Wedding Photography Checklist

A wedding photography poses checklist is crucial to get all the shots right on the big day. But with all that’s going on, even with loads of preparation, it can be easy to miss some vital shots. It’s important to put together a full list of all the poses you need to include.

wedding photography checklist

“Wedding” captured by Katsu Nojiri

The following sections of this article will list all the important shots and you can use it as a memory aide on the day and tick off the shots one by one.

Bride’s Preparations

  • Bride preparing herself
  • Bride or maid of honor/chief bridesmaid adjusting bride’s gown / veil
  • A shot of bride in mirror
  • Mother of the bride adjusting bride’s veil
  • Bride with mother (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with father (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with bridesmaids (full length & closeup)
  • Pinning on the corsages
  • Flowers being delivered
  • Bride with grandparents (full length & closeup)
  • Bride with other family members: sisters, brothers, etc. (full length & closeup)
wedding bride with family

photo captured by Emily Goodstein

  • Various shots of clothes hung up, close up of shoes, etc. (the clutter and the chaos can make excellent candid shots and a lovely reminder to the couple of all the stuff that goes on around the main event)

Groom’s Preparations

  • Groom getting ready, putting on tie for example
  • Groom with best man (full length & close up)
  • Groom with best man shaking hands (one looking at each other & one with both looking at camera)
  • Groom with mother (full length & close up)
  • Groom with father (full length & close up)
  • Pinning on the corsages
  • Groom with grandparents (full length & close up)
  • Groom with other family members; sisters, brothers etc (full length & closeup)
  • Some fun ones with groom & best man (make them look as natural as possible)

Before Ceremony

  • Bride’s arrival
  • Bride and father walking into venue
  • Bride kissing father
  • Bride with mother, parents, and bridesmaids
  • Guests on arrival
  • Usher showing guests to their seats
  • Various guests being seated
  • General shots of all the guests seated

The Ceremony

  • The bridal party walking down the aisle
  • Bridesmaids, ring bearer, best man walking down the aisle
flower girl wedding ceremony

“Ceremony” captured by Bruce Bentley

  • Father giving away bride
  • Bride & groom exchanging vows
  • Bride & groom exchanging rings
  • The first kiss
  • Signing the registry
  • Close up of hands/rings

During the Reception

  • Guests arriving
  • Main guests arriving (bride & groom’s immediate family and friends, especially)
  • Take a lot of shots of venue—especially any special features
  • Photos of table placings and decorations
  • Bride and groom greeting guests
  • Each of the speeches
  • Children playing/dancing
  • The first dance
first dance wedding photography

“Congratulations Char & Eric” captured by Kenny Louie

  • Lots of informal shots of guests, especially any children dressed in their best wedding outfits—they look adorable
  • Shots of musicians / the band
  • The cake (on its own)
  • The cutting of the cake
  • Bride and groom close up of hands (with napkins and/or flowers)
  • Groom dancing with his mother
  • Groom dancing with bride’s mother
  • Bride dancing with her father
  • Bride and groom leaving
  • Bride and groom in car
  • Bride and groom looking out of rear window of car

Professional photographers consider all these factors seamlessly and it would appear to the observer that all the shots on this wedding photography poses checklist come fairly naturally to the professional, but for the amateur wedding photographer, this will be much harder, as there is so much to think about, so the details of the poses will need a concerted effort to get right. However, this one wedding photography tip can make a huge difference to the final set of photographs.

Don’t rush. Step back a little and take a view of the composition and guide everyone to stand in the right position. This can really pay dividends and give a more relaxed and natural look to the images.

This is not an extensive list of wedding photography poses checklist, but it should serve to give some guidance. Have fun and take more rather than less, but try to include all the above as a base.

About the Author
Are you puzzled by what to include in a wedding photography poses checklist or need general advice on wedding photography tips? Click on for a wealth of valuable information.

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3 responses to “Wedding Photography Checklist”

  1. Any ideas on “blended” families? I mean, its all good to have photos with the bride/groom with his/her parents….but what if these all have to be taken in four separate rooms (i.e. with parents who don’t exactly get along?)

  2. Michel says:

    Excellent list – always nice to compare and add additional ideas from others. IMO, one critical shot is the reaction shot when the bride enters (at least for videographers). BTW, in situations where the photographer cannot get closeup shots during the exchanging of the vows (Catholic wedding, etc), the B&G are always happy to re-stage the shot right after the wedding (or later at the reception taking a close-up shot).

  3. nice!
    gonna keep in my mind!
    thank you for posting these kind of posts! :)
    good work!
    happy clicking

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