I am a big believer that you need to LOVE your wedding photographers work, and if that means spending a little more on photography than you originally thought, it's worth it! Wedding budget guides recommend spending 15-20% of your total budget on your photography, because as one of my recent wedding couples said in a testimonial, "The photos are the only thing you will have after all the lace and flowers are gone, and Jessica captures every perfect detail and moment." I truly believe that statement to be true!
Working with couples on a tight photography budget in the past has led to us getting pretty creative with timelines. We can reduce some of the getting ready time by taking photos of the bride touching up her hair and makeup and putting on her dress, instead of having a photographer present for 2 hours and capturing a lot of the same images over and over. On the other end of the day, at the reception, the same holds true. Most couples choose to not have a photographer stay through the entire reception, as typically the same guests dance or sit and talk throughout the night and a photographer ends up with a lot of the same images over the last couple of hours. Some couples choose to do their send off part way through the reception so that the photographer can capture it, and then the couple and guests continue on with the reception into the night. Stacking the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc. at the start of the reception can help save photography hours, as well as having guests eat before the wedding party arrives. There are many ways to build a timeline, and it's important to work with your photographer to create one that is perfect for you!
Often when talking with couples, I find that they need fewer photography hours than they originally thought. My wedding photography experience and flexibility allows me to capture a full wedding day on a tight timeline!
Even with all of this information on hand, I still love to talk with wedding couples and create a rough timeline before they book their wedding with me. Each couple is so unique that no timeline is the same, and a couple will likely find that we can reduce the number of wedding photography hours and still capture their day just as they envision it!