Wedding photography is one of the most critical aspects of a wedding ceremony. As a photographer, you must capture every emotion, moment, and detail of your client’s special day. Proper planning and preparation for a wedding shoot are essential, and creating a photo shot list is one of the best ways to do so!

A photo shot list is basically a comprehensive list of all the must-have shots that need capturing during a wedding. Cheers MT discusses the most important shots to consider, from the bride and groom‘s preparation to the reception and venue details!

Making PDFs of Your Shot Lists

Putting together a comprehensive shortlist is the backbone of every successful wedding shoot. This list will direct you on which shots to take during the event and keep you organized so you don’t miss any important moments or details.

With this PDF maker, you can create a simple file listing all the shots you need to capture to ensure you don’t forget anything during the event. You can also share the PDF with your clients and collaborate with them to include any additional shots they request.

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Downloadable Wedding Photography Shotlist – Cheers MT

Wedding Preparations

The preparation period is critical to any wedding shoot. It sets the tone and mood for the entire event and captures the bride and groom’s anticipation and excitement. It also happens to make for beautiful photos! Some must-have shots include:

  • The bride’s make-up and hair being done
  • The bride putting on the wedding dress
  • The groom getting ready (e.g., putting on his tie and shoes) 
  • The bride and groom’s first look

The primary charm of these moments is that you can capture them candidly to reflect the genuine emotions of the day!


The pre-ceremony period refers to the time(s) before the wedding ceremony when the couple, family, and wedding party are getting ready. It can also refer to the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor party, and other events before the wedding date

During this time, you can take shots, such as the groomsmen getting ready, the bridesmaids admiring the bride, and the bride and groom spending time with their best man or maid of honor. Close-ups of the wedding bands, the bride’s shoes, and the wedding attire are some other important pre-ceremony shots to consider.

The Ceremony

Understandably, the ceremony itself is one of the most critical moments of the event. It’s up to the photographer to be present and capture every moment, expression, and emotion. The ceremony shots include the processional, the exchange of vows and rings, the first kiss, and the recessional. You may need to commit to more careful planning, timing, and reframing to these shots because you only get one chance to capture the moment!

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ceremony wear RING

Image by prostooleh on Freepik


The reception is perhaps the most fun part of a wedding, so you want to focus on capturing the celebration and emotions of the moment. Some key shots to take during the reception include:

  • The couple’s grand entrance
  • The cake cutting
  • The speeches
  • The first dance
  • The guests dancing

The reception also presents opportunities for candid moments of the couple interacting with their guests, laughing, and enjoying themselves. Make the most of it!

Wedding Venue Details

Finally, it’s crucial to take shots of the wedding venue and the details it offers. This might include flowers, centerpieces, decorations, and other lovely details.

These details are essential to preserving the memory of the special day, and they can make for stunning photos. While you’re at it, shoot some photos of the wedding invitations, programs, cake, and table settings!


Capturing beautiful wedding photography shots requires preparation, planning, and execution. Remember to create a comprehensive shot list, share the list with your clients, and collaborate to ensure that you capture every essential moment of the event.

From preparation to the ceremony and wedding venue details, there’s no limit to the creativity, personality, and style you can employ to make each photo unique. Use the tips above to capture memorable photos and tell the story of your client’s special day for years to come!

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Heikkila Photography

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