How Many Hours Do I Need With My Elopement Photographer?

Last Updated On June 20, 2023

One of the most important decisions you'll make when planning your elopement is choosing a photographer. Your photographer will capture the memories of your special day, and the images they create will be treasured for years to come. But how many hours do you actually need with your elopement photographer? If you have this question about elopement photography coverage, keep reading! We'll look at some of the factors that go into this decision and help you determine the right amount of time for your elopement photography.

This is going to be an unpopular opinion... (Actually very popular amongst us elopement photographers.) An elopement is still your wedding day. And as your photographers, we treat it as no less than a bigger "traditional" wedding. That means you DESERVE full-day coverage and not just the typical "I only need 1-2 hours because it's just a little ceremony and some photos" that we usually hear from couples looking for elopement coverage. We're not about that mindset, and neither should you.

1. How Long Should My Elopement Be?

To help you decide how long you want your elopement day to last, you should plan out how you want to spend it with your loved ones or each other! Elopements can range from a quick ceremony at the courthouse to a full-day adventure in the great outdoors, though even with a small courthouse ceremony, we believe you need three or more hours with your elopement photographer to truly capture your day perfectly.

Most couples who hire us typically book around 8 hours of coverage, and we honestly feel like it's NOT enough. And while we do get inquiries for less than three hours, we genuinely believe that a meaningful, memorable elopement cannot be squeezed into just two hours or less. By organizing a day full of activities, you're able to create the perfect elopement, which can even stretch to two full days! 

Your elopement should be an experience full of memories and intentionality - not an all-day photoshoot. It's a day you're going to look back and remember all the moments from sunrise to sunset that get to be captured.

2. Why Should I Hire An Elopement Photographer All Day?

You might be wondering why you would need to hire an elopement photographer for the entire day. After all, won't a few hours be enough to capture all the important moments?

As professional elopement photographers, we know the ins and outs of capturing an elopement. And we've come down to one singular conclusion — no two elopements are the same. It makes crafting and photographing your wedding day that much more fulfilling.

While it's true that you can get some great photos in just a few hours, hiring a photographer for the entire day has some benefits. Even if you're only having a simple ceremony, hiring an elopement photographer for the entire day can be a great investment. Your photographer can capture not just the ceremony, but also the moments leading up to it, the celebrations afterward, and all the adventures in between.

What would your perfect day look like? When you wake up, do you see the walls of your tent or a cute little cottage with a beautiful view? Are you going on an epic hike to see breathtaking peaks and valleys? Maybe you're envisioning a romantic stroll on the beach with a picnic of your favorite dinner and drinks? Spend some time brainstorming a day full of adventure and romance and how you'd like to FEEL on your wedding day.

Having an elopement photographer with you all day means that you'll have a visual record of your entire elopement experience. It means that you can take your time and enjoy every moment. You'll be able to look back on the memories of your day, from getting ready early in the morning to the last dance under the stars. Your elopement day is your special day to celebrate the love you have for your partner, and there are so many possibilities!

3. How many hours do I actually need with my elopement photographer?

So, how many hours do you actually need with your elopement photographer? First, understanding the real value of having your photographer for 8+ hours will help determine how many hours you need with your elopement photographer. 

There are three things you want to remember, consider the time it takes to get from Point A to Point B, add 5-15 minute buffers between EVERYTHING (we mean it, absolutely don't skimp on this), and make you and your love the central point of your day.

Simple Ceremony ELopement: 4 Hours

If you're having a simple ceremony with just a few guests or no guests, you might only need 4 hours with your photographer. This will give you enough time to capture the ceremony, some portraits, a few candid moments afterward, and a small picnic + first dance

Half-Day Elopement: 6-8 Hours

If you're planning a full day of adventures, such as hiking to a remote location or exploring a national park, you'll likely need more time with your photographer. A 6-8 hour package will give you plenty of time to capture all the moments of your day, from the early morning preparations to the late-night celebrations.

Full-Day Elopement: 8-10 Hours

If you're traveling to a new location for your elopement, you might want to hire your photographer for the entire day. This will give you plenty of time to explore the area, take photos in different locations, and capture all the special moments of your destination elopement.

Of course, these are just general guidelines, and you should work with your photographer to determine the best package for your needs. Your photographer can help you create a timeline for your elopement and suggest the best amount of time to capture all the important moments.

Hiring an elopement photographer for the entire day can be a great investment. Not only will you get beautiful photos of your special day, but you'll also have someone there to capture all the little moments that make your elopement unique. When deciding how many hours you need with your photographer, consider the length of your elopement and the activities you have planned, and work with your photographer to create a package that fits your needs and budget. With the right photographer and the right amount of time, you'll be able to look back on your elopement memories for years to come.

Book us for your 2024 elopement!

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