What are the must-have wedding photos?

You’ve put an incredible amount of work into planning your wedding. So, you want to capture it in the best way possible. And while you trust your photographer, it’s always wise to map out the pictures you especially wish for your wedding.

Creating a shot list and sharing it with your photographer is a win-win: it enables you to be sure that you’ll get the specific pictures you’ve envisioned, and it makes your photographer’s job a little easier, having instructions to work with. Not to mention, it gives them peace of mind knowing you’ll be a happy client as long as the shot list is followed.

Everything you’ve heard is true: Your wedding day comes and goes so quickly. That’s why preparation is critical. Once you nail down your photographer (do this 9-11 months in advance!), it’s time to start thinking about your shot list. While your photographer will guide you on the moments they plan on capturing; it’s essential to know precisely what you want too.

After all, you’ll want to keep these memories intact with the perfect photo album. Get ready for your close up by looking at these pretty wedding picture ideas you might want to include. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Talented wedding photographers combine art and science to capture your day perfectly but, beyond the typical wedding party photos, here’s the list of must-have shots on your big day!

How to Use a Wedding Photo Shot List?

Select half a dozen photos that you must have and share them with your photographer in advance of your wedding day. That way, they can make a note to be creative and capture the organic and fun scenes they develop while also making time for the images you especially want.

Regardless of what you tell your photographer, you’ll still get plenty of shots over your day. But if there’s anything, in particular, you’ve envisioned, then it’s essential to communicate that. Use our example shot list below as a general outline – and build off of it!

Details

  • Invitation, program, unique signs, & gifts
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding dresses/suits
  • Outfit accessories like shoes, cufflinks, or jewellery
  • Bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres

Getting Ready

  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done
  • Wedding party having fun
  • Mother and bride/groom portraits
  • Father and bride/groom portraits
  • Family shots

Pre-Ceremony 

  • Couple alone for a first look
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids/flower girls
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/ring bearer

Ceremony

  • Venue shots including ceremony site, flowers, interior, and exterior details
  • Groom and groomsmen waiting inside the venue
  • Guests
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride(s) walking down the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction
  • Father/mother giving the bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • Exchanging of the rings
  • The first kiss as a married couple and the moment after
  • Signing the marriage certificate
  • The recessional (couple walking back up the aisle)
  • Confetti throwing

Group Portraits 

  • Couple with bridesmaids/groomsmen
  • Couple with the entire wedding party
  • Bride(s) with bridesmaids/maid of honour
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/best man
  • Couple with any children
  • Couple with each set of parents
  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with siblings
  • Couple with close family members

Reception 

  • Details and room decor shots, including table settings, place cards, favours, centrepieces, etc.
  • Wedding cake detail shots
  • Grand entrance
  • Toasts and speeches
  • Cake cutting
  • The first dance
  • Bride(s) dancing with father/groom (s) dancing with mother
  • Couple mingling with guests
  • Guests dancing
  • Musicians, singers, DJ
  • Grand exit

Details

What are the must-have wedding photos?

Share the up close and personal details of your wedding dress, shoes or jewellery. Although they may seem like small touches, these lovely elements piece together to complete your wedding look, so you’ll want to capture them in your wedding pictures. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day. 

Bouquet

We love florals! Make sure your beautiful bouquet is captured in all its glory! It is also a great piece to use in detail, dress, and ring shots! The beauty of a wedding bouquet is fleeting –– don’t miss this opportunity to look at it forever.

Rings

Ring detail shots are some of our favourites! This is another image that will look amazing in your Wedding Album. Show off the sparkle and glamour of your wedding and engagement rings. Some couples like to see their rings in wedding photos with their flower arrangements or other unique trinkets associated with their ceremony.

Shoes

This isn’t a must-have for everyone, but if your shoes are this pretty, you may want them captured!

Invitation Suite

You likely will save a few extra invitations, but we think it is still worth the photograph! We think invite suite photos tell the story of the day, so we love to incorporate them into Wedding Album designs. Be sure to capture wedding pictures of all the individual cards and paraphernalia of your wedding invitations.

The Veil

This little detail deserves photo evidence that it was there and it was beautiful. Most brides opt to take it off for the reception and remainder of the evening, so make sure you have a shot so you can remember its elegance.

Bride and Groom Gifts and Letters

If you plan to give your other half the morning of the wedding, wait until your photographer arrives! There is such a fantastic photo op for your photographer as you read the sweet letter or open the sentimental gift!

Getting Ready

These photos are effortlessly casual and make for the most fun photo ops. Before all the glitz and glamour of the dresses and jewellery, get some fun snapshots of the day in cute matching pyjamas or robs to have some more casual fun photos to enjoy! We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day. 

Hair and Makeup Shots

Before you dance the night away and sweat your makeup off and your hair falls, get some lovely images of the details! It’s also adorable to share these with the vendors to use them for their portfolios. You’ll want to remember everything about getting ready for your day. Don’t miss capturing some clear, individual wedding pictures before the excitement of the event. These wedding pictures of you and your future partner quietly reflecting will be treasured forever. 

Hair Moment

Your hair may never look as glamorous as it does on your wedding day.

Groom Portrait

The ladies seem to get most of the attention on the big day, but the groom is equally important. Don’t forget to get a groom portrait so you can remember how handsome he looked on your most special day!

The Little Ones

Portraits with the flower girl and ring bearers are timeless. There’s nothing quite as adorable as a flower girl looking up in awe at a wedding gown. When your photographer captures this magical moment, you’ll be glad you ran with this unique wedding picture idea. They are also the best photos to look back on when that little one is grown up and planning a wedding of their own!

If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

Pre-Ceremony

Ah –– the anticipation of seeing each other on your wedding day! Some couples choose not to see each other’s faces and simply touch hands or stand back to back, while others prefer to get a full-on look before walking down the aisle. 

  • The Trip to the Ceremony/Venue
  • Bride(s) and father/mother
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids/flower girls
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/page boys
  • Shot of the wedding car

First Look

Perhaps nothing beats that moment when you first lay eyes on each other. If you plan to go with this wedding picture idea, be sure to have some tissues on hand. Of course, this is entirely optional, but many couples choose to see each other before the ceremony as a way of spending a few quiet moments together and banishing any nerves. So, they ask their wedding photographer to capture the moment.

  • Couple alone for the first look
  • Bridal party reaction if couple enter together

Wedding Ceremony

You’ll want to remember the exact spot where you said, “I do.” Some churches prefer not to have photos during the ceremony, particularly within the mass, so check with your celebrant in advance to see what their policy is.

  • Shots of empty venue/church, including the altar, flowers, interior and exterior details
  • Groom and groomsmen waiting inside venue/church
  • Guests outside and inside the church
  • Ushers handing out program
  • Bride(s) arriving in the wedding car
  • Bride(s) stepping out of the car
  • Bride(s) and bridesmaids at the back of venue/church
  • Bridal party entrance
  • Bride(s) walking up the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction
  • Father/mother giving the bride away
  • Exchanging of vows
  • The lighting of the unity candle
  • Ring bearer
  • Exchanging of the rings
  • Participants such as readers, the officiant, musicians etc.
  • The first kiss as a married couple, and the moment after
  • Signing the register
  • The recessional/couple walking back down the aisle
  • Newlywed shot
  • Confetti throwing
  • Greeting guests outside the venue
  • Couple in the back seat of wedding car

Exchanging Vows

This is the most critical moment of the day––when you commit to a lifetime together. You’ll want all photographers on deck to capture every angle of this part of your ceremony. 

The Kiss

There’s nothing quite like your first kiss as a married couple. If there’s only one wedding photo you get right, make sure it’s this one. This image will take your breath away every time you glance at it. 

Post-Ceremony Wedding

What are the must-have wedding photos?

Most couples set aside time after the ceremony for their wedding portraits, although it’s becoming more and more popular for couples who have a First Look to take them before the ceremony. Either way, your portrait session will probably take between 40 minutes and two hours, depending on the location and the shots you require. Talk to your photographer if time is a priority for you. Make sure to prepare a list of all the people you want in the portraits, as well as the specific combinations you require. It’s also a good idea to ask a close friend outside of the bridal party to work with the photographer on rounding people up.

Couple Shots

  • Portraits of the couple alone
  • Pictures of bride/groom on their own

Bridal Party

  • Couple with bridesmaids/groomsmen
  • Couple with the entire wedding party
  • Bride(s) with bridesmaids/maid of honour
  • Groom(s) and groomsmen/best man
  • Couple with any children in the wedding party

Family

  • Couple with each of each set of parents
  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with siblings
  • Couple with close family members

Informal shots

  • Shots with friends
  • Shots of guests eating, drinking, and chatting
  • Any specific groups of friends, e.g. college pals, schoolmates, teammates

Secluded Moments

Find a few moments away from your guests for some joyful wedding photos of your love. Escape the celebration and excitement for some particular alone time with a set of post-ceremony wedding photos of just the two of you.

Personality Photos

Sometimes wedding photos can seem very formal; make sure your personality shines through as well! Don’t miss an opportunity to be silly and have pictures taken to capture the roller coaster of emotions a wedding day consists of. 

Individual Bridal Party Shots

Don’t forget to take individual shots with the members of your bridal party! These images will be so meaningful since, often, bridesmaids and groomsmen don’t know each other. You’ll want to remember the support of your closest friends and family members on your special day. Trust us; this will be one wedding picture idea you’ll want to frame. They love you so much and will cherish a solo picture to remember your special day! We love the idea of printing these out and including them in thank you notes! 

Wedding Reception Photo Checklist

While, of course, you are excited to have your reception space filled with your favourite people, make sure you have some shots of it empty so you can truly appreciate and remember the details!

If someone has made something for your reception – like a friend who baked the cake or an aunt who stitched the bunting – it’s an excellent idea to add that to the list so you can give them a photo of their handy work!

  • The reception space set up before the room fills up
  • Details and room decor shots, including table settings, place cards, favours, centrepieces etc.
  • Wedding cake detail shots
  • Couple arriving
  • Toasts and speeches
  • Cutting the cake
  • The first dance
  • Bride(s) dancing with father/groom(s) dancing with mother
  • Couple mingling with guests
  • Guests dancing
  • Musicians, singers, DJ

Cake

Before everyone digs, make sure a photo is snapped of your cake in picture-perfect condition! This dessert you spent months picking out will disappear quickly. Take a photo before everyone digs in. And while you’re at it, take some wedding pictures of you and your partner cutting the first slice. 

Centrepieces

You won’t want to miss photos of your incredible centrepieces. Just look, they are an absolute work of art. You spent so much time picking out all the small details; make sure your photographer snaps a photo so you can remember every last minute that went into planning the best day ever! 

Favours or Welcome Bags

You probably put a lot of time (and possibly money) into memorable wedding favours. Be sure to remember them with a wedding picture. If you get creative on your welcome gifts or favours, make sure it is photographed. We love these custom koozies! 

Escort Cards

This is a detail that often gets looked over, but if you have an escort table as gorgeous as this one, you will want to remember it! Those beautiful cards involved a lot of care. Don’t miss a shot to remember them.

Decor and Signage

As personalising the wedding day has become more and more important, these details certainly are a big part of what makes your wedding so uniquely yours, and it’s fun to see what you had adorned the room as styles change year to year. Be sure to snap some wedding photos of your gorgeous ceremony and reception decor.

You put a lot of time and effort into dreaming up the ideal venue and decor, so be sure to capture plenty of wedding photos of it. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day. 

Seating Arrangements

You can even make a wedding photo of your unique table markers.

Table Setting

Be sure to shoot away at your reception venue before the guests arrive.

First Dance

Whether you go with a traditional slow dance or something more modern, your first dance is precious. This is your first dance as a married couple. Load up on wedding pictures of this particular moment. 

Dancing Queen

You’ll want to remember the joy of dancing the night away. Grab your best friends to rock out to your favourite song or take grandma for a spin on the dance floor. These wedding photos will always make you smile for years to come. 

The Food

Remember all those taste testing sessions? From appetisers over entrees to desserts, don’t forget to capture the deliciousness of your wedding day.

Conclusion

It’s important to know that your wedding shot list is only a guideline. Everyone’s wedding day unfolds a little differently, so you might end up with slightly different (and lots more!) than what you imagine. But that’s the beauty of what makes your day unique!

You’ve spent months obsessing over every detail to ensure your wedding ceremony and reception is just right. You’ll want plenty of wedding photos to help you remember all the magic. When you ask your photographer to capture some of these wedding picture ideas, you’ll relive the excitement of your special day every time you open your photo album.

Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Of course, getting the wedding photographs of your dreams also requires you to find a wedding photographer whose work and style you adore, so it’s essential to devote time and effort to find the right person for the job!