Savvy June 2021

Do i really need a photographer for the entire wedding!

, on November 24, 2019 at 7:49 PM Posted in Planning 1 14
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I’m trying to cut cost where I can and I know how important it is to get a photographer and I really want one. But do I honestly need one for the whole wedding/reception? In my opinion the most important shots I’d like would be maybe getting ready, make up, dress. Then the ceremony of course! And for the reception, our entrance, first dance, father daughter dance, his dance with his mom, and thats it. I also want photos of the bridal party in between the ceremony and reception but I don’t think I need a photographer all day?


What are your thoughts?

14 Comments

  • Liz
    Dedicated June 2020
    Liz ·
    • Flag
    That’s what I thought! I’m having my photographer for 2 1/2 hours which will take me through the cake cutting and it’s costing me 1/2 as much.. No need for a million pics of people partying...
    • Reply
  • B
    Dedicated March 2020
    Brina328 ·
    • Flag
    I hired mine for just 5 hours. She will take pictures of bride and bridesmaids getting ready, ceremony, cake cutting, first dance, and bride and groom pic. She starts at 2 which is an hour before we leave for wedding and is done before dinner at reception.
    • Reply
  • Barbara
    Dedicated January 2020
    Barbara ·
    • Flag
    Ours is only doing the ceremony. We hired she and her husband on a site called Thumbtack. My FH's niece will take pictures of our reception. Photography is a hobby of hers an she is very good. Maybe someone you know who takes good pictures could just take pictures of the reception.
    • Reply
  • L
    Devoted May 2020
    Leslie ·
    • Flag

    I think it depends on timing. My ceremony and reception are hours apart from each other. I’m going to end up paying for some down time for photographer. I wanted to own my photos afterwards and to do that, I had to have them longer.

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  • Allie
    Expert April 2019
    Allie ·
    • Flag
    I didn’t feel the need for photos of me getting ready. I wasn’t sure i was going to use half dressed photos of me getting eyelashes applied.


    We had a first look which our photographer captured along with our ceremony. During cocktail hour, we got more photos and they stuck around for the beginning of our reception for the ‘important things’
    In total, we had them for 3-4 hours.
    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Super November 2020
    Chrysta ·
    • Flag
    I’m cutting costs by not having the photographer there for getting ready pictures. I just didn’t see the need for professional pics of me getting my makeup/hair done, or getting dressed. I’m just going to have the girls getting ready with me take informal pics with their phones- that way I still have memories to look back on later, without wasting time/money on professional photos of it.
    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    VIP October 2020
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    No, it’s not necessary for a photographer to stay until the night ends. Once you get through those events during the reception, they can stay and take a few photos of people dancing. But after that, there isn’t much else to photograph. However, make sure your timeline is adjusted to fit the time you’ll have the photographer.
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted May 2020
    Alex ·
    • Flag

    My photographer is only staying about 30-45 minutes into the dancing. That way I can get a few pictures of it, but I don't think we need more than that.

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  • W
    Devoted September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    My photographer says 2 hours of a reception is plenty to photograph and the only reason we'd need him to stay till the end is if we want grand exit photos
    • Reply
  • Tori
    Dedicated October 2021
    Tori ·
    • Flag

    No, you don't need your photographer the whole day. Typically, they will stay for 30-45 minutes of open dancing, which is when you also do the bouquet and garter toss (if you're having that). That's plenty of time to get all of the dancing shots you need.

    • Reply
  • Allison
    Dedicated May 2020
    Allison ·
    • Flag

    I booked mine for 5 hours instead of her typical 8 hour package and saved $600 but you do whatever you feel is right. She will be covering the ceremony through the cake cutting and leaving around 8:30pm, our reception ends at 10pm so I feel like we won't be missing out on much.

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    No. Technically, you don’t NEED a photographer at all, but it’s all about what you want. If you want great pro-quality photos of course you need a photographer to accomplish that , but when you really get down to the photos that are actually important to you, you can manipulate the timeline. We wanted good photos, but aren’t big enough into pictures of us to have wanted to blow the budget on it. So, we came up with a list of the pictures that we DID want— everything ceremony related, a few nice portraits of us, bridal party, and family. And came up with what we really didn’t care about — dancing pics, cake cutting pics (we skipped cake all together!) and things of the like. With that information, we negotiated with a photographer. We opted in for ceremony and portraits, and ultimately added in getting ready photos, for some nice candids of us and our nearest and dearest, and some nice details shots of setting up and guests arriving. It was PERFECT for us. We have PLENTY of amazing photos, more than we could ever figure out what to do with, and plenty of awesome gems to gift our families. We were really pleased with this choice. Our photographer was there for probably 3-4 hours, did not stay through the reception, and it saved us about $1000.
    • Reply
  • Sherry
    Rockstar September 2019
    Sherry Online ·
    • Flag

    We had ours for 5 hours. She captured the details shots, getting ready, ceremony, family/group photos, cake cutting, bridal and groom photos as well as the typical "wedding photos" of just my husband and I. We didn't feel rushed nor was anything left out. On our last meeting with her before the wedding, we went over all of the specific photos we wanted, with who, any specific poses etc and she got all of it plus so much more.

    • Reply
  • Cortney
    Dedicated August 2020
    Cortney ·
    • Flag
    Similar to those above, we are only having our photographer for about an hour or so into dancing (until sunset photos). We are doing our cake cutting early to accommodate. Also, you should look at faking your getting ready shots - have the photographer come about 1 hr before you need to leave, have your makeup and hair people act as if they’re finishing up your getting ready, take details pictures. No need for them to stay for the hours of getting ready.
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