Planning weddings are stressful. There are no two ways about it! One of the most crucial pieces comes down to the big day and the capturing of it on film, photos, and video. This time on the Frank Frost Photography blog, we wanted to give you some pointers to make the process of getting wedding pictures as smooth as possible. If you’re in the midst of prepping your big day, then read on – this one is for you!
Wedding Pictures Checklist
First, let’s mention this: the photos that you will want in the future encompass more than just your ceremony! When you look back on this time of your life you’ll remember months, maybe even weeks of planning that went into it and all the events scattered throughout. Keep those in mind and have a camera on hand, or a photographer in your group, to grab some good pics of the proceedings!
Now, for the big day. Wedding pictures time! You likely will have hired a professional photographer to work with, ask them if they have a shot list (a list much like what we are discussing today) of photos they intend to get or if they’re more fluid, off the cuff photographer. If they’re open to it (and you want it of course) go over a list like this to ensure you get wedding pictures of everything you’re looking for!
As you look through these remember a few things: One, this is your day. You do it how you want. This list is built off standard wedding traditions but there’s nothing in the law that means your wedding has to be that. Your own wedding will be a beautiful, unique blend of traditions and things that are important to you, so follow your bliss when building your own wedding photo shotlist.
Before the Ceremony
- Shot of the Wedding Invitation
- Getting Ready
- Bride and bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done
- Clothing and Accessories – Hanging dresses, jewelry, shoes etc.
- Bouquets, buttonholes, corsages laid out
- Bride putting on dress and/or veil. With or without help from mother of the bride or bridesmaids
- Bridal Party Fun
- Close up of the Dress Details
- Putting on Jewelry and Accessories
- Putting on Shoes
- Close Up of Bride Holding the Bouquet
- Mother and Bride Portrait
- Father and Bride Portrait
- Family Portrait
- Bride Spending A Quiet Moment Alone
- Bridal Party Walking Together walking downstairs/leaving the house
- Bride and father in wedding car/walking to ceremony
- Groom and groomsmen Getting Ready
- Groom Spending A Quiet Moment Alone
- Shots of the Wedding Rings
During the Ceremony
These are pretty clear cut, ceremonies have many key moments that are great photo ops. Every step of the process, from walking down the aisle, giving the bride away, and the reactions of everyone involved are crucial shots. Here are some of those and some less obvious ones!
- Shots of the Venue (Before Ceremony)
- Altar, Flowers, Interior and Exterior Details
- Groom and Groomsmen Waiting Inside Venue
- Guests Both Inside and Outside the Venue
- Ushers Helping
- Bride Arriving at the Venue
- Bride and Bridesmaids at Back of Venue
- Participants (Officiant, Musicians, etc.)
- The First Kiss
- Signing the register
- Confetti Throwing
- Greeting Guests Outside Venue
Post-Ceremony Wedding Photo Checklist
After the ceremony and before the reception is when most of the wedding portraits are taken, unless of course the couple decided to go for a First Look (meeting each other before the ceremony and seeing each other in their outfits for the first time). Even then plenty of portraits will be taken during this stretch, commonly running anywhere from a half hour up to two hours.
Make sure to talk to your photographer ahead of time about what shots you’d like as well as if keeping the time to a minimum (or maximum) is a priority to you. Making sure you’re both on the same page is the best way to make sure you get the shots you want.
- Couple Shots
- Portraits of the Couple Alone
- Solo Portraits of Bride/Groom
- Bridal Party
- Couple with Just Bridesmaids/
- Couple with Just Groomsmen
- Couple with Whole Wedding Party
- Bride with the Maid of Honor
- Groom and the Best Man
- Couple with Any Children from the Wedding Party
- Couple with Each Set of Parents Individually, then Together
- Informal Shots
- Shots with Friends
- Candid Shots of Guests
The reception is when it’s time to cut loose! Well, mostly! There’s still traditional beats you’ll want your photographer to capture but don’t forget there’s a whole lot more going on!
- Shot of the Reception Space Before the Party
- Room Details and Decor
- The Wedding Cake
- Couple Arriving
- Toasts and Speeches
- Cutting the Cake
- The Dances
- First Dance
- Bride and Father Dance
- Groom and Mother Dance
- Guests Dancing
- Couple Mingling Throughout the Night
- Entertainement, Musicians, Etc.
Phew, ok, you get all that? It’s a fairly exhaustive list and yet we guarantee you there’s a moment in your big day that isn’t listed. Remember this is just a template, use it, build on it to make your perfect shotlist, your photographer (and future you) will thank you.