Top 30 “Must Have” Photos Your Wedding Photographer Should Take


Your wedding photographer is by far, one of the most important vendors at your wedding. Aside from the videographer (if you hire one, and by the way you absolutely should!), the wedding photographer is the one whose sole responsibility is to catch every smile, tear, laugh, look and “milestone” moment of your big day.

But how do you guarantee all those important shots will be captured? Remember, you’ll be busy getting married and the last thing on your mind will be if the photog caught your dear hubby’s first gentle look when you came down the aisle all beautiful and glowing.

Here’s what needs to be done: You’ll have to develop a wedding photos checklist which your photographer will use to make sure he/she catches all of those special moments on film to last forever. Of course you’ll review this with him or her before your big day to ensure that nothing is missed.

Now any good wedding photographer who is truly worth their weight in gold will have already given you a checklist way before your big day (and if they don’t, reconsider using them, they may be a novice at this, and that you don’t want!) No matter what the photographer’s style is — from old-school traditional (very posed shots–think bride and groom leaning out of the limo’s open door smiling) to the more modern, photojournalism styled shoots (less posed shots, more natural capture of the day) you’ll still need a list. Don’t feel that the checklist will “stifle” the natural flow of the wedding; in fact, just the opposite is true. You’ll get a wider variety of standard shots to choose from, each marking the appropriate moments.

I’ll give you a perfect example: A couple I knew didn’t think a checklist was necessary and felt they didn’t have time to develop one; they were overwhelmed anyway with planning and were convinced the photographer would “just know” what was wanted. They were promised at least 500+ shots, so they couldn’t imagine with all those pics to choose from that any moment would or even could be missed. And although the pictures weren’t bad, well, you can fill-in the rest…the photographer didn’t catch any of the important moments– so yeah, they were delivered the 500+ pics as promised, but all the milestones shots were missed– no wedding cake cut, no kiss at the altar, no first look, no nothing! So needless to say, they were bummed, because as we all know, once the day is over, it’s over.

So hopefully we’ve convinced you to complete this checklist, it’s really not that difficult to do, just don’t over-think it, but please don’t overlook it either. But since we know you are super duper busy with your wedding planning, we’ve put together for you the top 30 wedding shots you need to have your photographer take. Of course you are not limited at all to these photos, but these are what we deem the absolute bare minimum that you should have for a “robust” recap of the entire day. Use it as the platform, and then build in (or skip–but not too many) other shots if you like and you’ll begin to see you can easily surpass 50 shots much less 30.

OK, so here we go, look directly at me, smile and say “cheese” (sorry, we just couldn’t resist! 🙂 )

Before the Ceremony:

1. Invitation and Bouquets


2. Bride in Dress

3. Bride with Mother

4. Bride with Father

5. Bride with Parents

6. Bride with Maid/Matron of Honor

7. Bride with Bridesmaids


8. Bride touching up her hair/make-up

9. Groom alone

10. Groom with Best Man

carlos and best man

11. Groomsmen getting boutonnieres


12. Groom with Groomsmen

During the Ceremony:

import-wedding-bouquets-and-boutonnieres-7-piece-set-silk-bridal-bouquets-pink-blush-roses-white-roses-green-hydrangea-316c4cf5b283cec69007d61f65647aec13. Wedding Party Processional / Recessional

14. Groomsmen at the Altar

15. Father Escorting Bride Down the Aisle

16. Couple Exchanging Vows

17. Ring Ceremony

He puts the wedding ring on her

18. The Kiss

the kiss19. Couple coming up the aisle (recessional)

20. Couple on Church Steps


21. Rice Toss

rice toss side

Posed Shots After the Ceremony (but before the Reception)

22. Couple together

23. Couple and Wedding Party

24. Couple and Parents

At the Reception:

25. Couple’s First Dance

26. Father/Daughter Dance

27. Mother/ Son Dance

28. Couple cutting the Cake


29. Bouquet Toss

30.  Garter Toss

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