Your wedding day is filled with so many amazing moments. We have put together a wedding photography shot list to help you get the most out of your photos.
Tip on using this shot list:
Don’t just hand this to your photographer and ask them to capture all of these photos. Your photographer most likely has a system for the way that they like to photograph a wedding day. Instead, use this shot list as a way to plan out your day so none of these moments are missed.
*Note – We wrote this post using the words bride and groom as the couple. We know that there are many marriages that have same-sex couple weddings. This list will work for you no matter who is getting married.
Table of Contents:
Here are the different parts of the wedding day that we will cover in this article (feel free to click on any of the links to be taken directly to that section of this post):
- Bride getting ready
- Groom getting ready
- The first look
- Wedding ceremony
- Family photos
- The wedding party
- Bride and groom portraits
- Cocktail hour
- The Wedding reception
Must-Have Photos Of The Bride Getting Ready
The morning of the wedding day can result in some amazing photos.
Here are some of the important moments that your photographer (or family/friends) will want to capture of the getting ready process:
1. A scene setting photo of the bride’s getting ready location.
This might be the front of the hotel where the bride is getting ready (take a photo of the room number too), a wide-angle photo of the venue, or a photo of the house where she is getting ready with the other girls and family.
2. The wedding dress hanging up in a window.
If you have room, try and get a photo of the bridesmaid’s dresses and flower girl dress hanging up too. Consider getting personalized dress hangers. If it’s not in the wedding budget, we recommend getting one for just the bride (or even a nice satin white hanger will look great in photos).
3. All of the bridal details grouped together in a single photo.
Gather up all of the bridal details the night before and put them in 1 bag/box. Have your florist deliver your bouquet before you get into your dress. This way your photographer can include it with the other details. We also recommend having both wedding bands at the bride’s location the morning of the wedding (your maid-of-honor can give them to the guys once you are at the ceremony location).
Some of the common items for the detailed photos are shoes, wedding bands, engagement ring, perfume, wedding invitation, bridal bouquet, earrings, necklace, bracelet, clutch/purse, ring box, veil, and hairpiece. Oh, and let’s not forget something old, new, borrowed, and blue!
4. The bride getting makeup put on.
We recommend having your photographer wait until the last part of this process. If the photographer is taking photos at the beginning of makeup, wider room shots showing the whole scene would be best. Then we photograph the last few touchups up close. We like photographing the details while the bride is in the early stages of makeup.
5. Don’t forget about the moms or bridesmaids.
We like to take some nice photos of the mother of the bride and groom and bridesmaids during the last few minutes of the makeup process. Lips and touchups are typically the last things that the makeup artist does, so this is the perfect time to get those photos.
6. Candids of the bride and bridesmaids in robes or pajamas (you could make this a champagne toast if it’s available).
If the bride and bridesmaids have any writing on the backs on their robes or PJs, make sure you get the words on the back in a photo too!
We also like to get a few photos of the bride and her mom in their getting ready outfits.
7. The bride stepping into her wedding dress.
We love to capture this from 2 different angles when possible. We also ask the bride in a pre-wedding day questionnaire if she prefers that we capture the natural moments as she steps into the dress, or if she prefers to get dressed in private, and then we can come in after and take photos of the back being buttoned up.
* Another photo you may want to consider right before the bride gets dressed is a shot of the bride taking down her wedding dress from the location where it is hanging up. Many brides that we work with love including this photo in the wedding album.
8. Close up the wedding dress being button/zipped up.
9. A photo of the bride’s mom or sister helping the bride get into her gown.
We definitely try to get a photo where you can see the bride and her mom’s face while she is zipping up the back of the dress.
10. A photo of all of the bridesmaids helping the bride into her dress.
This can be more of a staged shot if you want it. After the bride’s dress is buttoned up, have all of the bridesmaids surround her and help with different things. One of the girls can be fluffing the dress, and one can be putting on a shoe, one can be helping with earrings, etc.
11. The bride putting on her shoes (or the maid of honor putting them on for her).
This will depend on the style of dress that you are wearing. You can either stand or sit for these photos. Whatever is most comfortable.
12. The bride putting on her earrings.
We like to photograph this moment over the bride’s shoulder as she is looking in the mirror.
13. The bride’s mom or sister helping the bride with her necklace and/or bracelet.
We like to put them i the best light and then just let the moments happen.
14. The bride putting on her perfume.
15. The bride’s mom or bridesmaids putting in the veil.
As with most of the getting ready shots, we like to put them in the most flattering light (window light if possible) and then capture the natural moments.
16. A quick posed photo of the bride and her mom and/or sister right after the brides is finished getting ready.
We like to take a few posed photos of the bride and her mom and/or sister throughout the day. This is the perfect moment to take one.
17. The bride and the flower girl.
In addition to a posed photo of the bride and the flower girl, a cute photo is having the flower girl look at the wedding dress hanging in the window before the bride takes it down. Another fun photo is having the flower girls put on the bride’s shoes.
18. Candid photos of the flower girls with the rest of the girls.
All eyes will be on the flower girl when she first enters the room. Candid photos of the bridesmaids hanging out with the flower girl are always cute!
19. The bride opening the gift from the groom and reading the letter from the groom (do this before your makeup is done if you are big cryer).
We recommend doing this near a big window so the photographer can step back and easily capture candid moments.
20. The bride doing a big reveal to the bridesmaids (if they were not in the room with her while she was getting dressed).
If it’s possible, having this photographed from 2 angles is always best.
21. Photos of the bride’s dad (or brother) seeing her for the first time in the dress.
A first look between the bride and her dad has become really popular. It almost always results in amazing photos. Talk with your photographer ahead of time to set this up. You will definitely want to include it in your timeline. Have your dad dressed and on-site at least 15 minutes before the scheduled first look time. Then have your photographer pick a location that will work the best (each venue will be different).
We also have a post that goes over tips on getting the best results from your father-daughter first look (plus there are 20 amazing examples).
22. A posed photo of the bride and her dad right after the father-daughter first look.
We like to take a few posed photos of the bride and her dad throughout the wedding day. This is a great opportunity for the first photo!
23. Some fun candid photos of the bride and bridesmaids all dressed and ready to go (another champagne toast would be great for photos).
We always like to get some great candids of the bride hanging out with the bridesmaids once everyone is dressed. This is probably the last time that they will all be together (just the girls) on the wedding day.
24. Bridal portrait (full length)
Make sure you take about 10 minutes to snap some beautiful photos of the bride alone while her hair and makeup are fresh. You can either do these photos outside on a covered porch or near a big window inside the getting ready location.
25. Bridal portrait (3/4 length)
26. Bridal portrait (close up)
27. Bridal portrait (from behind with gown spread out).
This is a great opportunity to show off the back-of-the-dress detail. Ask the bridesmaids to fluff out the dress as the bride stands in a doorway. Make sure to get some candid photos of the girls getting the dress laid out.
28. Posed photos of the bride and bridesmaids.
Make sure to get some nice full-length photos of the bride and bridesmaids. And then take a few up close with all of the girls really tight together (almost cheek to cheek).
29. The bridesmaids and girls looking at each other and laughing.
It sounds ridiculous, but the best way to get awesome results from these photos is to ask the bride and bridesmaids to look at each other and laugh. They will naturally start a little awkward. Then they will start laughing for real. These are the photos that you want to capture.
30. Posed photos of the bride and each bridesmaid separately.
Do these photos in the same location as the other posed photos. Ask the bride which side she prefers. Then have each bridesmaid come in one at a time for a nice close photo. By keeping the bride in the same place, you can get through a group of 6-8 bridesmaids in about 1-2 minutes total.
31. Posed photo of the bride with the bridesmaids in the background.
Pull the bride about 10-15 feet in front of the bridesmaids. Tell the bridesmaids to look at each other and chat. Have the bride look at the camera for a few posed photos. These quick photos add some more variety to the wedding party photos.
32. The bride and bridesmaids walking and laughing.
Have the bride and bridesmaids look at each other and walk towards the photographer. These will seem forced at first, but then the bride and bridesmaids will start laughing for real. These are the awesome photos that you want.
Some easy go-to prompts that works really well are:
- Hold hands as you walk
- Sing your favorite boyband song together as you walk.
- Bump hips as you walk.
- Wave your bouquets over your head as you walk.
33. The bride’s bouquet.
We like to take a nice detailed photo of the bride’s flowers while holding them (even if we photographed them with the details earlier in the day).
34. The bridesmaids bouquets.
We ask one of the bridesmaids to hold up her bouquet so we can get a nice close-up of it. Then we have the bride and all of the bridesmaids put their bouquets together and take a few photos from the front and sides.
35. The bride and bridesmaids leaving the getting ready location.
We love to grab a photo of the bride and bridesmaids leaving the getting ready location. We try and get photos of these transitions throughout the entire day. They work really in the album or slideshow (we love to tell the complete story of the wedding day).
Must-Have Photos Of The Groom Getting Ready
We often forget that it’s also the big day for the groom. Here are some of the must-have photos that we like to capture of the groom and groomsmen:
36. A scene setting photo of the groom’s getting ready location.
We use the same process for the groom as we did for the bride. We love to get a nice photo of the front of the getting-ready location for the groom.
37. Photos of any pre-wedding activities with the groom and groomsmen.
Since the girls are typically all together at a salon or hotel room getting ready together, we see many grooms and groomsmen doing group activities in the morning. We like to document these things whenever possible.
Some of the activities we have photographed with the guys are:
- Video game tournament
- Skeet shooting
38. Detail shots for the groom.
We ask that the groom has all of these gathered before our arrival. Some of the most common items are suit, tie or bow tie, shoes, socks, cuff links, cologne, handkerchief, suspenders, and boutonnière.
39. The groom doing his hair and/or shaving.
We don’t like to bother the groom too much (unless he wants the attention), but we like to get a few shots of him shaving or styling his hair right before getting dressed.
40. Candids of the groom and groomsmen putting on socks, ironing clothes.
These are easy photos to take. Just sit back and be a fly on the wall. Get great candids of the guys getting ready and joking around.
41. The groom putting on his shoes.
Once it’s time for the groom to get dressed, we put him in the nicest light (typically near a big window) and have them go through the entire process. We ask him to get pants, a shirt, and socks on. Then we document the rest of the process, starting with his shoes.
42. Photos of the best man or groom’s dad helping the groom with his tie.
43. The groom putting on his jacket and/or vest.
44. Putting on cuff links.
45. Candid photos of the groom, groomsmen, and dads doing a toast.
We put the guys in the best light and let them do their thing. Sometimes they will be a quiet group and ask things like, “What should we do?”
Then we recommend having the best man or someone else tell a funny story about the groom (or the bachelor party). This gets them talking and laughing. Sometimes people need a little nudge to loosen up. Then the photographer can sit back and capture great candid photos.
46. A quick posed photo of the groom and his dad and/or brother.
We try and take multiple photos of the groom with his parents throughout the day (in addition to the standard formal photo).
47. Photos of the groom opening the gift from the bride and/or reading the latter from the bride.
48. Photos of the groom’s mom seeing him all dressed up.
The groom’s mom is not always there, but if she enters the room, we try to capture this moment.
49. Posed photo of the groom (full length).
We like to grab a few nice photos of the groom right after he gets ready. This quick series of photos only take 1-2 minutes.
50. Posed photo of the groom (3/4 length).
51. Posed photo of the groom (close up).
52. Posed photos of the groom and groomsmen.
We like to spend about 10 minutes with the groom and groomsmen doing these photos. We like to get a variety of posed photos (full length and close up) and candid photos. We will have them walk and talk to get cool-looking shots (We tell them to pretend like we are shooting a cover photo for the movie Ocean’s Eleven or Reservoir Dogs). Most guys know exactly what to do when you tell them this.
53. A posed photo of the groom and each groomsmen separately.
We have the groom stay in one place as each groomsman pops in and out for a quick photo. The guys can do whatever they are most comfortable doing (arms around each other, hands in pockets, arms folded across chest, etc.).
54. Posed photo of the groom with the groomsmen in the background.
We pull the groom about 10-15 feet in front of the guys and have him look at the camera. We tell the groomsmen to talk and ignore us. It’s a cool shot of the groom with guys blurred out in the background.
55. Photos of the groom and groomsmen socks (if they are wearing color coordinated or fun socks).
If the groom and/or groomsmen are wearing matching socks (or funny socks), we like to have them pull up their pant legs and take a few photos from the front and the side.
56. The groom leaving the getting ready location.
Just like we did with the bride, we like to get a shot of the groom and groomsmen leaving the getting ready location and heading to the ceremony site.
Photos That you Will Want During The First Look
Not all couples opt for a first look (where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony), but we have put together a list of the photos you will want to have documented if you and your partner are doing a first look. If you have a second shooter included in your wedding photography package, having both of them on-site for this would be ideal.
57. A photo of the groom waiting for the bride.
58. Photos of the bride walking up to the groom.
We like to get 2 different angles of this. One of the angles is from the side, so we can see both the bride and groom (have the groom turn around towards the camera so you can see his reaction). The 2nd angle we like to get is from behind the bride, and she walks up to the groom.
59. The groom’s reaction when he turns around and sees the bride.
We love photographing this moment from behind the bride to see the groom’s face when he sees the bride for the first time (we use a long lens to keep our distance). We keep the same 2nd angle from the side, so we see them both from the profile view.
60. Candid photos of the bride and groom together right after the first look.
We let the couple know ahead of time that we will photograph the first look with longer lenses so we can stay back and allow them to enjoy the moment. We tell them that there is no time limit or rules for how long they enjoy the moment. We tell them to let us know when they want to start the posed photos. By communicating this ahead of time, we can stay back and capture lots of candids right after the first look. Sometimes the couple moves on quickly; sometimes, they take 5-10 minutes. Let these authentic moments play out as long as they can.
61. A few posed photos of the bride and groom after the first look.
Once the bride and groom are ready to start photos, we take a few posed shots right at that same location. These are typically done without the bride’s bouquet. We let the maid of honor know in advance to bring the bouquet out about 5 minutes after the first look. This way, we can get some shots with and without the flowers.
Must-Have Photos Of The Wedding Ceremony
It’s time to get married. When photographing the wedding ceremony, our goal is to be unseen. This is the part of the day where we want all eyes on the couple. These are very important photos to capture, so always be ready.
62. A wide angle photo of the ceremony site from the outside.
63. A wide angle photo of the ceremony location from the inside.
We always try to get a photo of the ceremony set up before guests arrive.
64. The wedding program.
65. Any wedding ceremony signage.
66. Details at the wedding ceremony site.
We focus on anything that the couple has put together (flowers at the alter, flowers and decor in the aisle, etc.)
67. Candid photos of guests arriving.
This is one of those times of the day that many photographers forget about. But the bride does not see any of this happening, so it’s something that you should document. There are usually great opportunities for candid photos since family and friends are just arriving and hugging people they have not seen in a while.
68. The grandparents and parents walking down the aisle (the start of the processional).
We photograph the processional from the front of the aisle (where the couple will be married). We make sure to take a knee to avoid blocking the guest’s or wedding party members’ views.
69. The groom and groomsmen entering the ceremony area.
70. The flower girl and ring bearer walking down the aisle.
You never know what the kids are going to do when they come down the aisle. Sometimes they walk normally, and sometimes they run, sometimes they stop and refuse to move. It’s always cute, and the photos are always priceless. Be ready for those moments.
71. Candids of the bride and her dad watching the bridesmaids walk down the aisle from the back.
We always have a 2nd photographer waiting with the bride and her dad. Some of our favorite moments have been photographed from this point of view. Plus, it allows the 2nd photographer to be in the perfect spot for the bride walking down the aisle from behind.
72. The bridesmaids walking down the aisle.
73. The bride at the back of the aisle getting her dress fluffed for the walk down the aisle.
74. The groom’s reaction to the bride walking down the aisle.
This is one that the bride is expecting. Make sure you make a plan to capture this important moment.
75. The bride walking down the aisle.
The lead photographer captures this moment from the front of the aisle (and turns the camera on the groom a few different times during the walk down the aisle). The 2nd photographer ducks down and take photos of the bride and her dad from behind. If the ceremony is in a church, find out if you can photograph this moment from the balcony.
76. The father kissing/hugging the bride at the end of the aisle.
77. A wide angle photo of the bride and groom holding hands during the ceremony.
We like to take this photo first (from the back of the aisle). We use a very wide-angle camera lens for this. Typically something between 16mm-24mm.
If possible, we try to get a photo from behind the couple so you can see some of the guests watching the ceremony.
78. A close up photo of the bride and groom holding hands during the wedding ceremony.
79. A photo of the bride and bridesmaids taking from the groom’s side.
We always want to get a few photos of the bride’s face with the bridesmaids in the background during the ceremony and vows.
80. A photo of the groom and groomsmen taking from the bride’s side.
Same as with the bride. We always want to get a photo of the groom’s face with the groomsmen in the background.
81. The wedding vows
If the groom is saying his vows, we focus our attention on the bride’s reaction (plus, we don’t want photos of the groom while he’s talking because it looks weird when his lips are moving). We focus our attention on the groom’s reaction when the bride is saying her vows.
82. Reaction photos of the bride and groom’s family sitting in the first couple of rows.
This is another photo that many photographers forget about. Don’t forget to capture the candids of the family in the first couple of rows.
83. Photos of the ring exchange.
We like to photograph this with a 70mm-200mm lens. This way, we can get a half-body photo of the bride and groom exchanging rings, plus we can zoom in and get a close-up of each ring being put on.
84. Photos of any readers during the ceremony.
85. The unity candle lighting or sand ceremony.
86. The first kiss
This is one of the most essential wedding photos of the day. We like to photograph this from the center of the aisle. Be ready!
87. The big announcement.
Another great shot is right after they are pronounced husband and wife (or wife/wife-husband/husband). The couple almost always raises their hands up when their family and friends start applauding.
88. The bride and groom walking back down the aisle (the recessional)
The couple should stop halfway down the aisle and kiss again. Guests will clap and cheer, and it allows you to get more photos. One of these photos would be perfect to post to Instagram!
89. The wedding party and parents walking back down the aisle.
One photographer continues taking photos of the wedding party walking down the aisle while the other photographer follows the couple out to capture the candid moments of them just being married.
90. Candid photos of everyone hugging and talking right after the ceremony.
91. The receiving line.
92. The ceremony grand exit (bubbles, rice, flowers, streamers, etc.).
Check out this article we wrote on send-off ideas. It includes lots of fun ideas, and we include photography tips on getting the best results from the big exit.
Family formals are a very important part of the wedding day. If done in an organized way, these should only take you about 15-20 minutes. Check out our post on getting family photos done really fast (from this post you can download our free family photo checklist to keep you super organized).
93. The bride and groom with immediate family members from the bride’s side.
We typically do parents, grandparents, and siblings. We recommend doing big extended family photos towards the end of dinner on the dance floor.
94. The bride and groom with the immediate family members from the groom’s side.
Same as the bride’s side. We like to do parents, grandparents, and siblings.
95. Photos of any grandparents.
If there are any grandparents in attendance, we try and get some photos of each grandparent with the bride or groom.
Another photo to take, if possible, is a generational shot (Example: the bride, mother-of-the-bride, and grandmother-of-the-bride).
The Wedding Party
96. Posed photos of the entire wedding party (traditional)
We like to get a nice formal photo of the bride and bridesmaids on the side with the groom and groomsmen on the other side. We have them lined up in the order that they stood for the wedding ceremony.
97. The entire wedding party (posed but non-traditional)
We have the wedding party pair up with the person that they left the ceremony with. Then we put half the couples on one side of the bride snd groom, and the other half on the opposite side. We also get them talking and laughing. We will have the bride and groom kiss while the bridal party puts their arms up and cheers.
98. Photos of the wedding party walking
We pull the bride and groom about 5 feet in front of the bridal party and then have them all walk towards the camera. We tell them not to look at the camera. They should simply walk and talk.
99. Photo of the bride and groom up close with the wedding party hanging out in the background.
We pull the bride and groom about 10-15 in front of the bridal party. They look at the camera while the wedding party hangs out and talks in the background.
100. Candid photos of the bridal party hanging out
This is probably the last time the entire wedding party will be together. We get them to hang out and relax for a few minutes. They can grab a drink and talk. We move around the group and take lots of candid photos.
Bride and Groom Portraits
101. Formal photos of the bride and groom at the ceremony location.
Some couples say that they do not want any formal/posed photos. We think this is a mistake. You will most likely want these photos later down the road. And your parents and grandparents definitely want them now. Plus, your kids will love having them when they are older. If you do not want to spend a lot of time doing them, just tell your photographer that you want 3-5 nice posed photos. It will take 2 minutes, and you can move on to photos that are more your style.
102. Candid photos of the bride and groom walking.
If the bride and groom are taking photos in 2-3 different locations, we like to get ahead of them to take photos of them holding hands and walking to/from each location.
103. Fun and playful photos of the couple.
If you are a playful couple, these are the photos that you will love the most. We like to have the couple do a fake first dance. We will have the groom give the bride a twirl/spin. If they are up for it, we have the groom pick the bride up and spin her around (he can kiss her right after). The groom can dip the bride. There are so many fun things you can do. Just have the couple be playful. Don’t stop taking photos the entire time.
104. Close up posed photo.
Just a simply posed photo of the couple looking right into the camera (the fireplace mantle shot).
105. Bride and groom forehead to forehead.
The couple should touch foreheads and close their eyes. Then we move them into the next photo.
106. A kissing photo (almost).
We ask the couple to “smile” their way into a kiss. Do it slowly. The photos right before the kiss look way better than the actual kiss. Plus, the anticipation makes them sometimes laugh, which results in great candid shots.
107. Close up of the rings.
108. Environmental portrait of the couple on the grounds of the venue (wide angle).
You probably toured 3-6 wedding venues to find the perfect location. You should get a photo of yourself in front of the venue.
109. A wide angle photo of the entire cocktail hour scene.
Another scene setting photo for the wedding album.
110. Wedding signage at cocktail hour.
This could also include the card table, guest book, gift table, drink or bar menu, etc.
111. Detail photos of the bar area.
does the bride and groom have a signature cocktail? Get some photos of the guests being served.
112. Food photos.
Take a few photos of the cocktail hour food being passed around.
113. Candid photos of the guests.
We like to get photos of the guests mingling at cocktail hour.
114. Posed photos of the guests
We try to get a posed photo of every couple of groups of people at cocktail hour. This way you have a photo of every single person who attended your wedding.
115. The couple with all of the wedding guests.
If the couple attends cocktail hour, this might be a great time to get a photo of the entire group with the bride and groom front and center. You could do this right before the guests are allowed into the reception area.
The Wedding Reception
Congratulations! You did it! You are married! Now it’s time to have a great party with all of your friends and family. Here are all of the special moments that we like to capture at the wedding reception.
116. Wedding reception details.
Make sure you get photos of everything in the reception room (we try to do this before guests are seated). Some of the items you want to look for are guest seating chart (or cards), menu cards, table centerpieces, wedding cake and dessert bar (plus a close up of the cake topper), plates of food, the photo booth set up, memory table, favors, place settings, sweetheart table flowers and decorations, table numbers, etc.
117. Guests entering the reception area.
As guests enter the reception room, we like to take a few photos of them looking at the seating chart or picking up their table number/name card.
118. The parents and wedding party lining up outside waiting to be announced into the reception.
We send a 2nd photographer outside to get candids of the wedding party waiting to be announced. You can capture lots of smiles and laughs as each person enters the reception room.
119. The parents and wedding party being announced into the reception.
120. The bride and groom being announced into the reception.
One photographer photographs this from inside the reception room, and the other photographer takes photos of the couple entering from behind. We love capturing this exciting moment from two different angles.
121. Guest reactions to the bride and groom entering the reception.
Don’t just concentrate on the bride and groom. Look around the room and try to take some photos of people cheering.
122. Photos of the first dance.
We also have an amazing collection of song ideas for the first dance.
123. The father-daughter dance.
Check out these songs that are perfect for the father and daughter dance.
124. The mother-son dance.
Check out these songs that are perfect for the mother and son dance.
125. The welcome toast by the father of the bride.
We make sure to take photos of the person giving the toast, the couple’s reaction, and reactions from other friends and family members (this is the same for the other speeches listed below).
126. The welcome toast by the couple.
127. The best man speech.
128. The maid of honor speech.
129. The blessing.
130. A wide angle photo of everyone enjoying dinner.
Nobody wants photos of themselves eating, so we stand at the back of the room and take 1-2 wide-angle photos to show the entire scene. Then we let guests enjoy their dinner.
131. Candid photos of the flower girl, ring bearer and any other kids dancing during dinner.
If there are kids at the reception, you can pretty much guarantee that they will be on the dance floor towards the end of dinner. We like to be ready for this because they always result in great candids.
132. Group photos (college friends, coworkers, best friends, or extended family that were missed after the ceremony).
We work this out in advance with the couple. We ask them if they have any special groups. If they do, we recommend doing it at the end of dinner before the dance floor opens up. The last thing you want to do is to clear your dance floor for these photos. It annoys the dancing guests and really annoys the DJ (they worked hard to get everyone out there).
Right after dinner is a perfect time. Send this list to your DJ and wedding planner before the wedding, so they know what is going on. When you are ready, the DJ can announce each group and ask them to come to the center of the dance floor. These photos don’t take much time at all (1-2 minutes each).
133. All of the guests with the couple (great way to kick off the dance floor).
A great way to start the party off right is to have the DJ announce every guest onto the dance floor for a group photo. Have your photographer stand on a stepladder, get the bride and groom in front, have the DJ count down, and take a few photos. Then the DJ can go into the first dance songs, and everyone is already out there. Naturally, some people will sit down, but many will stay. It starts the party off right, and the photographer already has a packed dance floor to photograph.
134. The bouquet toss.
If you are looking for the perfect bouquet/garter songs, we have put together this awesome list.
135. The garter toss.
136. Photos of special dances (anniversary dance, dollar dance, etc.)
137. Candid photos of guests on the dance floor.
These are always some of the bride and groom’s favorite photos. We put together the ultimate list of wedding reception dance songs.
138. Candid photos of guests having fun in the photo booth.
139. A night photo of the bride and groom.
We ask the couple in advance if this is something they want (most do). We sneak the couple out after dark for 1-3 minutes and take a quick photo of them with an awesome backlight. We try to include their wedding venue or interesting lights in the photo.
140. The big send off (sparkler exit).
The final photo at the end of the day! If you are doing a send-off and need ideas, we have put together this awesome collection of ideas for your big exit (ceremony or reception).
We realize that not all couples have the option of hiring professional wedding photographers. We hope that this list of photos helps you whether you have hired a photographer or have someone you know to take photos for you (maybe even a close friend or a photography student at a local college).
Additional Wedding Planning Tips and Resources
- Our family wedding photo checklist will save you a ton of time when taking family formals at your wedding.
- An awesome article on how long it takes to get your wedding photos back from your photographer.
- Check out our wedding planning timeline and checklist.
- If you just got engaged, this is the perfect place to start.
- Follow us on Instagram for lots of wedding photo inspiration (and funny wedding memes).
- We are putting together a free wedding photography checklist that you can download. It will be posted in this article over the weekend.