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Tips for Building Your Wedding Day Shot List

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Depending on where you’re at in your wedding planning processes, you may have already started to research options for your wedding photographer and videographer. Once you’ve selected the best fit, you will want to begin to think through what you’d like to have them capture for your future album and highlight reel.

The best way to do this is to begin to create a wedding day shot list. A shot list is simply a list of photos and video moments that you feel are important to capture on the wedding day. Here are our tips for building a wedding day shot list.

While most wedding photographers and videographers have their own shot lists to meet a variety of needs for different types of weddings, this is an important area of partnership. Since trust and open communication are the foundation to a great partnership with your creative wedding team of professionals, having dialogue and creating a plan which outlines your expectations will to set you up for success.

As you begin to think through the wedding day shot list, here are five questions for you and your significant other to discuss. This will help inform what to share with your wedding photographer and videographer.

Tips for Building a Wedding Day Shot List by Joy Photo and Video

1. What’s important to you, and what’s not? While the ‘standard’ photo and video moments will be captured, it’s highly recommended that you think through what’s most important to you and what isn’t. (Both of these ends of the spectrum can play a critical role.)

Dallas bride getting ready for her vow renewal featured in wedding blog

For example, some couples want more photos of the bride getting ready than those of the groom. Others may want to over-index on wedding details like accessories, wedding invitations or décor, while others prefer more candid moments captured of the people in attendance.

We recommend discussing this with your significant other---don’t make assumptions of what you think matters to them. By preparing with this in advance, you’ll help make sure your wedding album reflects what you feel are the most important highlights of your big day.

2. What do you have planned? Inform your wedding photographer and videographer of the things that you have planned with your wedding planner or day-of wedding coordinator.

For example, it would be great to know if you have a first look with your spouse or family members, choreographed bridal party dance, or a grand exit in a vintage getaway car. Maybe there are meaningful family heirlooms to capture or special parts of your wedding reception setup. These are all things that can help inform the timeline for the wedding photography and videography.

Vow renewal inspiration: photo of the table at a Dallas wedding reception

3. Are there fast-paced special moments? If there’s anything unique about your wedding day events that you want to make sure are captured, make sure this is shared ahead of time. This includes special moments that might not last long---like reading a love letter while getting ready, handing off from a loved one at the end of the aisle, releasing a dove after your first kiss, or entering the reception in a culturally significant way.

If you partner with Joy Photo and Video, we’ll be ready to capture stand out moments but knowing that they are coming in advance will help us make sure there’s sufficient coverage.

4. Are there important dynamics with your wedding guests? Think about what might be good for your photographer and videographer to know about your wedding guest list.

This could include mixed family dynamics such as a father of the bride and stepfather of the bride. Perhaps this is a vow renewal and you have children that you share together, or this is a second marriage and you have adult kids from your past relationships. Or maybe there are VIP wedding guests (not in your wedding party), like a grandparent or childhood influence, who you want to make sure to get formal photos with.

5. Are there potential sore spots or unique sentiments that we should have in mind? In instances where you may have lost a loved one, especially in a significant wedding day role such as a parent, it could be good to share this in advance. If there are other important considerations, ranging from health to religious rituals or personal preferences, then make sure to be open about these things if they could impact your wedding day experience.

We hope you enjoyed hearing the questions that can help begin to give you tips for building a wedding day shot list.

Our team of professional Texas wedding photographers and videographers have captured many kinds of weddings. As you can imagine, as unique as each wedding will be, so are each of the couples that we serve. It’s our job to worry about what goes on your wedding day shot list, not yours, but it’s important to know what you care about most so that we can help bring your vision to life.

Here's how we do things at Joy Photo and Video. We will provide you with a standard shot list which are built into our custom timelines. These will cater to both our photo and video team members supporting your big day.

Our timeline template allows you to include your ‘VIPs’ for each portion of the wedding day. This informs our team what is most important to you so that we capture the shots that we know you can’t do without. This also gives you the ability to add your own inspired custom moments throughout the day.

As we continue throughout our partnership, you will work directly with our team so that we can provide you with more guidance and tips from our experience. If you’re looking for a professional photographer and videographer who can help take some of the stress off your shoulders, we’re here to help. Check out our portfolio of photos and videos.

We provide photo and video services to couples in the primary city hubs of Texas and their surrounding areas:

  • Austin

  • Houston

  • Dallas-Fort Worth

  • San Antonio

Now that you have started to think through these tips for building a wedding day shot list, here’s some more inspiration. If you’re looking for specific pictures and video footage you may want captured, check out these articles to get started:

The Ultimate Wedding Photo Shot List Martha Stewart Weddings

[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Nina and Carlos in Dallas, Texas by Nicole.]

Choose Joy,

The Joy Team


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