Must-Have Wedding Photos That Should Be in Your Photo Album

first kiss
Source: Brides

If there will be one thing from your wedding day that will last for the years to come, it will be the special memories captured in photographs or pictures. The wedding photos and videos are two of the most important parts of your wedding day. That is the reason why couples want to make sure they’re getting a quality photographer and videographer in order to capture all those special moments that make up their wedding day celebration.

There are many packages being offered by photographers and videographers, some combining the two, or working with people they know. Most of the time, we rely on our photographers to know which moments to capture.

But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. As a matter of fact, we’ve prepared a checklist of photo opportunities so that you’ll be aware of what usually goes into your wedding photo album, and others that you might or might now want to include. This also gives you an idea of how you might want to style your invitations, your bouquet, or your wedding favors. Feel free to share this list with your photographer and see which ones they’ve got on their list, and which ones you want to be added or removed.

Pre-Ceremony Photo Checklist

This list contains the photos you want to be included to document how you got ready before the wedding, how your partner got ready, and what you’ve done while waiting for everyone else to get ready.

Outfit Shots

bridal bouquet
Source: Brides
  • Wedding gown and veil
  • Tuxedo or Wedding suit
  • Shoes of the bride and groom
  • Hairpieces or accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Dress hanging, jewelry laid out, cufflinks, and other accessories for the wedding outfit
  • Close up of dress details

Wedding Symbols and Elements

wedding invitation suite
Source: Brides
  • Bridal Bouquet and Bridesmaids’ bouquets
  • Wedding Ring Shots
  • Unity Candles
  • Wedding Cords
  • Shot of Wedding Invitation and RSVP Card
  • Boutonnieres and corsages

Getting Ready Shots

bridesmaids getting ready
Source: Brides
  • Wearing jewelry and accessories
  • Bride and Groom putting on shoes
  • Bride and bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done
  • Bride putting on wedding dress and veil with the help of her bridesmaids
  • The bridal party having fun, and some outdoor shots
  • Groom and groomsmen getting ready
  • Groom spending a moment alone
  • Bride spending a moment alone

Beauty Shots

portrait shots wedding
Source: Brides
  • Close up of bride holding bouquet
  • Close up shots of the bride for beauty
  • Portrait of mother and bride
  • Portrait of father and bride
  • Portrait of the mother of the groom
  • Portrait of the father of the groom
  • Family shots from both sides
  • Stairs shot for the Bridal Party
  • Bride and father in wedding car/walking to the ceremony

First Look Shots

Source: Fabmood

While this is out of the usual tradition, and may not be for everyone, it might be one you would want to consider. First look shots is a special moment between the bride and groom where they are able to be together without anyone else but the photographer of course. There are many ways of doing a First Look shot where the bride and groom can be on either side of a large tree, or each one holding a balloon bouquet, or behind some type of wedding standee, or even one where the groom is blindfolded so he is not able to see the bride, but can still be with her.  This is a great way to calm down any nerves before the wedding.

Wedding Ceremony Photo Checklist

When preparing this checklist, make sure you check with the wedding officiant or celebrant beforehand if their policy allows photos during the ceremony. Otherwise, your photographer and videographer should have enough space to work with in order to get different shots of the couple, the bridal, and the guests.

Ceremony Venue 

wedding ceremony venue
Source: The Venue Report
  • Shots of empty venue/church, including the altar, flowers, interior, and exterior details
  • Wedding arch if available

Bridal Party and Guests

wedding ushers
Source: Brides
  • The bridal party waiting outside the venue
  • Guests outside and inside the church
  • Ushers handing out programs or assisting guests
  • Bridal party entrance

In-Ceremony Shots

first kiss
Source: Brides
  • The arrival of the Bride
  • Bride stepping out of the car/limo
  • Bridal Party Processional of the flower girls, symbol bearers, wedding officiant
  • Bride(s) walking up the aisle
  • Groom's reaction
  • Father or mother giving the bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • The lighting of the unity candle or other traditional ceremony items
  • Ring bearer
  • Exchanging of the rings
  • The first kiss as a married couple, and the moment after
  • Signing the register
  • The recessional/couple walking back down the aisle
  • Newlywed shot
  • Guests throwing confetti or petals
  • Greeting guests outside the venue
  • Couple in the back seat of wedding car

Post-Ceremony Photo Checklist

Source: Ruffled Blog
  • Shots of the couple alone
  • Shots of bride and groom on their own
  • Shots of Bridal Party celebrating
  • Photo of Couple with Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, formal and candid
  • Couple with the entire wedding party
  • Bride with bridesmaids and maid of honor
  • Groom with groomsmen and best man
  • Couple with the symbol bearers in the wedding party

Family Shots 

wedding photos
Source: Wedding Wire
  • Shot of the couple with each of each set of parents, and then with both sets of parents
  • Couple with their siblings
  • Couple with close family members and relatives
  • Shots with friends
  • Candid shots

Wedding Reception Photo Checklist

Source: The Banana Diaries

The wedding reception shots are a definitely set of photos where more memories are captured. Your wedding cake, special dance presentations, memorable wedding toasts, or other special shots. Here are some must-have wedding reception photos that you need to be in your wedding album.

  • The reception venue, flower arrangements
  • Room decorations, table settings, place cards, centerpieces, wedding favors
  • Wedding cake shots
  • Recessional of the wedding party
  • Candid shots of the wedding guests
  • Toasts and speeches
  • Couple cutting the cake and eating the cake
  • Couple’s first dance
  • Bride and Father dance
  • Groom and Mother dance
  • Couple mingling with guests
  • Guests dancing
  • Musicians, singers, DJ
  • The Last Kiss

Overall, you should have all the essential photos for your ultimate wedding photo album. This is a great way for you to maximize your photographer and get all the shots you want, plus add some photo ideas that your photographer might have to add that extra oomph to your wedding album.

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