I get it, because I've been there and I remember all the lists when I was wedding planning. At first, I loved the lists! They seemed like such a great idea and I felt a sense of accomplishment checking off things like "Send gigantic deposit check to venue right after Christmas but before you get your tax return and weep real tears and eat ramen until March". I remember that very well. The first month or so was all about checking off lists and it felt great.
But then I started getting anxiety. What if I don't check all of these things off? What if I'm missing something I didn't even know I'm missing? At some point, you have to take a deep breath and trust your vendors to do the job you're hiring them to do. If you need reasons as to why you should do this, here are 4:
Why are you choosing this person/company in the first place? You've probably researched a ton of photographers, priced out who or what type of package is in your budget, but ultimately, you're choosing professionals who you connect with. You like their style, their personality, you can tell from their website and social media channels that they know what they're doing (hence the word professional), and you're excited to work with them. Nothing makes me happier than meeting a client, getting to know each other, and developing a relationship that goes deeper than "I signed a contract and paid you to take pictures today."
By the time the wedding rolls around, it's like witnessing a marriage of friends. There's mutual care and respect for your relationship and for what I love to do - photograph your union and celebration.
I'm not saying the wedding day is a complete photographic free for all, but communication should be open and clear. Discuss your vision for the day. Talk about what's important to you. For some, it's details and gorgeous portraits. For others, it's ensuring that there are photos of grandparents or relatives who flew in from overseas or a special tradition that'll take place.
The area that I do encourage a list is for family portraits, to ensure that no one is missed, and to discuss any relationship dynamics that I should be aware of.
When I got married, I didn't have Pinterest. There were a couple popular wedding blogs, but for the most part, my expectations were set by what I saw in my photographers portfolio and what I ultimately fell in love with, her ability to beautifully photograph emotional moments.
Now if you do a quick search for "Wedding Photo Ideas" you'll be bombarded with list after list and blog post after blog post of what's pretty, what's popular, don't miss this, make sure you do that. It's a lot of pressure all around, and if I'm being honest, it's going to detract from enjoying your wedding day as it unfolds. A pre-determined checklist can't be a cookie cutter guideline for a wedding day because every wedding is different. Trust me, you'd rather be enjoying yourself than worrying about if your father shed a lone tear when he first saw you, if there was a gorgeous flare of sunlight behind you as you entered the church, or if your bridal party really committed to that running-away-from-the-T-rex shot.
You need to hire a person that you trust to do their job. You've made a great connection, you're excited for them to capture your day and to be there with you from start to finish, so let them work their magic. A professional doesn't need that Top 100 Wedding Photos checklist because they have the experience, they know the general flow for the day and what to look out for. You've communicated what is really important to you when it comes to the photos you want, and they're going to use that knowledge to navigate the day.
The last thing you want is your photographer spending their time checking a list on their phone to make sure they didn't miss anything (while they are ironically missing stuff by checking their phone).