Experts agree you should secure your wedding day photographer at least nine months in advance, or more if they are an in-demand vendor. Finding a trusted team will ensure your special wedding moments will be captured and preserved for you and your family to cherish forever.
Any professional photographer/videographer team should have a checklist of important events and moments that occur over the course of your wedding day timeline, but we recommend the following must-capture moments be included in the final shot list:
- BRIDE AND GROOM GETTING READY BEFORE THE CEREMONY: Plan on having time for the photographer to be with both sides of the bridal party. Solo portraits of the bride and groom once they are ready are just as important and candid moments between the bride and her bridesmaids as well as the groom and his groomsman.
- EXCITEMENT OF YOUNGER BRIDAL PARTY MEMBERS: There's nothing more precious than capturing moments of excitement among the younger guests, especially the flower girl and ring bearer.
- FIRST LOOK: Ideally this happens before the ceremony in a private location away from guests and other bridal party members.
- INVITATION SUITE AND DETAIL SHOTS: A lot of money goes into the finer details when it comes to planning a wedding, so make sure these are packed up and brought along for the big day and have your photographer design a shot to include invitations, wedding rings, bouquets and other mementos you want to remember.
- BRIDE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE: Whoever walks the bride down the aisle is an important person, so capturing this moment is a must.
- GROOM WAITING AT THE ALTAR: His expression will say it all!
- VOW AND RING EXCHANGE: These separate moments deserve separate shots.
- FIRST KISS: One of the most romantic must-capture moments on this list!
- RECESSIONAL: After the pronouncement of marriage, capturing the facial expressions walking down the aisle is priceless.
- BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS: These can be taken before or after the ceremony, depending on what your timeline allows. Group shots are important, but make sure you take the time to get one-on-one shots with the members in your bridal party as well.
- FORMAL FAMILY PORTRAITS: Make sure you communicate the important groupings of family members in advance, and don't leave out extended family.
- GUEST GROUP PHOTO: A great time for this is during cocktail hour before or after formal family portraits OR during the reception when the dance floor opens after dinner. Have your photographer find a vantage point where they can get everyone in one shot.
- OVERALL CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE SHOTS: One before guests arrive, and one when everyone is seated.
- THE FIRST DANCE: This is usually a very emotional and beautiful moment that deserves both close-up and wide shots.
- PARTY PICTURES: On your wedding day, it's impossible to be everywhere at once. Make sure your first and second photographers are covering all the bases at the reception, including the dance floor, photo booth, bar, outdoor areas, etc. You will love looking back and seeing all the experiences your guests had and how much fun your wedding was!