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Wedding Photo Checklist: Must-Take Shots

Our must-take wedding photo checklist guide will help you with your event planning by giving you an idea of what kinds of photos to expect from your photographer.  Not every shot in this list will make your wedding album, but this guide to wedding photos will help with your planning.  You can give a list like this to your wedding photographer a week or so before the wedding.  To see samples from our recent weddings: Wedding Photography Page

Getting ready
The Ceremony
Before the Reception
The Reception

Getting Ready

  • Bride having her hair styled and makeup applied
  • Bride’s gown hanging on a padded hanger, spread on the bed, or draped over a chair
  • Still life shots of the bride’s shoes, jewelry, something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue
  • Detailed shots of the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets
  • Candid shots of the bridesmaids getting dressed
  • Full-length shot of the bride in her gown, looking at herself in a mirror
  • Bridesmaids reacting to the bride in her gown
  • Father seeing the bride in her gown
  • Bride with her parents and siblings
  • Bride with her bridesmaids
  • Groom getting ready with his father and groomsmen
  • Mother buttoning or zipping up the bride’s dress
  • Close-up shot of the wedding bands
  • Groom with his parents and siblings
  • Groom with the best man
  • Groom with his groomsmen
  • Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or ties
  • Couple separately making their way to the ceremony
  • Mother helping the bride with one last detail, such as the veil

The Ceremony

  • Exterior and interior shots of the site before guests arrive
  • Groom walking down the aisle with his mother
  • Close-up of groom’s expression while waiting for the bride
  • Bridal party walking down the aisle
  • Both sets of grandparents walking down the aisle
  • Bride and her escort waiting to walk down the aisle
  • Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
  • Bride and her escort walking down the aisle
  • Groom reacting to bride walking down the aisle
  • Bride’s escort giving her away
  • Couple at the altar or the chuppah
  • Both sets of parents watching the ceremony
  • Wide shot of the altar or chuppah, from the guests’ point of view
  • Wide shot of the guests, from the couple’s point of view
  • Special moments, such as the candle lighting and the readings
  • Close-up of the couple as they recite their vows
  • Close-up of the couple’s hands as they exchange rings
  • The kiss!
  • Close-up of the newlyweds immediately after the ceremony
  • Couple hugging family and friends
  • Bride showing off her wedding ring to her bridesmaids
  • Couple leaving the ceremony site

Before the Reception

  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with immediate family members from both sides
  • Couple with bridesmaids
  • Couple with groomsmen
  • Couple with flower girl and ring bearer
  • Couple with entire wedding party
  • Groom with his father
  • Groom with both parents
  • Groom with his entire immediate family
  • Couple with bride’s family
  • Couple with groom’s family
  • Couple together
  • Bride with her mother
  • Bride with her father
  • Bride with both parents
  • Bride with her entire immediate family
  • Groom with his mother

The Reception

  • Exterior and interior shots of the site before the guests arrive
  • Still-life shots of place cards, menus, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, favors, and Champagne glasses
  • The cake
  • Hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks
  • Guests arriving and signing the guest book
  • Couple arriving
  • Couple sipping Champagne at their table
  • Couple speaking with guests
  • Couple’s first dance
  • Bride dancing with her father
  • Groom dancing with his mother
  • Parents and grandparents dancing
  • Wedding party dancing
  • Close-ups of friends and family making toasts
  • Musicians, deejay, and/or entertainers performing
  • Guests dancing
  • Couple dancing with the bridal party
  • Couple cutting the cake
  • Bouquet toss
  • Newlyweds’ vehicle
  • Couple leaving the reception

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