Wedding Photo List Must-Haves: Shots You Can’t Afford to Miss

Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by Project Party

Planning a wedding is an exciting but often overwhelming process. One of the most important tasks to complete when planning your special day is creating a list of photos you’d like taken during the ceremony and reception. A wedding photo list ensures that no memories are forgotten and that all the moments that make up your big day are captured in beautiful photographs. Creating such a comprehensive list can seem daunting, so here are some tips to help get you started on making sure your wedding photos turn out exactly how you envisioned them.

How To Create The Perfect Wedding Photo List

Your wedding day is one of the most important events of your life, and having beautiful photos to commemorate it is a must. However, capturing all of the key moments during such a hectic day can seem overwhelming. That’s where a wedding photo list comes in handy. The thing is, getting those key shots on your wedding day isn’t down to magic and chance. You can make sure that all the important photos are taken with some simple preparation.

Here are our tips for creating the perfect wedding photo list:

  1. Brainstorm moments – Make a list of all the special moments you want to remember from your wedding day. Go through friends’ photo albums and speak to your photographer about the type of shots that are best suited for your day to get ideas.
  2. Prioritise – Think about which images you want to be sure to capture, and make sure those are at the top of your list. The fact is, a wedding day can be a blur so not every photo will be able to be taken, so prioritise the ones that are most important to you.
  3. Talk to your photographer – Have a detailed discussion with them about the type of shots you’d like taken on your wedding day. It helps if you can give examples of images that you have seen online or in print that you would like to try and recreate.
  4. Write down details – Include as much detail as possible on your list, such as the names of people in the shots, locations, poses, angles and any other directions you’d like your photographer to follow. Again, don’t leave this to chance and ensure you are specific with what you want.
  5. Inspect the venue for ideas – If you’re having your ceremony and reception in the same location, take a walk around before the big day and pinpoint where you would like certain shots to be taken.
  6. Appoint a family member – Ask a reliable family member or friend to help your photographer keep track of the list and ensure that all shots are taken. They can call in family and friends when shots are ready to be taken and also make sure that nobody is left out of any pictures.
  7. Get creative – Some of the best and most memorable shots might be those which are a little different and creative. You can give your photographer instructions to take candid photos throughout the day or have fun with group poses, props, and lighting.

From Getting Ready to the First Dance: Essential Shots for Your Wedding Day

Writing a wedding photo list is an essential yet challenging task that requires careful consideration and planning to ensure that all the important moments are captured. However, by taking the time to create a comprehensive photo list, you’ll be able to share these images with everyone who was part of your special day and relive the memories of that day for years to come. Whether it’s the exchange of vows, the first kiss, the cutting of the cake or other cherished moments, your wedding photos will be a reminder of how love brought you together on your big day.

Here is a list of some essential shots to make sure you add to your wedding photo list:

Important Memories: Before the Wedding

1. The Bride and Groom Getting Ready

The anticipation builds as the big day approaches. The bride and groom getting ready is one of the most exciting moments captured in wedding photos. As they prepare, emotions run high, and it’s the perfect opportunity to snap candid shots that will capture their excitement and joy. Whether it’s the groom adjusting his tie or the bride putting on her earrings, these little moments provide a glimpse into the excitement of the day. Don’t forget to add “bride and groom getting ready” to your wedding photo list, so you can capture all these special moments and memories.

2. The Wedding Dress

The wedding dress is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and memorable aspects of a wedding. Whether it’s hanging up, waiting to be worn, or delicately draped over the bride’s body, it exudes elegance and femininity. Every bride-to-be spends hours searching for the perfect dress that best represents her style and personality. When the day arrives, photographers make sure to capture every detail of the stunning garment, adding it to the coveted wedding photo list. Admiring the details of the lace, the beading, and the fabric, we can’t help but gasp at the sheer beauty of the wedding dress. It truly is a masterpiece that symbolizes love and commitment, making the bride feel special and adored on her big day.

Wedding photo list - the dress
A beautiful photograph of your wedding dress hanging up on the day will be a cherished memory for years to come.

3. Detail Shots

When it comes to capturing memories of your big day, it’s essential to pay attention to all the little details. This includes taking close-up shots of any special items or moments that will occur throughout the day. For instance, you don’t want to forget to capture a photo of your wedding rings, as they represent the everlasting bond between you and your partner. Flower bouquets are another essential detail that can easily be missed in the whirlwind of the day. Take the time to get a few close-up shots of the bride’s bouquet, along with any floral arrangements used in the ceremony or reception decor.

Shoes and cufflinks are also worthy of their photo op. The groom’s shoes pictured next to the bride’s heels can create a fun and playful shot. And if the groom is wearing cufflinks, capturing a photo of this detail can add an extra level of sophistication to your wedding album.

4. The Bridal Party Getting Ready

One of the most exciting parts of your wedding day is getting ready for your bridal party. This is a time for you and your closest friends to bond, laugh, and share special moments before the ceremony begins. As such, it’s important to capture both posed and candid shots of these moments.

Candid photos, on the other hand, can capture the natural, unscripted moments that occur when the bridal party is getting ready together. These photos can be especially meaningful, as they capture the emotions and excitement of the moment authentically. This could include everything from candid shots of the bridal party sharing a laugh to posed photos of everyone holding their bouquets or putting on their cufflinks.

Important Memories: During the Ceremony

5. The Ceremony Venue

One of the most beautiful moments of a wedding is the ceremony itself, and capturing the perfect shots to relive those moments is paramount. Taking wide-angle shots of the ceremony venue before guests arrive is an excellent idea to capture the beauty of the venue, the decoration, and the ambience of the day. The photographs can also be added to the wedding photo list, which the couple can refer to in the future as a guide to their special day. These wide-angle shots are not only stunning but will be cherished for a lifetime, as they capture the essence of where the couple exchanged their vows and became one.

6. The Processional

As the sweet melody of the wedding march fills the air, all eyes are fixed towards the front of the aisle. One by one, the bridal party makes their way down, each looking stunning in their carefully chosen attire. The bridesmaids and groomsmen walk in perfect synchronicity, forming a lovely procession that’s simply spellbinding to watch. Every step they take brings them closer to the moment when the two lovers will exchange vows and start a new chapter in their lives together. The processional is undeniably one of the most memorable moments of any wedding. Even the wedding photo list includes pictures of the bridal party walking down the aisle, proof of just how much importance this moment holds on every couple’s big day.

7. The First Look

One of the most magical moments of a wedding is the first look between the bride and groom. As they catch a glimpse of each other for the first time on their big day, the emotion on their faces is priceless. This special moment is often captured by photographers who make sure to include it on the wedding photo list. It’s a moment that couples often look back on with fondness, remembering the raw emotion they felt when they saw their partner in their wedding attire for the very first time. It’s a moment that truly sets the tone for the rest of the day and one that couples will remember for the rest of their lives.

8. The Vows

The exchange of vows between the bride and groom is one of the most emotional and special moments of any wedding ceremony. It’s a time when promises are made and love is professed, creating a beautiful and meaningful moment that should be captured on camera.

To ensure that you don’t miss this important moment, make sure that your wedding photographer is in a prime position to capture the exchange of vows. They should be close enough to the action to get clear shots of both the bride and groom as they recite their vows, but not so close that they are intrusive.

In addition to capturing the exchange of vows, it’s also essential to get close-up shots of the rings being exchanged. These photos can be particularly beautiful and symbolic, showcasing the commitment and love shared between the bride and groom.

Wedding photo list - exchanging of rings
The moment when the couple exchange rings during the wedding ceremony is a perfect opportunity to capture a beautiful and emotional photograph.

Important Memories: After the Ceremony

9. Family, Friend and Group Photos

Your wedding day is a special occasion that you want to remember for years to come, and capturing group shots with your loved ones is a great way to create lasting memories. Family photos, in particular, are an essential part of any wedding album as they showcase the people who are closest to you so ensure its on your wedding photo list.

When taking family photos, it’s a good idea to take both group shots with immediate and extended family members, as well as individual photos with special family members such as grandparents and godparents. These individuals hold a special place in your heart, and having a photo with them can be a cherished memory that you’ll treasure forever. If you or your partner have children from previous relationships, including them in the photos is an important aspect of documenting the joining of two families. Blended family photos highlight the love and unity between everyone involved and can be especially meaningful.

Don’t forget your friends either! Taking group shots with your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other close friends is a great way to capture memories of your special day that you can look back on fondly. Candid shots of your friends enjoying the festivities throughout the day also add a fun element to your wedding album.

Finally, a photo of the entire wedding party and guests takes some effort and planning but is well worth it. Your photographer should be placed in a strategic location to capture a clear, unobstructed shot of everyone. This photo will serve as a beautiful reminder of all the love and joy that surrounded you on your wedding day.

10. Couple and Bridal Party Photos

After the wedding ceremony is complete, it’s time to capture some beautiful and creative photos of the newlyweds and their bridal party. Researching photo locations before the wedding day is key here to make the most of your photography time. Speak to your wedding planner for ideas on unique locations, or search online for inspiration.

When taking photos of the bridal party, take a mix of individual and group shots that showcase the personalities of each person. Fun and creative photos that show off the quirks of your bridal party are always a hit, adding a personal touch to your wedding album.

For photos of the couple, take romantic and candid shots that capture the love and joy of the day. Look for unique locations around the venue that offer beautiful backdrops for your photos. Whether it’s a scenic garden or a dramatic cityscape, choosing the right location can add an extra dimension to your wedding album.

And don’t forget to have some fun with your wedding photo list! Take silly and playful photos of the couple, like jumping or goofy poses. These photos create a light-hearted and memorable addition to your wedding album, capturing the joy and laughter of the day.

Photo List: At the Reception

11. Reception Decorations and Details

The decorations and details of your wedding reception are just as important to capture as the ceremony itself. Make sure that your photographer is taking beautiful photos of all the little things that make your big day special, from the flowers on each table to the place cards laid out near them. These photos will serve as a reminder of how much effort went into making your reception beautiful.

12. The First Dance

The first dance between the bride and groom is typically one of the highlights of any wedding reception. As an important part of your big day, it’s essential to make sure that this moment is captured in all its glory. Make sure your photographer knows exactly where they need to be positioned to get some great shots of the couple and the twinkling lights that are often a part of this romantic moment. The added details to your wedding photo list will pay off here.

13. The Cake Cutting

The traditional cutting of the cake is another special moment that should be captured by your photographer. Talk to them in advance about where they need to position themselves to get clear shots of each partner taking their first bite. Photos of the cake itself are also an important detail to document, so make sure your photographer captures those too.

14. Candid Reception Photos

In addition to the formal photos that you’ll take of guests and family members, make sure that your photographer takes some candid shots of everyone having fun at the reception as well. These moments are often the most memorable ones from the big day, and having photos to look back on can be an invaluable keepsake.

15. The Getaway

Finally, no matter how the night ends, make sure your photographer captures that special moment when you and your partner slip away from the reception and head off into the night! This is a romantic end to any wedding day, and having a photo of it will serve as a beautiful final reminder of the day you shared with your family and friends. Often overlooked on people’s wedding photo lists, make sure its on yours.

Wedding photo list - the getaway
The couple leaving the wedding reception in their car is a classic photo opportunity that can be captured to give them a memento of the end of their big day.

Creating a Comprehensive Photo List: Tips and Must-Have Shots

Creating a wedding photo list is an essential part of planning your special day. This list will help ensure that you capture all the important moments and people in your life, creating a beautiful and comprehensive collection of memories to cherish for years to come. To create a comprehensive wedding photo list, it’s important to communicate with your photographer ahead of time about which photos you want to capture and any specific poses or locations. This will help ensure you have plenty of time to take all the photos you want while enjoying your wedding day.

By including these 15 must-have shots in your wedding photo list, you’ll be able to create a complete collection of images that perfectly capture the emotions and beauty of the day. Remember to also consider any specific shots that the couple may want and get creative with unique shots that showcase your skills and style as a photographer.

In addition to group and individual shots of the bridal party and family, don’t forget to capture photos of the ceremony itself, including the exchange of vows and rings, the first kiss, and the grand exit. The post-ceremony photo session is also a great time to take romantic photos of the couple together, as well as fun and playful shots that showcase their personalities.

With these tips and must-have shots on your wedding photo list, you’ll be able to create an amazing wedding album that the couple can treasure for years to come.