What wedding photos to take on your wedding day

Ok, so your big day is rapidly approaching and you are thinking about the wedding photos.  Perhaps you have a family friend shooting your wedding as a favour/wedding present, or maybe you have a relatively in-experienced wedding photographer and aren’t 100% confident they will know to get the shots are important to you.  Whatever the situation, it is always a good idea to know what images you expect to get after your wedding and to discuss your requirements with your photographer.  After all, if you don’t discuss what you want from the photos with your wedding photographer you aren’t in much of a position to complain if, after the wedding, some important shots are missing.  And by communicating to an inexperienced wedding photographer the shots that are important to you you are making it more likely that he or she will remember to shoot them in the hustle/bustle of the wedding day itself.

Right, without further ado, here is a basic list of wedding photos that are important to most brides & grooms.  Oh, and don’t worry, a really good wedding photographer can be efficient and organised whilst still having a fun, relaxed approach on the wedding day that makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable for you.  And more enjoyable = better photos.  Strangely, I have found from experience that the more organized and uber-prepared I am before the wedding the more relaxed and carefree I (and my bride and groom) can be on the day – and the photos that result are so much more beautiful.

Ok, here’s the list…hope it helps;


Bride’s dress on the hanger or over a chair

Close-up of bride’s shoes

Close-up of bride’s bouquet

Bride getting finishing touches of her makeup done

Bridesmaids getting finishing touches of make-up done

Bride putting on garter

Close-up of dress details

Bride with bridesmaids

Bride hugging mom

Flower girl(s) ready to go

Mum or bridesmaids putting finishing touches on bride, adding the veil, train, etc.

Bride spending moment alone, thinking quietly or looking out the window

Full-length shot of bride all dressed and ready to go

Full-length shot of bride and mum

Bride getting in the car, limo or cab

(The following shots may not be possible with one photographer and two separate getting ready locations for bride and groom;

Groom putting on tie

Groom with groomsmen

Ring bearer ready to go

Groom with dad)

Groom looking out the window, waiting for the bride to arrive

Car arriving with bride

Photo of bride inside the car through the reflections of the window

Bride stepping out of the car

Wide shot of ceremony space from the back

Guests arriving (especially if they’re using special transportation like a shuttle bus, boat or even escalator)

Shots of flower girl/ring bearer walking down the aisle

Close up of details (guest book, pew decorations, etc.)

Groom and groomsmen waiting nervously for bride to walk down aisle

Guests sitting down, waiting for ceremony to start

Bridesmaids walking down the aisle

Wedding party standing at the altar

Bride just before walking down the aisle

Shot of bride (and escort) beginning to walk down the aisle

Close-up of groom’s face when he sees bride for the first time (this can be done earlier, if photos are done before the ceremony)

Back shot of bride and groom together at the altar with celebrant between them

Shot focusing on bridesmaids’ bouquets, lined up as they hold them at the altar

Close-up of each hand as the rings are exchanged

Close-up of bride’s face, as seen over the groom’s shoulder

Close-up of groom’s face, as seen over the bride’s shoulder

Shot of both sets of parents’ faces as they witness ceremony

The first kiss

Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple

Guests getting ready to shower the couple with well wishes (and bubbles, birdseed, etc.) as they leave

Bride and groom walking out of ceremony space, hand-in-hand


Full shot of bride and groom together

Full shot of bride and groom hugging

Full shot of bride and groom kissing

Bride being lifted or carried by groom or sitting on groom’s lap

Close-up of couples’ faces as bride is lifted, carried or sitting on groom’s lap

Bride with her parents

Groom with his parents

Bride with groom’s parents

Groom with bride’s parents

Bride with bridesmaids

Groom with groomsmen

Bride with groomsmen

Group shot of bride, groom, family and wedding party

Groom leaning up against a wall with bride in front of him, kissing

Bride and groom walking toward the camera, holding hands

Bride and groom walking away from camera, holding hands

Bride and groom looking off in the same direction together


Close-up of details (place settings, name cards, etc.)

Close-up of centre-pieces

Wide shot of entire room before everyone arrives, even better if taken from above

Bride and groom’s first dance

Bride dancing with her dad — close-up of her face as seen over his shoulder

Groom dancing with his mom

Close-up of cake

Bride showing her new ring to the guests

Bride and groom hugging guests, close-ups of faces

Best man (or other guests) making a toast to the couple

Bride and groom’s faces as they listen to the toast(s)

Guests smiling and clapping

Guests dancing and cutting loose on the dance floor

Wide shot of entire room after guests arrive

Close-ups of guests’ faces, laughing and having a great time

Groups of friends sitting together at their table or dancing

Bride and groom whispering to each other

Parents (or even better, grandparents) dancing

Kids dancing or playing around

Close-up of band or DJ

Bride and groom cutting the cake



Author Details

Patrick Fallon

I am a wedding photographer based in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand. I have been full-time with the photography thing since 2006 and still can’t believe I get to do what I love for a job! Here are a few words that I think sum me up: I AM…tall and bald, happy, imaginative, constantly hungry, active and friendly. I LOVE…my girl, coffee, photography, fooooooood, my family and friends, riding bikes, being outside, the simple things in life, people… I love my life! I believe that wedding photography can and should be SIMPLE, NATURAL, BEAUTIFUL.

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