that are often overlooked, such as daylight saving time when the clocks move forward by an hour during the warmer months. Also, consider the season in which your wedding falls. In Fall/Winter, the sun sets earlier, while in Spring/Summer, it sets a bit later.
For Spring and Summer weddings, dinner tends to start before sunset, so we can sneak away for 20 minutes during that magical golden hour to capture some stunning photos with that warm glow. It’s all about capturing those special moments in the best light possible!
THE NEXT STEPS
1. As your photographer, we’ll first have an initial phone call or in-person meeting (you know, I love to meet over a coffee or boba!)
2. We’ll talk over your wedding timeline and prioritize what matters the most to you on your special day. I’ll be asking you some special questions to get a better understanding of your vision and preferences.
3. I’ll walk you through my approach for the big day and share tips on how you can make the most of my help and services. My goal is to ensure that your wedding day is stress-free, memorable and enjoyable.
I can’t stress enough that communication is key! Once we have a clear understanding of your vision, we’ll discuss which package may best suit your needs or we’ll work together to customize one to your needs. Let’s collaborate to plan an unforgettable celebration!
I offer a variety of of packages, ranging from half-day, multi-day and full-day coverage. I’m always open to creating custom packages to cater to your unique needs as well!. If you’re planning a multi-day wedding, like those popular in Southeast Asian cultures, we can definitely discuss options to ensure every moment is captured beautifully. It’s all about creating the perfect package that fits your style and traditions.
Check out some of the moments I captured for an amazing multi-day Sikh wedding here!
When choosing your photography package, think about how you want to capture your cherished memories. Picture those photos in your future photo album, to be shared for generations to come! Remember, i’ll be by your side every step of the way during the planning process. I’ll be helping you create the wedding of your dreams and making it truly extraordinary!
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