Wedding Photography Checklist: 13 Must-Have Shots to Capture Your Big Day

10th June 2020
wedding photography checklist

The average cost of a wedding in the UK is over £30,000.

Even if you’re spending a fraction of that, a record of the day is essential. Wedding photographs are a lasting reminder of that special day.

A wedding photography checklist helps capture all the details of your wedding. Don’t miss any of the key moments. Read on to learn what has to be on the list.

Professional Wedding Photography Checklist

An amateur photographer may be happy to take a few snaps of your wedding. There may be some great candid shots shared with everybody after the event. Leaving it to chance works if you just want a very few interesting shots.

A professional wedding photographer doesn’t leave the record of your special day to chance. This is a carefully planned operation. There’s a checklist of pictures that your photographer will plan to capture so you have all the key moments to look back on.

The checklist helps the photographer plan their equipment and lighting. It helps when they need to be in the right place at the right time. It also helps when they need to assemble you and your guests for certain shots.

The professional wedding photographer’s checklist is a long one. Here are a few of the important pictures on the list.

1. Getting Ready

Getting ready for your wedding is an exciting part of that special day. It may be shared with loved ones and bridesmaids. There are hair and makeup to do and of course, the zipping up of your wedding dress.

This is a perfect opportunity to include some context. The Ravenswood, for example, has a “getting ready room”. It’s perfect for the pre-wedding photoshoot. 

2. Flowers

Wedding flowers take many hours of preparation. The planning alone can be agonizing so get some help from Lady Lissy Flowers. Once the day is over you need to have a record of these beautiful but transient decorations.

Pictures of your bouquet and those of your bridesmaids are essential. Close up pictures can almost conjure up the perfume from the fresh flowers. Don’t forget to include the groom’s buttonhole. 

3. The Bride

If there’s one iconic photograph you have to have, it’s of the bride in her wedding dress. This is when you must have a picture that would look just right in an editorial piece.

Hair, makeup, and dress are perfect. All you need is a backdrop that makes you feel like a model. The gardens of Upwaltham Barns or the enchanted redwoods of Two Woods Estate are great examples.

4. The Groom

Some photos of the groom before the wedding can capture the anticipation. Posing for these candid shots can help settle some of the nerves too. After all, the groom is very much a part of the wedding story.

5. That First Look

The arrival of the bride and the groom’s first look at the wedding dress is a special moment. It takes some skill to capture the first time the bride and groom see each other just before the ceremony. Having both individuals in the same shot, capturing the emotion and getting the timing right is an art.

6. The Walk

Walking down the aisle may have been something you’ve rehearsed many times in your mind. It’s emotional and it can suddenly seem that the act of walking is one of the most difficult things to do.

As you take that walk, with a dear friend or family member by your side, there’s an opportunity for a special shot of an intimate look between you and your father or that special someone walking by your side. There can also be some lovely moments as you catch the eye of friends and family as they see you in your wedding dress for the first time.

7. The Moment

The moment when the vows are exchanged and the “I do” is said can make for a lovely photograph of the bride and groom together. The first kiss can also be a key moment for the record.

8. Friends and Families

Weddings are public celebrations of marriage and so the presence of friends and families can be one of the wonderful things about the wedding. Photographs of the key groups are essential.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen, parents, and siblings. Everyone wants to see themselves featured on your special day. These photographs are the ones that will be in all your family’s photo albums.

9. Cutting the Cake

An iconic moment in any wedding is the cutting of the cake. It’s a set-piece moment that shows off the bride and groom at close quarters. It’s also a great way to remember the special cake that will soon be destroyed and shared with your guests.

10. Reaction Shots

Action or reaction shots are fantastic fun memories of your wedding. Your guest’s reaction to your first kiss. Your reaction to a blizzard of confetti. The excitement when you toss your bouquet into the crowd.

These are all great memories and opportunities for personality to shine through.

11. The Venue

Your choice of venue is a major decision when planning your wedding. It should have a place in the record of the day.

Take Southdowns Manor as an example. It’s impossible to photograph a wedding there without featuring the landscaped gardens and views of South Downs National Park.

12. First Dance

No wedding party is complete without a first dance between the bride and groom. Whether you use it as an opportunity to show off your moves or to have a few private words with your new spouse, a photographic record is essential.

13. Party Time

The party is a great opportunity for some candid shots of people having fun. The party photos are about capturing movement, special moments, and memories.

Your Wedding Photographs

A wedding photography checklist can be an excellent starting point. Your wedding is unique and this is a creative process. You and your photographer will create your bespoke wedding photography checklist together.

Talk about your wedding by contacting me here.

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