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Ultimate Wedding Shot List

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Your wedding day is filled with countless precious moments and your pictures will be the only thing you have to reminisce your special day. The day flashes by, so a shot list should definitely be part of your wedding planning checklist so you can look back on all the memorable events of the day. We also recommend having a planning session with your photographer and planner 2-3 weeks before your wedding day to go through your day of timeline and shot list, to ensure you are all on the same page of the schedule, timing and expectations.

We compiled the ultimate must have wedding-day pictures that will the story of your beautiful day! Give this list to your photographer and we're sure you'll look back on your wedding day pictures with joy and satisfaction. Make sure to add and adapt this list to your personal style. Also, don't be afraid to research and pin photos you've seen online that you love and show your photographer as a reference. Do everything you need to do to make sure you are left with the fondest of memories!

Follow along as we showcase our beautiful couple Porsche & Michael and some of their beautiful wedding day pictures that they obtained by following this list

Amazing getting ready pictures are all in the details


  • Bride's clothes hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair

  • Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup

  • Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup

  • Bride and bridesmaids in matching robes

  • Getting ready candid moments

  • Mom helping bride with one last detail, such as veil

  • Hair and makeup up close detail shots

  • Full-length shot of bride in gown checking herself out in mirror

  • Touching shot of bride with parent/s and/or stepparent/s

  • Touching shot of bride with sibling/s

  • Bride with bridesmaids

  • Bride with all the women

  • Groom getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)

  • Touching shot of groom with parent/s and/or stepparent/s

  • Touching shot of groom with sibling/s

  • Groom with his arm affectionately around best man

  • Groom with all the groomsmen

  • Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties

  • Intimate shots of bride and groom chatting with/crying with/hugging parents and siblings pre-ceremony

  • Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony (in a limo backseat, hailing a cab, walking down the street/hall/stairs)

  • Detail shot with wedding invitation, wedding program, bride’s accessories (shoes, earrings, necklace, bracelet, hairpiece, shoes, etc.)

  • Detail shot with groom’s accessories (shoes, watch, cufflinks, tie, whiskey, etc.)

  • Wedding rings, special signs, gifts, or letters

  • Bridal bouquet, corsages, and boutonnieres

  • First Look, first touch, first prayer

Getting all your bridal party pictures before the

ceremony is a great way to save time for other portraits post-ceremony

The Ceremony

  • A landscape shot of the entire venue.

  • Ceremony details and shots before guests enter

  • Guests streaming into the site

  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats

  • Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half

  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle

  • Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering

  • Honor attendant walking down the aisle

  • Wedding party waiting at the altar

  • Groom walking down the aisle

  • Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance

  • Bride and groom at the altar

  • Altar or canopy from the back during ceremony

  • Wide shot of audience during ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view

  • Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows

  • Close-up of bride's and groom's hands as they exchange rings

  • The first kiss

  • Wide shot of the entire venue from the back.

  • Wedding traditions such as lighting the unity candle, breaking the glass, and jumping the broom.

  • Bride and groom proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides

  • Bride and groom outside ceremony site

  • Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends and family

  • Bride and groom leaving ceremony site

  • Bride and groom in limo backseat

Cocktail Hour

  • Formal Bride and groom portraits

  • Bride with her happy, proud parents and/or stepparents

  • Bride with her entire immediate family

  • Groom with his happy, proud parents and/or stepparents

  • Groom with his entire immediate family

  • Bride and groom with all parents

  • Bride and groom with immediate family members from both sides

  • Bride and groom with groomsmen

  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids

  • Bride and groom with whole wedding party

  • Bride and groom with officiant

  • Bride and groom signing marriage license

  • Any special performers

After family pictures, it is important to leave ample time during cocktail hour to take all those beautiful newlywed portraits that will be the signature of your wedding day


  • Reception room before guests enter

  • Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, cake table, favors table, and champagne glasses

  • Bride and groom arriving

  • Bridal party entrance

  • Bride and groom at head table

  • Parents' table

  • Guests' tables

  • Close -up of friends and family making toasts

  • Bride and groom sipping champagne

  • Bride's and groom's parents whispering to each other during dinner

  • Bride and groom chatting up the guests

  • Bride and groom's first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)

  • Parents dancing

  • Bride and Dad dancing

  • Groom and Mom dancing

  • Wedding party dancing

  • Grandparents dancing

  • Kids playing or dancing

  • Musicians or DJ doing their thing

  • Guests going nuts on the dance floor

  • Any special dances or performers

  • Bride laughing with bridesmaids

  • Cake table

  • Bride and groom cutting the cake

  • Bride and groom feeding each other cake

  • Dessert table

  • Bouquet toss

  • Tossing and catching of the garter

  • Sparkler exit or formal exit

  • Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat

  • Rear of getaway car departing

Make sure you book your photographer long enough to catch all the action on the dance floor you may not see!

 Found this list helpful? Follow us on Instagram at j_ladsonweddings to stay engaged and connected with more wedding tips! Special thanks to all our amazing vendors who helped bring this magical day to life. Check out their Instagram below for your next event!

Wedding Planner J. Ladson Weddings - @j_ladsonweddings

Beauty Maame Wilson Hair -  @glambymaame

Beauty Kendra B Makeup - @kendrabdidit

Beauty Ebone Nicole Makeup -  @kendrabdidit

Beauty Lindz Stylez Hair -  @lindzstylez

Bride & Bridesmaids Fashion LaRaine's Boutique -

Cake Sweet Cecelia's Cakes and Bakes -  @sweetcecelias

Catering Simplee Amazing Catering -  @simpleeamazingcatering

Cinema Willow Tree Imagery - @willowtreeimagery

DJ Jerome Stancil -  @nakidfine

Florals Bella Luxe Bridal Bouquets -  @bellaluxebouquets

Officiant Tre' Hunter -  @weddingsbytre

Photography Jo Wooten -  @wootenphotos

Rentals & Decor PEK Designs & Events -  @pekevents

Venue 92 -  @venue92

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