A wedding photo shot list includes all the photos you want to make sure your photographer will take. Give your must-have wedding photos list to your photographer before your wedding day as you will be preoccupied on the day. The shot list will not only help you but it will make your photographer’s job easier. See more tips on how to plan a wedding.
Meet with the photographer before the wedding to give the shot list and to discuss your expectations. Discuss your wedding plans and decide if you will be going to another venue for a photoshoot. If you are going to shoot at a nearby location then decide on it before and check it out. You don’t want to start looking for somewhere to shoot on your wedding day. Discuss the wedding timeline and how much time you have allocated for photos. If necessary, change your timeline or wedding schedule if it turns out that you allocated too much time or not enough time.
Once you have agreed on the timeline, create a printable wedding timeline to share with your family, vendors, photographer, and friends. You can print a copy to send with each invitation or you can make a poster to hang up at the entrance to the venue.
The wedding photo list template is available in Word, Excel, and PDF format.
If there are any photography restrictions during the ceremony if it is being held at a place of worship, then let the photographer know ahead of time.
You might also want to give the photographer a full list of requested photo shots and a shorter list of shots. The full list will include shots that will be taken whether they are on the list or not. The shorter list will include shots that might not be taken if you don’t ask for them. Why separate the lists? Because you don’t want your photographer to be checking the list all night and miss really good shots. If you write that you want a photo of the bride walking down the aisle or not, chances are that any decent photographer will take that shot, so it might be more effective to go with a shorter list as well. You can even ask the photographer to go over the list and mark the photos that you should include in your photo list and then delete the others and provide an updated list. Or you can ask your photographer to go over the longer list the day before and bring the shorter list with to the event.
Printable and Editable Wedding Photography Checklist
Inviting your photographer to your engagement will give you a sense of his style and help you get to know him. On your wedding day, this might help you feel more comfortable.
Pre Wedding Photo Shoot
This might not be included in the wedding photo package and you might have to pay more to have a pre-wedding photo shoot.
Look for cute couple photo ideas on Pinterest.
Wedding day pre-ceremony
• The dress before the bride wears it
• The veil
• The bride’s shoes
• The boutonniere
• The bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets
• The rings
• Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue
• The wedding invitations, programs, timeline, menus, signs, gifts, etc.
• The getaway car (if decorated)
Wedding Photo Shoot
Family Wedding Photos
Add all family members to the wedding family photo list. Include all the combinations you want. If you want photos of family members with you, on their own with others then add each shot to the list. Family wedding pictures tend to be a bit boring. If you want to add interest then bring some props with you or ask the photographer to provide some.
Ask a family member to accompany the photographer during the family wedding photoshoot. The photographer will not have to wonder who Aunt Julie is or to ask you questions that you will be too busy to answer.
If you want any formal family portraits then add them to the checklist.
Wedding Day Photo List
• The bride and bridesmaids getting ready
• Mom helping the bride with her veil or other last detail
• Bride checking herself out in a full-length mirror
• The first time the bride’s parents and/or the bridesmaids see her dressed
• The groom and groomsmen getting ready
• Groom and best man
• Dad helping the groom with his tie
• Photos of the bride by herself (including the front and back of dress)
• The bride with her bridesmaids
• The groom by himself
• The groom and groomsmen
Formal family photos
• Bride with her parents and grandparents
• Groom with his parents and grandparents
• Bride and siblings
• Groom and siblings
• Bride and groom making their way to the ceremony
• First look
• The flower girl with the bride, with the groom, and with the bride and groom together
• Groom and ring bearer
• Venue shots before guests arrive
• Parents and grandparents entering
• Groom walking down the aisle
• Groom and groomsmen entering and waiting for bride
• Guests waiting for ceremony
• Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
• Bride’s entrance and walking down the aisle
• Groom’s reaction to bride’s entrance
• Bridal party entrance
• Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering
• Bride and groom at the altar or the chuppah (if it’s a Jewish wedding)
• Giving the bride away
• Exchanging of vows
• Exchanging of the rings
• Close-up of the rings
• The first kiss
• Signing the marriage certificate / wedding license
• The married couple outdoors after leaving the ceremony
• The wedding party outdoors after leaving the ceremony
• Close-up of the newlyweds immediately after the ceremony
• Bride and groom hugging family and friends
• Bride showing off her wedding ring to her bridesmaids
• Bride and groom leaving the ceremony site
• Decor shots (including table settings, place cards, menu cards, centerpieces, etc.)
• Wedding cake (before it’s cut)
• Wedding favors
• Champagne glasses
• Favors table
At the Reception:
• Hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks
• Guests arriving and signing the guest book
• Grand entrance
• The wedding party walking in
• Toasts and speeches
• Cake cutting
• The first dance
• The bridal party dance
• The father-daughter dance
• The mother-son dance
• Guests dancing
• Parents and grandparents dancing
• Wedding party dancing
• Musicians, singers, DJ
• Bride and groom sipping Champagne
• Bride and groom mingling with guests
• Retrieving and tossing the garter
• The bouquet toss
• Kids playing or dancing
• Musicians or DJ
• Bride and groom feeding each other cake
• Main Course
• Dessert table
• Newlyweds’ vehicle
• Grand exit
• Couple with bridesmaids/groomsmen
• Couple with the entire wedding party
• Bride with bridesmaids/maid of honor
• Groom and groomsmen/best man
• Bride with groomsmen
• Groom with bridesmaids
• Couple with both sets of parents and with each parent
• Couple with each set of parents and with each parent
• Couple with siblings
• Couple with close family members
• Bride and groom with the flower girl and ring bearer
• Bride and groom with the entire wedding party
How to find the right wedding photographer
Every wedding photographer has a different style and it is important to find one whose style you like. Ask to see their portfolio and photos from previous events.
Check exactly what the wedding package includes and if engagement photos are included or not. Will it cost extra to take photos at a different venue? Check everything so that there are no surprises on the day or when you get the bill.
Ask what you will receive and how many photos are included. How many prints you will receive and how many digital files? Will the photos be edited?
Wedding Photo Ideas
You can find many wedding picture ideas on Pinterest and in the sample albums that your photographer will show you of previous events. Most photographers will show potential clients some of their best shots from previous events. Use this opportunity to get wedding photoshoot ideas and add these to your wedding picture list. If you want to include cute wedding pictures, as your photographer for ideas. It will give you an idea of what to expect from your photographer as well.
You will find a wedding photography checklist in our free printable wedding planner.