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  • Alexis Alvarez

The Most Important Piece of Wedding Planning Advice I Will Ever Give You

Chicago Wedding Planner at Orchard Ridge Farms
Photo By: Sean Cook Weddings

I know, this one is a BIG promise, but year after year, my team & I find ourselves correcting the same issue over & over again for our clients who do this part without us. It always costs them hundreds of unexpected dollars and leaves them frustrated & over budget.

So while I was driving home today after having this conversation - again - with another couple who just didn't know any better, I had to write this post.


Are you ready for it?

Anything less than 10 hours of photo and/or video coverage will NEVER be enough.

Unless you're eloping (or a handful of other really specific exceptions)


I know you think your wedding is uncomplicated. I know you think 8 hours sounds like enough, but 9.5/10 times it'not.

Let me break down your wedding day timeline in its simplest form.

Your photographer/cinematographer should arrive AT LEAST 30 minutes before the bride dresses, but preferably an hour to an hour and a half before if there's no 2nd shooter (that's a topic for another day altogether) to capture detail shots. You know, those Pinterest worthy flat lays of your invitation suites & shoes & bouquet & rings. And all of those fun, girls in robes, champagne bottle poppin' and tie straightening, this is the only time I've ever held a glass of scotch on the rocks or a cigar, candid getting ready photos. So there is 30-90 minutes of your photo coverage time.

Then there's the dressing photos with mom, sister, etc. - 30 minutes

Then first look or not you'll have 3-4 combined hours of portrait photos, regardless of where that falls in the day.

30-60 minutes of ceremony.

An hour of cocktails where guest candids & detail photos of your reception will be taken.

Introductions & cake cutting - Approx 15 minutes

About an hour and a half of dinner (your pros need to eat too)

Speeches & traditional dances - usually about 30-40 minutes

& finally you'll want at least 30 minutes of dancing candids.

Right here you've got an average of about 9 1/2 hours of coverage.

This also doesn't account for any potential travel time between venues and any evening couple portraits you might want.

So moral of the story, to get all of the beautiful photos/video that tells the story of the entire day for you to relive for years to come & avoid costly overtime charges & last minute stress, don't book anything under 10 hours of coverage time with your photo & video partners.

You'll thank me later.

Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?


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