With all of the different poses and “shot lists” you can find on Pinterest and social media, it can be hard to know which photos are actually the most important on your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I’ve learned which photos are must-haves and which are on more of an “if we have time list.” Of course, it depends on what aspect of the day are priorities to the couple and their families, but here is what I would consider “must-have” photos on your wedding day!
BRIDE AND GROOM PORTRAITS
This might seem obvious… but I can’t stress the importance of having ample time for bride and groom portraits together! This is your wedding day after all, and these are the photos you will cherish most, hang on your walls, post on social media, etc. I typically recommend a full hour for bride and groom portraits during the day and an extra 10-15 minutes at sunset if possible!
Weddings are a great photo opportunity for your families because everyone is looking good and at the same place! Family formals can be as long or short as you want, and with whoever you want. A month before their wedding, I send my couples a questionnaire that includes a place to list out their desired family formal shot list (with a recommended list to get started).
WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
The people in your wedding party are obviously important to you; you chose them to stand by your side on your wedding day, after all. A bride should have photos with just her bridesmaids, a groom should have photos with just his groomsmen, and then you should take photos all together as a wedding party as well (include personal attendants, ushers, etc).
In my opinion, your ceremony is probably the most important part of your wedding day, so it should also be photographed with importance. If you have any special traditions as a part of your ceremony, be sure to let your photographer know so they can be prepared and positioned to capture it at the right moment!
While I think the reception and dance are probably the easiest to place at the bottom of a priority list, I think your first dance together as husband and wife is a super special, significant moment to have captured! Compared to your ceremony, it is a small amount of time, but this is a moment you’ll want to remember forever.