It’s important to plan ahead with your wedding photographer so we have prepared the absolutely must-have wedding photos that will help you with putting together your dream album checklist.
From the getting ready shots to the popular sparkler exit photos, it’s important to plan ahead and review your wedding pictures checklist with your photographer at least a week before the ceremony to ensure all moments that are important to you are captured on your big day.
Before jumping into the Must-Have Photos Gallery, make sure to PIN this checklist!
Photo 1-3: Bride Morning – Getting Ready
Getting ready photos are the perfect place to start documenting your special day. You’ll want to capture how you feel as you realize that you’re about to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. Make sure there’s a camera (or photographer) handy as you start the day’s journey.
Source: Amanda Watson photography, The Becker, Emily Blake
Photo 4-6: Hanging Wedding Dress
Aside from the bride and groom, the gown is the star of the show. While it’s pristine and perfectly hung, you’ll want to try a variety of wedding dress photos. Your venue is sure to host a wide range of interesting textures and colors to set the gown against. Head outside if you want to capture an artistic shot of your dress flowing in the wind.
Source: Eric Kelley, lvrevents, The Mondays Photography
Photo 7-9: Behind-the-scenes memories with the bridal party. Champagne time
You’ll be celebrating with your guests all night long. At some point, you’ll want to pull aside all of the people that made it happen. This creates a great opportunity for photos of Behind-the-scenes memories with the bridal party. Place this on your list to look back on popping bottles to a great mission accomplished.
Photo 10-12: Putting On The Dress
This isn’t a normal “going out” kind of night. This is a process! Putting on the dress photos are a great way to look back at what some brides describe as the ‘moment it all became real’. It’s very likely that your bridesmaids will have to help you into your gown, and there will definitely be a lot of movement providing tons of opportunities for a lot or artistic layouts.
Photo 13-15: Bride Putting On Garter
This is the moment that walks the line between romantic and sexy. Grooms are sure to appreciate a few pictures of the bride putting on garter. A slightly seductive photo that’s also innocent enough to share with the family combines the hint of lingerie and a little leg tactfully concealed by the gown.
Photo 16-18: Hairstyle Closeup – Wedding Photos
A lot of thought goes into the bride’s hairstyle. Photos are a must! Make sure to capture the entire head-to-toe ensemble so that you can see how it all flows together. You’ll also have to make sure to zoom in to keep a memory of all the close-up details. But, make sure to do it before all the dancing starts!
Photo 19-21: Getting Ready With Bridesmaids
Your girls have been with you since the beginning, often before you even met the groom, and today is crunch time! Although you may be a ball of nerves at this point, they have your back. Snap as many pics as possible of teamwork at it’s best and look back to how everyone came together.
Photo 22-24 First Look Of Your Close Ones
Traditionally the first look refers to that moment where a groom’s eyes experience his bride in her gown for the first time. Recent trends have opened up this photoshoot time to more of the bride and groom’s close ones. Whether it’s the groom alone or a group of your closest connections, the looks on their faces can’t be missed.
Source: Dear Wesleyann, Vesic Photography, Thomas Beaman
Photo 25-27: Mother And Bride
A mother and daughter share a special bond, especially on this day. The entire event will consist of a wide range of emotions as you both reflect on the past and dream of the future. Instruct your photographer to keep an eye out for all these candid moments.
Photo 28-30: Touching Wedding Photos: Bride With Father
There is nothing that prides a dad more than witnessing his princess transform into a queen. You won’t want to miss a father’s first look at his daughters happiest day. Make sure to get as many close up shots as possible – even the toughest dads can’t help but shed a tear on this special occasion.
Photo 31-33: Wedding Bouquet Closeup
The bride’s flower selection is tremendously thoughtful and always beautiful. A perfect wedding bouquet closeup is a definite must-have for any wedding photo album. Try a few close-crops of the bouquet by itself, being held by the bride, or flying through the air towards the guests.
Photo 34-36: Bridesmaids’ Bouquets
Bridesmaid’s bouquets are usually a little different than the bride’s. They’re arranged to match with the bridesmaid’s gowns and to compliment the overall theme of the event. Add a photo of these to the list, and make sure to include a group photo of all the bouquets together with the bridal bouquet front and center.
Photo 37-39: Creative Shots Of Wedding Rings Before The Ceremony
It takes a long time to decide on the perfect combination of engagement rings and wedding bands. A picture of each goes on the list along with a group shot. There’s a lot of different ways you can arrange them together, and you can try a lot of different surfaces to find a perfect wedding album addition.
Photo 40-42: Wedding Dress Full Size
The gown will get a lot of attention from the camera, but something so stunning deserves to be in the spotlight. You absolutely need some memories of you in your wedding dress: full size. The other shots will have accessories, people, or action. This top-to-bottom shot is just for you.
Source: Limor Rosen, Emilio B Photography, Maggie Sottero
Photo 43-45: Wedding Shoes
Wedding shoes don’t always get the attention they deserve if covered by a flowing gown. Even if they are on full display all day, they are gorgeous and NEED to be part of your album. Wedding shoes are usually a little more ornate than your date-night go-to heels. Take a picture from every angle until you find the perfect frame.
Photo 46-48: Groom Getting Ready
Most men put effort into how they look on a daily basis, but never so much as on his wedding day. There’s an ever-growing list of options of suits for grooms. A staple of any wedding album includes a series of the groom transforming himself into prince charming for his bride.
Photo 49-51: Groom Suit
Your husband-to-be is always handsome, but never as captivating as when he’s in the groom suit. He looks good and he knows it! The color, fabric, and cut make him feel great. Capture this confidence on camera to look back on the happiest day of his life.
Source: Kate Holstein, Whitesphotography, Leah Marie
Photo 52-54: Groom Boutonniere
Maybe your groom isn’t the most sensitive man on the planet, but today he’s full of love and sporting some flowers. Photos of groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or ties are always a fantastic addition to any wedding album.
Photo 55-57: Touching Photos: Groom With Parents Before Ceremony
His parents taught him how to be a man and there’s sure to be more than a few emotional interactions throughout the night. Touching photos with the groom’s parents are a highly recommended inclusion to your wedding night memories.
Photo 58-60: Groom With Groomsmen Before Ceremony
The Groomsmen are responsible for getting your husband-to-be to the altar, and they’re ecstatic for him!. You’ll need to coordinate with your photographer in advance to plan the perfect photo of all the comradery and charm. There are a few different scenarios to consider a formal formation or in the midst of celebrating. Try a little of each to capture both their serious and fun-loving sides.
Photo 61-63: Cute Flower Girls Photos
You’ve never seen flower girls that weren’t absolutely adorable. Flower girl dresses never fail to deliver a smile and an “awwww” from anyone who happens to catch a glimpse. Flower girls are usually very young and may not have the patience for a formal photoshoot. So, make sure there are a few opportunities to capture all the cuteness.
Photo 64-66: Adorable Ring Bearers
Ring bearers have a very important package to deliver and adding these photos to your wedding album are always adorable. A well-planned serious shot can be extra cute. Make sure to include the flower girls to bring the awww to the next level!
Photo 67-69: Photos Of Bride And Groom With Flower Girl And Ring Bearer
Photos Of Bride And Groom With Flower Girl And Ring Bearer are very important to the wedding album. The big day may revolve around the bride and groom, but the two youngsters are responsible for paving the way and sealing the deal. Individual and group shots are both sure to bring smiles.
Photo 70-72: Ceremony Space
You spent a lot of time visiting and reviewing your venue. You made sure that it felt right, that it went with the gown and offers the theme of your dreams. Make sure to get a wide shot of ceremony space to keep a memory of where the ceremony occurs and your guests celebrate.
Source: John Labbe, Kurt Boomer, araimages via Instagram
Photo 73-75: Aisle
Whether packed with people or tentatively waiting for the magic to happen, wedding aisle photos tell a story. The aisle is the main event of the venues and a great way to encapsulate all of the feelings before, during, and after “I Do”.
Photo 76-78: Wedding Arch Photo
A wedding arch photo commemorates the very spot where the bride and groom will stand. Wedding arches are gorgeous by themselves. Embellished with flowers, leaves, vines, and fabrics, arches can play tricks in the wind or make the light dance. However, the real magic is the metaphor. This is where it all began.
See more: 21 Floral Ceremony Arch Decoration Ideas
Photo 79-81: Bride Walking Down The Aisle With Father
Traditionally, your wedding is the day that a father “gives away his bride”. Perhaps it’s not the most feminist term on the planet, but the sentiment can’t be denied. No man is good enough for his little girl until he met HIM.
Photo 82-84: Touching First Look Photos
Besides the “I Do” moment, the first look just may be the most significant event of the evening. The location of this occasion is important and a photo of the first look near the aisle is a great option to consider.
Photo 85-87: Creative First Look Ideas
First looks are a romantic re-discovery of who you’re about to spend the rest of your life with. A growing trend is to get creative! The use of blindfolds have been around for a little while now, but new to the scene are prop doorways. Brides and grooms stand on either side waiting for the big reveal, an excellent photo opp.
Photo 88-90: Bride And Groom Together At The Altar
There’s so much going on just before “I Do”. Photograph the bride and groom together at the altar to capture all the nerves, joy, quivers, and love. Take lots of photos here including lots of close ups of your happy faces and full scene shots of the suit and gown.
Photo 91-93: We Did It ! True Emotions
Making your getaway is fun! You’ve successfully made it through the toasts, ceremonies and dances. It’s been a long night and it’s time to make your move. The photographer will have fun capturing your entire party sending you off as you’re whisked away to your honeymoon.
Photo 94-96: Romantic Wedding Photos Of The Bride And Groom
Although there are many people involved on this special day, it’s really only about one thing: the romance between soul mates. There will be plenty of chances for fun and candid photos, but make sure to reserve some time for romantic wedding photos of bride and groom. Be natural and the photographer will have an easy time capturing all of the love.
Photo 97-99: Wedding Kiss
One would usually steer clear of PDAs, but your wedding day is completely different. Wedding kiss photos grasp all of the love and passion that your special day is meant to represent. This isn’t just a kiss, this is THE kiss! Don’t be shy.
See more: Most Creative Wedding Kiss Photos
Photo 100-102: Creative Wedding Photos With The Groom
Every bride will be happy to take some creative wedding photos with the groom. All eyes are on you, but this day is about two lives coming together. Take some time to scout the venue with your photographer to plan the perfect creatively staged moment with the two of you.
Photo 103-105: With Bridesmaids After The Ceremony
They know they mean a lot to you, and they know they look great! Individual and group photos at the ceremony are a prerequisite of a wedding album. Add to the series with the bridesmaids gathered around the bride and accompanying the groomsmen.
Source: Elizabeth Messina, Ilene Squires, Bethany Small
Photo 106-108: With Groomsmen
As tough as some guys claim to be, they’re all truly romantic at heart. This goes for the groom as well as the groomsmen. Get photo-evidence! There will be plenty of groomsmen photo ops as his best buds offer up high-fives, hugs, and non-stop smiles. It doesn’t have to be all fun and games. Try a few artistic shots that sum up their personalities.
Photo 109-111: Family Photos
Although the main event is the union of bride and groom, your wedding is also when your family combines and grows. Your new family photos will shine in your album. So take plenty of them with different combinations of all the people that you can always count on.
Photo 112-114: Wedding First Dance
The Wedding First Dance is the first truly intimate moment after the official “I Do”. It’s when the couple can forget about everyone around them and the hustle of the day, and begin falling in love with each other all over again. This moment will obviously be an indelible photo in the album.
Photo 115-117: Father-Daughter Dance
A photo of the traditional father-daughter dance will represent so much. Even though you’ve grown up and started your happily ever after, you’re still his little girl. This is a father’s proudest day and should be remembered forever.
Photo 118-120: Wedding Party Photos
The groomsmen have known the groom for years and are his trusted advisors. The bridesmaids are the bride’s closest confidants. Each group has their own inside jokes and their own personality. This union is between bride and groom but expands beyond to the besties. Capture the moment when this extended group meets and greets.
Photo 121-123: Group Shot Of Bride, Groom, Family And Wedding Party
Get everyone! A group shot of bride, groom, family and wedding party will commemorate the moment that everyone came together to celebrate your most special day. Some people you may not have seen for a long time and others will have traveled from far away. Make sure to keep this memory.
Photo 124-126: Wide Shot Of Reception
The venue is a piece of art on its own. Make sure to include a wide shot of reception areas on your wedding album list. Have your photographer try a couple of vantage points to get the best of table settings, floral arrangements, decorations, and entire layout.
Photo 127-129: Reception Tables
Reception Tables are one of the smaller details you’ll want to remember to photograph. The centerpieces, flat, silver, and stemware, the tablecloth, and candles and other decorations are all details that you won’t want to miss.
Source: Elizabeth Messina Photography, danafernandezphoto via Instagram, Rachelaclingen via Instagram
Photo 130-132: Close-Ups Of Reception Details
Getting photos of the entire reception area is important, but so is capturing all of the thoroughly planned finer details. The table settings, floral arrangements, decorations, lighting, and everything else all have their own story to tell.
Photo 133-135: Cute Wedding Signs
Cute wedding signs are a great way to set the wedding party at ease. Some of your guests may be meeting each other for the first time and you don’t want the first time that your newly expanded family meets to be awkward. A little “I Do / I Do what she says” goes a long way to set the tone.
Photo 136-138: Funny Wedding Pictures
Humor goes hand-in-hand with love. Although love and romance rule the day, it’s impossible to avoid a little silliness. Keep your photographer on alert for impromptu comedy to add to the funny wedding pictures section of your album.
Photo 139-141: Awkward Wedding Photos
People blink, kids act out, people don’t realize they’re being watched, and – let’s admit it – sometimes alcohol gets involved. All of this can make for some pretty awkward wedding photos. Make sure to keep these though. Sometimes they turn out to be the most memorable!
Source: Kimberly dean photos, Kbaummy, anjroo via Instagram
Photo 142-144: Favors
The parting gifts you put together for your guests come with a lot of preparation a metaphor. Photograph your handmade favors to keep the record of your stylized message and the official date of wedded bliss.
Photo 145-147: Wedding Guestbook
Wedding Guestbook photos will help you remember all who attended and how they all made your day oh-so-special. Many brides prefer the traditionally designed book and ink, while others opt for something a little more quirky. Whatever your style pay homage to your guests turning your record into something poetic.
Photo 148-150: Wedding Centerpieces
Centerpieces come in all shapes and sizes like tons of candles, a little bit of nature, lots of flowers, and sometimes jewels. Your centerpiece is unique and deserves a designated spot in your wedding album. Although your centerpiece may include a lot of colors, you may be surprised at how well a black and white photo will turn out.
Photo 151-153: Bride And Groom Chair Signs
Special planning goes into setting up the bride and groom chair signs. Photographs of the seating at the center of attention will capture the playfulness, romance, humor, and love. Some couples prefer a stylish traditional Bride or Groom marker while others sarcastically play up the stereotypes of a change in dynamics after marriage.
Photo 154-156: Wedding Cake
Dessert chefs win awards for their wedding cake designs, and you’ve put a lot of thought into which one will be showcased on your special occasion. Make sure this tasty symbol bliss is on your wedding album list.
See more: 18 Simple Romantic Wedding Cakes
157-159: Wedding Exit Photo Ideas
A traditional wedding exit features a significant portion of rice being tossed into the air. More modern wedding exit photo ideas are much more appealing to some. If you’re a more fun and progressive type of bride and groom, consider balloons, streamers, floating lanterns or even some simple flower petals. Whatever you choose, place this fun moment on your album list!
Photo 160-162: Wedding Getaway Car
Some couples go all-out with a Rolls Royce rental for their wedding getaway car. Nostalgic couples will do what they can to get into the broken down car they were driving when they went on their first date. Whether total grand luxury, romantically frugal or anywhere in between you just have to finish off your wedding album with the classic “Just Married” banner while driving off into the sunset.