Capture Your Day: Be sure your photographer knows what is most special to you

As you go about planning your wedding, you will come across tons of advice, tips and tricks. You will find lists galore. Lists like “the Top 10 ceremony readings” or “awesome flower ideas” or “1,001 reception ideas.” You’ll see many variations of the best photo shot list, but take heart, they are mostly the same shots and if you hire the right photographer. Just make sure he or she captures the most common highlights and then outline the extra special details you want.

Here are other suggestions that will ensure you get the best photos representing your big day.

  • A solid timeline of wedding events. Include ceremony times and highlights and make sure this timeline includes the names of your bridal party and important family members. For the reception part, actual times (e.g.: “8:12 — first dance”) are less important than an order of events. Your planner will help you stay on track and will make sure all parties needed for the photos are present.
  • Have a meeting with your photographer to go over exactly what is most important to you. For instance, if your veil was worn by your grandmother, you will want to be sure your photographer knows this so they will make sure it gets the attention it needs.
  • Don’t burden your photographer with too many details like handing them a list with 100 “must have” photos. Of that 100, probably 75 of them are obvious. You want your photographer focused on the events around you, not focusing on a piece of paper.

While it may seem really obvious what photos you want, sometimes a list does help narrow what is most important. Here are the highlights by category:

GETTING READY: BRIDE
  • Hair and makeup shots of bride and bridesmaids
  • Bride stepping into dress and mom helping with veil
  • Bride with bridesmaids, mom/parents, siblings, special relatives
  • Bride ready to go
GETTING READY: GROOM
  • Groom and groomsmen
  • Men having ties straightened or boutonnière pinned
  • Dad whispering last-minute advice to groom
  • Groom ready to go
GETTING READY: OTHER
  • First look
  • Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony (in a limo backseat, hailing a cab, walking down the street/hall/stairs)
THE CEREMONY
  • Bridal party procession and recession including flower girl and ring bearer
  • Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
  • The kiss
  • After the ceremony family photos and bride and groom together photos (if not done pre-ceremony)
  • 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
THE RECEPTION
  • Shot from outside reception site (to set the tone)
  • Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, favors table, and champagne glasses
  • Bride and groom arriving and first dances
  • Guests dancing
  • Cake cutting
  • Bouquet toss/garter toss
  • Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat

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