Your wedding day is a day in your life that you’ll want to remember forever and you will. You will remember the details, the feeling of your post “I do” kiss, and even a couple of songs that you broke it down to on the dance floor. But the best way to make sure your wedding memories are captured and recorded for a lifetime is through the photos that you take on the big day.
You’ll have the urge to tell your photographer to snap photos of everything at every second, and, while that sounds like a good idea, it’s better to come to the table before your wedding with an organized list of must have photos. The kind of photos that represent the key moments of the wedding and the people who filled the day with endless love, support, and excitement as they stood by your side and danced with you on the dance floor.
Besides the group photos of you and your new spouse, the bridal party, and the guests, there’s a long list of other detail shots you’ll want captured. There are so many small and intricate elements that you’ll want your photographer to prioritize shooting, like your invitations, welcome bags, and other décor. You’ll not only want these to preserve the memory of those special details, but, as the bride, you’ll find yourself floating with nerves and excitement you might very well miss the stunning centerpieces and pulled-together place settings that you spent so many hours grueling over on Pinterest. It’s those special components that you’ll be able to look back on and appreciate having in your wedding album.
So if you’re wondering what must have photos to put on your shot list, we have you covered. We’ve flipped through countless real wedding albums and broke down the key moments of the wedding to bring you a list of 50 photos you should absolutely have your photographer capture. This way, for years to come after your wedding, you can sit back with your partner, relax, and relive the magic of the best day of your lives. Let’s take a look at those 50 photos, and don’t forget to pin your favorites to your wedding inspiration board.
A Good Morning Shot
It’s your wedding day and it’s time to have some fun. Make the first photo of the day a special one—whether it’s jumping on an unmade hotel room bed in your robe, or toasting a cup of coffee with your maid of honor—something that sets the tone that today is different, memorable, and extra exciting.
Have your photographer switch back and forth between the groomsmen and the bridesmaids so they can capture the getting ready process of both the men and the women. Be sure to coordinate this so that your photographer doesn’t arrive to a room of groomsmen in their boxers, still asleep, or a scene of bridesmaids without any makeup on.
Your Stationery Suite
Be sure to bring along your entire stationery suite (invitations, save the dates, programs, and more). Your photographer can clump these together and take a nice collage shot.
Your Love Letter Exchange
If you and your fiancé(e) are exchanging handwritten letters before the ceremony, be sure to have your photographer capture the emotions of both of you reading the letters to yourselves.
The Ceremony Setup
Before anyone arrives for the ceremony is the perfect time to have photos taken of how the space looks—whether you’re getting married in an open field, a church, or even on the beach.
The Ceremony Accessories
After a wide shot of the ceremony is captured, now is the time to get some close up shots of the details—the programs, the flowers, the candles.
Guest Welcome Bags
If you did something fun for the guests and put together a welcome bag or a wedding survival kit for them at check-in, have your photographer grab a bag and take a few shots of the goodies inside, as well as the bag as a whole.
The Wedding Shoes
It may feel a bit like Cinderella to have your wedding shoes sitting all pretty under the spotlight, but since your heels may be covered by your gown, snap some photos of them alone, or beside your dress, so you can always remember the details of what carried you down the aisle.
The Groom’s Boutonniere
A photo of the boutonniere is a necessity, so you can remember what it looked like before the party started and the groom’s jacket came off—and the little boutonniere was nowhere to be found.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and if you get a couple of close up shots of the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets, you’ll probably even be able to trigger the smell of the fresh flowers that you picked out for them.
The Wedding Party’s Grand Entrance
Since the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle before the bride, have the photographer capture their expressions and their first couple of steps. That way, the bride can get a glimpse of the action she missed.
Candid Shots of the Bride Getting Into Her Dress
These shots of the bride getting in her gown include members of the bridal party helping the bride zip up her dress, put on her shoes and veil, and make sure her final look is absolutely perfect.
The Bridesmaid First Look
Once the bride is all dressed and ready, her bridesmaids will want to see her finished look. And their expressions will certainly be priceless.
The Bride Getting Glammed Up
No close up shots allowed here. Since this is when the hair is being curled and the makeup is being set, have the photographer snap just a couple of photos for the memories.
A Magazine Worthy Shot of the Bride
Consider this photo kind of like a professional selfie, except it’s more staged and you’re not the one holding the camera. Once you have your hair and makeup done, have the photographer take some photos of you in poses that may have you feeling like a cover model.
Style Shot of the Groom
Just like the bride, the photographer can take some portraits of the groom alone.
The Ceremony Musicians
A picture of the ceremony musicians in action is always a good idea.
The First Look
If you’re doing a first look before the ceremony, you’ll love the photos of the dear moment when the two of you laid eyes on each other for the very first time.
The Father of the Bride First Look
What a moment! When the father of the bride sees his little girl in her wedding dress for the first time is sure to be a memorable moment. If your photographer is lucky, they may even catch a tear or two.
The Bride Walking Down the Aisle
This is a moment where a photo says it all. Since you will be so overwhelmed with emotion and nerves as you take your steps down the aisle, you’ll hardly remember what happened until you make it up the altar.
Just the Ladies
Take a handful of bridesmaid photos of you and your girls having fun and posing for pictures indoors and outdoors.
Just the Guys
Be sure to get some staged photos of the groomsmen together as well as some goofy candid shots, too.
Let your photographer get creative with how she or he snaps photos of your wedding rings. Whether they’re against your dress, the wedding invitation, or even the bouquet, there are so many options for this shot.