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

I know what you’re thinking: “A Wedding Photo Checklist?? Are you serious?” Fear not, we haven’t gone completely control-freak, and we’re not suggesting for one second that you should have a wedding photo-checklist in your pocket for the day (the photographer will have one). We just want to help you avoid a trap that many couples fall into: 6 months after your wedding you don’t want to be thinking “OhI wish I had a picture of me and…” To make it easier we’ve even made a free PDF for you to download and print!

In truth, most couples don’t really think about the actual photographs until it comes to reviewing them afterwards. While there is a standard list of images (see below) and every good photographer will capture all the important stuff, there may be a few shots that you would really like. It’s important to know what these are, and make sure you make them a priority by talking to your photographer in advance. Basically you want to make sure to avoid thoughts like… “Oh, I wish we had one of my favourite Auntie Mary and me together, should have thought of that…” or “we’ve none of us in the garden with the thank you signs, forgot to ask the photographer about that”…

So 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 on front of the camera and get to know your photographer, there are lots of reasons why you should definitely consider an engagement shoot

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

Trip to the Ceremony/Venue

  • Bride and Father/Mother
  • Bride and Bridesmaids/Flowergirls
  • Groom and Groomsmen/Pageboys

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
  • 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

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

Family

  • 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

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

Wedding Photo Check List

 

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