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Must-Have Wedding Photos

Must- Have Wedding - Groom carrying bride in lawn in front of lake at sunset

You’ve been planning this day for months and it is finally almost here! The day you finally get to marry your best friend. You have every detail in place so many painstaking hours deciding decisions all to lead up to this day! You have chosen the perfect venue, wedding attire, and flowers. You have even decided on the most amazing photographer, you have to think about the photos you want your photographer to take on your wedding day!

Photographers will often have pre-made shoot lists to help give you an idea of what photos people want on their wedding day. This list can also be helpful for you to know what to expect, photograph-wise ahead of time so you are not surprised on the day of your wedding. Now, this list might not have everything you're looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for specific photos you would like. Your photographer will do our best to make them happen for you.

We wanted to share our favorite must-have wedding photos list. Like we said this is just a guide, not a setlist, if something does not fit make sure you let your wedding photographer know. We want you to have all of your dream wedding photos. We also want you to have plenty of detailed pictures to look at for the years to come! Remember you spent so much time planning these details and we are here to document them for you!

Let’s get started!

1. The Stationary

Make sure you bring all of your wedding stationery with you! This includes you saving the dates, invitations, RSVPs, and even your menus for your wedding day. This is how your wedding planning started and they set the theme of your wedding for your guests. When you have your wedding stationery with you they can incorporate some other details with them. For example, they can add in some flowers from your bouquets or even your wedding accessories to showcase your wedding stationery. If your looking for custom letterpress for your wedding check out Lichen and Pines! She is local to Montana but helps couples throughout the US!

2. Getting ready

Having your photographer in the bridal suite to take pictures of you and your ladies (or gents) getting ready is always a good idea! It is a great place for photographers to catch candid shots of you and your best friends getting ready together. Whether it be the final hair and makeup touches or getting into your amazing wedding dress or attire! Be sure to get that picture of one of your bridesmaids or your mom zipping you in!

3. Bridal Accessories

As little as they might seem you spent the time picking out the perfect wedding accessories and they deserve to be showcased. Do your accessories incorporate any of the typical wedding traditions like something borrowed or something blue? Is one of your accessories a family heirloom? Necklaces, earrings, garter we want to see them all! Photographers are creative people and they love laying out your accessories in a beautiful way! What a great way to document them being part of your wedding day!

4. Wedding Shoes

Heels, flats, the perfect white pair of Chuck Taylors, we love them all! Wedding shoes are a very important decision when it comes to your wedding attire! You chose these shoes for a reason. Whether it be for comfort or because they fit your aesthetic there was a big decision made! They make the must-have photo list for these reasons. You might get rid of them at some point but you will always have those cherished photos!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Brides jewel covered shoes on a stack of books

5. Bridal Portraits

This is your day to shine and feel like the model you are! You look amazing and it should be we want to show it off! This is a perfect time to get comfortable in front of the camera and learn how to move around your dress. It is also a great way to help you shake off some pre-wedding jitters you might have.

6. The Veil or Hairpiece

Veils and headpieces are a great way to compliment your wedding dress and photographers love to use them as props and take pictures with them! Your veil or headpiece can make a dramatic statement in your wedding look and that is why they make the must-have wedding photo list! They are a great detail and can make for some beautiful photos.

Must Have Wedding Photos- Bride in veil with lace trim

7. Bridal Bouquet

Flowers are one of those wedding details that can be hard to hold on to especially if you use fresh flowers. Let's be honest, flowers die and even if dry they easily fall apart. This is why your photographer takes pictures of your bridal bouquet! They want you to be able to admire the stunning bouquet you carried on your wedding day! Your wedding bouquet is also often used as a prop when doing other detailed photos.

8. Bridal Party

This makes the must-have wedding photo list for an obvious reason! You chose these people to stand by your side on your wedding day for a reason! They are your best friends and the love between you should be captured! Candid shots getting ready to pose wedding shots, insert bridesmaid pose here, photographers love to get them all! They want you to have fun with these photos and the people that are in them with you!

9. The Grooms Accessories

The groom's accessories are important also! From the boutonnieres to his watch photographers want to capture the groom's wedding style as well. They especially love the little touches like a cool pair of socks or a pair of cufflinks.

Must Have Wedding Photos- Grooms shoes, tie, ring cufflinks, and boutonniere

10. The Groom

His turn to feel like a model! He looks handsome all dressed up and it needs to be documented! Who knows when you will get him dressed up like this again! This is also a great place for him to also loosen up and get a little more comfortable in front of the camera!

11. The First Look

The first look is always the best! Whether it be when you are walking down the aisle to your partner or if you decide to do a first look before your ceremony photographers love them both. Seeing each other for the first time in your wedding attire is exciting and they love to capture those first looks. The raw emotion that is brought out between the two of you can make anyone's heart swell. We couldn’t miss the first look on this must-have wedding photos list!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Wedding couple with bride covering groom's eyes with hand

12. Candid Photos

Candid moments often are the most cherished photos that we take. As hard as it might be to be yourself while the photographer is snapping photos of you two try your best to do so. They love to see you in your natural state interacting as a couple. Also, be sure to make sure your photographer knows you want them to take candid shots throughout your wedding day! This can also include candid moments of your wedding guests. Photographers are here for those candid photos which is why it makes the must-have wedding photos list!

Photos by: Honeybee Weddings

13. Portrait Photos Together

Not only are these amazing photos that you will cherish for a lifetime. This is also a great time to sneak away, just the two of you, and revel at the moment that you are freaking MARRIED! The post “I do” glow is real guys! Photographers love to capture this moment for you! Something to think about when doing a venue walk-through, scope out a private beautiful spot to sneak away to.

14. The Wedding Party

The wedding party photos make the must-have list because these people have been an integral part of your wedding day. There are the typical everyone-in-line bridal party photos. But there are so many other fun wedding party photo options! Incorporate the getaway car, have the groomsmen carry the bride, etc. Have fun with these photos! They are with some of your best friends after all!

15. Flower Girl & Ring Barrier

These little (or big) cuties make the list also! Whether you choose the typical ring bearer and flower or girl or you choose to have a fun flower man these photos are something you will want to look back on!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Flower girls walking down aisle among guests

16. Ceremony Location With and Without Guests

Your beautiful ceremony site is one place that photographers love to photograph! They also love taking photos with and without guests present. Photographers want you to be able to remember every single detail of your special day!

17. The Walk Down The Aisle

This is one moment you will treasure forever. Take the walk among your friends and family to where you will get to say I do to your best friend. Whether it be with one of your parents or you take this walk alone it is a significant moment during your wedding day.

Must Have Wedding Photos- Bride walking down aisle with her father

18. Exchanging of Rings

Wedding rings are a symbol of endless love and your commitment to each other. So the exchanging of the rings makes the must-have wedding photos list!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Wedding couple exchanging rings at alter

19. Moments of Laughter

Genuine laughter over posed smiles is always a great choice! Weddings have a serious moment but they should also be full of moments of laughter. Remember to relax and have half fun at your wedding and have plenty of laughter!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Bride and her father jumping on a bed

20. Your First Kiss

This one is obvious!! Your first kiss as a married couple is one of those moments you will want to look back on. It is a photo that embodies the love, commitment, and connection of you as a couple on your wedding day. Make sure to have a conversation with your officiant or ask your photographer to mention having the officiant step out of the frame. That way it is not a picture of the two of you and your officiant!

21. Finally Married

The finally married photo! These are photos as you are walking back up the aisle to leave your ceremony. These are must-have wedding photos that are full of excitement and endless smiles! Photographers also love to capture the moment you kiss your partner again after walking through the crowd of your cheering family and friends. This is also a great place to think about having guests blow bubbles or throw flower petals for an awesome effect!

22. Cocktail Hour Mingling

While the cocktail hour can be used to accomplish all of the family photos after your ceremony. It can also be a great place to capture your guests and even you mingling together and having a great time! A second photographer can help capture these moments if you choose to do family or portrait photos during the cocktail hour.

Must Have Wedding Photos- wedding guests waiting in line for drinks at an outdoor bar

23. Tablescapes

After all, you spent so much time planning every flower and candle that are on your tables! Why not have photos to remember them by! Have your photographer capture as many details of your wedding day as possible from different angles.

24. Wedding Cake

Whew that wedding cake, it’s a masterpiece in itself! Be sure your photographer gets the beauty shot of your dream wedding cake before it gets cut into and eaten.

Must Have Wedding Photos- White 2 tiered cake with pale pink and white flowers and black cake topper

25. Speeches

It might seem like a small moment but speeches can carry so many emotional moments! Laughs or tears speeches need to be documented!

26. The First Dance

Be sure to keep your photographer around long enough to capture those first dance pictures! This is a great place to capture some candid must-have wedding photos. Don’t worry about how you dance, just have fun with it and enjoy this moment with your honey.

27. Cake Cutting

As we mentioned above make sure your photographer gets photos of your cake before you cut it. Cake cutting is a fun must-have wedding photo, you never know what might happen! To cake smash or to not cake smash that is the question.

Must Have Wedding Photos- Wedding couple cutting wedding cake

28. Dance Party

Um, these photos are 100% a must-have! Photographers want to document the party, you letting loose and having the time of your life. This is a great opportunity for your photographer to include more photos of your wedding guests also!

29. The Big Exit

Wow, that was a ride. Your wedding day has been amazing and now it's time to head to the next part of your night! Why not leave your wedding with a bang. Fun things to include (if your venue allows) are sparklers, smoke bombs, or confetti! Make your exit an event in itself, picture this… Walking out of your venue down a row of your friends and family, stopping mid-way to do a dramatic dip-kiss with sparklers all around! Talk about dreamy.

Must have wedding photos- wedding couple in dip kiss pose with guests holding sparklers

30. Bonus Pro Tip

If you don’t have your photographer until the very end of the night and you still want an exit photo, you can do a mock exit. Include your wedding party and a few select guests and plan it to happen when you can sneak away without your guests noticing. This might be while guests are finishing up dinner and before the party starts. Be sure to talk to your wedding photographer about this ahead of time to make sure this is a possibility. This way you still get the dream shot even if your photographer isn’t there until the very end!

Must Have Wedding Photos- Wedding couple leaving wedding with arms in the air surrounded by family and friends holding sparklers


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