Picture Perfect

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you’ll cherish the memories of it forever. All the planning, scheduling, and list making has been completed in preparation for your “I Do’s”, but you might consider making one more list before the day arrives. Creating a shot list of poses and pictures for your photographer is a great way to ensure you get all the pictures you want, and it provides a checklist for the photographer so that they are able to go above and beyond to take the pictures you want and more. Plus, sitting down and thinking about what you’re looking for in pictures will help you and your photographer better capture your big day. We love to help our clients out, so here’s some great picture ideas that you can add to your shot list!

Before the Ceremony

  • The dress
  • The bride getting ready
  • Mother of the bride helping her get ready
  • The bridesmaids getting ready
  • The bouquet
  • The rings
  • The accessories (shoes, jewelry, veil, garter, etc.)
  • The groom getting ready
  • The groomsmen getting ready


Photo: Courtesy of MODwedding.com


During the Ceremony

  • The venue before guests arrive
  • The details (flowers, programs, decorations, guestbook)
  • Guests and family
  • Mother or bride and mother of groom during their walks down the aisle
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Bride’s first look
  • Groom’s first look
  • Bride’s father giving her away, kiss on cheek
  • The vows
  • The rings
  • Important ceremony traditions/unique ceremony pieces
  • The kiss
  • Bride & groom during their walk down the aisle

Kathlyn Dragna Photography

Photo: Courtesy of Kathlyn Dragna Photography


After the Ceremony

  • Bride with her family
  • Groom with his family
  • Bride and groom with each family
  • Bride and groom with combined families
  • Bride and bridesmaids
  • Groom and groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with wedding party
  • Flower girl and ring bearer
  • Bride and groom


Photo: Courtesy of Kimbry Studios


At the Reception

  • The venue
  • Tables, gifts, and decorations
  • The cake
  • The food
  • The arrival of the wedding party
  • The newlyweds greeting guests
  • Toasts (best man, maid of honor, bride and groom to each other)
  • Father/daughter dance
  • Mother/son dance
  • The first dance
  • Entertainment
  • Reception events (cutting the cake, feeding cake, bouquet toss, garter toss, games)
  • Guests
  • Guests with bride and groom
  • The send off
  • The bride & groom in the send off car/carriage


Photo: Courtesy of weddingwire.com


Just for Fun

  • The bride and groom’s shoes
  • Wedding party reaction to bride and groom kiss
  • Props for bridal/bride & groom portraits (firefighter suit, baseball bat, basketball and whistle, Bible, superhero shirts under suit, lightsabers etc.)
  • Bride & groom praying together



Wedding Photography Ideas and Tips

AJwed_0699     AJwed_1384        Custom Toasting Glasses on Cake Table    Brides dress w custom hanger

Each wedding is unique and are lots of prep work before that special day.  Many brides think that hiring a great photographer means they can check photos off the list…but that’s not true.  Before you count photos as done on your wedding to do list, make sure you have given the photographer a list of photos you want, and that you have considered order and timing to get all the photos you want.  Below are some ideas to get your juices flowing.  Remember you are unique and you may think of a shot you want for your own wedding, go for it!  It’s your day!

Wedding Photography Shot List

Prep Shots – Bride & Groom (don’t forget the shot of the dress being put on)
The Dress – Hanging or Draped
First look with Bride & Father
First look with Bride & Groom (if you are seeing each other before the ceremony)
Bride walking down stairs (if there are stairs)
Bride looking out (window or door)
Groom Checking the Time
Groom with Grooms Men & Fathers
Bride with Bridesmaids & Mothers
Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom waiting at altar
Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
Father giving away bride
Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
Holding hands – Bride and Groom
Bride & Groom Kiss
Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, Cake, etc.)
Shots of your guests (Photo Booths on site are a huge trend and I love it! They allow the guest to have pictures to take home as well as pictures for your own scrapbook)
Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
Bride and Groom Portraits
Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
First Dance
Bride & Father Dance
Groom & Mother Dance
Bouquet Toss
Garter Toss
Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
Guests Dancing
Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches
Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
Groom Giving Coat to Bride (mostly in colder weather areas)
Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away
Bride &Groom with “Thank you” sign to mail out (This is one thank you that is guaranteed to make it onto the fridge)

When planning pictures the day of the wedding, have the bridal party and possibly even some immediate family on hand to take pictures before the wedding.  This will allow for more time to celebrate at the reception.  Talk with your photographer and get a time estimate on how long it will take to get all the pictures you want before the wedding and after the wedding, an extra 30 minutes to an hour before the wedding, for lighting issues, dress fluffing and any impromptu ideas or delays that may occur.  Trust me, I’ve been in and to my fair share of weddings and that extra time has made the difference between a stressed out bride about to cry and a bride who was actually able to sit and relax and eat a little before the wedding.  Seriously consider getting as many photos on your list as possible before the wedding, no guest likes to wait an hour or more for the bride and groom to join the reception.  But, if you prefer to take pictures after the ceremony, make sure that your wedding guests are well taken care of at the reception with entertainment and food and drinks until your arrival.

Melanie Hill, Owner/Executive Event Planner
Exceptional Events