The Wedding Photo Checklist

How to avoid disappointment!

Lets get right to the point, you don't need to give your wedding photographer a full list of every photo as they should already have a list in their heads of what they naturally get any ways, but if you have booked a amateur photographer or a photographer that has never shot a wedding or not often then it maybe worth having a full list. Lets be fair if your photographer normally shoots music gigs, family portraits or even just landscapes, they may know have the experience to know what to photography or how to anticipate where they need to be ready for a shot due to a situation that is about to happen. So a full list can be great to help them through the day, this is practically useful if you're on a budget and just cant find a good wedding photographer so you need to get a newbie photographer that wants to build a wedding portfolio.

Now, any good wedding photographer will have their own list of important moments to capture as i touched on above, Talk to your photographer about whether or not they take a shot list, Some wedding photographer will just shoot as things unfold whereas others like to have a full list and work like a factory going from one thing to the next, Ian Petrie's Photography will not take a full list of everything during the day as it can slow us down or make us miss shots when looking at a list, we do however ask for a list of group photos and any key shots you'd like. However this is something we will discuss in detail during your wedding consultation with us, however, here is out hints and tips on photos lists of consider for your Wedding Photography.

Before the Big Day

  • Engagement session - this is a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know your photographer, you can practice some poses which can mean on the wedding day you already know how to pose well and fast so you get more out of the wedding day in terms of photos. Remember that 95% of the day is all natural, no posing required. The posed shots is just a small amount typically just hugging and kissing your partner, so pretty much natural as well but with some direction to make that little bit more flattering and striking in the photos.
Birde and groom holding each other behind a heart shaped umbrella
Bride and groom on top of a hill at Eastwood Hall during sunset with vail floating in the wind
bride and groom kissing on the steps of the pumping house at Papplewick Pumping Station Wedding

Getting Ready

  • photos of wedding invitation
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done
  • Dress hanging, jewellery laid out, shoes etc.
  • Bouquets and buttonholes/corsages
  • Bride(s) putting on dress/veil with help from mother of the bride or bridesmaids
  • Bridal party having fun
  • Close up of dress details
  • Putting on jewellery
  • Putting on shoes
  • Close up of bride holding bouquet
  • Mother and bride portrait
  • Father and bride portrait
  • Family shots
  • Bride(s) spending moment alone
  • Bridal party walking down stairs/leaving the house
  • Bride and father in wedding car/walking to ceremony
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen getting ready
  • Groom(s) spending moment alone
  • Wedding ring shots

Journey to the Ceremony

  • Bride(s) and father/mother
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids/flower girls
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/page boys
  • Shot of the wedding car

Wedding Ceremony

  • Shots of empty venue/church, including altar, flowers, interior and exterior details
  • Groom and groomsmen waiting inside venue/church
  • Guests outside and inside church
  • Ushers handing out program
  • Bride(s) arriving in wedding car
  • Bride(s) stepping out of car
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids at back of venue/church
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride(s) walking up the aisle
  • Groom's reaction
  • Father/mother giving bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • Lighting of unity candle
  • Ring bearer
  • Exchanging of the rings
  • Participants such as readers, the officiant, musicians etc.
  • The first kiss as a married couple, and the moment after
  • Signing the register
  • The recessional/couple walking back down the aisle
  • Newlywed shot
  • Confetti throwing
  • Greeting guests outside venue
  • Couple in the back seat of wedding car
Bride and groom laughing during their Eastwood Hall Wedding Ceremony
Bride having her hair and makeup done ready for her Eastwood Hall Wedding
Newly wed couple and their family signing the register


This is the opportunity for all your family group photos with your ceremony venue in the background or some other beautiful backdrop, I always tell my couples that it can take between 3 to 5 mins to set up each group, make sure everyone is looking in the right direction. I make sure there is no one in the backgrounds or any bags left on the ground in the shot. Then I can test the lighting for the number of people in the shot before taking the final shots, I would then check for any blinkers and if needed re-take the shot using a 123 count down to reduce the chances of bilkers. So if you have 10 groups at 5 mins each you need to factor in 50 mins for this period, maybe add an extra 15 mins to give a little extra flexibility.

Newlywed Couple portraits

  • Portraits of the the newlyweds
  • Portraits of bride/groom on their own

Bridal Party

  • newlyweds with bridesmaids/groomsmen
  • newlyweds with entire wedding party
  • Bride(s) with bridesmaids/maid of honour
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/bestman
  • newlyweds with any children in the wedding party


  • newlyweds with each of each set of parents
  • newlyweds with both sets of parents
  • newlyweds with siblings
  • newlyweds with close family members

Informal shots

  • photos with friends
  • Any specific groups of friends, eg. college pals, school mates, team mates etc.
Grooms men group photo
Grooms party carrying the bride on one of our Eastwood Hall weddings
Dinosaur chasing kids at a wedding on Carr Bank Park for a Mansfield Manor Wedding

Wedding Reception

If you have anything unique and personal to you it maybe worth letting your photographer know you'd like a photo of it but again as I mentioned above us experienced photographers are likely to photograph it any ways. My general rule of thumb is if you have spent money on it being at your wedding then I will photograph it.

  • The reception space set up, before room fills up if possible and again when it is full.
  • Details and room decor, including table settings, place cards, favours, centrepieces etc.
  • Wedding cake from the finer detail of the cake design to a mock cutting of the cake with the two of you
  • Newlyweds arriving into the reception with guests
  • Toasts and speeches
  • The first dance
  • Bride(s) dancing with father/groom(s) dancing with mother
  • Couple mingling with guests
  • Guests dancing
  • Musicians, singers, DJ, Magicians etc.
  • Evening portraits such as in the moon light or sunset shots etc.

Of course, getting the wedding photographs of your dreams also requires you to find a wedding photographer whose work and style you adore, so it's important to devote time and effort to finding the right person for the job!

Wedding couple first dance on their Eastwood Hall Wedding
Newly wed couple under an umbrella which has been lighten up with a flash by the Nottingham Wedding Photographer
Bride and groom kissing sat down on the dance floor in front of love letters with lights at Mour Hotel