Savannah + Atlanta + NYC + DC 
wedding photographer



Editorial • Genuine • Sophisticated • Romantic


The “How To” Guide to Booking Your Dream Wedding Photographer

February 11, 2023

Hi, I'm ashly.
Welcome to my blog! Read about our latest weddings, travels, and expert tips on photography! 
Learn more
a gift for you
wedding planning checklist
An organized month by month checklist for wedding planning. 

“One of the fastest ways to find the solution to an issue or challenge you are facing is to ask the right questions.” – Robin S. Sharma

Planning a wedding is without a doubt a full-time job on its own. It can be stressful finding the answers you need in a sea of so many. So I decided to create a space where important questions about wedding planning and wedding photography can be answered so you can book your dream wedding photographer.  In this ultimate guide series, I will be answering five of the top wedding photography questions weekly. This week, I want to cover the initial questions you may have when you’re just beginning your search.

Savannah Wedding Photographer
  1. When should I inquire with my wedding photographer?
    • Inquire with your photographer as soon as you have decided on your wedding venue and wedding month. 
  2. How far in advance should I book your perfect wedding photographer?
    • You should book your wedding photographer at least 12 months in advance.
  3. When should I meet my wedding photographer?
    • I encourage meeting on a zoom call for your first meeting if possible.
  4. How many hours do I need my wedding photographer?
    • Depending, you will need your wedding photographer for a minimum of eight hours. 
  5. How many photographers will I need for my wedding?
    • It is recommended you have at least two wedding photographers for your wedding day.

When should I inquire with my wedding photographer? 

You’ve said yes, you’ve got the ring and the vision and you are ready to start planning! I am over the moon for you and this new journey. You’ve likely been waiting for this day to happen and have already had your heart set on your dream wedding photographer but when do you inquire with them?

Some wedding photographers will not officially book a couple without a secured date with your wedding venue of choice. Having your wedding venue booked locks in your wedding date allowing your wedding photographer to know his or her availability securing this date just for you. 

However, I have had many of couples reach out to me first about my availability before booking their venue because wedding photography is a top priority. If you are flexible on your date reach out to your venue about availability in your preferred wedding month and inquire with multiple dates for your dream wedding photographer. From there book your wedding venue and then secure your wedding photographer!

How far in advance should I book my wedding photographer?

There are many different types of weddings that require different answers. So I will break it down according to each. 

Full Wedding Weekend

Wedding Day Coverage 

Micro Weddings & Elopements 

  • Full Wedding Weekend
    • One of my favorite trending wedding events is now the full wedding weekend! With a weekend of events from the welcome dinners, and rehearsal dinners, to the farewell brunch planned, typically Thursday through Saturday or Friday to Sunday, I would highly suggest you inquire with your wedding photographer at least 18 months in advance. Depending on the month there is a chance your wedding photographer may already have an event planned preventing them from being available for your full weekend. 
  • Wedding Day Coverage
    • Having just wedding day coverage opens up for a little more flexibility depending on the wedding season and month you are planning for. Usually you can secure your wedding photographer 12 months in advance. If you are planning for a popular date like a palindrome reach out to your vendors as soon as your venue is secure. These dates tend to book more quickly. 
  • Micro Weddings & Elopements
    • I have found Micro Weddings and Elopements more of a spontaneous weekday event with more flexibility. If this is the case for you you can book your wedding photographer anywhere between 3-6 months from your date of choice. 

When should I meet my wedding photographer?

This answer may be different for other wedding photographers. As some may not meet officially until the wedding day due to location or overall scheduling. I would encourage each couple and wedding photographer to at the very least meet over a Zoom Meeting to talk about wedding planning, to get an understanding of personalities, and overall become comfortable with each other if meeting in person is not an option. 

For me, I meet with my couples following the first email connecting us. It’s important for me to be able to connect directly with my clients, to hear their story, and to dream about their day with them. Because most of my clients are in different states or countries we chat via video often. While not all of my couples require an engagement session, though I highly encourage you should- more on that in another blog, when they do I try to schedule that as soon as possible. This gives us a chance to talk, connect and work together before the wedding day. 

Wedding photos are very personal so connect with your photographer as soon as you can to make sure the vibe is right for you. We want you to feel comfortable. So schedule a call first thing and video, or in person meeting following soon after.

How many hours do I need my wedding photographer for?

As stated in a pervious question there are many types of weddings and each will require their own times. 

For a full weekend wedding event you will need:

  • Rehearsal, welcome dinner coverage or both. This typically requires anywhere from three to five hours of coverage. 
  • Wedding day coverage is usually an all day event requiring anywhere from eight to ten hours of wedding photography coverage. 
  • Farewell brunch varies from two to four hours of coverage. 

Wedding day coverage

  • An all-day event from getting ready to the exit. Depending on the details of event you should expect to have your photographer for anywhere from eight to ten hours. 

Micro weddings and elopements

  • planned on a much smaller scale. Depending on your vision you should have your wedding photographer scheduled anywhere from two to six hours. 

Of course the timelines vary based on your wedding vision. When inquiring with your wedding photographer you should talk about the initial timeline of events to get an idea of what your day will look like for better planning. 

Wedding Photographer Savannah

How many photographers will I need for my wedding?

With a full wedding weekend this can vary based on timeline of events, guests, and activities. For the full wedding day coverage you should have anywhere from two to three photographers. 

  • Here’s why:
    • Getting ready and details for both the bride and the groom
    • Whether there is a first look or not – the timeline will vary for each
    • Ceremony (traditional images and candid moments)
    • One photographer captures family photos the other captured your cocktail hour
    • One photographer captures family photos the other captured your cocktail hour
    • A different view for the reception 

All of my wedding collections have a second photographer as a basic requirement. There are too many moving parts and I don’t want a single one to not be remembered. 

For micro weddings and elopements you are able to schedule one photographer because everything is happening pretty closely. Of course there many be special requirements where two are needed but you should need more than that. 

Wedding Photography Packages

I am a firm believer that weddings are not a one size fits all. This is why I create customized collections and treat each wedding individually. You are as unique as your big day. From the initial discovery call to the final product. So planning should be based on your needs, wants, and dreams. 

  • To Recap:
    • Plan your date around your ideal venue and wedding photographer
    • Book your favorite vendors as soon as possible 
    • Meet your photographer via call, video, or in person before booking
    • Wedding photography hours vary from eight to ten hours depending on the type of wedding.
    • You will need anywhere from two to three wedding photographers to cover your day

I will be answering questions every week. Please, feel free to reach out if you have any questions of your own. You can ask me on my instagram or inquire here or leave a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

reader faves


browse by category







Hi! I'm Ashly mccoy

Welcome to my blog! Read about our latest weddings, travels, and expert tips on photography! 

Learn more



The Clover club Wedding guide

Dolor mixtape food truck Austin, assumenda Odd Future Carles ani Echo Park cillum.


a gift for you

enjoy THIS
WEDDING planning Checklist

Sign up for our mailing list and get our Wedding Planning Checklist! Also be the first to know about our latest featured weddings, wedding inspiration and tips, travel, giveaways, & more! 

get the guide

© ashly mccoy - wedding photographer 2023 | 912.429.4465