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The Ultimate Wedding Shot List: A Photography Guide

The Ultimate Wedding Shot List: A Photography Guide

You've put an incredible amount of work into planning your wedding. So, you obviously want to capture it in the best way possible. And while you trust your photographer, it's always smart to map out the pictures you especially want of your wedding. Creating a shot list and sharing it with your photographer is a win-win: it enables you to be certain that you'll get the specific pictures you've envisioned, and it makes your photographer's job a little easier, having instructions to work with. Not to mention, it gives them peace of mind knowing you'll be a happy client as long as the shot list is followed.

How to use a wedding photo shot list?

Select half a dozen photos that you must have and share them with your photographer in advance of your wedding day. That way they can make a note to be creative and capture the organic and fun scenes as they develop, while also making time for the images that you especially want.

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Regardless of what you tell your photographer, you'll still get plenty of shots over the course of your day. But if there's anything, in particular, you've envisioned, then it's important to communicate that. Use our example shot list below as a general outline - and build off of it!

Details

  • Invitation, program, special signs, & gifts

  • Wedding rings

  • Wedding dresses/suits

  • Outfit accessories like shoes, cuff links, or jewelry

  • Bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres

Getting Ready

  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done

  • Wedding party having fun

  • Mother and bride/groom portraits

  • Father and bride/groom portraits

  • Family shots

Pre-Ceremony 

  • Couple alone for your first look

  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids/flower girls

  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/ring bearer

Ceremony

  • Venue shots including ceremony site, flowers, interior, and exterior details

  • Groom and groomsmen waiting inside the venue

  • Guests

  • Bridal party entrance

  • Bride(s) walking down the aisle

  • Groom's reaction

  • Father/mother giving the bride away

  • Exchanging of vows

  • Exchanging the rings

  • The first kiss as a married couple and the moment after

  • Signing the marriage certificate

  • The recessional (couple walking back up the aisle)

  • petal toss

Group Portraits 

  • 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

  • Couple with each set of parents

  • Couple with both sets of parents

  • Couple with siblings

  • Couple with close family members

Reception 

  • Details and room decor shots, including table settings, place cards, favors, centerpieces, etc.

  • Wedding cake detail shots

  • Grand entrance

  • Toasts and speeches

  • Cake cutting

  • The first dance

  • Bride(s) dancing with father/groom(s) dancing with mother

  • Couple mingling with guests

  • Guests dancing

  • Musicians, singers, DJ

  • Grand exit

“Nominate someone to help your photographer by grabbing all the right people for each shot. A family member in the wedding party will usually know everyone and can help wrangle guests!”

Olivia, Director,  Vellano Estate by Wedgewood Weddings 

“A good photographer wants you to look your best, so they’ll keep an eye out for stray hairs or wilting flowers but ask someone in the wedding party to help too and give them an emergency kit with a mirror, lip stick, scissors, thread etc. just in case.”

Hailey, Director, University Club by Wedgewood Weddings 

“Listen to your photographer. They’ll know if the light’s too bright or if they need everyone to wait while someone moves out of the background of your shot. By the end of the day, you might be bored of being photographed (it happens) but they have the best intentions, so ask your guests to be patient – they’ll understand.”

Rhiannan, Director, The Retreat by Wedgewood Weddings

It's important to know that your wedding shot list is only a guideline. Everyone's wedding day unfolds a little differently, so you might end up with slightly different (and lots more!) than what you imagine. But that's the beauty of what makes your day unique!

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