Which wedding photography package is BEST for you?
Note: This blog post was written in collaboration with McKenna Mansfield of McKenna Mansfield Photography + Claire of Grit and Grace Events. The latter portion, pertaining specifically to photography at weddings, is most largely contributed to by McKenna Mansfield. More of her work can be found at MckMansfield.com + @mckmansfield on Instagram. For direct contact, she can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We only bring in the best of the best around here. I mean, my honest-to-goodness filter is, "Would I invite this vendor/ person to be part of MY own wedding day?
Or, an even bigger deal, "Would I invite this vendor/ person to be part of my BFF's wedding day?" Only if the answer is a HECK YES! do I even bring them to you.
(P.S. If you're curious about ALL the best of the best vendors, you can find it on our home page under "Friends don't let friends hire anything by the best!" on the pink strip - HERE !)
When I started noticing the trend of questions being, "How many hours should I hire my wedding photographer for? Is 6 hours enough? Is 10 hours too much?" I started thinking of who would be BEST to answer this! Because let's be real, I can do my best to answer this and it pales in comparison to the REAL pro's.
ENTER: McKenna Mansfield.
(Maybe you know her from her stellar 'gram? She's at @mckmansfield in case you're missing out on that magic. )
Middle photo: Emily Saenz Photography
WHO IS SHE?
She's vibrant in personality. Not the overwhelming type of vibrant. The captivating-in-ease-thoughtfulness-and-confidence-type of vibrant. She is easy to be around, which is always a good thing on wedding day. (We don't need NONE of that stress 'round here.) She is focused and dang good at her craft but, doesn't ever let that take away from caring for people.
The people are TOP priority. Both around HERE and for Mcken.
Do you see why I like her so much?
In her own words?
MM: I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Clemente. I LOVE my job & my husband & this little life we have created together. I could live in jumpers/overalls forever & only ever eat tacos again (with a grapefruit marg in hand, duh) and would be completely content!
MM: I have made some of the sweetest friends through this job & wouldn’t have it any other way. I also honestly love having my own business. I get to shape & readjust things because it’s just me, party of 1! That always keeps me coming back and feeling inspired.
Again, do you see why I like her so much? Something else SHE loves?
MM: I love humans, I love connection and I love taking photos. Being able to document life & our humanness is such a gift. If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d probably be a barista. I basically live in coffee shops (but don’t like coffee… yikes). [Note from Claire: I'm telling you, enjoying coffee is usually a pre-requsitie for being friends. For McKen, we let it slip. ... I kid. I kid. We'll love you around here, no matter what.] The environment & people part has always been so fun to me!
Her photos show that.
After you go follow her and you're scrolling through the 'gram and you stumble upon a @MckMansfield photo, you'll know what I mean. It's an effortless and refreshing capture of the mundane, the extraordinary and as McKen says... playful, romantic, & human
So, you're like, "This gal is the real deal. I LIKE HER! But, where do I start?"
Good news for YOU! McKen has some words for you on
3 Most Popular Wedding Photography packages + the PRO's and CON's to them all!
You’re engaged, you’ve set your date, & it’s time to start hiring your vendors -- eek! You begin looking into potential photographers and you start seeing things like “6 Hour Package”, “8 Hour Package” and “10 Hour Package”?
“WHAT THE HECK?? How am I supposed to know how many hours I'm going to need?”
We gotchu. We’re here to help walk you through what package could be best for YOU and YOUR wedding day.
STEP ONE: Ask yourself these questions.
1. When thinking about my wedding day being documented, what is most important to me?
2. Are we doing a grand exit? If YES, do we want that documented?
3. Do I want getting ready photos of myself &/or my partner? (getting make-up done, getting in the dress, putting on suits, etc).
4. Do I want or need a second shooter?
Psssst... we'll just answer that here. A second shooter only ADDS to the amount of coverage you’ll be receiving on your wedding day but, I [McKenna] don’t think you have to have one! Think of it this way: your photographer can only be and shoot in one spot at a time. With a second shooter, you now have another person getting a different perspective in that exact same moment.
A little PSA: This is based on weddings around 100-200 people. Smaller weddings don’t necessarily apply to these rules of thumb.
STEP TWO: Look over the packages offered.
THE 6 HOUR PACKAGE
THE BOTTOM LINE? If you’re thinking about going with a 6 hour package, I typically tell my couples to choose either 1. Getting ready photos OR 2. Grand Exit photos. The truth is? Getting BOTH getting ready photos & full coverage of the reception is not doable, 9 out of 10 times.
WHAT WILL GET CAPTURED? 6 hours allows time for coverage of your ceremony, all your portraits and a chunk of your reception (usually not much after dancing starts).
THE HONEST TRUTH: 6 hours doesn’t leave much time for many detail shots [I.E. ring shots, dress shots, your paper product flat lay like invitations, etc.] so if that’s something that you highly value, chat with your photographer about that!
UPSIDES: This is typically the most budget friendly package photographers offer!
DOWNSIDES: You most likely will not get both ends of your day documented.
THE 8 HOUR PACKAGE
THE BOTTOM LINE? In my experience, this is the most popular option couples go for!
WHAT WILL GET CAPTURED? If you’re thinking about going with an 8 hour package, you’re most likely looking at getting the tail end of getting ready through your reception. Depending on how long you want to party, I’m typically able to get the grand exit in an 8 hour windows. (Unless you wanna party all night long with your people, which is totally cool, your photographer just won’t be around for that part.)
8 hour packages are a pretty safe spot to ensure your day is going to be widely documented!
THE HONEST TRUTH: If you are wanting a first look, 8 hours is almost always necessary.
Upside: You will most likely be able to get getting ready photos & exit photos!
Downside: Honestly, none.
THE 10 HOUR PACKAGE
THE BOTTOM LINE? If you’re thinking about this package, you’re getting the whole dang story baby!
WHAT WILL GET CAPTURED: From the first brush stroke of make-up till the party ends, you’re on camera. This package is also great if you’re having an “after-party” after your wedding ends & you want that documented!
UPSIDE: You’re going to receive a very full story gallery from your photographer
DOWNSIDE: It is usually the most expensive package photographes offer
STEP THREE: Compare your answers to the questions in STEP ONE to the packages in STEP TWO. Determine the best package based off of those!
And then, email your photographer and BOOM! Book 'em.
Clearly, McKenna knows what she's talking about. If you're wanting MORE MckMansfield (I don't even blame you.) be sure to peep her NEW website at MckMansfield.com + the freebie she has for YOU! You know how much we love freebies around here.
Lots of hugs, grit and grace - always,
Claire ( + McKenna)