Wedding photo checklist

Essential Prep: The Wedding Photo Checklist

How to avoid disappointment and get the wedding photos you really want…

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We thought going through the list of headline shots would help you think about what images you are expecting to see after the day is over…


Before the Big Day

  • Engagement Shoot/Love Shoot – an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know your photographer, there are lots of reasons why you should definitely consider an engagement shoot

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Wedding Day – Pre-Ceremony

Getting Ready
If there are two photographers, one can focus on the groom and the other on the bride.

  • Shot of wedding invitation
  • Bride and Bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done
  • Dress hanging, jewellery laid out, shoes etc.
  • Bouquets and buttonholes/corsages
  • Bride putting on dress/veil with help from Mother of The Bride or Bridesmaids
  • Bridal party having fun
  • Close up of dress details
  • Putting on jewellery
  • Putting on shoes
  • Close up of bride holding bouquet
  • Mother and bride portrait
  • Father and bride portrait
  • Family shots
  • Bride spending moment alone
  • Bridal party walking down stairs/leaving the house
  • Bride and Father in Wedding Car/ Walking to ceremony
  • Groom and Groomsmen getting ready
  • Best man adjusting Groom’s tie
  • Groom spending moment alone
  • Wedding ring shots

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Wedding Day – Ceremony

  • Shots of empty venue/church – altar, flowers, interior & exterior details
  • Groom and Groomsmen waiting inside venue/church
  • Guests outside and inside church
  • Ushers handing out program
  • Bride arriving in wedding car
  • Bride stepping out of car
  • Bride and Bridesmaids at back of church
  • Bridal Party entrance
  • Bride walking up the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction
  • Father/Mother giving bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • Lighting of unity candle
  • Ring bearer
  • Exchanging of the rings
  • Participants such as readers, the officiant, musicians etc.
  • The first kiss as husband and wife, and the moment after
  • Signing register
  • The Recessional/Bride and Groom walking back down the aisle
  • Newlywed shot
  • Confetti throwing
  • Greeting guests outside venue
  • Bride & Groom in back seat of wedding car

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Wedding Day – Post Ceremony

After the ceremony you have to make time for the wedding portraits – this usually takes 1-2 hours depending on the couple and the list of specific shots you require.  Prepare a list of all the people you want in the portraits – family members and friends – and the specific combinations you require e.g. a shot of just you and and your siblings or a shot of all your first cousins together.

Give this list to your photographer well in advance so they can prepare and discuss any issues. Also assign a close friend (not a bridesmaid or groomsman who will be in the images), someone who knows all the people on the list, to work with the photographer on rounding people up.

Couple Shots

  • Portraits of the couple alone
  • Portraits of Bride on her own
  • Portraits of Groom on his own

Bridal Party

  • Bride and Groom with bridesmaids/groomsmen
  • Bride and Groom with bridal party
  • Bride with bridesmaids/maid of honour
  • Groom and groomsmen/bestman
  • Entire wedding party

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  • Bride and Groom with her parents
  • Bride and Groom with his parents
  • Bride and Groom with both sets of parents
  • Bride and Groom with siblings
  • Bride and Groom with close family members

Informal shots

  • Shots with friends
  • Bride showing her new ring to the guests
  • Shots of Guests eating, drinking, and chatting

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Wedding Day – Reception

  • The reception space set up – before room fills up
  • Details and room decor shots – table settings, place cards, favours, candy buffet, centrepieces etc.
  • Wedding cake detail shots
  • Bride & Groom arriving
  • Toasts and Speeches
  • Cutting the cake
  • The first dance
  • Bride dancing with father/Groom dancing with mother
  • Bride and Groom mingling with guests
  • Guests dancing
  • Musicians, singers, DJ

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