How much reception coverage do you need?

When you stop for a moment to think about it, your wedding reception represents close to 70% of your entire wedding day festivities.
How much reception coverage do you need?
It’s a question we’re often asked as MMG Brides move closer to their big day. Many couples feel they won’t need reception coverage as the late their night rolls on, the “messier” it gets. Have you thought this yet? Have you ever stopped to think how much reception coverage you desire? Read more…
Please read the perfect wedding day timings from our EXPERT ADVICE on our website for more wedding day timing insights.
Some couples want it all, every moment, every event, every word spoken. So which one are you? Not too worried about the reception festivities, or desperate not to miss a thing?
After shooting thousands of wedding over the last 15 years, I’ve met, and sat down with my fair share of couples after their wedding day. I’ve used the feedback from those experiences to share in this article.

In this post, we explore:

  • What happens at a wedding reception?
  • What couples report after their wedding?
  • Is reception coverage needed at all?

Firstly let’s think about what happens during a reception. When you stop for a moment to think about it, your wedding reception represents close to 70% of your entire wedding day festivities. A lot happens during a standard 5 or 6 hours reception too. Probably more than you first considered.

Okay, let’s break down the humble wedding reception into all it’s important parts so you can visualise your entire reception. We’ll look it from the standard MMG default shot list:

Before you enter, we’ll photograph all your decorations.
Bridal table shots
The entire room wide angle
All the effort & special touches to make your reception unique.
Table shots including settings chair cover centrepieces etc.
Your parent’s entry into the reception
Bridal party entry
Your grand entry
Full bridal table shot with entire Bridal party seated.
The food (you paid a lot for it right?) let’s have a memory of your choices. Entry, main, desserts.
Speeches (an absolute must have)
Guest & family reactions
Cake cutting
Bridal Waltz
Father-daughter dance
The celebration, everyone dancing and having a great time
The band/Dj including other planned entertainment
The Carter
But Bouquet toss
The farewell circle
Reception departure through the human archers
Leaving the venue car shot completes your wedding day story.
It’s a fairly exhaustive list of memories created during the reception phase of the evening. How much of your wedding day story do you want to be able to relive after the wedding? That right there is the ultimate question.
Many couples base their decision to have reception coverage on cost, and rightly so. All up, weddings are expensive!  In the lead up to the wedding, your concern is primarily about cost, however, AFTER the wedding, it’s all about the memory of the day. To make the right decision, you need to sit down together and imagine yourselves after the wedding. Were there some things that were missed because the photographer went home too early? Would you have preferred a more detailed record of the night and all the fun? Are there parts of the evening you would like to remember long into the future?

It’s a personal decision that’s different for every couple. But I will leave you with this thought…. So much planning, so much time, so much effort and money goes into a wedding. Friends and family come from near and far to celebrate your union. You have hair and makeup, and put more effort into looking gorgeous than any other day in your life. You buy dresses and hire suits and cars. You provide a feast for your entire guest list and even have an exotic cake too. WHY do all of that, and not have a decent memory of your complete day? And I mean complete, including your entire reception. I hope that one day you will thank me for this advice.

Did you know that many photographers won’t stay until the end of your reception? At MMG we’ll stay with you as long as you need us. In essence with MMG, you control how you want your story told.
MMG Photo Cinema – NO REGRETS.


Christal Cartago is part of the Senior Management team at MMG Photo Cinema. Christal heads up the Bride Support team and has a wealth of experience supporting and educating clients through the photography planning process.