When looking at wedding videographers’ packages you’ll see that they span everything from a few hours to full-day coverage—with almost every option in between. Couples who aren’t sure how many hours they need may be confused by the numerous alternatives available. In order to pick the best package, you’ll need to consider a number of factors: your budget, how long your wedding ceremony is and what type of coverage you want. The following tips will help you determine which package will suit your needs.
How Many Hours Of Videography Do You Need For A Wedding?
So how many hours should you hire your wedding videographer for? The answer is: you want enough time to be able to capture the main events of your wedding day that you want covered. For this reason I recommend creating a wedding day timeline, so you know exactly how long your wedding is going to take, then just choose your coverage based on what events you want covered. To help you, I have created an example wedding timeline.
Before we dive in, I just wanted to mention that here at Flare Films I offer all-day wedding video coverage so you don’t have to decide how many hours to allocate – I cover everything! To learn more about this, check out my packages page.
Sample Wedding Day Timeline
For this example the recommended coverage I would allocate would be from 10:00AM to 10:00PM or 12 hours. Typically 12 hours of coverage will cover everything, but you can start removing things. For example if you don’t want footage of the cake cutting and dancing you can do 10:00AM to 8:00PM which is 10 hours of coverage. If you want to cut out the getting ready segment of the day you can have 8 hours of coverage (12:00AM to 8:00PM).
This wedding plan is courtesy of Heather Allen, from Table 6 Productions.
Please note this is a typical catholic wedding timeline. If you’re having a tea ceremony or have a different type of wedding (Buddhist, Greek) this could be quite a bit different.
- 7:15 a.m. Hair and makeup artists arrive
- 8:00 a.m. Hair and makeup appointment begin
- 9:00 a.m. Food and drinks delivered to wedding party
- 10:00 a.m. Wedding dress steam and prepped/photographer arrives for getting-ready photos
- 11:15 a.m. Wedding party finishes getting ready
- 11:45 a.m. Bride puts on dress
- 12:00 p.m. First look with parents
- 12:15 p.m. Wedding party portraits
- 12:30 p.m. Ceremony setup
- 1:30 p.m. Pre-ceremony music begins
- 1:15 p.m. Family photos
- 1:30 p.m. Wedding party departs for ceremony
- 1:35 p.m. Guests arrive at the ceremony
- 1:50 p.m. Couple arrives with parents at the ceremony
- 2:00 p.m. Ceremony begins
- 3:00 p.m. Ceremony ends
- 3:10 p.m. Transportation for guests from the ceremony to reception
- 3:30 p.m. Couple photos at the ceremony location
- 4:00 p.m. Cocktail hour begins
- 5:30 p.m. Wedding Reception begins
- 6:00 p.m. Couple introduction and first dance
- 6:25 p.m. Parent speech
- 6:30 p.m. Dinner first course served
- 6:50 p.m. Best man and maid of honor speeches
- 7:25 p.m. Dinner second course served
- 7:45 p.m. Parent dances
- 8:00 p.m. Dancing begins
- 8:30 p.m. Dessert course served
- 9:30 p.m. Cake cutting
- 11:30 p.m. Reception ends
When creating your wedding timeline it is recommended to add time for the important details you care about so you don’t feel rushed. Keep in mind that if you have a larger family you may need to allocate longer times between events as it takes a while for people to move between places.
Basic Wedding Planning Guide – What Events Should I Cover?
When you watch your wedding film you want all of the most important events covered! After editing hundreds of wedding videos I have made a list of the top parts of your wedding day you should try and include within your coverage. Ultimately, I think every moment is important, and that’s why I offer all-day wedding coverage as part of my base package. But if I had to break it down… here are just the main events you should definitely cover.
- First Look
- Wedding Notes (you write to each other)
- Wedding Ceremony (especially your vows)
- Wedding Party Photoshoot – if you can time this so it happens during sunset that is perfect!
- Wedding Reception Entrance
- Speeches – super important for your wedding video story.
Nice To Have
- Getting Ready
- Putting on the dress
- Wedding Party photos (before ceremony)
- Cake Cutting
- First Dance
- Dance Floor
- Reception Exit
Some couple opt to get extra footage outside of their wedding day – this is a great idea! Some examples of this include:
- Wedding Rehearsal dinner
- Candid pre-wedding interview
- Photoshoot before or after the wedding day.
Not Really Needed
- Makeup – for the period between 7-10AM in this example is typically when Hair & Makeup is being completed. Usually this takes a while with very little happening outside of applying makeup and hair. Usually I can get footage of touch ups from 10:00AM and this is more than enough make-up footage for the wedding video. When you consider that the hourly rate of a videographer is usually upwards of $250p/hr. I would recommend not including this.
Tips and Tricks for Making The Most of Your Wedding Day Coverage
Have Your Prep, Ceremony and Reception at the Same Venue
This is a lesser known tip that saves you so much travel time (and logistical nightmares). If you’re going to have a ceremony and a reception at the same location you can avoid a lot of extra driving time after the ceremony.
Having all of these events included within one wedding film/video ensures that nothing is missed or rushed without ending up with an incomplete story. It also gives you more time in the evening to enjoy family and friends instead of worrying about missing out on certain events! This allows for much less stress in a day that already has a lot going on. I’m sure you’ll agree your wedding day would be far less stressful if you didn’t have to worry about missing any key moments.
A Bigger Guest List = More Time Between Events
The more guests you have, the longer time you need between events. This is because it takes a lot of people to move from place to place!
If your guest count is above over 100 people I highly recommend including an extra hour between events. You really want to make sure that there’s enough time for your photographer and videographer to move, and for your guests to get ready and travel between areas!
When there is a lot of people the tightness of the wedding day schedule becomes more apparent. So it’s important to factor in time with your vendors before all of the events occur.
To be candid, if you’re looking to save money on your wedding budget, reduce your guest list. Why? It gives you more time between events, and gives you a bigger budget for your wedding photographer and videographer – so you can cover more events!
If you have a small bridal party and a small number of family members having photos done, (and you’re at the same location the whole time), then less hours will suffice. If you have a larger family or bridal party, you will need closer to 10 hours.
Catholic Weddings Typically Go For Longer
You may already know this, but catholic weddings can go from 30 minutes to 1 hour, so it’s worth doubling checking with your priest or celebrant to make sure that you have allowed ample time for your wedding ceremony.
‘Fake’ Your Wedding Events
Instead of keeping your wedding photographer and videographer until the end of the night, some couples opt to squeeze the main events into their coverage. For example you can do a fake exit, or cut your cake earlier, or do your first dance earlier. These are all great ideas to save on coverage but still get the footage you are after.
We Don’t Need To Capture 2 Hours Of Dancing
Usually the first 30-60 minutes of dancing allow me to capture all of the best moments of your guests dancing. Typically the most exciting moments are when your DJ first opens up the floor. So if you have allowed more than 1 hour to film dances this might be too much and you may be able to reduce your coverage time by reducing this.
Consider what typical wedding video packages will cover.
Most wedding videographers offer packages starting from around $2500. The package will typically include the main events of your day, including the cutting of the cake, first dance, speeches etc. There are usually also included any extra time you may have requested in your contract for travel between locations.
The typical hours allowed are as follows:
- Ceremony only – 2 hours
- 6 hours
- 8 hours
- 10 hours
- 12 hours
As mentioned previously, 8 hours is the most common choice and covers most of the important events. 10-12 hours will give you complete wedding day coverage.
To find out more information about the average coverage of wedding videos and how much these wedding check out my article on wedding videographer cost.
Keep your budget in mind.
As with any wedding planning choice, it will depend on your wedding budget – check how much you have allocated and see if the coverage and your budget match up. If not, you may have to re-consider how many hours you can afford, or figure out areas where you can cut spending to allocate more to your wedding videographer or photographer.
Given Input, write a conclusion for this article. The information in the infographic and blog post should help you determine how many hours of videography is right for your wedding day based on what’s important to you. If it seems like too much work or if there are parts of your event that don’t seem necessary, consider cutting them out! It will save time and money so you can allocate more resources towards capturing key moments with professional photography and videography team at your big day!
If you’re asking yourself whether to hire a wedding videographer, I say, absolutely do it!
If your still looking for a videographer – I would love to hear from you! To learn more about my pricing and packages visit my contact page.