If you have a wedding coming up, whether you’re a wedding photographer or the bride or groom-to-be, the biggest thing on your mind is surely the wedding photos checklist.
Do you really need one? Of course, you do!
Not only is a wedding considered to be single-handedly THE most important life event, but to a bridal couple, the photos themselves turn into cherished keepsakes.
The thing about wedding days is that they have a tendency to fly by. You are on a tight schedule with countless fleeting moments deserving to be captured, and it can feel like you need to be in more than two places at once. The wedding day’s events can sometimes run behind schedule or run into a few unpredicted hiccoughs.
As a wedding photographer, you need to be prepared, there are no two ways about it. Apart from focus, spontaneity, and a great night’s sleep, a full-proof wedding photoshoot checklist is exactly what you need to make sure you don’t miss out on the key moments and details that make the bridal couple’s most cherished day. And that’s where we come in. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Before we begin, it’s important to note that different cultural weddings have different key aspects, but the most beautiful wedding day images that you can get are cross-cultural.
Keeping this in mind, we have made an all-encompassing list (including ideas for Indian wedding pics) that will help you curate your wedding photos checklist, by picking the ones relevant to the cultural wedding you will be shooting. We have also included a variety of beautiful wedding photography poses and shots to inspire your planning!
So, are you ready to get started on your wedding photoshoot checklist?
Table of Contents
- A PRE-WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT
- PREPARATION, WEDDING PORTRAITS AND CLOSE-UPS
- BRIDAL LOOK PHOTOS
- THE WEDDING PARTY
- What photos should you plan?
- PHOTOS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- CEREMONY VENUE DETAILS
- THE FIRST LOOK
- WEDDING CEREMONY IMAGES
- RECEPTION VENUE DETAILS
- RECEPTION KEY MOMENTS
- GROUP PHOTO POSES
- ROMANTIC BRIDAL COUPLE PORTRAITS
- RECEPTION CONCLUSION
A PRE-WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT
This may not be what all wedding couples are looking for, but a pre-wedding photoshoot, which is now pretty much a part of the traditional photoshoot, is a great idea for two reasons.
One, it’s a great way for the couple and the wedding photographer to get to know one another and to get comfortable with one another, making the actual wedding day’s photography seem less anxiety-inducing for both parties
Secondly, pre-wedding photoshoots are a great way to narrate the tale of love that you will be creating with your photography and will fit in seamlessly with the wedding pictures.
PREPARATION, WEDDING PORTRAITS AND CLOSE-UPS
When it comes to wedding day images, let’s begin with the little things that count. The significant things and moments that lead up to any wedding are crucial to the success of the day and the bridal couple will love you for having them documented.
From shots of rings and garlands to pictures of wedding dresses and costumes, jewelry and shoes, here is a list you can follow:
- A shot of wedding invitation;
- The bride’s wedding gown hanging;
- Bridal ornaments and shoes laid out;
- The groom’s wedding wear and accessories;
- The bridal bouquet, or the jaimalas/garlands;
- Buttonholes, family brooches, and corsages;
- Wedding rings;
- The bride/groom spending some time by themselves;
- The bride/groom getting ready.
As for the bride getting ready, you should consider dedicating a whole section of your wedding day images to bride images alone.
BRIDAL LOOK PHOTOS
If the details of a wedding are more precious to one person than the others, it has to be the bride. To a bride, her wedding day is often something that she has been dreaming of and planning for as long as she can remember. The brides images will be the most memorable in her entire life.
As a photographer, you want to capture the intricate details of her dress, the gorgeous hair-do, the meticulous make-up, and the look of immense joy in her eyes!
The best time to get beautiful portraits of her is before the overwhelming day has begun, while she is getting ready and when her perfect bridal look is just done.
Here’s a list of your must-have bridal look photos:
- Bride putting on her dress with the help of her mother or the bridesmaid;
- Bride putting on shoes and jewelry with the help of her mother/bridesmaid;
- Bride getting her make-up and hair done;
- Portrait of the bride in her gown;
- Close-up shot of the bride;
- Bridal hair-do;
- Bridal make-up;
- Bridal jewelry or ornaments;
- Close up of bride holding bouquet/Close up of her hands with henna.
THE WEDDING PARTY
It goes without saying that apart from the bride and group, you need to plan some great shots of the wedding party.
The bridesmaids and the groomsmen are the closest to the star couple and are there to make sure the show goes on, at any cost. As a wedding photographer, you want to capture them in all their glory! The best part? Together, they make for some great wedding photography poses!
What photos should you plan?
- Posed portraits of the bride with her bridesmaids;
- Posed portraits of the groom with his groomsmen;
- Portraits of each bridesmaid and groomsman;
- Posed group photos of the entire wedding party;
- Shot of the bridesmaids helping the bride get ready;
- Bridal party leaving the house;
- Group photo of the entire wedding party in front of the ceremony venue;
- Candid shots of the bride/groom with the bridesmaids/groomsmen having fun.
PHOTOS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The next must-have on your list are photographs of the parents and immediate family. You don’t want to miss out on capturing moving shots of sibling love and of the look of pride and joy on the parents’ faces!
The family being the most involved in the wedding logistics, it will be hard to get them all for individual portraits or group photos once the day begins. The best thing to do is to plan your family wedding photoshoot while you’re at the bride/groom’s home.
This way, they are easy to gather and at their most calm, especially for individual portraits.
– Mother and bride/groom portrait;
– Father and bride/groom portrait;
– Portraits and group photos of the bride/groom with the siblings;
– Group photo of the bride/groom with their entire immediate family.
CEREMONY VENUE DETAILS
What’s next? Head to the wedding ceremony venue before the others get there. It’s a great way to capture the gorgeous decor before the place gets both crowded and chaotic. A good peaceful 15-20 minutes should do.
Secondly, depending on what kind of cultural wedding you are looking at, talk to the bridal couple before-hand and find out what are the most important rituals, customs, that are significant to them, so that you know what mustn’t be missed.
Here are a few examples that you may need to keep in mind:
- Venue decor elements like flowers, garlands, bouquets, candles, etc:
- The wedding arch, mandap, chuppah or other sites where the wedding ceremony rite takes place:
- Wedding rings, jaimalas or garlands, or any other significant element of the wedding rite.
THE FIRST LOOK
Yes, that magical moment of the day, and a must-include part of your marriage photos list! Whichever the culture, most weddings share the first moment of the day that the bride and groom set eyes upon each other, just before the ceremony is about to begin.
This moment of joy is priceless. Make sure you know where to be when this happens!
WEDDING CEREMONY IMAGES
This step will require some pre-planning on your part, but when it comes to marriage photos, here are some of the elements you can keep in mind:
- The Bharat or other grand entrance of the groom;
- The grand bridal entrance;
- Walking of the bride/groom down the aisle by a parent;
- The key moments of the rituals (exchange of rings / tying the knot and exchange of garlands);
- Marriage close-up photo.
RECEPTION VENUE DETAILS
Once you have the ceremony details covered, half your wedding day images will have been conquered! Your next half is the reception.
Usually after the ceremony is over, the couple and their families will have scheduled a time-slot for freshening up and getting ready for the next part of the day. That’s your moment to head to the wedding reception venue and get the beautiful decor on camera.
From the table arrangements, decorations, and the bridal couple’s throne, to the magnificent wedding cake, the grand buffet table, and the soon-to-be busy bar, you have a lot of work cut out for you. Plan a good 30 minutes to get some great landscape and close-up shots of the decked-up venue.
RECEPTION KEY MOMENTS
The guests start making their way in and the couple will soon make their grand entrance marking the start of an eventful reception. It’s going to end as quickly as it seems to goes by and you will have to make sure you are on your toes, having planned when and where you have to be to frame each important moment that will make up the evening.
Get the details of the timeline before-hand from the couple or the wedding planner, so that you are prepared.
Here is a list you can work with:
- The grand entrance of the couple;
- The welcoming guests;
- The cutting of the cake;
- The opening of the champagne bottle, the toasts, and speeches;
- The first dance of the bridal couple;
- Portraits of the bride and father/ groom and mother dancing;
- Planned performances by the wedding party or others, if any;
- Portraits of the food at the buffet table;
- Photos of the bar and cocktails;
- The open dance floor.
GROUP PHOTO POSES
When it comes to group wedding photography poses, it would be best to do a combination of planned and candid. Most wedding planners schedule a time for guests to wish the bridal couple. This is the best time to get formal group shots of the guests with the couple.
Once the official moments of toasts and speeches, wishes, and photograph sessions are over, and everyone starts to wind down, it’s time to go candid. The reception, at the end of the day, is about celebrating.
What could you click? Here are some ideas:
- Guests eating, laughing, enjoying themselves at their tables;
- Guests enjoying themselves at the bar or clinking glasses;
- The bridal couple, wedding party, or groups of friends setting fire to the dance floor;
- You could go a step ahead and plan a photobooth for group poses with props.
ROMANTIC BRIDAL COUPLE PORTRAITS
Never steer too far away from the couple and capture a few candid moments of the star duo of the day. You can get moving shots of them whispering sweet-nothings to each other, forehead kisses, holding each other’s hands. They will love you for it!
Also, once the key reception events are at a close and the couple has a little breathing time, it would also be prudent to schedule a 20 or 30-minute sneak-away session to get a few romantic shots at a few pre-decided locations at the venue.
Ah, the end of a reception and the beginning of a lifetime together! Every bridal couple chooses a way to make a grand exit. From throwing the bouquet to mounting a bike/car with a “just married” sign, capture the guests sending the star couple off to their lifetime together.
Now that you have the main wedding photos on your checklist, make sure you run it by the bridal couple so that you are on the same page. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it!
If you’re a bride or groom-to-be, do check out our blogs on brides images and tips on how to pick a wedding photographer. If you’re looking for the perfect wedding album printing ideas, we’ve got those for you too!
As for the wedding photographers among you, we hope you are now ready to capture the most mesmerizing wedding photos of all time! For more photography tips and tips on how to make money from photography, check out our blog.