Bride Guide: Make a List of Must-Have Photos for Your Photographer

i have tons of things that i learned on the big day but the biggest thing i took away was this: make a list of photos you want to have taken on the big day beforehand! no joke, people.  just do it.  i heard the same thing and was like, whatever, my photographers will be mind readers and i’ll have no problem getting all the shots i want (that are currently stored inside my head). 

in the planning i thought, i have so much time, i should probably make a list but no big deal, the photogs will definitely get that random shot of the detail i worked so hard on.  well, they won’t, unless you give them some direction!  for the 100th time, my photogs were AWESOME, but i never gave them a list so they didn’t know what those “must have” photos were.  they asked me a million times - do you want any more pics with your girls (post-wedding jacin says YES, day-of-wedding said NAH, I’D RATHER PARTY)… you get the picture.

so seriously - go to stylemepretty.com or any of the other trusted websites for wedding inspiration.  check out your inspiration board (or make an inspiration board) and send to your photogs.  make a list, people, and have it printed out and ready to go on the wedding day so you can give to your photogs and make sure that by the end of the day, every item on your list is checked off.  if you don’t, you can kick yourself like i am, because in this game, there are no do-overs, so you need to get it right the first time.  otherwise, you can rely on the facebook candids that will surely show up after your wedding day.  don’t say i didn’t warn you - you can thank me later :)

to get you going, below is a list of some of the most photographed moments of a wedding:

  1. Getting ready shots – bride’s hair & makeup, groom’s cufflinks & tie
  2. Groom’s expression when he sees the bride for the first time
  3. Father’s expression when he sees his daughter for the first time in her gown
  4. Traditional family portraits - in-laws, parents, siblings
  5. Bridal party photos of the girls, the guys, and the whole group together
  6. Wedding day details - the dress, the shoes, the venue, the place cards…
  7. First dances - husband/wife, mother/son, father/daughter
  8. Toasts
  9. Cake cutting
  10. Bouquet/garter toss (if applicable)
  11. Group shots dancing

and some of the more “untraditional” pics can include:

  1. Bride’s dress alongside her mother and grandmother’s dress
  2. Shoe shots – close-ups of the group but focusing on their footwear
  3. Invite close-up
  4. Photos involving the family pets
  5. Photo booth candid shots

in the end, it’s better to be prepared than not – and just think, it’s one more thing off your list and on to theirs.


  • marissa breanna says on November 2, 2010 Reply

    This is great advice. The list I made for our friendtographer was of the family shots we needed. Somehow, 2 am the night before my wedding my brain wasn't fully functioning and I didn't remember to write down the detail shots I wanted. I'm still upset that I didn't get a ring hand picture. =[

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