Wedding Checklist for your Photographer

So much planning goes into creating your wedding day. It’s no wonder you want to capture all the gorgeous details from dawn until dusk and beyond. If wedding day memories are important to you, here’s your ultimate guide for putting together a wedding checklist for your photographer. Want dream wedding day shots you’ll keep forever? Extra planning before your big day ensures your wedding photographer exceeds your expectations.

Please note: This article includes gender neutral language. Love is love and we celebrate love between all humans! Inclusion rocks and we pride ourselves on creating wedding tips and hints for every single person who chooses to marry.

Hiring a professional wedding photographer

I am constantly in awe of the talented tribe of professional wedding photographers out there. They are passionate and creative geniuses who magically appear just at the right moment on your wedding day to capture all the action, love, joy and emotions.

Your wedding day is a day like no other. It’s THE biggest day of your life celebrating your love for one another so how do you capture all the moments? If you have the budget and photography is a priority for you, you can’t look past a professional wedding photographer. These experienced professionals are experts in capturing every single element of your day, effortlessly and often with breathtaking results.

Wedding Photography captured by family and friends

Of course you don’t have to engage a professional wedding photographer for your wedding day. Sometimes budget stands in your way. You might prefer to have family and friends take the shots that will immortalise your wedding day.

This kaleidoscope of photographs, captured by those you love, can be super authentic, capturing aspects of your day from all sorts of different angles and points of view.

Whether you engage a professional wedding photographer or ask family and friends to capture all the love, a wedding checklist for photography is a super important tool. By planning ahead you’ll ensure those cameras don’t miss a thing.   

Wedding shots you don’t want to miss

Wedding style is such an individual thing. And most of you will want to capture all the details from your wedding day in some shape or form.

Here’s a list of wedding shots you won’t want to miss capturing, whether you engage a professional wedding photographer or have a friend, freelancer or photography student on board for your wedding day.

Getting ready for your wedding

Lover 1 getting ready with their I DO crew and family

Lover 2 getting ready with their I DO crew and family

Flowers, accessories, shoes, signs and transport

Pre ceremony

Guests gathering

Lover 1 just before the ceremony

Lover 2 just before the ceremony

Your I DO Crew helping each lover get ready

Florals arrangements and décor

Ceremony space signage, Orders of Service, confetti or other gorgeous décor in the ceremony space

The ceremony space itself


The couple as they greet one another, exchange vows and a kiss

Guests enjoying the ceremony or service

The newlyweds as they exit the ceremony space

Confetti toss

Pre Reception

Photos of the newlyweds together

Newlyweds with family and friends

Any other shots of groups specifically requested by the newlyweds

Newlyweds with their I DO crew

Newlyweds with their fur babies

Post ceremony embraces, kisses and signs of celebration

Wedding Reception

Guests mingling in the reception space

Newlyweds and their I DO crew arriving at the reception

Wedding cake

The tablescapes



Cut cutting and other religious or meaningful rituals

First dance

Lighting and décor

Food and drinks

Musicians, DJ or entertainers

Newlyweds leaving the reception

Guest gifts

Gifts and Card table

Speeches and toasts

3 skills a wedding photographer needs

Wedding photographers are super clever humans. They seem to know just the right shot to take and can create an epic wedding photo from the must ordinary of settings.

If you are planning on investing in a professional wedding photographer, here’s the 3 top skills to look out for:

People skills

Wedding photography is all about capturing candid photos of you and those you love at your most relaxed. Successful photographers know how to put people at ease.

Most people don’t love having photos taken of them at the best of times, so being a people person helps wedding photographers to make people feel super comfortable.

When you are shortlisting wedding photographers, ask yourselves, does this person make us feel good? Our best selves? Relaxed and comfortable?

A creative eye

Ask to see prior work of the wedding photographers you’ve shortlisted. That will help you work out if they have a creative style of shooting weddings. Take note of how they frame shots, the angle of the photos and how they creatively capture all the elements of wedding days they’ve shot.

Whilst the line up shots of you with your family are important moments in family history, you are more likely to frame more creative shots of the two of you on the wall, the mantle or to save as your phone or computer screen saver.


A bored wedding photographer may well take the same shots at the same venues every single time. More innovative photographers will want to meet with you (in person or online) before the big day. They will want to get to know how the two of you tick and the style of photography that works for you best.

Quality wedding photographers will scope out your wedding venue before they shoot there. They will either arrive early on your wedding day or head to your ceremony space and venue before the day to scope out the best angles, light and specific location options ahead of time.

Communication is key

Just because a wedding photographer has worked at hundreds of weddings, does not mean that they know exactly what you like. Communication is absolutely key. Put in the time in briefing and talking with your wedding photographer. Invest this time because it will help you to build rapport with your photographer and ensure the two of you are super relaxed on the day.

This improve the chances of getting that money shot and means you’ll have trouble picking your favourite shots out of an album of stunners.  

Bonus wedding photography tips

Sunset shots

You will never regret having some of your wedding photos taken during, what is known in the industry, as “golden hour”. What’s golden hour? It’s that time around sunset when the light in the air is ridiculously magical. Wedding shots taken at sunset are often the shots couples love most.

So make sure you note the time of sunset into your wedding day timeline. This is the time to slip away with your photographer and have some insta worthy shots taken of the two of you basking in your “just married” glow.

Consider a first look

Another trend increasing in popularity is a “first look”. A first look is where you and your lover meet with one another before your ceremony. It creates an intimate space for the two of you to see one another for the first time and the photographs captured during this time tend to be pretty awesome.

Having some shots taken before your ceremony, reduces the time you’ll need for shots after your ceremony and before your reception. They also helps the two of you time to get rid of any pre ceremony jitters.

Trust your gut

If you love the vibe of a wedding photographer you meet, trust your gut. Believe me, you’ll have photos that make your heart flutter forever. If photographs are important to you both, wedding photography isn’t the place to skimp on budget.

There are ways you might be able to minimise cost whilst having your wedding photographer of your dreams. This includes reducing the amount of time they spend with you on the day, opting for digital shots not a full album and choosing to marry on “off peak” days.  

Consider an unplugged ceremony

I’ve noticed that unplugged ceremonies are becoming more common. This is because couples, like yourselves, are super keen for their guests to be in the moment as they exchange vows. A sea of smiling faces is more powerful than a sea of mobile phones raised in the air taking shots.

Why not leave the ceremony photography to your wedding photographer, giving them exclusive access to capturing your love one shot at a time.

You can ask your celebrant to let guests know you are going phone and camera free. Alternatively frame a sign at the entry to your ceremony space encouraging guests to pop their phones away whilst you both say I DO.

Read your contract thoroughly

Quality wedding photographers don’t create contracts to trick you. But to avoid any surprises, it always pays to take a good look over your contract with them. Make sure you fully understand what is included in their service and what incurs an additional cost.

The contract should also talk about when you can expect to see your wedding proofs after your wedding day, what your wedding photographer will charge if your cancel or postpone and what happens in the event that they are unwell on your wedding day.

Ready to get planning?

Want a little more? Why not grab an instant download of the Hey Lovers Wedding Photography Planning Printables pack and plan your wedding like a pro.

Based in Victoria and need a right hand wedding planner at your disposal? Get in touch. I can help.

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