If you’ve done your fair share of wedding-related googling (it’s okay, you’re not alone!), then you’ve probably seen the long lists of wedding photography shots artfully decorated on Etsy or Pinterest for you to share with your wedding photographer on your big day. 

But here’s a little secret: a pages-long shot list of all the moments you want to capture isn’t actually necessary! There is a reason you hired your photographer: you love their work. They know what they’re doing, and they will make sure to capture the moments you’ll want to remember. Handing over a shot list that’s too long will only prevent your photographer from being able to capture the candid, intimate, and spur-of-the-moment shots that make wedding photos so sweet and special. 

We’ve put together this list of the top five wedding shots to share with your photographer. Once they’ve captured these key moments, you can rest easy – and let them work their incredible magic for the rest of the day and night!

Getting Ready

Getting ready for your wedding is a special moment full of excitement, butterflies, and energy – and you’ll want to make sure your photographer captures as much of it as they can! Whether you’re getting ready with your bridal party, your mother or mother-in-law, or other treasured friends and family, you’ll want to make sure these important people are included in your getting ready photos. You put so much time and thought into your dress, hair, make-up, accessories, and who would be by your side while it all came together, so you know this is a moment you’ll want to look back on. 

And don’t forget to include time for your photographer to capture some shots of your future spouse getting ready with their friends and family as well! If you aren’t getting ready in the same building, you’ll want to budget time for your photographer to get from one person to another, and stagger your getting ready timing so that no one is missed. 

First Look

There are so many first-look opportunities at a wedding, so simply choose the one that is right for you! Whether it’s your first look with your father or another important family member, the first look between future spouses before the ceremony, or the first look as you walk down the aisle, these “firsts” are once-in-a-lifetime moments that you can’t get back. 

Make sure you communicate with your photographer which ones are the most important, and when they’ll be happening so that your photographer can ensure they’re in the right place at the right time. 

First Kiss

Another incredibly special “first” – your first kiss as husband and wife! Let your photographer know about how long your ceremony will take, and what key lines to listen to for an indication that the ceremony is close to wrapping up, so that they make sure they’re in the right spot in the aisle to get this perfect moment on film! 

If this is a key shot you want to make sure your photographer captures, you may want to ask your officiant to remind guests before the ceremony not to take their own photos or videos throughout the ceremony, in order to prevent anyone from accidentally blocking the photographer from getting their photos. The last thing you want to see in your professional first-kiss photo is the back of Aunt Mary’s head as she leans into the aisle to take her own picture! 

Bridal Party 

Whether you have a simple wedding party with a maid of honor and best man, or a bridal party blowout with multiple bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers, the people you’ve chosen to stand up with you while you say your vows are some of the most important, and longest-lasting, in your life. And, you definitely want to showcase them in your wedding photos!

Decide ahead of time what combinations of shots you’d like of your wedding party – split by bride side and groom side, mixed and mingled, the bride with the groomsmen and groom with bridesmaids, or any combination you can think of. These photos will often be quick swaps to make sure you get everyone you need, so preparing ahead will save you and your photographer valuable time on the big day.

Decor Details

After all of the months and dollars spent putting together the picture-perfect wedding, you want to get all of those details captured for months and years to come! Ask your photographer to focus on some of those unique elements, like your centerpieces, flowers, table settles, and printed materials. Plus, these shots are a great opportunity for your photographer’s unique creativity to shine!

No matter what wedding day shots you prioritize, much of the day’s success will depend on timing, so make sure you share your wedding day timeline with your photographer ahead of time and take their feedback into account when it comes to planning out the amount of time certain photo opportunities will need. 

Let us help you create a photo-worthy venue for your big day. Connect with our event coordinators today!