A wedding is one of the most important events in a person’s life, and for most people, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It is therefore understandable why a couple would want everything to be perfect on their wedding day, and that includes the photos that would immortalize this memorable event. If you are the photographer in charge of wedding day photos, you would definitely want to capture the best wedding day moments.
Naturally, the couple will have their preference as regards the specific moments that must be captured in photographs. One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t forget anything, therefore, is to ask the couple for a list of wedding day moments they want to have photos of.
But what if your clients cannot provide you with such a list? What if they’re just too excited or too stressed out over the preparations that they can no longer be bothered with creating a list of moments to photograph? What if the decision is all yours to make?
Of course, as a photographer (professional or otherwise), you have your favorite moments and signature shots. That much is understandable. But even so, there are certain moments within a wedding day celebration that needs to be in the photo album. And whether you’re an experienced photographer or a newbie in the field, it still pays to have a checklist of the most important wedding day shots.
Here are our suggestions…
Preparing for the Wedding
Just as people love seeing behind-the-scenes videos of movies and other events, they also want to see photos of the couple preparing for the wedding ceremony itself. The couple themselves would surely want to reminisce how they got ready for the ceremony. To be specific, here are the pre-ceremony moments you’d do well to capture:
- The bride and her bridesmaids having their hair-and-makeup moment
- The bride’s wedding dress, shoes, and accessories laid out on the bed, with the bride looking at them, perhaps caressing the dress and thinking of what all of these symbolize
- The bride’s mother helping her with a particular detail, such as the veil or buttons of her gown
- The bride in her gown and holding the bouquet, with her bridesmaids around her, perhaps looking at her in awe
- The bride with her parents (candid shot would be best)
- The bride with her siblings
- The bride getting into the bridal car or in the car, preparing to go the wedding venue
- The groom getting dressed
- The wedding bands, perhaps held in the hand of the best man
- The groom in a festive mood with his groomsmen
- The groom with his parents
- The groom with his siblings
- The groom on his way to the wedding venue
The Wedding Ceremony
This is, of course, the most important part of the whole event. In fact, it is the whole point of the event! So make sure you get the photos right at this point. Here are the wedding ceremony moments you should capture:
- Exterior and interior shots of the venue when no one has yet arrived
- Guests arriving at the venue
- The groom, bride, and entourage arriving
- The groom walking down the aisle
- The groom waiting for the bride (close-up shot)
- The bridal entourage walking down the aisle
- The sponsors walking down the aisle
- The flower girls and ring bearer walking down the aisle
- The bride stepping out of the bridal car
- The bride pausing at the entrance
- The bride walking down the aisle
- The bride’s parents giving her away
- The bride and groom at the altar
- Candle lighting, placing of the veil and cord
- Exchange of vows
- Exchange of rings
- The kiss
- The bride and groom walking down the aisle to exit the venue
- The bride and groom in the bridal car
A wedding celebration is never complete without everyone sharing a good meal and a little bit of dancing. Of course, there are moments to be captured at the reception as well.
- The venue before everyone arrives
- The wedding cake
- The arrival of guests
- The arrival of the bride and groom
- Toasts and speeches
- The cutting of the cake and drinking of wine
- The garter toss
- The bouquet toss
- The first dance
- The bride and groom greeting and mingling with their guests
As long as you take care of all these shots, you’re good to go. And you can take it one step further by including more candid shots, particularly of people (especially the couple’s immediate family and closest friends) showing myriad emotions and enjoying themselves at the celebration.