Deciding how much coverage to purchase from your DC wedding photographers is a important and sometimes difficult decision. The number of hours you need is a major determiner of the price your Washington, DC, wedding photographer charges. On the one hand, you certainly will not want to pay for more coverage than you are going to need. Keeping to your budget will keep your overall wedding-day stress level down. On the other hand, you will definitely want to get every meaningful moment from your marriage celebrations preserved on film. If something important happens before your photographers arrive or after they leave, there will obviously be no photographic record of it.
Because this decision is such a crucial component of a couple’s wedding planning, we are always ready to work with you to structure your day around the photography coverage. We do this with a lot of our prospective clients. We will frequently spend a lot time explaining the relative merits of having DC wedding photographers taking pictures at various points during their wedding day. We talk about what typically happens during each part of a marriage celebration and how likely meaningful moments are to occur. Understanding these factors helps guide them in their decision making process. That, in turn, helps them be more satisfied with the gallery of photos they receive after they exchange their wedding vows.
As you consider how much photography coverage to purchase, you might be tempted to trim hours at the beginning or end of the day. That is an approach that makes perfect sense, of course! Rarely will a Washington, DC, wedding photographer agree to “pause” their coverage in the middle of a marriage celebration. So trying to pack everything into a shorter block in the middle of the day is not a bad idea. It is also pretty easy to do. The early stages of the getting-ready process and the dying minutes of the reception are often a bit looser and more unstructured. Most couples do not schedule any set events during the time when they are getting their makeup/hair done or hanging with their friends. Some will plan a sparkler exit or other more elaborate sendoff at the end of the evening. But many choose to let their marriage celebrations end on a more informal note. The upshot of all this is that it is fairly simple to push all of the fixed events closer to the middle of your wedding day. And that means that you do not necessarily need to have your photographers with you for the entire day.
The problem with this approach, of course, is what we mentioned at the beginning of this post. You can certainly schedule your day such that no “set pieces” occur when your photographers are not present. But if you do, there is always the chance that something important gets missed. Unscheduled, but meaningful, moments can happen before or after your coverage. Sometimes those loose and informal periods of time on your wedding day can be rich with photographic opportunities. The moments you spend bonding with your close family and friends while you get ready are often more significant than the planned events. They are often the things you will look back on most fondly 20 years later. Similarly, the last hour or so of dance floor time is often when your guests are the most “loosened up” and likeliest to do something crazy. Pictures of them doing that will bring a smile to your faces every time you see them. So having photographers around and capturing these moments can be well worth the extra bit that you spend.
What we got on film in the photo posted here is a perfect example of the kind of moment you do not want to lose by booking too little coverage. It is a picture of a groom getting a hot-towel shave before getting dressed for his wedding. Though the moment might not seem significant, the groom in question told us it was one of his favorites from the day. He said that it showed how much time and care he put into making sure he looked his best for his bride-to-be. And if he and his future spouse had not had us there while they got ready, it would have never been preserved forever.
We took this shot at The Quinntessential Gentleman (no, not a typo), a great barbershop/club in Baltimore, Maryland. We have photographed several grooms getting ready at The QG and are always happy when our couples book it for a part of their wedding day. Not only does it offer the opportunity to get spectacular shots like this one, it also provides a great atmosphere for grooms and groomsmen to hang out and bond before the ceremony. If you are organizing a wedding in the Baltimore area, we strongly recommend that you consider having part of your celebrations there.
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