Creating Your Own Must Have Wedding Photography Shots

There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the day and realizing that the wedding photographer did not take shots of the out-of-town guests or no one took a picture of your favorite Aunt. To avoid such mishaps from happening better create a list of shots that you want your photographer to take on the day.

Starting the Day:

Bride’s prep shots                                                                                                                                   

  • Wedding dress hanging or draped, or lying over a chair
  • Bride facing out northern most window shot
  • Close up shot of bride’s shoes, veil, bag, jewelry, etc
  • Close-up shots of bride’s bouquet and bridesmaids bouquets
  • Close-up of dress details
  • Bride putting her makeup
  • Mom zipping the bride’s dress
  • Mom, maid of honor or bridesmaids helping the bride with her dress, train, makeup or hair, etc.
  • Mom helping the bride with other last details and accessories like the wedding veil
  • Bride’s group shot with bridesmaids
  • Bride’s group shot with everyone in the room
  • Bride hugging mom
  • Flower girls prep shot
  • Bride walking down the stairs
  • Father and bride shot
  • Bride with her parents and siblings
  • Full-length shot of bride all dressed up
  • Bride in limo ready to go

Groom’s Prep Shot

  • Close up shot of suit
  • Close up shot of accessories such as shoes, socks, watch, tie or bow, hat, jewelry, etc.
  • Close-up shot of wedding rings
  • Groom fixing hair
  • Groom putting his tie or bow
  • Dad attaching boutonniere to groom’s lapel
  • Groom checking the time
  • Groom looking out the window shot
  • Groom hugging mom
  • Groom’s group shot with groomsmen
  • Groom’s group shot with everyone in the room
  • Groom’s shot with parents
  • Groom’s shot with parents and siblings
  • Full-length of groom all suit up and ready to go
  • Groom in limo ready to go

At the ceremony:

  • Ceremony location shot with and without guests
  • Clops up details of decorations such as guest book, pew decorations, chair, etc.
  • Groom exits his limo
  • Groom walking down the aisle
  • Groom waits at the altar
  • Bride being helped out as she exits the limo
  • Bridal party walking down the aisle
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Father giving away bride
  • Exchanging of vows
  • Groom over the shoulder of bride and bride over the shoulder shot of groom
  • Bride and groom close up shot of their hands together with their wedding rings already on finger
  • Both sets of parents watching the ceremony
  • Wide shots of the altar from the audience point of view
  • Shot of the audience from the bride and groom’s point of view
  • Shots of their first kiss
  • Close-up shots of the newlyweds after the ceremony
  • The newlywed exiting the aisle together
  • Guests throwing confetti as the newlywed exit
  • The newlywed getting in car

Shots with family and bridal party (shots that can be taken before the ceremony or right after)


  • Bride in her wedding dress
  • Bride together with her maid of honor
  • Bride together with her bridesmaids
  • Bride with her parents, then with the groom’s parents


  • Groom in his attire
  • Groom together with his best man
  • Groom together with his groomsmen
  • Groom together with his parents and then with the bride’s parents

The newlywed

  • Bride and groom together with the wedding party
  • Bride and groom with both sets of parents that can be taken individually and together
  • Bride and groom with both families

At the reception

  • Reception hall outside shot
  • Food, centerpieces, and flower decoration shots
  • Shots of the reception without guests
  • Bride and groom’s entrance at the reception
  • Wedding party at the head table
  • Shots of each table with guests
  • Bride and groom portraits
  • Bride and groom hand and ring portraits
  • Bride and groom with wedding party
  • Best man and maid of honor wedding toast
  • Bride and groom greeting guests
  • The newlywed cutting the cake
  • The newlywed feeding cake to each other
  • The newlyweds first dance
  • Bride and father dance
  • Groom and mother dance
  • Guests having fun dancing
  • Bride tossing the bouquet
  • Groom throwing the garter
  • The newlywed leaving the reception with the “Just Married” car

Make sure that you will show your list to your photographer so that he can also make some recommendations and suggestions. Also, create a list of names that you want your photographer to take pictures of and provide the photographer with a seating chart so he can easily find them.  While a traditional list may hold importance in creating great photo shots, there are still a few must have that you can think about.

Romantic shots to recommend

  • How about a romantic lift of the groom to an exciting bride?
  • Shots of the couple’s silhouettes being romantic after sundown
  • Let them do a pinky swear with their wedding ring in full view
  • A portrait photo of the bride resting her head on the groom’s shoulder
  • Create a shadowed kiss
  • Couple embracing with the bride’s veil flowing behind them