How many hours of Wedding Videography coverage do you need?

Like many videographers and photographers in the wedding industry, our wedding videography packages include a specified number of hours of coverage. However, determining the right number of hours of coverage for your wedding can be a common question. In this blog post, I will break down the factors to consider and provide guidance on how many hours of wedding videography coverage you might need from your wedding videographer.

Essentially the number of hours of coverage you need from your wedding videographer is dependant on your wedding timeline, most commonly we would suggest your wedding videographer starts 1-2 hours before your ceremony until 0.5-1 hour after your first dance. The main things to consider are the start and end of your wedding day so let’s go into the details.

Consider the start of your wedding day

Wedding morning preparations are some of my favourite moments to capture. I love that the couple are surrounded by their closest people, supporting them as they prepare for one of the most significant days of their lives. The sweet moments captured during wedding morning preparations are some of the most treasured.

Another reason we really love to film with our couples and their closest people before the ceremony is that it gives eevryone a chance to relax into having the cameras around and let us fade into the background. If you are nervous about how it will feel to be filmed, I would recommend having around 2 hours of preparations captured, this is the amount of time we see it takes for our couples really to relax into it.

Getting Ready at Your Wedding Ceremony Venue

Many wedding venues offer dedicated spaces for couples to get ready on-site, whether it’s rooms where the couple and guests stay the night or purpose built preparation spaces. There are numerous advantages to getting ready on-site – including the convenience of not needing to worry about transport or traffic and creating a calmer more relaxed atmosphere.  

If you are getting ready at the same location as your ceremony, a recommended start time for your videographer is around 1.5 to 2 hours before your ceremony. This usually allows time to capture the final moments of preparations, including special details, gifts, letter readings, and first looks.

Getting Ready at Separate Locations

If you and your partner are getting ready at separate locations, away from your ceremony, it is important to consider the additional travel time. Discuss with your videographer the logistics and adjust the start time accordingly to ensure the coverage takes into the extra time needed.

Why you don’t want your wedding videographer to start filming when you start getting ready

For many people, often brides, wedding morning preparations can start very early. At this point in the day it’s not often a good time for a videographer to be filming, you are unlikely to be feeling your best (especially if you’re not a morning person like me!) and if you usually wear makeup you will feel more comfortable with the cameras starting once your makeup is nearly complete. Of course it is entirely personal preference, but considering this will help you decide the best start time for your videographer.

Ask your wedding videographer if their coverage start time is when they will turn up

We always arrive at location around half an hour before our coverage start time, this gives us the time we need to scout the venue, set our kit up, and find you to start filming! We also travel to our weddings the day before so we can stay nearby, so we are ready and good to go on the day! It is worth checking that the start time factors in arrival and setup time of the videographer.

Consider Your Wedding Morning Schedule

Wedding mornings can be a whirlwind of activity, so it’s important to allow time for relaxation and enjoyment. Consider your wedding morning schedule and decide which are the key parts you would like captured, communicate this with your videographer so they can accommodate your preferences and start filming at the time best suited for you.

Reasons Your Wedding Morning Preparations May Take Longer

  • If you have more than a handful of brides/grooms-people (up to around 4 or 5 on each side) it is likely to take longer for everyone to get ready, especially if there is limited space available for everyone to get ready
  • You need to allow time to refresh – eat breakfast and/or lunch, drink water, use the bathroom, and take 5 minutes to yourself. You don’t want to feel rushed through your wedding morning preparations, give yourself time to enjoy it and take everything in.
  • You have children getting ready with you – it’s always lovely to have children as part of your bridal/grooms-party, however they inevitably increase the amount of time it takes everyone to get ready. It is always lovely when there are children during prep as they bring another level of excitement and fun, but they can also find it stressful and overwhelming, so it’s best to allow for that so it’s easiest for them and you!

Consider the end of your Wedding day

Okay so we have talked about start time, and discussed many different cases for when your videographer should start filming. To decide how many hours of coverage of wedding videography coverage are needed altogether we will need to look at the end of your day. 

Determining the End Time

Most wedding videographers conclude their coverage shortly after the first dance. They often capture the first few songs following the first dance to document the joyous moments of you dancing with your guests.

Top tip: when choosing your first dance song, also think about the next two songs.

Towards the end of your first dance the rest of your guests will join you on the dance floor, what are the songs that will keep them there? Make it upbeat, fun and some of the best songs of the night! And on your wedding day make sure you both stay on the dance floor after your first dance for those first couple of songs – as soon as you leave your guests take it as a sign to step off too.

Make those first couple of songs count – when your videographer and photographer are there to capture all the dance moves! A full dance floor is some of my favourite footage and the most fun to capture too!

Reasons you may need your wedding videographer later into the evening

In most cases we plan to end filming half an hour to an hour after the scheduled time of the first dance. However there are some common reasons this may change:

  • If you’re all about the dancing and the party, and this is the part of the day that truly matters to you, it’s a good idea to ensure it’s well covered!
  • If you think your day may overrun and your timeline doesn’t allow much room for flexibility, it’s worth extending your coverage beforehand so you don’t need to worry about it on your wedding day.
  • If you have more planned for the evening, such as fireworks, sparklers, or surprise entertainment/musicians, you may want to capture those moments as well.
  • If you’re changing location for your after-party and would like it captured, make sure to communicate this with your videographer.

How to Decide How Many Hours of Coverage You Need

To determine the total hours of coverage required, consider the start and end points you would like captured. In a film it’s often ideal to unclude a slow start, covering the preparations and morning moments with your people. Aim for a grand finale, showcasing the vibrant dance floor, fireworks, or your first dance. Discuss your timeline with your videographer and let them offer recommendations based on their expertise.

Consult Your Videographer

When in doubt, consult your videographer. They possess valuable insights and experience in capturing weddings. They can guide you through the decision-making process and provide suggestions tailored to your specific needs and desires to help you decide how many hours of wedding videography coverage is appropriate for your wedding.

Around a month before each of our weddings we have a video call with our couples where we go over their timeline in detail and make our coverage recommendations.  At this point the main timeline will be set in place so we are able to make our recommendations for the entire schedule of the day, and work out when will be best for us to start and finish filming.

The best person to decide how many hours of wedding videography coverage you need is you

Ultimately, it’s your wedding day, and you have the freedom to decide the number of hours you want your wedding videographer to cover. Consider your timeline, consult with your videographer, and aim for a comprehensive film that captures the essence of your special day.

Remember, every wedding is unique, and the coverage hours will vary accordingly. By communicating your preferences and collaborating with your videographer, you can ensure that every important moment is beautifully documented for you to cherish for years to come.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your wedding videography needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Keeley Wedding Films. We are dedicated to capturing the essence of your wedding day through beautiful and heartfelt storytelling.

By Grace Keeley

Bradley and Grace Keeley are UK Wedding Videographers creating meaningful, authentic wedding films that tell your story.

Meet Bradley & Grace >>

Meet Bradley & Grace

We are husband and wife wedding videographers covering all of the UK. We love telling people’s stories through meaningful & authentic heirloom wedding films.