Just Shoot Me – But Don’t Shoot That!

Our photographer “must-have shots” list is a work in progress as I continue to find more and more beautiful examples from the weddings of others. We had originally booked our photographer from about an hour before the wedding to two hours before it ended, in the interest of keeping our budget trim, but as things opened up over the past few months, we decided to book her through the end of the wedding so she could photograph the cake cutting, bouquet toss, exit, and more things we didn’t want her to miss.

I’d STRONGLY suggest putting together a shots list for your photographer. Every wedding and every couple are different, and even with the most professional of photographers, they are not mind readers. They may not end up capturing some special moment you’d like, and the last thing you want is regret as you flip through wedding photos in the years to come.

Our shots list, so far, looks something like this:

Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs/Photo by Leo Patrone Photography


  • Detail shots from within the reception room: Centerpieces, specific décor items, escort card table, guestbook table, cupcakes
  • Detail shots from the ceremony area and elsewhere on the property: Aisle decorations, arch, wedding signs from the front of the building
  • Detail shots from within the bridal suites: Accessories, hanging dress, shoes
  • Getting ready – her: Me getting into my dress, primping, bridesmaids putting finishing touches on their looks, bouquet detail shots
  • Getting ready – him: Groom, groomsmen, and best man candids; his mom getting corsage placed on; bout detail shots, ring detail shots

Image via Style Me Pretty/Photo by Beauty for Ashes Photography


  • The moment my dad sees me, all the bridesmaids walking down the aisle, me appearing with my dad, Mr. Ladyfinger’s face when he sees me, my dad giving me away, us during vows, my dad during vows, FIL Ladyfingers during vows, the ring exchange, the kiss, the “introducing man and wife.”
  • Post-ceremony: Marriage certificate signing, posed pictures in various combinations (which I won’t detail here so as to spare you), bride and groom solo shots, bride solo shots, groom solo shots, the bustling, the bride-and-groom shoe shot, the bridesmaids-and-bride shoe shot (because they’re all wearing different shoes)

Image via My DeeJay/Photo by Vesic Photography


  • Grand entrance, first dance, tons of silly dancing shots, toasts, cake cutting, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, sunset photos of bride and groom, bouquet toss, garter exchange, last dance, exit.

And I can also tell you what we DON’T want.

  • A fakey photo of me and all my girls laughing at nothing in particular, as if I or some bridesmaid had said something hilarious – but not so hilarious as if we genuinely appear to be laughing.
  • Any other combination of the above
  • The groom running away as his guys chase him as if to say – come back! Don’t get cold feet!!
  • This:

What’s on your must-shoot list? Do you have a “please don’t make us do this” list? And most importantly – am I missing anything?


One thought on “Just Shoot Me – But Don’t Shoot That!

  1. Angela says:

    HAHA! Love that little pic you added in the end. I definitely don’t want anything cheesy like that either;) I hadn’t thought of our “must have pictures”, or at least I haven’t yet put a list together. I have complete faith that our photographers will get everything, but I will definitely make at least a mental note to talk to them about what I expect as far as pictures. I just got my engagement photos back (they’re on my blog), and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them, so I’m actually thinking I may just let the creative minds do their thing, as I’m not one of them;) Great post!

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