Week 9: Drafting a Photo List

Do these things this week
Draft shot list and share with photographer
Visit your top 2 rehearsal dinner venues
Select and sign for rehearsal dinner
Share rehearsal dinner info with attendees
Begin collecting RSVPs
Schedule appointment with county clerk for marriage license for 3 weeks out

While a great photographer will already know which general pictures to take and how, it can’t hurt to brainstorm about specific moments you’d like captured. Some photographers will want to walk through a basic shot list with you and your fiance before the wedding so they have a clear idea what you’d like from your photos. But even if they don’t, it’s OK to reach out and provide a brief rundown of the photos you’d like to see in your album.

As you’re planning for your wedding day, provide your photographer with a small list of photos that matter most to you.

  • Family portraits: Make a list of those family members you must get a photo with.
  • You and your spouse: Are there any shots that are really important to you? Let your photographer know (but also trust their instincts).
  • Special details: Your wedding will likely have a lot of small details, so if any of them carry special meaning point it out to your photographer beforehand.
  • Special moments: Let your photographer know if the cake cutting or mother-son dance are especially important.

If you’re working with a videographer, loop him or her into your photo shot list and conversations with your photographer, too. “Photographers share the same space with videographers nearly all day, so we work together very closely,” says Leslee Leaming of Leslee Leaming Films. “Teamwork is important since we are both getting the same shots. My assistant and I take a mostly candid approach to filming, so we rarely ask couples to pose, but photographers have to do a lot of that, so we give photographers the lead in these situations while we stand back and capture it as it happens.”


Once you’ve toured a few rehearsal dinner venues, select the one that’s right for you and make an appointment to sign the contract.

  • Who: name and contact info (your’s and their’s)
  • What: everything they’ll be providing
  • Where: the location of the rehearsal dinner
  • When: dates and time of rehearsal dinner
  • How much: cost for service, including any additional fees
  • Receipt: the deposit paid, the balance due and due dates
  • Uh oh: cancellation policies and emergencies

File your copy of the contract away with the rest of your wedding contracts and update your budget to reflect any deposits paid and balances due. Then update your wedding website or spread the word to your wedding party and close family and friends.


As RSVPs come in, keep track of who is and isn’t able to attend. You’ll need to share these numbers with your venue and vendors, and you’ll also refer to it while putting together your seating chart. If you have a guest list management app, it should collect the information for you. If not, it’s not too late to sign up for Hello Wedding.


You probably won’t need an appointment with your County Clerk in order to apply for a marriage license, but you should make still mark a specific date and time on your own calendars. Aim to visit the County Clerk’s office 3 weeks before your wedding date, but confirm online that this timeframe falls within your county’s marriage license limits. Some counties require you to get married within a specific number of days or weeks from the time you receive your marriage license.