Wedding Photo Checklist

Your wedding is a special day, one to remember over the years. What better way to remember those moments than through photographs? Develop a successful relationship with your photographer by giving them a comprehensive checklist of moments you want captured.  It is important to communicate to your Photographer what type of shots you want, whether they be more candid, structured, photojournalistic, or a healthy combination of all of these. Here is a list to get you started:

The Pre-Ceremony

  • Getting ready: Typically, these are the intimate moments with your best friends and our immediate family members. While dressing, emotions run high and it is especially nice to capture them.
  • The Bride having her hair or makeup done.
  • The Mother of the Bride assisting her daughter in putting on the wedding gown and veil
  • Group shots: You with your family, your groom with his, and each of you with your wedding parties.
  • The first look: If you choose to see each other before the wedding, you'll want to capture your reactions on camera.
  • Journey to the ceremony: You and your bridesmaids, and your groom and his groomsmen, on the way to the venue. If your photographer has an assistant, both Bride and Groom can be followed. If not, typically, the Bride and her Bridal Party are given his/her attention.
  • Father and bride: Captures a sweet father-daughter moment between just before walking down the aisle.
At the Ceremony
  • Before the Ceremony, a shot of the ceremony site.
  • The processional: The seating of the parents, the wedding party, father and bride, and the groom's reaction
  • The time for vows and rings: Close-ups of the couple-to-be facing each other.
  • Parents watching the alter: Close-ups of your folks watching from their seats.
  • The Kiss: You and your groom making it official.
  • The recessional: The two of you walking up the aisle as newlyweds.
The Cocktail Hour
  • The newlyweds: The two of you sharing a moment privately. If your wedding venue has an outdoor area, take advantage of the sunsets for the two of you!
  • Group Shots: Newlyweds together with families and the wedding party. Making sure that a number of candids are in the mix is important. Smiles and laughter really capture the joy of the day.  Every venue is unique and offers different backdrops. Have the photographer visit the site ahead of time if he is not familiar with the venue, so that he can guide everyone to the best possible locations for photos. Timing is everything in wedding photography.
  • The newlyweds leaving: You and your husband getting into the car. It's better to do it now, versus after the reception when it's often dark.
  • Candid shots of guests: Your loved ones eating, drinking, and chatting. Let your photographer know your VIPs to ensure they're included.
  • “Reunion” shots: You and your husband with old and dear friends. 
At the Reception
  • When the reception room is ready and no guests have arrived, a full shot of the room.
  • The guest book, the rings, the escort table, the invitation.
  • First Dances: You with your husband, you with your dad, and your groom with his mom -- with your guests in the wings.
  • Toasts: The speakers, you and your husband, and both sets of parents.
  • Cake cutting: You and your husband slicing and taking your first bites.
  • Newlyweds greeting guests: The two of you mixing and mingling as Mr. and Mrs.
  • Table or group shots of special guests or take every table so that you have a vivid reminder of all who attended.
  • Guests dancing: Close-ups and wide-angles of everyone letting loose, especially the Bride, Groom, their bridal party and families.
  • Bon Voyage: You and your new husband saying goodbye.
Leave the photos to your photographer. Develop a plan with the photographer and let them follow through. Introduce the photographer to a “go to” person to assist in finding the guests you want in some of the photos. The photographer is there to capture the joy of the moment, so enjoy your special day and you’ll have wonderful memories to cherish.

Click here to download a PDF copy of this column

Aisle Dish is written by Meredith Thomas, Stoneleigh's in-house Event Consultant.  If you would like assistance planning your special day, Meredith offers a complimentary one-hour consultation to all brides hosting their wedding at the Club and is available for further planning services at an additional fee.  Contact Meredith at [email protected] or 540.338.4653 ext. 303.