A comprehensive wedding photo list is a must-have item of a wedding photographer who wants to have a perfect shot.

You cannot imagine how frustrating it is when you realize that you forgot to take photos of the bride or groom with their beloved ones or moments they are walking down the aisle.

A checklist also gets the couple to think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture. Their consent and cooperation are always encouraged.

Take some pressure off your shoulders while still managing to get everything right by this shot list. Download a free printable or craft your own wedding photography checklist to match your particular style.

Here’s the ultimate photo shot list that every wedding photographer needs.

See also: 16 Crucial Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners to Have a Perfect Photo Shoot

wedding photo list - bride and groom

Before the Big Day

Every bride-to-be wants to document this significant instant. An engagement shoot is a perfect chance to shoot. Ask your client what they’d like to include in their wedding photo list. From now on, and until their big day, you have time to plan and prepare for it.

Pre-Ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist

The wedding day is here! Keep your wedding photography checklist handy. Remember to include prompts to photograph the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and immediate family members. Make the pre-wedding photoshoot extra special. You should catch heartwarming and fun moments as everyone prepares for the ceremony. Here’s a guide of essential snapshots to include in your wedding photo list.

Getting Ready

wedding dress
  • Get some images of bride’s gorgeous wedding gown as it awaits hanging in the wardrobe.
  • Take a couple of candids with bridesmaids as bride gets her hair and makeup done.
  • Capture emotive pictures of bride’s mom zipping her up or helping her adjust her dress and veil.
  • Mirror shots are beautiful! Full-length shot of bride in gown checking herself out in mirror.
  • Get some close-ups of bride’s clothing, shoes, garter, something borrowed, and something blue.
  • Don’t forget some touching images with bride’s parents and siblings. Natural pics work best here, but bride can also pose for some.
  • Take some pictures of bride and bridesmaids enjoying themselves.
  • Don’t skip the classic wedding photo of dad helping the groom with his tie.
  • A couple of pictures of the groom with his family are a must.
  • Show him having fun with the best man and groomsmen.
  • Get shots of the groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties.
  • Add a little emotion by capturing him getting some last-minute advice from dad.

First Look

  • Find a quiet place and capture some pictures of the couple alone.
  • Catch the moment of the first look.
  • You can use a blindfold for the groom in a fun photo.
  • Play with tradition and get pics of the bride and groom with their eyes closed or back to back.
  • Get some spontaneous shots. Portray the bride’s and groom’s faces as they see each other in their wedding clothing for the first time.
  • Capture original bridal party pictures.
  • Catch the guests’ reaction if the couple enters together.
  • Photograph the bride and groom walking each other down the aisle.

Trip to the Ceremony/Venue

trip to venue - wedding photo list
  • Take some separate images of the groom and the bride, all ready to go. Use the hall or the stairs.
  • Limo backseat shots are an excellent opportunity to show emotions rising.
  • Capture the groom or the bride hailing a cab.
  • Take a couple of pictures of them walking down the street with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
  • Show the bride’s mom and dad in the car.
  • Get some detail-shots and close-ups of the wedding car.
  • Catch cute moments including the flower girl and page boy.

Wedding Ceremony

In a wedding photography shot list, the ceremony images are essential. The moment when the bride says “I do” needs to be immortalized. Venue photoshoots allow for more formal photographs. Make sure you have them noted on your wedding picture checklist. Get inspired with these wedding ceremony photo op ideas.

wedding ceremony
  • Picture guests as they arrive at the venue or as they’re escorted by the ushers.
  • A close-up of the nervous groom is an adorable idea.
  • Don’t forget to take some pics of the bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle.
  • Capture the cuteness of the flower girl and/or ring bearer entering the scene.
  • Make sure to take a couple of shots of the honor attendant walking in.
  • Portray parents and grandparents walking down the aisle.
  • Take some panoramics of the entire wedding party waiting at the altar.
  • A pair of snaps of the groom walking down the aisle are a must.
  • Capture the touching image of the bride’s dad giving her away.
  • Get close-up pics of the bride just before she makes her big entrance.
  • Explore different angles as you capture the bride and groom at the altar.
  • Take a wide shot of the audience during the ceremony.
  • Snaps of the bride’s and groom’s faces as they exchange vows are essential.
  • Shoot a close-up image of the bride’s and groom’s hands as they exchange rings.
  • Don’t forget the kiss!
  • Photograph the newlyweds as they move up the aisle and outside the venue.
  • Remember to catch all the hugs, laughs, and happy tears as the guests congratulate the couple.
  • A wedding classic is the “just married” shot on the limo backseat.

Post-Ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist

The wedding party has a small break between wedding ceremony and reception. Use this time to catch more intimate moments and snap some bridal party pictures. Take out your wedding family photo list and make sure you catch some images bride or groom with their beloved ones. Here are some post-ceremony tips to fill out.

Couple Shots

  • Get full-length shots of the bride and groom together.
  • Portraits of the newlyweds on their own are also important.
  • Snap some images of the couple as they prepare for the reception.
  • It’s time to get pictures of the entire bridal party.
  • Get creative with the bridesmaids and groomsmen pics.
  • Don’t forget to photograph the bride with her maid of honor.
  • Catch the groom hanging out with his best man.
  • Take some adorable pictures of the couple with the wedding party children.


  • Get family portraits for the groom and bride separately.
  • Photograph the newlywed couple with both sets of parents.
  • Take the time for a pair of memorable sibling pictures.
  • Include shots with close family members like grandparents, uncles, and aunts.

Informal shots

  • The couple may want to have some fun shots with close friends.
  • Get images of guests eating, drinking, and chatting as they wait for the newlyweds to arrive.
  • Take group pictures of college friends, school mates, teammates, and colleagues.
bouquet throw

Wedding Reception

All the nervousness is gone, and it’s celebration time! Photography for weddings can’t be complete without lots of wedding reception pics. We know you won’t want to miss anyone on these snaps.

Before the Reception (During the Cocktail Hour)

  • Capture the bride and groom together.
  • The couple will want beautiful shots with their parents.
  • Don’t skip the full family portrait with immediate relatives from both sides.
  • Take shots of the bride and groom with groomsmen.
  • Do the same with the bridesmaids.
  • Get a panoramic image of the bride and groom with the whole wedding party.

Note: You can also take all of these shots before the ceremony.

Wedding Reception

wedding reception - wedding photo checklist
  • Set the tone with a shot from the outside of the reception site.
  • Take close-ups of the reception details.
  • Photograph place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, the favors table, champagne glasses, etc.
  • Capture a dramatic sequence of the newlyweds arriving.
  • Portray the groom’s and bride’s faces through the dark limo windows.
  • Photograph the two lovebirds atop a staircase or pushing through a curtain.
  • Get photos of the bride and groom at the head table.
  • Capture the joy at the parents’ table.
  • Take a guests’ tables tour and gather some happy shots.
  • Get close-up pics of friends and family making toasts.
  • Photograph the bride and groom sipping champagne.
  • Get the newlyweds’ parents whispering to each other during dinner.
  • Take some candids of the bride and groom chatting up the guests.
  • Snap slow-shutter-speed pics of the bride and groom’s first dance.
  • Go crazy with the dancing pics. Get the parents, grandparents, wedding party, and the kids.
  • Don’t forget about the father-daughter dance.
  • Snap away at the groom and his mom showing off their moves.
  • Take shots of the wedding band or DJ doing their thing.
  • Get spontaneous pics of the bride laughing with her bridesmaids.
  • Snap a couple of close-ups of the cake.
  • Get a sequence of the whole cake cutting scene. Capture the bride and groom feeding each other cake.
  • The dessert table will be full of eye candy. Take some pics of it as well.
  • Catch the bouquet toss sequence.
  • Take some fun pictures of the groom tossing the garter.
  • Shoot pics of the bride and groom waving from the car’s backseat as they leave.
  • Capture the happily ever after shot. Get the rear of the car departing.

Wedding Photography Checklist Printable

There are dozens of free wedding checklists for photographers online. Tackle your favorite search engine or bridal sites. Download a wedding photo list pdf to get inspired. Keep in hand your printable file to make your client’s wedding shot wonderful.

wedding photo checklist
Pre-ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist
wedding photo checklist
Wedding Ceremony and Post-ceremony Photo Checklist
wedding photo checklist
Wedding Reception Photo Checklist

As you can see, the photo op possibilities at a wedding are countless. It’s easy to end up missing out if you don’t have a checklist. Preparation is vital for a perfect, stress-free wedding photo shot. You can also ask your client for some ideas, but you can be proactive. With this guide to a complete wedding photo list, you’ll get all the snaps your client needs!

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