How Many Hours to Book
Having plenty of time (or more than enough, ideally) built in to your wedding day timeline is the key to ensuring I'm able to capture everything that I need to capture, and that means making sure you book me for the correct number of hours. Don't worry too much though, if you realize you need to add another hour or two after booking, we can always add more time and update your final invoice to reflect the new balance, but it's better to lock in the price if possible when you initially book with me incase my rates increase later.
When to Start Coverage
For most weddings happening at a single location, without any travel time between different getting ready and ceremony locations, I recommend having photography coverage start no less than 3 hours before your ceremony, and from there deciding whether or not it's important to you to keep me until the very end of the night. A great time to start your ceremony for a photogenic wedding is about 2 hours before the sun will set on your wedding date, which you can find by googling your date, location, and "sunset." This is true even if your ceremony will be indoors, if you have any plans to take outdoor photos before or after the ceremony.
8-9 hours is average, 10 hours usually allows for a more relaxed timeline of events, and any more is rarely needed unless there is something like travel between multiple location changes to account for OR occasionally when there is a full Catholic mass.
To avoid a day that leaves you remembering all the stress instead of love and joy, always assume everything will take more time than you expect it to when planning out your timeline, particularly for all of the time leading up to the ceremony.
Sample Timeline (8hrs)
For this example, I'm using June 1st which has a sunset time of 8:30pm in Austin (be sure to google the actual sunset time for your wedding date and location), and I'm also pretending that this hypothetical couple opted to not do a first look.
3:30pm - Photography coverage begins > flay lays of details
4:00pm - Second shooter capturing tail-end of getting ready candids
4:25pm - Quick photos of Bride/Bridesmaids in robes/pajamas
4:30pm - Bridesmaids/MOB gets dressed > Second shooter w/ Groom
4:45pm - Bride gets into dress > photos of final touches/zipping/jewelry
5:00pm - Option for Bride's first look with dad
5:10pm - Bride/Bridesmaids portraits
5:40pm - Groom/Groomsmen portraits
6:00pm - Break/Hiding from arriving guests > photographers capture decor
6:30pm - Ceremony
7:00pm - Approximate ceremony-end time > gather family
7:10pm-7:30pm - Formal family group photos
7:30pm - Wedding Party group photos
7:40pm - Bride and Groom portraits
8:00pm - Bustle dress > reception intros > first dance
8:10pm - Dinner > photographers break for ~30 minutes
9:00pm - Toasts > Parent dances
9:30pm - Open dance floor
11:30pm - Send off > photography coverage ends