Post # 1
I’m trying to decide whether or not to book one of my favorite ever photographers, but she has to leave at 9 PM to fly back for a wedding the following day. I already sent out invitations, so I can’t change the fact that the cocktail hour is 6:30-7:30 with dinner starting at 7:30. I want to be able to get the entrances, first dance, cake cutting, speeches, golden hour pictures, and a (fake) sparkler “exit” right before photo coverage ends. I’m trying to figure out if it’s possible!
Post # 2
- Wedding: May 2019 - Baltimore, MD
My photographer arrived at 12 pm, and left after 9 pm.
Post # 3
My photographer told us he would stay as long as the party was in full swing to capture as much as he could. He ended up leaving after 10 as it started winding down.
Post # 4
You would at least get your important shots in with this photographer i.e cake cutting, first dance etc before she has to leave. I would say encourage your friends and family to take snaps or even hire another photographer to cover the remaining time so you can have pro shots of the party fun.
Post # 5
Personally, even if it is your dream photographer, if I were you, I would get another photographer.
Even if you are able to get everything in, you’re going to be cutting it close. If I were in that situation, I wouldn’t be enjoying my wedding – I would be stressing out about rushing through everything so that I can get all of the shots that I want.
If dinner starts at 7:30, I guess it is possible that you will be able to get through everything in an hour and a half, depending on the type of dinner service, but I don’t think it is likely. That is a lot to pack into an hour and a half.
I know it is frustrating, but there are so many amazing photographers out there who probably have availability on your date. I just don’t think the added stress is worth it.
Post # 6
Can the second shooter stay for more of the party? The photos of everyone dancing are some of my favorite. If so, they could take the cake photos so you are not jamming everything too close together
If not, I would find another photographer.
Post # 7
I think it’s a bit too close. Our photographer stayed until 10:45, and our reception started at 8:15 and I was nervous all day that we wouldn’t have enough dancing photos. Dinner is going to take 1-1.5 hours, so I can’t imagine you can fit in dances, cake cutting, etc. plus dinner from 7:30-9. What happens if you’re running behind? I personally wouldn’t risk it.
ETA: Thought I’d include how our reception went for timing purposes. Entrances around 8:15. Did first dance, then dinner served at 8:30. Speeches during dinner. Cut cake, father/daughter & mother/son dances at 9:45. Dancing started right after around 10pm. And that was with me pushing to do the cake cutting because I knew our photog would leave shortly.
Post # 8
Speaking as a wedding photographer I tend to tell my couples that once “open dancing” has started…after 45 minutes – 1 hour you’ve pretty much covered it all. Any more than that and it’s just super repetative of the same people dancing over and over. All that being said, I’d still hire another photographer. Should you decide you decide you want to add more time on it’s completely not an option because they can’t stay.
And speaking as someone who travels for weddings – I would never book a wedding where I’d need to fly out the night of or next day to make it to another wedding. That’s just 100% irrsponsible to me. I always arrive at my locations 2 days prior to the wedding if I need to fly. I allow one day for travel, and one day to scout locations and act as a buffer for delays. I’m really surprised they’re even entertaining booking your wedding knowing they need to fly out that night for a wedding the following day.
Post # 9
My reception started at 7 and my photog left at 10 – we did our cake cutting, entrances, dances, and speeches before. We didn’t miss anything – the dancing party photos are fun, but they’re really not the ones we frame, that make it into the album, etc. I would not recommend trying to squeeze in a fake exit in the middle of the reception unless you wanna really kill the vibe. Maybe you can do some kind of exit as you leave your ceremony?
Post # 10
I’d talk to your venue or coordinator to see what time. We aren’t doing cake cutting until half way through dancing so that wouldn’t be possible for us. I’d be a little nervous. If she’s a great photographer, I’d assume she’d had a second shooter. Maybe you can work out for the second shooter to stay until the end of the reception.
Post # 11
If you want pictures of the exit, you need to find a photographer willing to stay until the bitter end, IMO. I have been to a wedding where they had to hurry up and stage the sparkler exit so that the photographer could get it. They intended to go back into the reception and party some more, but guests got confused and most left or began leaving. Having to stop the party to create a fake photo moment ruined the vibe and the reception was over by 9:30, all because the photographer was only paid until 9 pm.
Post # 12
We only did 3 hours because 1) the photo session for the two of us took a bit longer than expected. And 2) we weren’t doing first dance or cake cutting, it was just the speeches we wanted captured. And a bit of the dancing if any (turned out there weren’t much of dancing going on).
Post # 13
We have organsied for our photographer + videographer to start at 12:45pm, finish at about 9:30pm
So 9 hrs
Post # 14
Yup. The exact same thing happened at my brother’s wedding. People thought it was over and started leaving. I would hire someone who can stay for everything.
Post # 15
hikingbride : That’s a really interesting thought. I had not even considered that! I was thinking of it more as a “photo op” and not as an actual exit. Additionally, we are not inviting everyone at the wedding to go take these pictures. It will only be the wedding party toward the beginning of when the dancefloor opens.
In terms of your ideas about the second shooter staying longer, he is her husband, so they will have to arrive and leave together. A little more background: this wedding is in THREE weeks, and I haven’t hired a photographer yet. I’m really picky and my dream photog agreed to travel for me (award winning, v. pricy, but v. reputable). We don’t care at all about dancing pictures (other than first dance, etc). We are entertaining the possibility of hiring a less talented photog for 1-2 hours to cover the gap.
ETA: Our initial plan was for our photographer to leave at 10 PM, so an extra photog could cover that, potentially.