Your wedding day is the most important and memorable day of your life. As a wedding photographer, it’s my job to capture every moment and every detail from the beginning of the day until your last guest goes home. From the intricate details and timeless trends to the stolen shots of you and your loved ones, your wedding photos should capture the moments that matter most. To guarantee a stunning collection of photos you can cherish forever, there are five fail-safe shots you can plan for your wedding ceremony and reception.
1. It’s All in the Details
As they say, it’s all in the details, and when it comes to your wedding, that’s never been truer. The small details of your wedding are what make the day unique to you and your partner. From the wedding invitations to your chosen flowers, these images encapsulate the essence of your wedding day and personalize it to you and your partner’s story.
Your day will be punctuated with the little things you and your partner have chosen to make your wedding unforgettable—the special details. This might include your wedding invitations, jewelry, something borrowed, or the flowers you have chosen for bouquets, table settings, and boutonnières. A few tips I always offer to clients when it comes to details:
- Ask your florist for a handful of extra blooms to use in these photos.
- Bring two copies of invitation suite
- Bring all of your details to the venue in one bag or box
Don’t leave details till the last minute (pretty please); choose your jewelry well in advance and select pieces that compliment your dress, color scheme, and flowers. While the details might seem small, they come together in the most epic way to tell the story of your day for years to come.
Fun fact: I’m an avid fragrance collector, so if you’re in need of ideas for luxury wedding detail shots, I’m your girl.
2. Getting All Dressed Up
One of the most memorable parts of your day will be getting ready in the morning. As the excitement and anticipation for the wedding builds, it’s a great opportunity for candid photos with the people you love most in the world.
As the mimosas flow, your getting ready photos will capture the laughter shared with your wedding party, your parents’ emotions, and your own transformation on your wedding day! It’s really easy for attendants and other family members to get caught up in the moment, so make sure to share the getting ready timeline in advance. Better yet, ask everyone in the wedding party to arrive at the venue at the same time (no staggered arrival to correlate with their makeup time slot) so everyone is on the same page.
Trust me when I tell you—this is enormously helpful for me to capture natural photos without rushing the family and friends while they’re getting ready! And when you can check “herding cats” off your to-do list, you will be 1000% less stressed. I have three, so I would know.
3. Solo Portraits
While your wedding is about coming together, solo portraits are still one of the most important elements of your wedding album. These images will capture the two of you individually, showcasing your unique style on the day. My favorite aspect of solo portraits is the fact that they allow you to relive each other’s quiet moments leading up to the ceremony you didn’t get to witness.
Hair and makeup should be perfect for the shots, so ensure your hair is in place, your makeup artist is on hand, and your maid of honor has a secret stash of tissues for any rouge tears or lipstick smears.
In case I haven’t said it already, sticking to the timeline is essential for a stress-free day. My biggest recommendation is to pad your hair and makeup time by about 30 minutes to anticipate any delays. Don’t leave it up to chance; make sure you have ample time for preparing and taking your individual shots on the day.
4. Candid Moments
Perhaps the best wedding photos are the candid shots of the ceremony and reception. From the proud glances from your parents to the genuine emotions of your friends and loved ones, candid photos tell the true, unfiltered story of your celebration.
There’s nothing quite like a wedding to encourage people to let their hair down and enjoy themselves, and as a photographer, there is nothing better to shoot. Candid moments between you and your spouse are equally as special and they perfectly capture the connection between you both.
While candid shots should be just that, candid, let me know in advance what special moments are most important to you so I can be in the right place at the right time. And remember, if you want stolen shots with your new spouse, make sure you spend time together during the cocktail hour and reception! It’s these moments of laughter, tears, and celebration that you’ll treasure forever.
5. The Ceremony
Your wedding ceremony is at the heart of your day, and the photos taken will be some of the most important from your wedding. It’s essential to have everything in place to create the perfect backdrop for your ceremony photos.
Balance and position are a huge part of great photos, and even just a few centimeters can make a huge difference to the end product. If you’re having an arch or floral installation for your big day, simply mark an X on the floor in the center; that way, you and your photos won’t be off-skew for your ceremony or first kiss. Properly centering your ceremony backdrop can make all the difference between photos you’ll proudly display and photos you’d rather hide away in an album.
Planning Your Wedding Day Photos
Planning the photos you want before the wedding is key to getting the photos you want from the day. From capturing intricate details to candid moments, paying attention to detail will ensure the moments captured are exactly as you envisioned. Check out more wedding sessions on my blog here for inspiration. And if you’re looking for a photographer to capture your special day through the lens of an epic romance novel, send me a message for a casual chat about your dream day.