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What Wedding Photos Do You Actually Need?

After your Big Day, one of the ways you will relive all your happy memories is through your wedding photos. You’ll frame them, display them, share them on social media and show them to your children and grandchildren for years and years! I think it goes without saying that investing in a fantastic wedding photographer is key. In fact, you can check out my favourites right here!

If you’re trying to work out exactly which wedding photos you need, you’re in the right place. I’ve created a list of potential photos you might want to have captured on your Big Day so take a peek…

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What wedding photos do you actually need?

Pre-wedding photos

I’m starting right at the beginning, because your pre-wedding photos are important too! I’m a firm believer that an engagement shoot is a fantastic way to get to know your wedding photographer. You’ll begin to feel more comfortable in front of the camera and you’ll have beautiful photos to display in your home and even use in your wedding invitations! Talk about a win!

You may also want to consider a beautiful boudoir photoshoot. This is a tasteful set of photos of you posing in something sexy. I think this is a really fun wedding day gift for your Other Half to open privately. Find out more here.


Colin Colleran Photographer


The morning of the wedding

While you and your besties are getting ready for the Big Day, you’ll want some gorgeous wedding photos captured! I always recommend hiring a wedding photographer team for couples who are getting ready separately. That way you can have both of your experiences captured by each photographer. Chat with your photography team to see and work out your wedding morning timeline (and check this out if you don’t want to start your Big Day at 5:00).

  • Your outfits on a hanger
  • Shoes, jewellery, rings and other accessories before you wear them
  • Getting your hair, makeup, grooming done
  • A moment when you give your besties a gift
  • Drinks and toasts
  • Transport arrival
  • The bouquets and boutonnieres
  • Wedding invitations and stationery
  • Everybody in their PJs or robes
  • Getting dressed (buttoning up the dress, putting on shoes or placing the veil on)
  • Wedding party all dressed and ready
  • Individual couple shots when dressed and ready
  • Hairstyle
  • Close-ups
  • Travelling to the wedding ceremony venue

Alex Zarodov Photography


Shots at the venue

While everything is untouched, photographers like to capture shots of the venue, decor and other details. Doing this before guests arrive is a great way to capture everything before it’s been moved. As a bonus, you won’t have any friends and family lurking in the background. Timing and weather may mean that these shots aren’t possible, so have a chat with your photographer about these.

You might be thinking “Oh I don’t need a photo of the wedding favours” but details like these make up your wedding story. You’ve spent hours and hours planning, possibly even making things for your Big Day. In years to come, you’ll want to look back on what your wedding looked like!

  • Outside the ceremony venue
  • Outside the reception venue
  • The flowers
  • A table fully set up
  • The backdrop or flower arch
  • Aisle decor
  • Centrepieces and table decor
  • Your guest book
  • The table plan
  • Any sweet wedding signs
  • The photo booth or selfie mirror
  • The cake
  • Your dessert table
  • Wedding favours
  • Table numbers or names
  • Bunting and other decor details
  • The whole ceremony room
  • The whole reception room

Alan Roche Photography


Capturing key wedding moments

There will be lots of beautiful moments taking place on the day that you simply won’t want to miss! There are no rules to what should be on this list, so feel free to add and edit accordingly. Sit down with your wedding photographer and talk about which moments mean most to you.

  • Guests arriving
  • Wedding party arriving
  • The couple arriving
  • A first look (whether that’s before or during the ceremony)
  • Religious ceremony or unity ceremony
  • Walking down the aisle
  • Exchanging rings
  • The first kiss
  • Being pronounced as married
  • The confetti throw
  • Getting in the car and going to the reception
  • Wedding entertainment (band, magician, etc)
  • Smoke bombs, if you’re having them
  • Entering the reception venue
  • Any family or cultural traditions
  • Speeches
  • Cutting the cake
  • Bouquet toss
  • Throwing the garter
  • Playing games
  • Your first dance
  • Your last dance
  • Sparkler exit (or however you choose to exit)
  • A beautiful intimate moment alone

Laura and Benny Photography


Couple portraits

These couple portraits are the wedding photos you will display in your home for years to come. These are a beautiful snapshot in time and something you want to capture beautifully. Your wedding photographer will help you to feel comfortable and relaxed so you look and feel great.

  • A kiss or hug
  • Laughing and dancing together
  • Walking side by side and holding hands
  • Under an umbrella, if it’s raining
  • A forehead kiss
  • Nose to nose
  • Hugging from behind
  • In water (if you’re brave)
  • Being carried
  • Being spun around
  • Sitting together
  • Bend backwards kiss
  • Lying down cheek to cheek
  • Drone footage

Ian Hennessy Photography


The wedding party

These are your besties and the people you’ll be spending a lot of your day with. Make sure you’ve got beautiful photos of them! You’ve been planning their outfits for months and you’ve paid for them to have their hair and makeup done. So don’t miss an opportunity to capture them in all their glory.

  • Getting ready together
  • Giving them their gifts
  • Walk down the aisle
  • Wedding party portraits
  • Games
  • Speeches
  • Dancing together

David Maury Photography


Group shots of family and friends

For most of us, this is the only time we’ll ever have all our friends and family in one place! Your wedding photos list should definitely include some posed photos with all your nearest and dearest. If you’re pressed for time, focus on your immediate family and grandparents.

I recommend having one shot of all your guests together if possible. Then have photos of you and your Other Half with your parents, siblings, wedding party, grandparents, besties and variations of each shot.

Couple Photography

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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