wedding photography shot list

You only get one chance to record your wedding day and save it in a wedding album for posterity, so it’s vitally crucial to get it right.

Imagine how disappointed you would be if you found no photos of you and your maid of honour together or of the expression on your father’s face when he first saw you in your wedding dress.

A wedding photo checklist is a terrific way to make sure you and your wedding photographer are on what your priorities are.

Although your photographer will be an expert at capturing the key moments of your wedding day, no bride and groom are ever the same!

To ensure you capture all your ideal moments, let your photographer know about your wedding photography checklist. They’ll get the job done, while the newlyweds enjoy their celebration of love.

Not sure where to start?

We’ve compiled the ultimate wedding photo shoot list below, from bridal portraits and centrepieces down to the dance floor.

Wedding Photography Checklist: Before the Wedding Reception

Getting Ready


  • Wedding dress(es) on hanger (make sure it’s a wedding dress-worthy hanger!)
  • Bridal accessories (jewellery, veil, tiara etc.)
  • Bridal party (mother-of-the-bride, bridesmaids, bride etc.) having their hair and makeup done
  • Bridal party together in matching dressing gowns (if you have them)
  • Bride stepping into wedding dress
  • Portrait of bride with parents
  • Bride holding wedding bouquet
mother bride


  • Suit(s) hanging up/ laid out nicely
  • Accessories (cufflinks, watch, pocket square)
  • Groom getting dressed
  • Mother of the groom attaching boutonniere
  • Portrait of groom with parents
  • Groom and groomsmen
  • Groom and best man/men
ceremony groom


  • Wedding Stationery (save-the-date, wedding invitation)
  • Engagement ring and wedding rings
  • Personalised wedding flowers (bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres)
  • Outside of wedding ceremony venue
  • Table settings without guests in it
  • Key decor details within the ceremony room
  • Any personalised wedding decor
wedding bands

Wedding Photography Checklist: First Look

bride and groom

Some couples prefer the concept of having a unique “just the two of them” moment before the ceremony where they may see each other and snap pictures.

It’s referred to as a first-look shoot.

This is absolutely optional, of course, but many couples want to spend some peaceful time together and get rid of any pre-wedding jitters.

bride's parents bride

But the first-look shoot can involve more than just the bride and groom, from It’s a lovely approach to depict the emotional response of your family members and loved ones.

exterior details groom

You may even conduct a “first-touch” shoot by holding hands and speaking to each other while standing on opposite sides of a door. First-touch shootings have produced some extremely moving images, so if you have the time, consider doing one.

Wedding Photography Checklist: During the Ceremony

  • Seating of parents
  • Groom walking to altar
  • Groom standing at altar (looking nervous/ excited!)
  • Flower girls and ring bearer
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction to bride walking down the aisle
  • Arrival of wedding car
  • Bride entering the venue
  • Vows
  • Exchanging of rings
  • First kiss
  • Bride and groom signing marriage license with officiant
  • Recessional
  • Confetti shot outside venue
ultimate wedding photography checklist
wedding photo checklist bride and groom

Wedding Photography Checklist: Post-Ceremony

Wedding Portraits

Think carefully about how many of these photographs are crucial to you because you don’t want to spend your entire wedding day sitting for formal photos when you should be celebrating!

Be careful to consider where you want these formal images to be taken as well.

Work through the details of getting the ideal backdrop for these particular wedding photographs with your photographer.

  • Portraits of the married couple
  • Couple with entire wedding party
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Bride with family
  • Groom with family
  • Couple with close family members

If you have any particular friendship groupings you’d like to include in the formal portraits list, be sure to mention them to the photographer in advance.

They won’t know intuitively which friends are more crucial to capture than others.

ultimate wedding photography checklist2

Informal Shot List

More into candid photos?

Ask the photographer to focus on catching all the guests mingling and mixing naturally as the event unfolds!

Here are some key moments you might want to jot down:

  • Wedding cake detail shots
  • Toasts and speeches
  • Entertainment (magicians, dancers, games etc)
  • Cutting the cake
  • The first dance
  • Couple mingling with guests
  • Musicians, singers, wedding band and DJ
  • Throwing the bouquet
photographer capture candid shots

Preserve the Happiest Day of Your Life with La Belle Couture!

wedding photo shot list

Once you’ve figured out which are the essential shots, you can convey your checklist to your wedding photographer.

They’ll know precisely what you want in your wedding photos, and you can get on with enjoying your wedding day knowing that a specialist is handling everything.

After your wedding is over, your images will be the memories you replay for the rest of your life.

Celebrate and eternalise your precious wedding moments in enduring keepsakes through the lens of La Belle’s acclaimed wedding photographers.

Ready to capture memories of your love story that will last a lifetime?

Get in touch with us for a free one-on-one personalised consultation for your actual day wedding photoshoot!

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