What are the must have wedding photos?

When you book your wedding photographer, you’ll probably want to chat to them about the kind of shots you want them to capture on your wedding day. Some couples have a list in mind of ‘must have’ moments that they know they want to be photographed. But if you don’t, then don’t worry- a professional wedding photographer will already know all those key moments that you’ll want to capture forever.

There are so many special moments throughout a wedding day that it’s very hard to narrow it down and say what the absolute must-have wedding photos are. Stand-out moments like cutting the cake, the speeches, the first dance, and the confetti throw all spring to mind. But for me personally, there are some other ‘must have’ photos that I think are essential when it comes to capturing the emotions of your wedding day. Here are my top 5 must have wedding photos…

Must have wedding photo #1: Bridal Prep

This one might not be immediately obvious as it’s officially before the wedding itself, but bridal prep is such a special part of the day. In fact, as a wedding photographer, it’s one of my favourite parts of the day, as there is nothing like the excitement of getting ready for a wedding ceremony.

Bridal prep is a great opportunity to capture some fantastic wedding photography: from fun group shots of friends getting ready together, to emotional moments with the bride’s parents. As a bride, this part of your day is about you and your closest family and friends, and it’s a great time for your wedding photographer to take some photos of you being yourself with your closest friends.

The bride looking in the mirror while her flower girl gets dressed

But as well as all that, bridal prep can be a really poignant time for the bride and her parents. As a wedding photographer, one of my ‘must have’ moments to capture is a father’s reaction when he sees his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress. I’ve also captured some beautiful shots of mothers and friends of the bride having equally wonderful reactions to seeing the bride for the first time.

Must have wedding photo #2: Walking down the aisle

Nothing says “wedding” more than a photo of a bride walking down the aisle. There is so much emotion to capture in this moment- nerves, hope, excitement, and a whole lot of love.

Some of my favourite images are of brides walking down the aisle, often with their father, looking towards the groom waiting for them. Often, the groom will be looking back at their partner and you can see how proud and happy they are. I’ve also captured more humorous images of the groom facing the altar before he sees the bride come in, and you can always see the nerves and anticipation written all over their face!

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Must have wedding photo #3: Time for just the two of you

It’s a cliche but your wedding day really will go by in a blur. The day is so packed full of activity and excitement that it passes in the blink of an eye. And of course, as the stars of the show, you and your partner will also want to spend time chatting to all your guests. But don’t forget in the middle of it all to make some time for just the two of you: it’s your day, and it’s all about your relationship together. For that reason, a really special shot of you two together, as a couple, is a must have wedding photo.

As the wedding photographer, I always try to make time during the day for couples to have a bit of alone time so we can capture some beautiful wedding photography of just the two of you. These images might be very romantic, or they may be a little more fun and quirky. Whatever your personality, capturing a photo that really sums you up as a couple is a must. You can pretty much guarantee that it will be the one that you frame and look back on for years to come.

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Must have wedding photo #4: Outside shots

When you choose your wedding venue, it’s likely that as a first port of call you’ll check out the interior of the venue- do the rooms have the capacity you need for your guests? Is the ceremony room romantic and beautiful? Is the style and decor to your taste? However, don’t forget that most wedding venues also have stunning gardens and grounds, and often beautiful views too.

As a wedding photographer based in North Wales, Cheshire, and Chester, I’m lucky enough to be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to wedding venues with gorgeous grounds and gardens. I’ve captured so many lovely images amongst hidden gardens and manicured flower beds, or with the backdrop of the rolling Cheshire hills or the North Wales coast.

Nunsmere Hall gay wedding in woods

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Bridal Couple Outdoors
For this reason, one of my must have wedding photos is a stunning outside shot (or ideally, lots of them!)

Must have wedding photo #5: Group shots

For many couples, group shots can be a bit of a ‘love or hate’ thing. Couples often don’t like the idea of their guests standing around for a long time waiting to take part in group shots, or perhaps the style of their wedding is relaxed and informal so they don’t want the group shots to feel too ‘static’.

However, I think getting some great group shots really is a must have: this is your opportunity to capture all those faces of your closest friends and family who shared your special day, and they can be wonderful memories to look back on in years to come.

The good news is that you can create some natural, fun group shots in a way that doesn’t mean that everyone is standing around for ages waiting for a formal photo. I love to get creative with group shots by incorporating interesting backdrops, angles, poses, or props to make the shot just a little different. I can also create more casual, candid group shots which help avoid that ‘static, posed’ look: maybe it’s a beautiful shot of you and your bridesmaids getting ready together and laughing over a glass of champagne, or the groomsmen walking to the ceremony together. When it comes to must-have wedding photography, group shots are up there as a great way to remember your day.

Chateau Rhianfa North Wales

Wedding Photography Wales
If you’re looking for some advice on must have wedding photos, I am more than happy to help. I’m a professional wedding photographer based in North Wales, Chester and Cheshire and I’d love to chat about your wedding plans- please get in touch.