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Photos for Your Wedding Day

Photo Checklist for Your Wedding Day

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio

If a picture speaks a thousand words, this article may be worth millions to you as you plan for your wedding photographer’s level of involvement on your special day. The going rate for wedding photographers is a pretty penny, and you’ll be smart to get your money’s worth.

When it comes to telling your wedding photographer exactly what you want for your wedding day, don’t be shy. Those photographs will be yours to cherish for the rest of your life. They’ll lift you up when you’re down, and they’ll remind you of your perfect wedding day and all your loved ones who shared in it. They’ll be a treasured keepsake from the day when you and your sweetheart joined your lives together as one.

As you plan for your wedding day and the photographic opportunities that await, be sure you cover every base. It is better to be overly prepared rather than to look back and wish you had spent a few more moments getting organized. Here is a general breakdown of the highlights you’ll want to secure in your photographer’s itinerary. Don’t forget to customize the list by adding special photos you’d like to have in addition to these general shots.

Getting Ready for the Wedding Day

  • Bride getting ready
  • Her accessories – dress hanging by a window, her shoes on the bed, her garter, etc.
  • Bride getting ready with mom
  • Bride getting ready with bridesmaids
  • Bride and maid of honor getting ready together
  • Bride and bridesmaids posed
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Groom getting ready
  • Groom with father
  • Groom with groomsmen getting ready
  • Groom and groomsmen posed
  • Additional photos (fill in your desired extra shots here)

    At the Wedding Ceremony

  • Groom and groomsmen before the ceremony
  • Bride and bridesmaids before the ceremony
  • Nervous/excited bride by herself before ceremony
  • Flower girl / ring bearer before ceremony
  • Church or wedding ceremony site inside prior to guest arrival
  • Church or wedding ceremony site outside prior to guest arrival
  • Guests arriving
  • Guests awaiting the bride’s entrance
  • Bride arriving at the ceremony location
  • Entrance of the grandparents
  • Entrance of the parents
  • Bridesmaids entrance
  • Flower girl and ring bearer entrance
  • Close up of flower girls / ring bearer
  • Groom and groomsmen in the front, waiting for bride
  • Musicians
  • Religious officials
  • Bride walking down the aisle with father or escort
  • Close-up of bride walking
  • Groom watching bride and waiting for her
  • Bride and father as she meets her groom
  • Sweeping shot of altar or ceremony location
  • Shot of bride and groom during vows
  • Close-up of bride and groom during vows
  • Close-up of bride and groom during exchange of rings
  • The couple’s first kiss
  • Bride and groom during recessional
  • Bride and groom celebrating with guests
  • Bride and groom leaving the ceremony site
  • Bride and groom seated together in car or vehicle
  • Additional photos (fill in your desired extra shots here)

    Portraits (Bride and groom, family shots, bridal party shots)

  • Bride by herself
  • Groom by himself
  • Bride and groom together
  • Bride with father
  • Bride with mother
  • Bride with each grandparent
  • Bride with all grandparents
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with each stepparent, if applicable
  • Bride with siblings
  • Groom with mother
  • Groom with father
  • Groom with each grandparent
  • Groom with all grandparents
  • Groom with siblings
  • Bride and groom together with bride’s parents
  • Bride and groom together with groom’s parents
  • Bride and groom together with bride’s siblings
  • Bride and groom together with groom’s siblings
  • Bride and groom with both sets of grandparents
  • Bride and groom with all siblings
  • Bride and groom with all parents
  • Bride and groom with both families (all members)
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Bride with maid of honor / matron of honor
  • Bride with groomsmen
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Groom with best man
  • Groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride with flower girl(s)
  • Groom with flower girl(s)
  • Flower girl with ring bearer
  • Bride with ring bearer
  • Groom with ring bearer
  • Entire wedding party
  • Additional photos (fill in your desired extra shots here)

    Couple Photos

  • Bride and groom outside
  • Bride and groom with bouquet
  • Groom carrying bride
  • Etc.

    Outdoor Photos

  • Bride and groom outside of church or ceremony venue
  • Bride and groom outside of reception location
  • Bride and groom posed
  • Bride and groom candid
  • Bridal party posed outside
  • Bridal party candid outside
  • Bride with groomsmen outside
  • Groom with bridesmaids outside
  • Bride with flower girl(s) / ring bearer
  • Group shot of entire bridal party outside (couple different poses)
  • Bride and groom hand-in-hand
  • Additional photos (fill in your desired extra shots here)

    Reception Photos

  • Outside shot of the reception venue prior to guests’ arrival
  • Inside shot of the reception venue prior to guests’ arrival
  • Sweeping shot of the banquet room
  • Centerpieces
  • Favors
  • Escort card table
  • Guest book
  • Guests during cocktail hour
  • Food stations, food items, bar during cocktail hour
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride’s parents entering
  • Groom’s parents entering
  • Flower girl(s) / ring bearer entering
  • Each bridesmaid entering with groomsman escort
  • Bride and groom’s entrance
  • Close-up of all the details – tables, wedding cake, card and gift table, place settings, champagne glasses, etc.
  • Head table or bride and groom’s sweetheart table
  • Bride and groom with guests
  • Candid shots of many guests – especially grandparents and older relatives and family friends
  • Guests at tables
  • Best man toast
  • Maid of honor / matron of honor toast
  • Bride and groom’s reactions during toast
  • Guests during toast
  • Guests on the dance floor
  • Bride and groom’s first dance
  • Bride’s dance with father
  • Groom’s dance with mother
  • Bridal party dance together
  • Flower girl(s) / ring bearer dancing
  • Bouquet toss
  • Acquiring the garter
  • Garter toss
  • Musicians
  • Bride and groom cutting the cake
  • Smoosh or sweet – kiss after cutting the cake
  • Additional photos (fill in your desired extra shots here)

    Also see: Wedding colors and Wedding songs


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