Today’s post was written by Mélanie from Photography by Mélanie! Brides, put this one in your back pocket. ;)

Being photojournalistic photographers, we don’t spend our days walking around with a checklist of the shots we need to take in order to be able to tell a compelling story. We tend to take what feels right at that given moment. Go with the flow while keeping in in mind that we need to have a certain amount of detail photos, bride + groom photos, group photos, formal photos and so on.  Mental checklists are great that way.

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove However, brides who contact us often like to get a physical list of the main photos that will be taken that day in order to get a gist of what’s going on. This is also a good way to manage people’s expectations and figure out if the groom’s aunt Gina who is actually like a 2nd mom to him needs to be in the shots. You will notice that many of these shots are from two angles (front + back) or groom and bride simultaneously. This is because we always have AT LEAST two photographers on set at any given time. We want to be able to capture everything. Not miss a beat and get all the photos that will remind you of this day that is going to go by way to fast!

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove As a bride, don’t be shy to ask just how much coverage you will get that day. How many photographers are you hiring when you buy a package? How much experience does the 2nd (or 3rd) shooter have? How many photos can you expect to get from the wedding? Ask as many questions as you can think of to your photographer, they should have no issue answering all of them. (A little tip for photographers, take photos of the details & don’t always hover around people as tempting as it might be. Take a step back and take a few seconds to soak it all in. This day will go by way to fast for your lovely bride & groom, so pay attention to the details since they probably wont have time to appreciate most of them)

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLoveSo here’s a partial list of the photos that our studio uses:

Bride Getting Ready

  • Bride’s dress on the hanger or over a chair
  • Close-up of bride’s details (shoes, bouquet, garter, dress details)
  • Bride getting makeup applied & hair done
  • Mom and/or bridesmaids helping the bride get into her dress, adding veil etc.
  • Bride together with bridesmaids
  • Bride hugging mom
  • Flower girl(s)
  • Bride spending moment alone, praying or looking out the window
  • Full-length shot of bride all dressed up
  • Bride getting into car / limo / cab

Groom Getting Ready

  • Close-up of groom’s details (shoes, tie, cufflinks, boutonnière)
  • Groom putting on tie & cuff links
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Ring bearer
  • Groom with dad, hugging or whispering advice
  • Groom getting into car / limo / cab

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove


  • Groom waiting for the bride to arrive
  • Car arriving with bride
  • Bride getting out of the car
  • Ceremony space from the back, front & other interesting angles
  • Guests arriving
  • Front and back shots of flower girl/ring as they go down the isle
  • Close up of details (guest book, pew decorations, bridesmaid bouquets etc.)
  • Back shot of bride (and escort) beginning to walk down the aisle
  • Full-frontal shot of bride (and escort) walking down the aisle
  • Close-up of groom’s face when he sees bride for the first time
  • Close-up of hands as the rings are exchanged
  • Shot of both sets of parents’ faces as they witness ceremony
  • The kiss (don’t miss the kiss!)
  • Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove

Before the Reception (Formal Shots)

Here is where I usually ask the bride & groom who are the main important people to have photographed in the group shots. Brides usually come up with a huge list of the group shots they want to have take. A little tip, if it sounds like a big list to you. That’s because it is. Cut it down. There are always ways to merge smaller groups into bigger group shots because in all sincerity, there it not all that much time to take these.

  • Photos of bride and groom together
  • Bride with her parents and then his parents
  • Groom with his parents and then her parents
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Group shot of wedding party
  • Insert all the other group shots as discussed with bride & groom here

Photography by Melanie WeddingPhotoLove


  • Close-up of details (place settings, cake, name cards, centerpieces, accents etc.)
  • Photo of the venue before & after guests arrive
  • Bride and groom’s first dance
  • Father & Daughter dance
  • Best man (or other guests) making a toast to the couple
  • Guests smiling and clapping
  • Bride and groom cutting the cake
  • Bride and groom in back seat of getaway car & car as it leaves

Thank you Melanie for such an extensive guest post!