(Closed) Small Wedding – How Many Hours To Book Photographer?

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: How Many Hours To Book Photographer For Small (14 guest) Wedding?
    Two Hours: Save Money & Go Small : (1 votes)
    2 %
    Three Hours: Good Amount Of Wedding Photos, but Skip Reception Photography : (0 votes)
    Four Hours: Safe Number & Maybe A Couple Reception Shots : (17 votes)
    32 %
    Five Hours: Cover All of The Ceremony & Early Key Moments of Reception : (14 votes)
    26 %
    Six Hours: Cover All of The Ceremony & Part of Reception : (6 votes)
    11 %
    Seven Hours: Cover All of The Ceremony & Most of Reception : (4 votes)
    8 %
    Eight Hours: Cover All of The Ceremony & Reception : (11 votes)
    21 %
    Other, see Comment Below : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    3041 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    You probably want your photog there about an hour before the ceremony starts. Plus the ceremony time (assuming an hour). Then about an hour between ceremony & reception for family/wedding party shots & your couples shoot. So far, that’s 3 hours. Plus, at least 2 hours at the reception. I would book 5 hours minimum. Just because your wedding is smaller doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get reception shots! I think 8 hours or more would be too much.

    Post # 4
    203 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We had a similar situation–we’re having a small wedding with about 40 people. I set my minimum at 2 hours, but ended up booking a photographer for 4 hours. I had quotes for the same price from 2 fairly comparable photographers. It was close so we ended up going with the extra time as our deciding factor.  Maybe try price checking the differences with different photographers and see if that helps influence your decision.

    Post # 5
    363 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We had 27 people and booked for 7 hours and I found the time flew by even then. If photography is a priority I think go for more hours. Either way, have a must have list of photos you want so you get the most out of the hours you have. 

    Post # 6
    45 posts
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Im having 25 guests at my wedding and came across the same issue.  A lot of photographers that I looked at had 3 packages:  A 4 hour one, a 6 hour one + engagement or bridal session and a 8 hour one + both sessions that comes with two photographers and all of these things I did not need due to the size of my wedding (and a bit out of budget).

    I asked around and a lot of photographers will work with you if you tell them it is a small intimiate wedding.  The photographer I ended up going with gave me the middle package price for 8 hours worth of photos and a bridal session.  So I got those extra hours for free 🙂 

    I’m happy I decided to go with the longer session, just because our wedding is small doesn’t mean we can’t capture the same moments as a bigger one 🙂

    Post # 9
    647 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    We had 5 hours, and 38 guests at our wedding.  I think he arrived maybe 2.5 hours before the ceremony, half hour ceremony, an hour for cocktails, and he stayed an hour into the reception and left just as the dancing started.  In retrospect I may have added one more hour to get more dancing, as we had some awesome dancing going on.  We took all formal portraits before the ceremony and did a few portraits with all of our guests immediately following the ceremony.

    We did not notice our photographer AT ALL.  A good professional should be able to stay in the background during the ceremony and reception so that people don’t feel like they’re being photographed.  What you might notice though, is your Mother-In-Law sitting front and center during the ceremony taking pictures nonstop with her flash going off.  In my experience it was the overeager guests taking pictures whom we noticed, not the photographer.  The best advice I got, but forgot to follow through on was to have the officiant prior to the ceremony ask the guests to sit back, enjoy, and not take any pictures.

    Post # 10
    647 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Also, I don’t know what you’ve been finding with where you live, but you might have a hard time finding a photographer willing to book anything less than four hours for a Saturday wedding.

    Post # 11
    7296 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    i had a small wedding – 17 people including Darling Husband and me – and our photographer was there for over 8 hours (pre-ceremony ‘getting ready’ photos to the end of the reception). Was not weird at all.  I actually hardly noticed her at times.

    Post # 12
    7296 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    @Cappugcino:  I’m afraid an 11 hour package would be a waste for such a small wedding.

    Also, i am not saying you need 11 hours, but don’t think for one second that anything is “wasteful” because your wedding is small!  Your wedding is as important and you should include whatever you want/can afford whether you have 10 guests or 200!  I was thrilled to have pics that covered the whole day because the whole day was important, special and amazing to us.

    Post # 15
    4194 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    @Cappugcino:  Okay, I have to completely disagree with your mother- what the heck does your age have to do with it? I’m 40, and photography is our 3rd most expensive cost (after catering & venue.)

    Your photos are the “forever” item from the wedding- the fact that you’re not 20, doesn’t mean you should cut back on them. You might want to keep Mom out of the wedding discussions- sorry that’s she bringing you down on it. You could be a 60 year old bride, and you still can have a fabulous wedding.

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