Brian LaBrada



105 Ultimate Wedding Shot List Ideas in 2023

Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by Brian LaBrada

What is a Wedding Shot List?

It has many names, wedding photography shot list, wedding photo shot list, wedding photography checklist or wedding day timeline. No matter what you call it having an accurate wedding photography shot list allows for flawless wedding photo coverage that captures all the moments on your special day. Whether you’re looking for classic wedding poses or more creative wedding photo ideas, having a detailed wedding shot list ensures that you have timeless photos to look back on for years to come!

We have found that many photographers do not discuss a wedding photo checklist with their bride and groom. It is one of the most overlooked items on your wedding day. When done correctly it ensures you don’t miss any wedding photos on your wedding day. Here are the best wedding photo shot ideas to ensure you get everything you need. Let’s go!

Ace Hotel Wedding

What are the must-have ideas for your Wedding Shot list?

There is so much to photograph on your wedding day. Let’s break down your wedding day into 10 main categories.

Getting Ready

Your wedding photographer should be present while you and the bridal party are getting ready for the big day. These moments are full of emotion, so capturing them with photos helps preserve those feelings forever. These photos should also include detail shots.

Bride’s Room

  • Bride
  • Hair and Make-up
  • Behind the scenes of the wedding party
  • Wedding Dress
  • Brides Shoes
  • Bride and Bridesmaids in Robes
  • Zipping/ Buttoning of Wedding Dress
  • Engagement Ring
  • Wedding Bands
  • Family Heirlooms
  • Bridal Bouquet
  • Bridesmaids Bouquets
  • Wedding Invitation / Wedding Stationery
  • Brides Jewelry
  • Brides Accessories

Wedding ring in pink box

Groom’s Room

  • Groom
  • Grooms Suit
  • Groomsmen’s/ Wedding Party Suits
  • Behind the Scenes of Groom and Groomsmen
  • Wedding Rings
  • Grooms Shoes
  • Grooms Watch
  • Grooms Cufflinks
  • Grooms Accessories

estate on second wedding photos

First Look

If you’re doing a first look before walking down the aisle, this is also a great opportunity for beautiful photos that show off both your personality and style! It also gives the bride and groom a moment away from the entire wedding party and a moment alone before the festivities start.

  • Bride and Groom Portraits
  • Portraits of Bride
  • Portraits of Groom
  • Photos of Grooms Bouteinneire
  • Photos of Bride with Bouquet
  • Creative Shots with Bride and Groom
  • Wedding Party Portraits
bride and groom's first look

Ceremony Details

We like to review the wedding photography shot list with the bride before the ceremony starts. Remember that many times the wedding day seems like a blur. You want to be sure you have all of the details of the ceremony space so the bride and groom can see their wedding day in a new light.

  • Floral Details
  • Ceremony Site
  • Alter/ Arch/ Chuppa
  • Wide angle of ceremony space
  • Seating Area
  • Gift Table
  • Sign in Table
  • Seating Chart
  • Seating Place cards
  • Isle Florals and Details
Wedding ceremony at Avensole winery temecula California
Temecula California Winery


It’s game time, if you booked 2 wedding photographers you will want one by the alter to capture the groom’s reaction and groom walking and one in the back to capture the bride walking. Ceremony wedding photographs are some of my favorites.

  • Ceremony Guests Arriving
  • Groom Walking In
  • Family Members
  • Ring Bearer – Wedding Rings
  • Aisle Flower Girls
  • Wedding Party
  • Bride Walking Down Aisle Front and Back
  • Father of the Bride
  • Grooms Reaction
  • Bridal Party Reaction
  • Father of Bride Giving Bride Away
  • Musicians
  • Wedding Ceremony View
  • Guest shots from Wedding Ceremony
  • Bride and Groom Vows
  • Wedding Rings Close up
  • First Kiss
  • Bride and Groom Exit
  • Group Shot
jewish beach wedding

Group Photos/ Family Portraits

Group shots are always some of my favorite wedding photos and also some of the most important when it comes to the wedding day! Remember, the bride and groom may not have seen many of their guest in years. Many of these images end up in the wedding album. So take your time but do it quickly. 🙂 Make sure to have a list of immediate family members at hand to know who to include in the pictures.

  • Bride & Groom with Officiant
  • Bride & Groom with Groomsmen
  • Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids
  • Entire Wedding Party – Bride
  • Entire Wedding Party – Groom
  • Wedding Party
  • Family Groups
  • Parents and Siblings
  • Extended Family
  • Brides Side / Grooms Side

Cocktail Hour

After we are done photographing the wedding party, bridal party, and group and family photos, we then photograph the cocktail hour. Here are some of the best wedding photos to get at cocktail hour.

  • Bar Set Up
  • Musicians
  • Bride and Groom w/ Guests
  • Group Shots of Guests
  • Special Bride and Groom Cocktails
  • DJ Setup


Wedding Portraits / Bride and Groom Romantics

Typically while my second shooter is photographing the cocktail hours me and my assistant are away with the Bride and Groom, sometimes with the wedding party, depending on what our couple wants.

  • Individuals
  • Bride and Groom Close Up
  • Close-up of Wedding Rings
  • Photographer Creative Ideas


Reception Details

The reception details are very important to capture, be sure to capture as much on this list as possible. Time may not be on your side. this is why it is so important to discuss expectations and timeline with your Bride and Groom.

  • Guest Book
  • Sweet Heart Table / Head Table / Special Details
  • Guest Tablescapes
  • Dessert Table
  • Candy Station
  • The Cake
  • Center Pieces
  • Florals
  • Tablescape Details
  • Favors Table
  • Menus
  • Table Settings
  • DJ / Band / Entertainment
  • Dance Floor
tablescape at avensole winery wedding
Avensole Winery Tablescape


This is always one of the finest parts of the wedding. Be sure to ask the wedding party of they are doing anything “special” during their entrance. This is a good time to check in with your bride and groom and the wedding planner.

  • Marriage License Signing
  • Grand Entrance
  • First Dance
  • Toasts
  • Father Daughter Dance
  • Mother Son Dance
  • Bouquet / Garder Toss
  • Cake Cutting
  • Open Dancing
bride and groom exiting ceremony

Grand Exit / Send Off

These are always fun, you sometimes have two opportunities to photograph this, after the ceremony photos and at the end of the reception. You can also fake this at the end of the night just for photos and then go back to celebrating.

  • Details of Bride and Groom
  • Rice, Floral, Confetti Toss
  • Fireworks
  • Helicopter
bride and groom send off

Wedding Photographers Shot List

So there you have it. Because your wedding photographer took the time to make your wedding photo shot list you will have an amazing day to remember.

These key ideas when creating your ultimate shot list will help ensure that no moment goes uncaptured on your special day – because after all, photographs last forever! So go ahead and start planning out how you want to remember this special occasion forever!

bride and groom with Horse


What should be included in a wedding shot list?

There are over 8 Catergoreis and over 100 shot types that should be taken at a wedding. The minimum catergories are Getting Ready, First Look. Ceremony, Group Photos / Family Photos, Cocktail hour, Bride and Groom Portraits, Reception and Grand Exit / Send Off.

What are wedding detail shots?

Wedding details include everything from the bride and grooms getting ready photos to the ceremony and reception details. Jewlery, Wardrobe, Hair and Make-Up, Florals, Tablescapes, Place Settings, Etc..

What are the most important wedding photos?

The most important wedding photos are the Ceremony, Wedding Rings, First Kiss, Family Photos, First Dance, Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son Dance.

What family pictures to take at wedding?

It is important to ask your the newlyweds who they want in their family pictures. In general, it will be parents, grand parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins. This might also include step-parents and family groups of cousins and friends. Remember to ask your bride and groom for details.

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