How Much Wedding Photography Coverage Do You Really Need?

Interracial couple celebrating as they walk back down the aisle from their wedding ceremony at the Marlot on the Water Connecticut wedding venue.
Photo by: Ladman Studios

Okay, so you’re getting hitched and you’re trying to figure out how many hours of wedding photography coverage you need. Here’s the deal: it’s like choosing the right amount of ice cream for your sundae. You don’t want too little, but you also don’t want to overdo it ( no one wants a brain freeze on their big day ).

So, how long do you need your photographer for? Well, it depends on a few factors. First, consider your what you value when it comes to photography. Are you looking to have an experience with a wedding photographer who wants to connect with you, learn all about your relationship, and what moments mean the most to you? Or are you looking for a photographer to just show up, knock out some pics, and call it a day? That said you will find that most photographers offer full day and half day coverage.

Full day coverage

Full day wedding with a couple at Stonehurst At Hampton Valley Connecticut Wedding Venue
Photo by: Ladman Studios

Let’s talk about full day wedding photography coverage. This is when you book your photographer to be with you from the moment you start getting ready in the morning until the last dance at the reception. Usually 8-10+ hours. It’s basically the whole shebang!

So, what can you expect from full day coverage? Here’s a breakdown:

Morning Prep

Your photographer will be there to capture you and your bridal party getting all dolled up. Expect lots of candid shots of you doing your hair and makeup, sipping champagne, and getting pumped up for the big day.

First look

This is the moment when you and your partner see each other for the first time on your wedding day. It’s a super emotional and intimate moment, and your photographer will be there to capture it all.

Ceremony

This is the main event! Your photographer will be there to photograph all of the vows, tears, and kisses.

Portraits

After the ceremony, you’ll want to take some formal portraits with your bridal party and family. This is a great time for your photographer to get some epic group shots and some romantic ones of just you and your partner.

Reception

It’s party time! Your photographer will be there to capture all of the dancing, speeches, and cake cutting. Expect lots of candid shots of you and your guests letting loose and having a blast.

Full day coverage is great if:

  • Your ceremony and reception are in different locations
  • You want to do a first look
  • You want both getting ready photos and a lot of dancing photos
  • You have a large guest list ( 100 – 200+ )
  • You’re looking for more creative portrait time

Wedding photography is an investment. Only you can decide what about it you value. If you still need help to decide how much you should invest in your wedding photography, take at this article I wrote about how you should approach investing in your wedding photography. 


Half day coverage

Half day wedding coverage wedding couple at ceremony in Green Haven Connecticut wedding venue
Photo by: Ladman Studios

Let’s talk about 1/2 day wedding photography coverage. This is when you book your photographer for a shorter period of time, usually 4-6 hours. It’s a great option if you just want a few key moments captured.

So, what can you expect from 1/2 day coverage? Here’s a quick rundown:

Getting Ready

You might not have enough time for your photographer to capture the whole morning prep process, but they should be able to get a photos of you and your bridal party getting ready.

Ceremony

Your photographer will definitely be there to photograph all of the vows, tears, and kisses.

Portraits

You might have time for a few formal portraits with your bridal party and family, but it’s likely you won’t have as much time as you would with full day coverage.

Reception

Depending on how long your reception is, you might be able to get some photos of the first dances, speeches, and cake cutting.

Half day coverage is great if:

  • Your venue and reception are at the same location
  • Your not interested in any getting ready photos
  • Your not having any special entrances / exits,
  • Your not looking for a ton of dancing photos
  • You have a smaller wedding or elopement

Elopements

Beach elopement with couple at Watch Hill
Photo by: Ladman Studios

If you’re having an elopement, 4 hours of wedding photography coverage might be just what you need. Elopements are intimate and often more relaxed than traditional weddings, so you might not need as much coverage.

So, what can you expect from 4 hours of coverage for your elopement? Here’s a quick rundown:

Getting Ready

You might not have enough time to capture the whole morning prep process, but your photographer should be able to get a few shots of you and your partner getting ready.

Ceremony

Your photographer will definitely be there to photograph all of the vows, tears, and kisses.

Portraits

You might have time for a few formal portraits with just you and your partner, but it’s likely you won’t have as much time as you would with more coverage.

Adventure

If you’re having an adventure elopement ( like hiking to a beautiful location to exchange vows ), your photographer will be able to capture all of the breathtaking scenery and special moments along the way.

As you can see, 4 hours of wedding photography coverage for an elopement means you’ll get photos of the key moments of your special day. Just be sure to communicate with your photographer about what’s most important to you so they can make the most of the time they have.


Still looking for a Connecticut wedding photographer? If you are looking for a photographer who treats you like a human and not their next paycheck, there is a chance I am the right photographer for you!


Adventure elopements

Adventure elopement cliff side of the ocean.
Photo by: Ladman Studios

It’s hard to say exactly how much wedding photography coverage you’ll need for an adventure elopement, as every elopement is unique and has its own needs. However, in general, you’ll want to consider the following factors when determining your coverage:

Length Of The Adventure

How long will your adventure elopement take? Will you be hiking for a few hours, or will you be out all day? Keep in mind that the longer your adventure takes, the more photography coverage you’ll likely need.

Number Of Locations

Will you be stopping at multiple locations during your adventure elopement? If so, you’ll want to make sure you have enough coverage to capture all of the special moments at each location.

Importance Of Candid Shots

Do you want a lot of candid, documentary-style shots that capture the emotion and atmosphere of your elopement? If so, you’ll probably want to book your photographer for a longer period of time.

Overall, I would recommend booking your photographer for at least 6-8 hours of coverage for an adventure elopement. This will give you enough time to capture the key moments of your adventure and allow for some flexibility in case things don’t go exactly as planned.


Looking for a more indepth dive into wedding photography timelines and what to expect from those parts of your wedding day? Head on over to this article i wrote that about wedding photography timelines.


Things to consider

Bride and Groom sharing an intimate moment together next to a river at River View Simsbury CT wedding venue
Photo by: Ladman Studios

There are a few things that might cause you to need more than 8 hours of wedding photography coverage, including:

A Large Wedding

If you’re having a large wedding with lots of guests, you’ll likely want more photography coverage to make sure you capture all of the special moments and all of the people who are important to you.

A Long Ceremony

If you’re having a traditional wedding with a full religious ceremony, you might need more than 8 hours of coverage to make sure your photographer is able to capture everything.

Multiple Events

If you’re having multiple events on your wedding day, such as a rehearsal dinner or a morning-after brunch, you’ll probably want more than 8 hours of coverage to make sure all of these events are documented.

Extra Detail Shots

If you want a lot of detail shots of your wedding decor, invitations, and other special touches, you’ll probably want more than 8 hours of coverage to make sure your photographer has time to capture everything.

Extra Creative Portraits

If you are looking to have a lot of creative time with your photographer for some of those amazing and epic shots that they may specialize in.

More Storytelling

If you want a lot of candid, documentary-style shots that capture the emotion and atmosphere of your wedding, you’ll probably want more than 8 hours of coverage to make sure your photographer is able to get all of the shots you want.


Now that you have an idea about how much wedding photography coverage you should need, allow me to introduce myself. Hello, I’m TJ. I’m a tattooed coffee connoisseur, Wookiee linguist, and stalker of light, that has a set of chops that make Wolverine cry. I’d love to have a chat and learn all about what you are cooking up for your wedding.

So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer who truly cares about your unique story and will work with you to create a customized experience, look no further. Reach out to me today for a quick chat to see if i am the photographer for you. Let’s create a wedding album filled with beautiful, meaningful, and memorable moments that you’ll treasure forever.


Connecticut-based wedding photographer TJ Ladzinski is your adventure catalyst. With infectious enthusiasm and an easygoing spirit, he transforms every moment into cherished memories.

A storyteller at heart, TJ's work has been awarded and featured in several wedding publications. His dedication to capturing authentic moments and creating a joyful atmosphere for his couples is evident in the photographs and experience he produces.

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Forget the forms—let’s talk! Shoot me a message about your favorite games, hangouts, or adventures. Next, we'll jump on a call, Google, or meet in person ( my treat ) to get into the nitty-gritty of your wedding details and see if we vibe. As a heads up, I only book 20 weddings a year. So let’s connect soon!


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