The Wedding Photo Checklist

“Do I really need a wedding photo checklist?” you might be thinking. The answer is a resounding yes, but you don’t need to keep it in your pocket and pull it out during the day to check things off! You provide the photographer with your wedding picture checklist so that they know exactly what you want in your wedding photos. That way, you won’t fall into the trap that many couples do: six months after the wedding, they’ll be thinking, “I wish I had a picture of me and my Grandad, or a specific friend that helpt you with all the planning, etc.” We’ve also created a free checklist that you can download and print to make things even easier!

“NOTE: This is not a creative checklist, please give your photographer the creative freedom that you booked them for. Never give them a “copy this, photo list” no artist will ever ask for this.”

Les starts simple, communication is key!. Ask your photographer if they take a shot list; some prefer to snap on the fly, while others may have their own pattern.

We’ve compiled a useful list of our own to use as a starting point, but it’s also worth considering any other pictures you might want to include. For example, you might want a group image with your college friends or maybe you invited a few people from work, a shot of your bridesmaid’s fantastic signs on their PJs, a shot of the guests socializing after the ceremony, or maybe even a simple a shot of the table design that you toiled over for hours!

This list is really a template for you to expand upon and edit as you see fit! 

I want to start with the pilot of this, and it is maybe the most important cause most couples don’t seem to realize the importance of a couple/engagement shoot before the wedding.

Before the Big Day

  • Engagement Shoot/Love Shoot – this is a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera. See how they pose and direct you. Also and get to know your photographer.

Wedding Day: Pre-Ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist

Getting Ready

  • Shot of wedding invitation
  • Dress hanging, jewelry laid out, shoes, etc.
  • Bouquets ( do something fun)
  • Bride(s) putting on dress/veil with help from mother or bridesmaids
  • The bridal party having fun (get some good in the moment messy shots)
  • Close up of dress details
  • The bride alone putting on jewelry & shoes
  • Bride(s) makeup beauty style shots
  • Mother and bride portrait
  • Father and bride portrait
  • Bride(s) spending moment alone
  • Bridal party walking downstairs/leaving the house ( i love these action shots)
  • Bride and father in wedding car/walking to the ceremony
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen getting ready,
  • Grooms attire and accessories.
  • Groom(s) spending moment alone
  • Groom(s) have a dring of champagne or whisky on the rocks with their groomsmen.
  • Wedding ring shots (depending on who has them)

First Look

Of course, seeing each other before the ceremony is completely optional and a new tradition, but many couples choose to do so in order to spend a few quiet moments together and/or to calm their nervousness, and they want their wedding photographer to document the occasion. For further information, see our post on First Look Photos.

For the initial glance, the couple is alone.

The reaction of the bridal party if the couple enters together

The journey to the ceremony/location

Bride(s), father(s), and mother(s)

Bride, bridesmaids, and flower girls

Groomsmen/page boys and groom(s)

An image of the wedding car.

Wedding Day: Wedding Ceremony Photo Checklist

Checklist for Photographing the Wedding Ceremony on the Wedding Day some churches (most commonly catholic) and most particularly during mass, prefer not to have photographs taken during the service, so check with your celebrant ahead of time to see what their stance is. It’s a bad experience for your photographer to get chased out of a wedding ceremony in front of everyone. Please make sure that it’s allowed and that your photographer is aware of any particular rules.

  • Shots of empty venue/church, including altar, flowers, interior and exterior details ( this is done before the ceremony will start)
  • Groom and groomsmen waiting inside venue/church
  • Guests outside and inside the church
  • Bride(s) arriving in the wedding car or walking down towards the ceremony.
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride(s) walking up the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction (the most important shot/ moment)
  • Father/mother giving the bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • The lighting of a unity candle or any other symbolic ceremony.
  • Ring bearer
  • Exchanging the rings.
  • taking some photos of the crowd (any emotional or prayer moments)
  • The first kiss as a married couple, and the moment after
  • Signing the register ( please let your photographer know if this is important to you)
  • The recessional/couple walking back down the aisle
  • Confetti throwing( any photographer’s fave shot)
  • Newlywed shot kissing whit the guests behind them
  • Greeting guests outside the venue
  • big group photo ( please let your photographer know if this is what you want)

Wedding Day: Post-Ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist

Most couples take their wedding photographs after the ceremony, though it’s becoming increasingly popular for couples that have a First Look to take them before the ceremony. Depending on the location and the photos you need, your portrait session will likely last between one/and two hours. If you want to save time, talk to your photographer. Make a list of everyone you want to appear in the portraits, as well as the particular combinations you require. It’s also a good idea to enlist the help of a close friend who isn’t at the wedding party to help the photographer round up folks. (We usually suggest the MC help)

NOTE: based on different traditions, some wedding couples also have two sets of couple and family portraits taken. One hour in the morning before the ceremony and one hour after the ceremony.

Couple Shots

  • Portraits of the couple alone
  • Portraits of bride/groom on their own

Bridal Party

  • Couple with bridesmaids/groomsmen
  • Couple with the entire wedding party
  • Bride(s) with bridesmaids/maid of honor
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/best man
  • Couple with any children in the wedding party


  • We suggest the couple with close family members ( Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, siblings, and their partners with kids if any)
  • Couple with each set of parents
  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with siblings

Informal shots ( in the reception hall after formal events )

  • Shots with friends
  • Shots of guests eating, drinking, and chatting
  • Any specific groups of friends, eg. college pals, or long-distance friends/family

Wedding Day: Wedding Reception Photo Checklist

It’s a good idea to include something on the list if anybody made something for your celebration – like a friend who baked the cake or an aunt who embroidered the bunting – so you can show them a snapshot of their personal effort!

  • Before the room fills up with all the guests, take a picture of the entire hall. the reception area is set up with all the beautiful lights and candles.
  • Table settings, place cards, favors, centerpieces, and other details, and interior décor pictures
  • Detailed photos of the wedding cake
  • The arrival of the couple
  • Speeches and toasts
  • The cake is being cut. (sometimes this happens after the ceremony)
  • The opening dance
  • Bride(s) and groom(s) dancing with their fathers/bride(s) and groom(s) dancing with their mothers
  • Guests mingle with the couple
  • Guests take to the dance floor
  • DJs, musicians, and singers (it’s always great to look back and see these special guests as part of your wedding pictures )

Of course, getting the wedding photos of your dreams also requires finding a professional photographer whose work and style you admire, so it’s essential to put forth the time and effort necessary to discover the ideal individual for the job! Our list of suggested questions to ask your wedding photographers is a fantastic place to start, HERE



Hello, Daniel here, & thank you for your enthusiasm in my work. I’m a husband, a pet parent, and  as well an lover of high-quality coffee beans (No, seriously) I have no self-control when it comes to coffee.
Photography and art are two of my true passions and its what drives me. Despite the fact that my blog serves solely for our visitors to admire beautiful photographs for inspiration and guidance. I also enjoy telling the stories that go with them.
I think that by sharing your experiences, knowledge, and insights, we can build a fantastic community. My publications are also written to assist novice and aspiring photographers, as well as those looking for fresh ideas for their next photographic journey. But I genuinely appreciate your presence on my blog and your interest in my work.