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How Many Hours You Should Book a Photographer For

When it comes to picking a photography package, it may be hard to know what is best for you. I recommend taking time to think about the things that are most important to you! Photographers offer many different options for photography packages, so here are some tips to know what is best for you!

Weddings are unique to each couples, and no matter how much planning you do ahead of time, it’s common for things to not end up exactly on schedule! (and being rushed on your wedding day is the last thing I want for you + your wedding day experience). Just keep in mind, this is one of the most important days of your life! How do you want it to be remembered? How do you want it to be told and seen by your grandkids one day! My hope for you is you cherish every bit of this process! If you have me as your photographer, I will be there every step of the way to remind you to embrace it and help alleviate any stress that comes your way!


  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Bachelorette Trip
  • Arrival Brunch
  • Bridal Portraits
  • Getting Ready
  • First Look
  • Couple Photos
  • Bridal Party Photos
  • Family Photos
  • Ceremony
  • Extended Family Photos
  • Cocktail Hour
  • Reception
  • Party
  • After Party
  • Day After Brunch
  • Day After Session


It is completely up to you if you want your wedding events documented! I’m gonna break down the wedding day events so you have a good sense of the time it would take for your wedding day!


Almost every bride is shocked when I tell them they need more than 1 hour for getting ready.. I know it sounds crazy but this is the time when you get behind schedule. It is so easy to underestimate the time your Hair + Makeup artist will need. I swear every wedding takes so much longer than you’d think and this is usually when couples start getting behind! You don’t want to start the day off behind schedule! During this time, your photographer will be getting your detail photos of your dress, shoes, invites etc. Other things to consider: photos of dress and details, bridesmaid gifts, bridesmaid robe photos, bridal portraits, mini boudoir, bridesmaid first look, father daughter first look, putting on the dress, reading letters and opening gifts from one another, groom portraits, groomsmen getting ready. So.. it can be a lot of different things happening!

How Many Hours You Should Book a Photographer For
Bridesmaids getting ready for wedding
detail photos for a wedding day
groom getting ready on wedding day
Cabin Wedding Dress Photo


A first look allows you to spend more time with your partner on the morning of your wedding day, instead of, traditionally, waiting until the ceremony to see them. You can take this time to read letters to each other, or simply just be, embrace, and take in that moment of intimacy to yourselves. From a photography perspective, doing a first look allows us to take photos before the ceremony, leaving you to enjoy more of your cocktail hour instead of having to cram ALL of our photos (wedding party, family, + your couples portraits) into a single hour, if not less.

A common fear / hesitation I get from couples is that if they do a first look, their partner won’t be as emotional when they walk down the aisle later on — and I’ve actually found this to be the total opposite! Nothing can take away from seeing your person walk down the aisle to a beautiful song, with all of your friends & family surrounding you. I’ve seen many brides / grooms still tear up (if not more) walking down the aisle even after doing a first look earlier in the day! With that said — you should never feel pressured into making a decision for your wedding day that doesn’t feel right to you– I fully support whatever decision you make! First look or not, we will create a timeline that’s perfect for you + that includes all the things that make you happy

Another thing I recommend if you aren’t into public speaking.. you can write personal vows and share them with one another in total privacy during this time!

first look photo on wedding day of bride and groom
first look photo on wedding day of bride and groom
first look photo on wedding day of bride and groom
first look photo on wedding day of bride and groom


This will be right after the first look usually. Couples portraits are one of my favorite parts of the day and your chance to get all the sweet, intimate pics of you, so I’ll take as much time as I can get with you both! I recommend setting aside at least 45 minutes on your wedding day before and/or after the ceremony for couples portraits. We can also plan to go back out later at sunset depending on when your ceremony occurs!

couple kissing on weddng day
Bride and groom smile at each other with the bride wrapping her arms around the groom's as they stroll through Pheasant Field Farms
bride and groom against a white wall photo idea
bride and groom elope in the mountains of utah
beautiful whimsical bridal bouquet


Both of these are very dependent on size. For family portraits, it’s a good idea to split these into group combinations. I recommend narrowing down family portraits to 8-12 total combinations. If you do a first look, we can do the majority of couples and family photos prior to the ceremony!

full bridal party cheering around couple
bridal party photo ideas
throwing the groom up in the air


Ceremony length totally depends on the type of ceremony you’re wanting to have! A short and sweet ceremony might last 15-20 minutes; something more in depth (like a church service) might last more around 30-45 minutes. Either way, I would over estimate and leave some cushion room!


The reception is where most of the days events are going to occur– dances, cake cutting, etc. You have options!! If you aren’t all about cutting the cake and more traditional things like bouquet and garter toss, don’t feel like you have to do them! There are so many other options! Depending on your coverage package, let’s chat about send off options when we start to create your timeline!




As much as we wish.. we aren’t unicorns and unfortunately we can’t be in all places at once! I would recommend overestimating for time if you want photos of everything! If your package doesn’t come with a second shooter, I would recommend adding one on if you want more photos of your day!

I hope this helps and as always, don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you have any questions!

Morgan Wirth specializes in wedding and elopement photography. She focuses on real life + candid reactions!

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