The wedding photographs should reflect the styles and personalities of the bride and groom as well as of the overall look and feel of the day. Some brides opt for a very traditional range of pictures, while others introduce cunning twists and brand new approaches to the photographs. However, regardless of the style and preferences of each couple, there are a few shots that are absolute must-haves for that special day. These can be done in fun, new ways. They should be included on a checklist for the photographer so that he or she is completely prepared to capture the moments that matter most.

Before the Ceremony:

  • Dress hanging up or draped across a bed or chair
  • Bride having her dress buttoned, zipped or tied up
  • The garter on her thigh
  • A shot of her shoes on her feet
  • Bridal make-up being applied
  • Finishing touches being done to her hair
  • The bride, her mother, bridesmaids and Maid of Honour drinking a glass of champagne or having a good laugh together
  • Bridal party leaving for the ceremony
  • Groom getting ready (shaving, fastening his tie or slinging his jacket over his shoulder)
  • Groom and groomsmen having a “boy’s moment” (clinking beer bottles together or laughing over an inside joke)
  • Groom leaving for the ceremony

At the Ceremony:

  • The groom and then the bride exiting their vehicles outside the venue
  • Guests arriving at the ceremony venue
  • The Maid of Honour and each of the bridesmaids walking into the venue
  • The bride walking down the aisle
  • The groom’s face as he sees her for the first time
  • The musicians and officiant
  • The father-of-the-bride giving his daughter away (if appropriate)
  • The audience from the front
  • Close-up of both the bride and groom while saying their vows
  • Exchanging their rings
  • The sealing kiss
  • The bride and groom leaving the venue
  • Outside the venue when the bride and groom are being congratulated
  • Couple getting into the car as well as a shot of them in the backseat

The Bridal Couple:

  • A full-length picture of both the bride and the groom by themselves
  • Bride with her Maid of Honour
  • Bride with her bridesmaids
  • Bride with her parents
  • Bride and groom alone
  • Couple with his parents
  • Couple with her parents
  • Couple with both families
  • Couple with ring bearer and flower girl
  • Groom with his best man
  • Groom with his other groomsmen

At the Reception:

  • The reception venue (inside and outside)
  • Guests milling around, waiting for the couple to arrive
  • Couple arriving and greeting their guests
  • Table décor
  • The main table décor
  • Musicians
  • The wedding cake before it is cut
  • The gift table once it is full of gifts
  • The bride and groom standing at each table so that there is at least one shot of every guest
  • A picture of a starter, main meal and dessert, or one shot of the buffet
  • The couple’s first dance together
  • The bride dancing with her father
  • The bride dancing with her father-in-law
  • The groom dancing with his mother
  • The groom dancing with his mother-in-law
  • Guests dancing
  • Cutting the cake
  • Bride throwing the bouquet
  • Groom retrieving the garter
  • The dance between the couple that caught the bouquet and garter
  • The car once it has been “decorated”
  • The bridal couple leaving the reception

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