Wedding Photography Checklist & Tips for Capturing the Perfect Day (With Free PDF)

by | Nov 3, 2023

groom fixing tie

Wedding photography is more than just taking photos; it’s about capturing the essence of a special day, the emotions, and the story as it unfolds. The stakes are high, and there’s no do-over, which is why a checklist is crucial for any Maine wedding photographer, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out. Let’s delve into some essential tips to get the best shots, and at the end of this post, don’t forget to download your free wedding photography checklist!

Pre-Ceremony Checklist

The Morning Of: Bride & Bridal Party

  • Capture the excitement and nerves as the bride and bridal party get ready.
  • Look for candid moments and laughter during hair and makeup preparations.
  • Don’t forget detail shots: the bride’s accessories, the dresses, the rings, and any family heirlooms.
detailed wedding shots of invitations, wedding rings, brides shoes and perfume bottle

Final Touches

  • These are intimate moments as the bride is assisted with her dress and jewelry – a tear or a laugh here is precious.
  • Capture the bridesmaids’ and father’s first reactions to the bride in her wedding gown.
bride getting help with dress

Group Shots

  • Pose the bridal party and family before the ceremony; these photos are cherished as they show the bride’s closest circle, which is an integral part of being a Southern Maine wedding photographer.

The Morning Of – Groom & Groomsmen

  • While they might be less about the fuss, the groom’s details like shoes, tie, and cufflinks are just as important.
  • The groom’s preparation, particularly his mother pinning the boutonniere and the camaraderie with his groomsmen, tells half the story of the day.

First Look (Optional)

  • If the couple opts for a first look, ensure to plan and capture this moment with sensitivity and creativity, a scenario a Portland Maine wedding photographer is familiar with.
wedding first look with bride tapping groom on shoulder

Ceremony Checklist

Venue & Atmosphere

  • Document the ambiance of the venue, both inside and out, before guests fill the space.
empty ceremony venue

The Processional & Waiting Moments

  • The anticipatory moments are gold – the groom waiting, the guests’ expressions, and the bridal party’s entrance.

The Ceremony Itself

  • The walk down the aisle, the vows, the rings, and the first kiss are must-capture moments.
  • Remember to capture the guests, especially during key moments like the vows or the kiss.
bride and groom walking down aisle
first kiss

Post-Ceremony Checklist

Celebration & Portraits

  • The post-ceremony glow is real; get those candid shots with guests, and the genuine joy and relief that come after saying “I do.”

Family & Group Photos

  • Organized group shots are essential; they’re often framed and displayed in family homes. This step is vital, mainly if you are documenting a destination wedding in Maine, where every landscape provides a stunning backdrop.

Wedding Party Shots

  • These are the fun photos – get creative with the wedding party, and make sure to get a mix of posed and candid shots.
wedding party

Reception Checklist

Venue & Decor

  • Capture the details of the reception before it’s filled with guests; these shots are crucial for the couple to remember their venue and décor.
an empty venue before guests

Key Events & Moments

  • From the grand entrance to the speeches, toasts, and the first dance, be ready to capture these highlights.
caught the garter at maine wedding

Dancing & Entertainment

  • The dance floor offers a chance to capture the celebration in its most energetic form.
first dance

Tips for Getting the Best Shots

  1. Scout the Location: Visit the venue before the wedding day to identify the best spots for shots.
  2. Communication is Key: Ensure you know the couple’s must-have photos and understand the day’s timeline.
  3. Equipment Check: Double-check your gear beforehand. Have backups of essential equipment.
  4. Be Unobtrusive: Blend into the background and be as unobtrusive as possible.
  5. Use Natural Light: Whenever possible, utilize natural light. It’s usually the most flattering.
  6. Backup: Always backup photos as you go. Consider dual memory card slots or an on-site backup solution.
  7. Be Prepared: Have a plan for bad weather, know the rules of the venue, and be ready for anything.

By sticking to this checklist and keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to capturing beautiful, timeless wedding photos that the couple will treasure forever.

Free Wedding Photography Checklist PDF

To get you started, click here for your free downloadable wedding photography checklist PDF. It’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you capture every moment of the big day.

Happy Shooting!

Catherine Gross

Catherine Gross


My name is Catherine and I specialize in wedding photography and videography in Maine and the rest of New England. From the rugged New England coast to the scenic interior views of lakes and mountains, I will be there with you every step of the way to capture all the special moments.

Book with MeMy Service Areas in New England

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About Me

Catherine Gross
Bold, personable, and whimsical are three words that adequately describe the works of art captured behind the lenses of Maine wedding photographer Catherine J. Gross. Every interaction, session, and experience holds an element of uniqueness, as Catherine captures the moment before her with a keen understanding that every moment or person in life is unique and special.

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