Dear Shannon: “How much coverage do we need?”

This is a question I get asked ALL THE TIME!  While every wedding is a little different, there are some general rules of thumb that I ask all of our couples to consider.

Let’s start at the top…Do you want any getting ready pictures taken?   If so, we can get started about 30 minutes before you plan to put your dress on.  This will allow us to get shots of your dress, shoes, earrings, etc. as well as the finishing touches of you getting ready.  During this time, we’ll be grabbing candids of all the little moments that, in time, become so important…your dad walking into the room to see you for the first time in your dress, your mom securing your necklace, or your maid of honor helping you into your shoes. If the groom would like getting ready pictures also, I strongly suggest adding a 2nd photographer to your wedding package so that nothing is missed on either side!

Next up…Do you want to see each other before the wedding? This will be a major factor in determining our start time.  It can be a wonderful moment to have between the two of you without the pressure of all your friends and family watching. When our couples opt for the first look session, we can oftentimes get most, if not all, of the wedding party & B&G portraits done before the wedding. We will need to start earlier, but the upside is that after the wedding, you will likely just have about 15-20 mins of formal family photos, and then you’ll be able to go straight on to enjoy your cocktail hour! I recommend allotting the following time-frames:

first look moment & B&G photos: 30-60mins

wedding party photos: 30-60mins

Tip: Plan for an extra few minutes for each item on your timeline. For example, if it takes 15 minutes to travel from your getting ready location to your ceremony site, plan for 20 minutes travel time, just in case of any traffic or parking issues.  You should also give yourself an extra 5 minutes to load everyone (and everyTHING!) into the car, and then another 5 minutes to unload. Remember, it’s better to veer on the side of caution and be relaxed, than to try to cram too much in and end up with an unrealistic schedule. Your wedding is a big investment, and the last thing you want is to feel rushed on your big day!

Onto the reception coverage!  Once the main reception events have finished (cake cutting, toasts, first dances, etc), we typically only need about 30-45 minutes worth of open dance floor photos in order to have a full coverage of the day.  If you are having a grand exit with sparklers or glow sticks, you may want us to stay until the end, but otherwise, it will not be worth your money to have us there getting dance floor pictures for hours.

We always get a detailed timeline together as wedding dates start to approach, but hopefully this will serve as a rough guide in determining how much coverage you need to initially book.  We know every wedding is unique, so please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email with your specific questions about your day! info@miajadeweddings.com

Looking forward to talking with you about your wedding!