When you hire a photographer to document your wedding day, you're trusting someone to capture some of the most intimate moments of your life! It's a detailed process, finding the perfect photographer, but the process doesn't stop once you've found "the one".
An experienced wedding photographer will have a general idea of the shots that are expected during your big day, but the only way to make sure you get what you want is to tell them!
A shot-list is a simple, easy way to have a discussion with your photographer concerning the moments you definitely want documented. It is important to think through this list ahead of time because it's easy to overlook things on the day-of when you're caught up in the festivities. Your wedding day flies by in the blink of an eye, so make sure you have every special moment captured so you can relive the memories for the rest of your life.
Here's our overview of the top 10 shots you'll want to help you talk through details with your photographer:
Getting Ready Shots
Hair & makeup
The zip up in your dress *This is one of the sweetest getting ready shots you can get!
Candids of the bride(s) and bridesmaids getting ready
Candids of the groom(s) and groomsmen getting ready
Putting on the jacket
Putting on the jewelry
Putting on the shoes
Bridal reveal to wedding party *It's always a great shot to see the bridal party seeing the bride completely ready for the first time!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
Accessories of bride(s) and groom(s)
Invitation flat lays
One-on-one with all bridal party members
One-on-one with parents
One-on-one with siblings
One-on-one with grandparents *Make sure to get one-on-one shots with all your loved ones that day, whether it's aunts, uncles, cousins, whoever has been a part of your life!
Group photo with bridal party
Bride with bridesmaids
Groom with groomsmen
Bride with groomsmen
Groom with bridesmaids
Parents/Parental figures first look
Siblings first look
THE first look *Some couples choose to do this before their ceremony and some are totally against it - either way you choose to do it, be sure your photographer captures BOTH of your reactions!
Daytime outside shots
The ceremony space
The reception space
Couples Portraits *Decide how many poses and where you will want these photos taken so you're not trying to make decisions when you're in the moments right after you're married!
Cocktail Hour *A second photographer is a fantastic addition to a large reception - capture the first moments of your reception while you're off taking photos as newlyweds!
Wedding party entrance
The grand entrance
The first dance
Dances with parents
Dances with siblings
Guests with couple
Guests dancing with couple
Bouquet and garter toss
Special dances *If you are planning to do an anniversary dance, dollar dance, boot dance, etc., be sure your photographer knows ahead of time so they're not taking a break during those special moments!
Last dance *Some couples choose to have a private, intimate final dance while their guests are preparing for the grand exit of the evening - this can be staged if you plan to do a "faux" grand exit earlier than the end of the party!
The Send Off *Be sure your photographer knows how you'll be leaving your reception - whether it's with sparklers, bubbles, confetti, in a fancy car, on horseback - no matter what it is, you'll want your photographer to capture all of it!
Wedding photographers are an investment! This is not an area of your budget you'll want to skimp on. At The Courtyard, our coordinators will provide you with a list of our preferred vendors when you book our venue!