In the past, wedding magazines and internet wedding blogs used to recommend that the bride & groom should give a comprehensive shot list to their chosen photographer. To assist, they often provided a “handy” (and often lengthy) list to cut ‘n’ paste. This was intended to cover every imaginable photo from the “getting ready” to the final dances at the reception.

So, is this a good idea – and, if so, what should it cover ?

In practical terms, this is not a realistic or particularly useful option. An experienced professional photographer knows what needs to be done on the day – both from previous experience and from meeting and talking to you about your own preferences.

In addition, a lot of photographs will be spontaneous – capturing the most important (or sometimes just the amusing) events of the day. Every wedding is different – the people, locations and course of events are never exactly the same. So, many photos cannot be pre-planned. Your photographer just has to be aware of what’s going on, and be ready to capture the important moments as they happen.

Grandmother's wedding garter - covers borrowed & blue

Grandmother’s garter from her wedding around 1940. This also covers the “Borrowed” and “Blue” part of the old tradition.

Teddy dressed in a wedding dress

Flower-girl’s teddy in a wedding dress

Homemade bouquet with sentimental items incorporated

Homemade wedding bouquets using cloth and other items of sentimental value

Having said this, there are a few things which will be of great assistance to your photographer on the day if you let them know in advance :

(1) Any special photos – ones only you might know about. This could be anything from photos with your best friend, or with granny who has to leave by 4PM, so has to be photographed early in the proceedings. Others to consider are family or friends who may have travelled a long way or who you don’t meet very often. If there are children present, they may also have to go to bed early – or be sent off elsewhere to be looked-after.

(2) Any special surprises, gifts or events during the wedding. Possibly a special presentation or gift. Maybe some personal touches which may have been added to the ceremony or reception.

(3) Any details or items of special significance displayed during the wedding e.g. a photo of a deceased relative or some significant memento.

(4) The wedding celebrant/solemniser should also be consulted beforehand. Depending on the person and the type of wedding (e.g. Civil or Religious), there may be some restrictions on what photos are allowed. Most celebrants are very accommodating, but for religious ceremonies especially, there can sometimes be strict rules regarding photography. The best solution is always to discuss these beforehand, and try to work out any differences.

(5) A list of any favourite wedding suppliers who are contributing to your day (E.G. hair, make-up, dress, flowers, cake, rings, stationery,  favours, wedding transport, musicians, band).

All these help to ensure that nothing which is important to you, is omitted during the day.