Your wedding will be one of the most powerful days of your life, and a wedding photography shot list allows you to start envisioning all the photos you want to receive. But there are more images you’ll want… trust us. Keep reading for the Dream Edition Wedding Photography Shot List.
As a bride, you want to make sure your photographer captures all the images that mean the most to you. This is our team’s personal heartbeat, to be your eyes so that you can slow down and be present to your day.
Depending on your photographer’s experience level, they will automatically already know to get all the standards. They will capture everything they can from the image lists you’ve seen on a million and one other websites when you search for “Wedding Photography Shot List”.
This shot list is different. Welcome to the Dream Edition Wedding Photography Shot List. These are the images that will not only be a check-off on your mental wedding photography shot list. They will add MAGIC into your day. And I mean magic. Keep reading for the ultimate list of moments that are so good, they may just make you cry when you see them in photos.
The privilege of being a wedding photographer matters to us, a lot. As photographers doing this since 2014, we always have a very long mental list of images to capture for you. But the captured moments in time we see couples really fall in love with over and over are the following ones below. Consider adding one (or ALL!) of these moments for guaranteed instant joy every time you see them.
WHY are these shots so good? Because there are tons of feelings and connections with the people you love entangled in the images on our shotlist. It’s simple. The more emotional connection you can create on your day (for you and your guests), the more experiential you can make it. The more experiential your day is, the more powerful your photos will be. Guaranteed. And these are the kinds of images we endeavour to deliver.
The moment after you say I do and walk back down the aisle officially married is a really big moment in time. How to elevate it and connect your guests and yourself to the moment even more? Have them pour their love over you in confetti form. Whether it’s eco-friendly flower petals, tissue paper confetti, or more, adding confetti of all kinds makes for the most magic ceremony exit photos! Throw in a champagne pop at the end of it all and the magic dust will be electric!
There’s something about bringing the light into the dark! The glow, the ambiance. It’s the end of your big beautiful day, and glowing light is the perfect nightcap to seal in all that magic. Think about bringing one or more light sources into your photos. Roasting smores over a bonfire, a reception under hanging Edison lights, fairy lights, a sparkler exit or sparkler first dance, fireworks, or even headlights shining behind you for a great nighttime shot. Lights add magical layers into your photos. No more magic said no one, ever.
We talk about this one a lot because it’s a) it stirs up big beautiful feelings, b) touch is involved, and c) so is sound. It’s a lovely trifecta of moments that will allow for images that are as unique as the two of you. Whether you laugh or cry together at the tenderness of it all, this is a photo that you don’t want to miss.
Read more: Learn more about first looks here
Plan to have a first look with your bridesmaids and your Dad. We’ve even seen first looks with the family! These experiences are so special and slow time right now. The emotions are high, and it’s just another way for you to take in all the joy of your day.
We exchange gifts on birthdays, religious holidays. Heck, some people even get Easter presents (what I wouldn’t do to be a kid and get chocolate bunnies given to me my default once a year). Of all the days, your wedding day is the perfect time to give your love something they can hold and treasure forever. Even better if it’s done before, during, or after a first look or first touch.
Your getting ready experience sets the tone for your day. Doing everything you can to have everything all planned out in advance (and your space tidy before your photographer arrives) goes a long way. For your getting ready, the most magical thing you can do is: get ready in a space with white/very light-coloured walls and LOADS of windows and natural light. Not only does this translate into very editorial getting ready photos that will take your breath away and have you saying “Is that really me??!”. But all that natural light will put an extra spring in your step too! Sometimes just a little tweak on your getting ready location makes all the difference. So if yours doesn’t have white walls and windows, consider renting an Airbnb that does. You will thank us later!
Whether you are pausing to be present to the father-of-the bride, holding a ring from your grandma who passed away, are Facetiming a bridesmaid who couldn’t travel, or are visiting your grandma at a nursing home, pause to connect. The day happens well when you do. These relationships make the moments come alive even more.
Read more: Precious family and friends who can’t make your day? How to live-stream your wedding (and download it later) for just $50 USD
Okay, you need to know how much we love good food. And fortunately, most of our couples do too! So whether you ate getting takeout from your favourite pizza joint, ordering catering from the yummy Greek restaurant down the road, or opting for a food truck (yes please! literally the biggest crowd pleaser!), we want to capture that first bite as husband and wife! Food is meant to be fun, and it’s all a part of the experience!
Read more: Our favourite Southwestern Ontario caterers
The off-the-beaten path traditions you bring into your wedding day will be some your most powerful (and fun) wedding day memories. Rent an AirBNB for some downtime and portraits between your ceremony and reception. Want to go for a canoe ride? Do it! Stop at your favourite coffee shop together. Have an ice cream truck (there we go with the food again!). Incorporate something different and you’ll never regret it. Those photos will guaranteed be some of your most favourite moments.
Read more: How to plan an adventurous elopement
If your first dance is outdoors, have your guests participate with sparklers! Instead of slack-jawed onlookers (it happens after a long day!), they will be enamoured and connected with the moment as you are surrounded by the twinkling. Bring it to the next level with a live performer who serenades you in real-time during the sweetest dance of your life.
If you have a fur baby, we suggest doing whatever you can to make them part of your day. Hire a friend to be your pup’s chaperone, make sure your cat is present while you are getting ready, tell your photographer you want to carve out extra time for portraits with your horse. There are also pet sitting services to help with this so you don’t need to stress about your pup being on their best behaviour on your big day!
The best wedding photography shot list is one that honours your unique celebration and your experience of it. Each chapter of the day is not just a static moment stacked together with the other chapters. Your day will be a series of rich experiences you will have.
That’s why the best photos are the ones that capture people slowing down to savour existence… We are after all, human beings and not doings! Our senses, emotions, and opening up our hearts to fully receive love and give it back. These are the moments that allow you to relive your dream day again and again.
So kiss a little longer. Hold his hand tighter. Pause mid-ceremony exit for a dip. There’s no rush on a wedding day to get past moments when it’s already going to go by in what will feel like a single breath.
Your job is to savour it all, and we’ll just be floating everywhere to capture it all for you xo.
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We're Dylan & Sandra. Married photographers, donut lovers, and obsessed with family and our squishy toddler. We're so glad you're here! Grab a drink and stay awhile for classic + joy-filled love stories in and around the GTA, London, Niagara and the best-of wedding advice!
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