Checklist for Wedding Photographers: Preparation

With good planning and some improvising, everything is possible. Follow along for the complete guide for preparations for wedding photographers.

A new season of wedding photography begins because especially the month of May and the following summer months from June to August are popular months to get married. More reason to read through your checklist for the preparation of wedding events and to update if necessary.

One thing is sure, depending on the size of the events; proper preparation and planning saves a lot of time and avoids unpleasant surprises.

Preparations for Wedding Photographers

Checklist for preparations for wedding photographers:

Some well-known German wedding photographers always appear as a team (woman and man) because on the wedding day, different things happen in parallel; for example, the dressing of bride and groom. It is often more comfortable for people of the same-sex to gain access to more private rooms and situations and build trust with the bride or groom. Remember that it is the most important day in the newlyweds’ lives and you are part of the machinery that this day will be a success. Often, photographers have to calm nervous parents, sew on a button, or organize a new room with calm and beautiful light. Space for a photo is quickly redecorated, a painting is suspended, tables and chairs are moved aside, and much more.

A happy bride and groom are very important. Additionally, happy guests can create the opportunity for new clients. Apart from good photos also the appearance of the photographer counts. Your goal should be to be perceived as pleasant and helpful throughout the entire day.

Let’s start with the first conversation with the bride and groom.

Style and Use:

Here, the shooting style and visual language should be determined. Bring some photos to learn what the couple likes and dislikes. Does the couple want black and white pictures, do they want classic poses, prefer a documentary style, and/or should certain emotions be captured?

Does the bride or groom have a side they favor? Do they have a favorite pose? How did the couple meet? Does the couple have photos of themselves that they like? These are all fundamental questions as it can help determine the ultimate desired photos.

The usage should also be discussed in detail. What do the clients expect? What do the bride and groom want to do with the pictures? Are the photos placed online, will they send out cards with pictures or will there be a wedding book? – these and many other questions should be clarified. A question about their favorite music is often useful so that a slide show or a video can be set to music.

Location and Type of Event:

The location or different venues should be discussed. It is worth to sketch the day or the wedding together with the couple. Is there a wedding planner or who is responsible for the organization and error-free process of the wedding? Are there some beautiful shooting locations around the places like a lake, a park, etc.? Do you need permission to shoot there? Is it a civil wedding and a church wedding? Is there a bachelor party the evening before? Where and when are the meals/cake? How does the bride and groom travel to specific places? Where and when does the couple get dressed? Do the couple and close relatives stay in the hotel one day before the wedding?

site visit is a MUST! Even if the place is not nearby, as a photographer, you should visit the church, the ballroom, the restaurant, etc. at least one day before the shoot. Besides, it is always advisable to speak to the organizers (pastor, hotel owner, etc.) before the recordings and to discuss basic questions such as light and space.

These questions should definitely be asked: Where do you celebrate in the evening? How long can you kidnap the couple for shooting? There may be a post-shoot – this should be planned for conspicuous shots, for example, on the distant beach. Who drives the bride to the registry office. Where are the bride and groom preparing? Will, the bride, be styled (that can also make beautiful pictures)?


How many people are expected? Who should definitely be in the photos? Do you want a group photo? Who are the bride’s parents? Who is the best man? Who supports the bride in planning the party? Are children present?

Preparations for Wedding Photographers

Surprises are often planned:

In consultation with the groomsmen, bridesmaids or guests often come up with wedding games or other surprises. When do they take place? Do they take place in a room or on the meadow? Who is involved? Are the bride and groom dressed up?

Photos that should definitely be taken:

Make a list, take it with you, and cross off the points that have already been recorded. Many photos can also be taken in between and without the bride and groom.

  • Rings (finger and solo)
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Scrapbook
  • Decoration from the registry office/church/restaurant
  • Invitation card/menu
  • Shoes/stockings/garter
  • Picture with wedding vehicle (if available)
  • Tables with gifts
  • Cake
  • The set table
  • Special decoration
  • The wedding dress

The list is certainly not complete, but it is a working basis. In the coming week, we will deal with the personal checklist at the wedding, i.e., bride, groom, guests, pastor, etc.

We look forward to your experience and posting any additional points on out topic of preparations for wedding photographers as a comment.