Wedding photography checklist (+ free download)
Like any other bride, you want a hassle-free, stress-free wedding day. Wedding photography checklist will keep your wedding photos under control, and help you capture all the important people and moments on wedding photos.
On social media and wedding forums, I have seen many couples repenting for not having photos of the important moments or with their loved ones. Therefore, to avoid disappointment in your wedding photographs, or just to reduce your stress on your wedding day, you might consider having such list.
As a photographer, my main responsibility is to take quality photos. But us, working together on “who, where and how” is when magic is happening. In order for us to start somewhere, I have created an editable wedding photo checklist. You can download the document at the end of this post, and add or remove any component according to your preferences and circumstances.
Before proceeding to download the list, let’s have a quick look at some of its important elements.
Essential Components of the Checklist
When, where, what, how, whose, and with whom are some of the must-have items on the list.
Sometimes, it’s all about the timing; for example, before the ceremony, during the ceremony, and after the ceremony. Secondly, you might consider selecting the places for photography beforehand in order to save time, or if you have your own preferences at this point.
For you to remember the ambiance and decoration of your wedding venue, I will capture it to be part of your memories. Some classic shots will be included for sure, such as general photo of the venue, floral and table design, interior, printed collaterals etc. However, if you have preferences on it, or an item important to you which must be captured (like a bridal party, or a handmade chuppah – hello, “Gilmore Girls” fans!), it is recommended to include such dear to you elements of decor into the checklist.
Now, to the posing. Being in photography business, and knowing what usually works better on photos, I’m equipped with lots of advices on posing for my wedding photography clients. But if you have existing preferences, I would love to see them on the list, or on Pinterest board. However, if nothing comes to your mind, you don’t need to worry because I will take care of it either way!
Lastly, list of the people who should be part of the formal photos, individual pictures of guests, and list of the bride and groom’s pictures with bride’s parents, with groom’s parents, with friends, etc. could be part of the checklist as well, so it’s easier to “cross them out”.
I recommend selecting a person to act as my guide in locating people to be picturized. I would appreciate an aide who knows everyone attending the marriage ceremony and is willing to help me, since without a guide, it will be hard for me to locate everyone. For instance, it could be a family member, or Maid of Honor. Otherwise me trying to locate everyone might cost us valuable time which could be spent on other aspects of the day instead, such as romantic photo session or you having cocktails with your guests.
Here is the shot list you might find a good idea to include in your checklist for your big day.
Before the ceremony
☐ The dress
☐ Flat lays including:
- The rings
- Invitations, RSVPs, programs
- Bride’s shoes
- Groom’s tie
- Groom’s cufflinks
- Groom’s shoes
☐ Wedding car
☐ Bride and bridesmaids getting ready (last touches on makeup and hair, zipper, sash etc.)
☐ Groom and groomsmen getting ready (last touches on outfits, detail shots, boutonniere)
☐ Shot of the bride (portrait as well as full-length shot)
☐ Bride with bridesmaids
☐ Groom’s portraits
☐ Groom with groomsmen
☐ Bride with her parents
☐ Groom with his parents
☐ First look – entirely optional, but helps bride and groom so much! If possible, try to include it into your wedding day, and have some quiet moments for just you two
☐ Ceremony venue details
During THE wedding CEREMONY
☐ Parents and grandparents entering
☐ Bridesmaids and groomsmen entering
☐ Ring bearer, flower kids
☐ Bride walked down the aisle
☐ Groom’s reaction
☐ Giving bride away
☐ Rings exchange
☐ First kiss
☐ Wide angle of the ceremony, including guests and any vendors participating
☐ Signing wedding licence
☐ Exit of newlyweds
After THE wedding CEREMONY
☐ Bride and groom with the officiant
☐ Bride and groom with flower children and ring bearer
☐ Close-up of rings on hands
☐ Candid photos of guests, and bride and groom interacting with guests
☐ Portraits of bride and groom together in location of preference
☐ Portraits of bride and groom with bridesmaids and groomsmen
Formal photos after the ceremony
☐ Group photo with all guests
☐ Bride and groom with their parents and siblings
☐ Bride with her parents
☐ Groom with his parents
☐ Bride with her siblings
☐ Groom with his siblings
☐ Bride her grandmother and grandfather
☐ Groom with his grandmother and grandfather
During wedding reception
☐ Reception venue details
- Décor elements (sitting charts, welcome boards, stationery)
☐ Wedding party walking in
☐ Musicians, DJ, singers
☐ Toasts and speeches
☐ First dance of bride and groom
☐ First dance with parents:
- Mother-son dance
- Father-daughter dance
☐ Dance floor
☐ Any planned activities
☐ Getting and tossing the garter
☐ Tossing the bouquet
☐ Candid moments of guests
☐ Send-off (sparkles, confetti etc.)
As you can see, as planning is necessary for efficient completion of every task, it is equally important for wedding photography. Being ready with a photo checklist will save a lot of time, will help to keep all the important memories, and it will also reduce stress.
In order for you to start somewhere, I have created an editable wedding photography checklist for clients.
You can download ultimate wedding photography checklist template for free from here: