wedding photography checklist

As a destination wedding photojournalist, I’m not a huge fan of prepared photo lists. In simple terms, they take away from my creativity, forcing to me concentrate on a list of traditional photos rather than the event as it unfolds. I am sure many photographers including myself will take those photos anyway, but making it a “must do” might not be the best choice for couples who prefer the photojournalistic approach.

Nonetheless, this wedding photography checklist is designed to help you understand the workflow of traditional photography. Many other pictures will be shot during the wedding although these are the “must do’s” for almost any traditional wedding photographer.

For the bride: Dressing for ceremony, a full-length solo shot, a photo with her parents, and separate photos with her mother and father separately. Photos of the bride with the ring bearer, with the flower girl, with her grandparents, with her sisters and brothers. Then the bride with her maid of honor, and the bride with her bridesmaids.

For the groom: Dressing for the ceremony. A full-length solo shot of the groom with his parents, and with his mother and with his father separately. A photo with his grandparents, and separate photos with his sister and brothers. Finally a shot with his best man and another with his groomsmen.

For the ceremony: The groom’s parents and the bride’s parents being seated for the ceremony. A shot of the bridesmaids walking down aisle. Photos of the flower girl and the ring bearer walking down aisle. A photo of the bride and her father approaching the altar or the canopy. A photo of the bride’s father giving her hand to her groom. Photos of the couple exchanging their vows. Shots of the exchange of rings.

For the recessional: A formal photo of the new couple together. Photos of the newlyweds and their parents. Photos of the newlyweds with their entire wedding party. Close-ups of the bride’s and groom’s hands clasped together.

For the reception: Shots of the receiving line including the guests and the bridal party. Shots of the cake table. Photos of the bride and groom cutting the cake and feeding a piece of cake to each other. A photo of the best man toasting the newlyweds. A photo of the newlyweds toasting each other. A shot of the cake and punch servers. Separate shots of the musicians. Then the newlyweds’ first dance. A photo of the bride dancing with her father. Scenes of the guests dancing followed by the bride tossing her bouquet. Finally, the groom removing the bride’s garter and a shot of him tossing it. As the wedding closes, a shot of the newlyweds getting into their car or limousine and happily driving away to their new life together.