Wedding Photography Checklist

Amy Hoover
wedding photographer with couple

Your wedding photographer is in charge of capturing the memorable moments on your wedding day. Make sure you pick the right one for your nuptials, and that he or she knows what style you prefer and the poses you desire. Don't just leave it up to the photographer - use a checklist to help you communicate what poses are musts for your wedding.

Choose the Photographer

The photographer you hire should be someone who has experience, whether amateur or professional, photographing weddings. Make sure you view the portfolio of the person who will actually be photographing your wedding before you make a final decision.

Review the quote from the photographer so you do not have any surprises. Make sure you fully understand the number of hours the photographer will be at the wedding and the final package price, including your deposit, print prices, and additional inclusions or expenses.

Poses to Include

Once you have chosen the right photographer for your wedding, offer him or her a pose checklist so you can be sure to get all your memories preserved. You'll want to include some traditional poses, along with some fun ones and candid shots.

If you need help downloading the printable checklist, check out these helpful tips.

Traditional Poses

Even if you have a journalistic style photographer or you want a lot of fun and candid poses, it's still important to get in a few traditional poses.

  • Bridal party: The bride and groom should be photographed with their attendants, and as a bridal party as a whole. The photographer will usually arrange the party into several different arrangements. Make sure you get the ring bearer and flower girl into these shots, too.
  • Bride and groom: Most of the traditional photos will be of the bride and groom together as a couple. The photographer should capture the first moment the groom sees the bride, along with posing them at the front of the altar, outside near picturesque scenery, and kissing.
  • Family: The bride and groom should take photos with their immediate family members, and with the immediate families together in one shot. If grandparents are attending, they should also be photographed with the bride and groom. If there's enough time, the couple may also want to get shots of themselves with their siblings.

Mandatory Event Photos

Make sure the photographer knows what photos to get before, during, and after the ceremony, as well as at the reception. Just a few of these photos include:

signing the marriage certificate
  • Bride getting dressed
  • Groomsmen and groom putting on vests and tying ties
  • Bridal party walking down the aisle
  • Bride being given away
  • Lighting of the unity candle
  • Exchange of rings
  • First kiss as husband and wife
  • Signing the marriage certificate
  • Bridal party entering the reception
  • Toasts from best man, maid of honor, and bride/groom speech
  • First dance
  • Bridal party dance

Fun and Candid Shots

Plan to have some creative shots taken at your wedding. Candid shots are often the best, as they show genuine feelings and reactions of the bride, groom, bridal party, and guests. However, planning a few fun posed shots like the following are also a lot of fun:

  • Bride and groom kissing under bride's veil
  • Bridal party jumping outside in excitement
  • Couple or bridal party near the limo, motorcycle, classic car, or tractor
  • Mothers of the bride and groom holding a picture frame while couple kisses in background
  • Groom chasing bride down aisle or behind church/venue (or vice versa)

Your photographer will also have plenty of photography tips and ideas of his or her own, too. Be sure to listen to suggestions for some great ideas.

Related Events Worth Photographing

opening gifts at bridal shower

While the main event is the wedding day, you may want to consider hiring a photographer for some of your other wedding-related activities. If you know a lot of people will be attending an engagement party who may not be able to make it to your wedding, it may be worth hiring a professional photographer to capture these special people celebrating with you. Extravagant bachelor and bachelorette parties, such as a trip to Las Vegas, are extremely memorable, and you'll want to capture every moment of this vacation.

You don't always need a professional in order to capture important memories. Ask friends who are photography enthusiasts to take some photos of a bridal shower, engagement party, or bachelorette or bachelor party. Make sure you get a few shots from the rehearsal, too. This is good way to save money on photos, and is an easy way to supplement a professional's images from other special events and your wedding day.

Capture Your Wedding Memories

A photographer is an essential part of any wedding day. You want to be sure that you not only choose one who is the right fit with a great portfolio, but one who is sure to follow your checklist of poses. Don't forget to let him or her have a little creative license to get some fun and candid shots too! Each time you look at your wedding photographs, the wonderful memories of your wedding will come flooding back and bring a smile to your face.

Wedding Photography Checklist