Wedding Wednesday: Photo Checklist

Wedding Wednesday: Photo Checklist

Working as Rob’s assistant when he photographs a handful of weddings each year has taught me a lot. Including, of course, the mental list of all the shots you have to get. Depending on your photographer, you might want to give them a checklist along these lines:

Before the wedding:
_ Bride having her hair done
_ Action in the dressing room
_ Mom helping button the dress
_ Details shot of the dress, veil or shoes
_ Groomsmen tying their ties or putting on boutteniers (it helps a lot to have the two dressing areas near each other)
_ Group portraits of the bride with family and bridesmaids and/or the groom with the same before the wedding if there’s time. This really helps cut back on your portrait time after the ceremony
_ If there’s travel to the ceremony, a couple shots of the trip

_ Bride entering
_ Look on the groom’s face
_ Wide view of the service and guests
_ Ring exchange
_ First kiss
_ Exit (after the exit, it’s a good idea for the bride and groom to “hide” until the guests move to cocktail hour so they’re not mobbed and can quickly get the portraits done)

_ Full bridal party and family shot (it’s easiest to start with everyone and whittle it down)
_ Couple with both families
_ Couple with bride’s family for the Christmas card
_ Couple with groom’s family for the Christmas card (families are now excused)
_ Full bridal party
_ Any bridesmaid or groomsmen photos you didn’t get before the ceremony (bridal party is excused)
_ Bride with flower girls
_ Groom with ring bearers (kids are excused – you can do these first if the kids are squirmy)
_ Lots of shots of the couple together

_ Tables and room before everyone sits down
_ Place cards and other small detail shots
_ Entrance of bride and groom
_ Action shots of hugs and conversations (don’t photograph while people are eating)
_ Toasts
_ First dance
_ Dance with parents
_ Action shots of dancing
_ Cutting the cake
_ Garter toss and bouquet toss (these always seem to go way too fast)

_ Shot of dramatic exit with bubbles, birdseed toss, sparklers, whatever is planned. This makes for a good ending to your night and your wedding album.

That’s around 30 key photographs and equates to about 15-25 rolls of film. I aim for 20-40 pages when I put together the album of the final photos, some pages with single photos and some with two photos. That usually covers the best shots and is all you need to tell the story.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Jessica at 7:45 pm

    I agree on so many of these. We have a wonderful series of shots where our best man is trying to figure out how to put my husband’s boutonniere on. I especially love them since it tells me the story of what was going on with the boys while I was with my girls.

  2. love.boxes at 7:52 pm

    all of those .. and some really good close up shots of the flowers and food .. all the work you’ve done!

  3. erica at 8:41 pm

    wow, i had no idea there were so many key shots! the only thing i really wanted but didn’t think to ask for were informal portraits of my guests.

    i’ll have to show this list to my friend who is getting married this sunday.

  4. loren weltsch at 5:05 am

    you have a great list going! : ) i always tell the bride and groom to think of the friends/special guests that are important to pull aside for a photo at some point during the day. this way, you won’t miss out on a photo with the college friends, the aunt that flew out from ny or any other special group. the day tends to fly by so quickly that it is better to write it down.