• by Megan + Kenneth

Dream Wedding Day Shot List 101

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Oh hey there! If you don’t know me already, I’m Megan from Megan & Kenneth, a Brooklyn-based wedding photography team. It’s super exciting to write about wedding photo lists for Ann Marie & Emily’s awesome wedding planning blog, because this topic is absolutely crucial to the flow of your wedding day. We’re going to dive right into how to create a wedding day shot list.

What Gets Included on a Wedding Day Shot List?

There can be some confusion as to what gets included on your wedding photo list. Some couples like to list everything they want a shot of, while others only provide the VIPs. For your photographer, you should provide the list of VIPs as the main priority of your wedding day shot list.

For all the other details (ex. Bride looking out window), your photographer already keeps shots like these in their back pocket. Let them take care of the creative parts so you can focus on the important documentation.

Who Goes Into the Wedding Photo List?

Your wedding photo list should include the VIPs of your wedding day. These are the people you want formal, lined up photographs with to document their presence. If there are lots of friends you want reception/party shots with, that’s awesome! Pull your photographer aside while talking to those friends at your reception. For the shot list, leave it to the more formal VIPs.

What Does a Wedding Day Shot List Look Like?

Every couple is different and no two shot lists look alike. Consider who is most important to you on the wedding day to capture. Below is an example shot list starter to inspire your own:

  • Partner 1, mom, dad

  • Partner 1, 2, mom, dad

  • Partner 1, 2, mom, dad, siblings

  • Partner 1, siblings

  • Partner 2, mom

  • Partner 2, mom, aunt

Provide Names, Not Titles for Your List

When it comes to your photo shot list, provide names as opposed to titles. There may be multiple “moms” present, for example, and it’s much easier to call out “Linda” than “mom #1”. It will help the day run seamlessly and avoid any uncomfortable mix-ups.

How Soon Should I Prepare a Photo Shot List?

Your wedding day shot list should be prepared after you have final head count at the wedding. It’s great to provide your photographer with a copy of the list at least 2-3 weeks out from the wedding. You can also make it a month to be safe, since those last couple of weeks can be crucial for your wedding planning process and you may get distracted.

What Else Should I Let My Photographer Know About?

If there are any super important details of your wedding day, it’s great to let your photographer know ahead of time. For example: if the bride’s bouquet is wrapped in a piece of her mom’s wedding dress fabric, that’s a detail that just can’t be missed. However, on a busy day, it could potentially be missed unless noted ahead of time.

Other Important Details to Have Ready for Your Photographer

These may not go on your shot list, but your photographer should definitely have these details ready for them upon arrival:

  • Shoes

  • Rings

  • Jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, hair jewelry, etc.

  • Invitations/stationery

  • Personal florals: boutonniere, bouquet, corsage, etc.

  • Dress + hanger

  • Suit + hanger

  • Notes to each other

  • Perfume/cologne

Who Should Have a Copy of My Wedding Day Shot List?

You should provide your photographer with your wedding day shot list first and foremost. It’s essential that your photo vendor has a copy so they can help let the day run smoother. But besides the obvious, who else should have a copy of your wedding photo list?

Share a Copy of Your Shot List with Your Wedding Planner

Give a copy of the shot list to your wedding planner so they can help keep things on track. Your photographer is juggling a lot on the wedding day, and if they’re shooting the photos, planners can help keep things on track. Your planner is also your ally: they’ll make sure you haven’t missed a single shot in case your photographer skips over a name or two.

Providing Your Wedding Photo List to a Wedding Party Member

It may be a good idea to provide the maid of honor or best man with a shot list as well for good measure. There are certain people in your wedding party who will be amazing when it comes to wrangling. After all, there are only a few people who can yell at your relatives to “get your butt over here!” –– and your vendors don’t always yield that power.

Creating a Shot List for Your Wedding Day

Making your photo shot list can be a daunting task, but it’s absolutely essential to the smoothness of your wedding day. Work with your planner and wedding photographers (like us!) to make your wedding photo checklist with room ahead of the wedding for you to make any changes.

About Megan & Kenneth, Brooklyn Wedding Photographers

Megan & Kenneth are a wedding photography and videography team based in New York. Capturing candid moments across the state, it’s important as a team to have our couples as comfortable as possible for their big day. If things like a wedding day shot list seem daunting as heck in your planning process, we’re here to help.


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