The Ultimate Wedding Photography Checklist

Your wedding day is over, but your photos will be the memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. How can you ensure that all the memorable moments are captured on your wedding day?

Although your photographer may have years of experience taking wedding day photos, every couple is unique. Perhaps you will be wearing a family heirloom, surprising your partner with a gift or working on DIY centrepieces worthy of being documented.

Whatever your priorities, creating a checklist for wedding photography is a great way of ensuring that you and your photographer are on the same page.

Are you unsure where to start? Below is the ultimate checklist for wedding photography, including bridal portraits and centrepieces and the dance floor.

Pre-Ceremony Checklist for Wedding Photography

Your wedding day will be full of excitement and nerves. This is the best time to capture candid photos of yourself and your bridal party and the details of your wedding day. These special moments are worth capturing.

  • Bridal party and bride getting their hair and makeup done
  • Details and accessories
    • Stationery Suite
    • Parfum
    • Jewellery
    • Shoes
    • Wedding rings
    • Family heirlooms
  • Close-up of the wedding dress
  • Wedding dress (hanging)
  • Bridal gowns
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Bridesmaid bouquets
  • Helped by MOH/mother-of-the-bride, the bride puts on her dress
  • The bride puts on shoes and jewels
  • Bridesmaids react to the bride in her gown
  • The first reaction of the father of the bride
  • Together, bridesmaids
  • Together, the bride and bridesmaids
  • Parents and bride
  • Bride and her only
  • The bridal party leaves the house
  • Bride and her wedding car
  • Groom wedding details
    • Shoes
    • Tie
    • Boutonnieres
    • Cologne
    • Cufflinks
  • Groom suit
  • Groomsmen suits
  • Groom and groomsmen getting ready
  • Attach boutonniere to mother of the bride
  • Groomsmen and bridesmen
  • Groomsmen and groomsmen should be paired together
  • Groom with your parents
  • Only the groom
  • Optional: First glance

Checklist for Wedding Photography: Ceremony

This is where your most precious memories and emotions will be shared. These essential ceremony photos will ensure that you capture all the memorable moments.

  • Ceremony venue
    • Exterior
    • Interior before guests arrive
    • Flower arrangements
    • Furniture and arbour
    • Signage
  • The arrival of the groomsmen and bridesmaids
  • Guests arrive
  • Groomsmen and bridesmen are waiting at the altar
  • Parents seated
  • Grandparents seated
  • The bridal party and bride arrive in a wedding car
  • Bride getting out of her car
  • Bridal party entry
  • The bride walks down the aisle
  • Groom reaction
  • Couple at the altar
    • Wide shot
    • Close-ups
  • Exchange of vows
  • Ring exchange
  • Participants in other ceremonies
    • Flower girls/page boys
    • Musician
    • Guest readings
  • First kiss
  • Reactions from guests
  • Signing the register
  • Recessional/walking down the aisle
  • Confetti/rice throwing

Checklist for Wedding Photography: Post-Ceremony

It is a great time to take family photos and portraits right after the ceremony. You can rely on your shot list here. Make sure to personalise it with your family and the combinations you need. Here are some key shots you should consider:

  • Pictures of newlyweds and their guests
    • After the ceremony, greet/accept your guests
    • Mixing and matching guests
  • Photos of the family
    • Together, newlyweds
    • With parents, the bride
    • With immediate family
    • Groom with your parents
    • Groom with immediate family
    • The bride’s family accompanies the newlyweds
    • The groom’s family accompanies the newlyweds
    • The bride’s parents accompany the newlyweds
    • The groom’s parents accompany the newlyweds
    • Both sets of parents are available to newlyweds
  • Other important groups of family/friends
  • Group photo (all guests).

After the family photos are taken at the venue, you may choose to have a portrait session at a separate location with your wedding party. These photos include both candid and posed shots.

  • Individual portraits of the bride and groom
  • Portraits of the bride and groom together
  • With bridesmaids
  • Groomsmen with you
  • Bridal party with groomsmen
  • Groom and bridesmaids
  • Wedding party together

Wedding Photography Checklist: Reception

In the chaos of your wedding day, you may not be able to see your reception before your guests arrive. These must-have photos remind your photographer that you have put so much effort into your wedding day.

  • Venue exterior
  • Interior of the venue (without guests).
  • Styling details
    • Centrepieces
    • Floral arrangements
    • Stationery
    • Signage
    • Place settings
    • Favours for guests
    • Wedding cake
    • Bridal table
  • Bridal party entry
  • Newlyweds entrance
  • Toasts and speeches
  • Plated meals
  • Signature drinks/cocktails
  • The newlyweds seated at the bridal table
  • The newlyweds enjoy mingling among guests
  • Mingling among guests
  • First dance
  • Father-daughter dance
  • Dance mother son
  • Musician/entertainment performing
  • Guests dancing
  • Dance with your guests, newlyweds
  • Cake cutting
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Reception: Newlyweds leave
  • Sparkler exit
  • Rent a car


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