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Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you’ll want to remember every single moment. We absolutely love those in-between moments, but there are 12 must have hero photos that we think always make for a great wedding photography Album. Hiring a skilled and experienced wedding photographer is essential to capturing all the special moments of your big day. To ensure that your photographer captures all the important shots, these moments have to happen to start with! Here is a list of 12 must-have shots to consider when you are planning your big day. We also give our tips about how to maximise these moments and get the best possible photographs from your wedding day! Your wedding photographer will definitely appreciate you including these moments.

1. The Bride AND Grooms Preparations

Bride & her bridesmaids at Eastnor Castle

As a wedding photographer, it’s so important to tell the full story of the day. It’s not just about the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready on the morning of the wedding. Grooms preparation photos are a must! It’s so great for your partner to get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of the parts of the day they missed. It allows the couple to see how their partner was feeling and what they were doing in the hours leading up to the ceremony, don’t worry it will be an edited version! Including both sets of preparations in the wedding album also provides a well-rounded view of the day.

Top Tip: Choose a large area for your getting ready photos. If possible getting ready at the same venue or at least close to your partner can really help maximise the photographers time. Some choose to hire an air-bnb or ask the venue if they have an area that can be used during the getting ready part of the day. Read more tips about how to get great grooms preparation wedding photos here.

2. The Father & Daughter First Look

father daughter first look

As a wedding photographer, capturing the father-daughter first look moment is incredibly important and always such a privilege to witness. This special moment is always so filled with emotion and as a documentary wedding photographer who loves to really capture that emotion this is definitely a must have wedding photo. As a father myself, it’s always so beautiful to see the unique bond between the father and his daughter. It’s not always the father-daughter first look, sometimes it’s the mother of the bride or the bridesmaids, it all depends on your family, but the important thing is to capture the special moment between you and your loved ones.

Not only is it a touching moment for the father and daughter (or other loved ones), but it also makes for a beautiful photograph that will be cherished for years to come. As wedding photographers, it’s great to capture this moment from different angles and perspectives to capture the emotion of the bride but also her father without being obtrusive and distracting. This photo really will be a cherished memory for the bride and her family and will be a stunning addition to the wedding album.

Top Tip: Allow time for this in your schedule. Aim to be ready for at least 30 mins before you plan to leave for the wedding ceremony so this moment doesn’t have to be rushed. Choose an area with good space and if it’s the same room you get ready in, try to make sure it’s tidy. It often makes the best photos if your father (and bridesmaids) keeps his hands over his eyes until he’s in position to see you fully.

3. The Grand Entrance – Walking the bride down the aisle

As a wedding photographer, capturing the moment when the father (or other special person) walks his daughter down the aisle is one of the most important parts of the day. Traditionally, this special moment symbolises the transition of the bride from her father’s care to her husband’s, and it is a memory that will be cherished for years to come. But it’s not the tradition that makes this photo so important, again it’s all about the emotions on the faces of both the father and the bride are priceless, and as a photographer, I aim to capture those feelings in a natural and genuine way. This photo is a keepsake that will be treasured and it is an honour for me to capture such a significant moment in the couple’s wedding day.

Top Tip: Allow time for those in front of you to get well ahead so your wedding photographer can capture this moment perfectly. Quite often brides have their bridesmaids walk down the aisle before them. Sometimes, the priest or vicar enters ahead of the bride. We’ve seen it so many times where a clear photo of the bride and her father is blocked by the view of the vicar, or a traffic jam at the front of the church as the bridesmaids figure out where they are sitting. Of course we always get the shot, but for the perfect photo, we always give the advice to make sure that the bridesmaids or vicar are well ahead, preferably at the end of and out of the aisle before you begin to walk down the aisle. This way your wedding photographer can take a beautiful full length photo of you walking down the aisle with your father.

4. The First Kiss

As a wedding photographer, capturing the first kiss is THE one moment that cannot be repeated! I love the first kiss as it always feels like it’s the start of the celebrations! The nerves are gone, the wedding ceremony is over and now it’s time to have fun! The first kiss has always been one of the iconic moments from a wedding and I’m sure it always will be. Having a beautiful photo to look back on is something that you will treasure for years to come. As a photographer, my goal is to capture this special moment in a way that truly reflects the couple’s personalities and the unique energy of their wedding day.

Top Tip: Have fun with it! BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, you’re finally married! We love a good celebration post first kiss as you can see in the photos below.

5. Confetti Photo

confetti being thrown at bride and groom outside church

Capturing the confetti photo is always a highlight of the day, although I usually end up with most of it in my there and camera bag! There’s something magical about the moment when the happy couple are showered with colourful confetti as they exit the ceremony. It’s a moment of pure joy and celebration, and as a photographer, it’s my job to capture that moment in all its glory. When a couple decides to have a second photographer, I love to have one photographer take the photo from behind and one photographer from the front for a unique view as shown below.

unique confetti photo taken from behind the bride and groom

The confetti creates such a beautiful backdrop for the excitement and happiness on the faces of the couple, it really is priceless. It’s always a joy to look back on these photos and relive the fun and excitement of the day. As a wedding photographer, capturing these special moments is what makes my job so rewarding and the confetti photo is often one of the favourites of our couples.

Not allowed to have confetti at your wedding venue? Read our alternatives to confetti article, here.

Top Tip: Go big or go home! You can never have too much confetti! Remember guests might forget to bring their own. Dried Rose petals not only look great but are much better for the environment.
For the best confetti photos try to keep your head up and the bouquet down even though it’s natural to close your eyes and try to defend yourself with whatever you have when things are thrown at you!

6. Congratulations hugs and kisses

Documentary wedding photography is all about telling the story. My ultimate goal is to capture the raw emotions and special moments of your big day. The moments you might easily forget in the general mayhem of the day. Perhaps my favourite and most heartwarming parts of the day that I love to photograph is just after the wedding ceremony. The time when friends and family come together to congratulate the newlyweds with hugs and kisses. This is when you really see just what the couple mean to their family and friends. These natural, documentary-style photos not only highlight the love and happiness shared between loved ones but also serve as a beautiful reminder of the love that surrounds the couple on their special day. My approach is to blend into the background and capture candid moments as they happen, without being intrusive or disrupting the flow of the day. This results in a beautiful collection of photographs that authentically capture the joy and love shared during your wedding day.

Top Tip: When planning your wedding photography timeline, allow some time after the wedding ceremony to just be with your guests. Don’t go straight into taking photos, go to your guests!

7. Fun & Natural Wedding Group Photos

natural group wedding photo of the bridal party walking towards camera
Bridal party at Peckforton Castle

Nobody wants to stand in line for hours taking photos, but having just a few family and bridal party group photographs is so important. Just make sure to keep the list short and it won’t be too much pain! In years to come you will look back and be so glad you did. Every day our own daughter looks at our wedding group photos and names each person, I absolutely love that and it highlights just how these photographs will be treasured in years to come.

Top Tip: Add some movement to your wedding group photos. Have a more formal photo but then get close to your loved ones and have a laugh. Try to keep the number of group photos down so that you can really enjoy your day.

8. A Natural Couples Portrait

A Relaxed wedding portrait at Iscoyd Park

You don’t have to stand for hours in a field to get nice relaxed portraits of you together. Capturing natural couples wedding portrait photographs is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. It’s always really nice for a couple to have a few minutes alone away from their guests to take in the day and really savour the moment together. By using a combination of natural shots and carefully crafted, but natural poses, I’m able to create a beautiful and timeless collection of images that truly reflect the couple’s unique connection. Whether it’s a stolen moment shared during a sunset stroll or a tender embrace captured during the ceremony, these natural portraits really are a must have as you look back no your wedding photography album.

Top Tip: If you don’t feel comfortable taking portrait photos, just go for a walk with your wedding photographer, stay close and have a laugh.

9. A venue detail shot

A stunning wedding at Aman Venice

To really capture the essence and atmosphere of the big day a detail photo of the venue is key. Maybe the stunning exterior of your wedding venue, or the wedding breakfast room beautifully laid out just as you painstakingly planned. Detail photos really help to set the scene and tell the story of the wedding. These photos can include shots of the decorations, table settings, and other unique elements that make the location special. By paying close attention to these details, a wedding photographer can provide a more complete and immersive visual narrative, helping to transport you back to the special day for years to come.

Top Tip: Tell your wedding photographer which details are particularly special to you. Schedule time for the photographer time in the drinks reception to take a photo of the wedding breakfast room before you go in for dinner.

10. Speeches

One of the most emotional moments of the day is the wedding speeches. No wedding album is complete without having an amazing speeches photo. Over the years some of our couples favourite photos have been taken during the speeches. The speeches are a time when family and friends come together to share stories and express their heartfelt emotions, feelings that we rarely tell each other in our day to day lives. I love to capture, the smiles, the tears, the laughs of not just the couple but also the wedding guests as they celebrate your day with you. These photos really area reminder of the love and support that surrounded you on your wedding day.

Top Tip: For the best wedding speeches photos make sure that your table decorations are not too high on the head table. Take away all the empty bottles and make sure the plates are cleared first. It always looks best for the speaker to speak from the head table, this way you can capture the speaker and couples reaction in the same photo.

11. Dance-floor Mayhem

Dance-floor fun at Colshaw Hall

No wedding album is complete without capturing the dance-floor craziness. It’s always great when your wedding photographer doesn’t leave straight after the first dance. This is the time for everyone to let their hair down, to surprise you with their moves and where the real fun and energy of the reception can be found. When it comes to photographing the crazy dance-floor, it’s all about capturing the atmosphere and excitement of the moment. I love to get in the middle of the dance-floor and capture those crazy moves. From the hilarious expressions on guests’ faces to the wild dance moves everyone needs some dance floor shots in their wedding album.

Top Tip: Stay on the dance-floor straight after the first dance. All your guests are watching the first dance and will join you as it ends. This is a great time for your photographer to capture you both with a packed dance-floor and most of your guests. Even if your photographer isn’t booked to stay all night, most wedding photographers will stay for at least a few dances after the first dance.

12. Champagne Pop

We love us a Champagne pop. Maybe it’s even the new sparkler exit. Slightly safer too! It’s a trend that has become very popular, and it’s easy to see why. The champagne pop is an excellent way to add a touch of glamour to the wedding album and finish the perfect collection.

Top Tip: Shake that bottle and keep shaking it as your going. If you don’t want to waste good champagne alcohol free sparkling wine/ prosecco works well – just hide the label!

Best Tip for Great Wedding Photos

The best tip we can give to get amazing wedding photos is – just let go and have fun! Things won’t always go to plan on your wedding day, but no matter what happens you’re going to have the best day of your life. Embrace it, and you will really have amazing wedding photos!

About the author

Tobiah is a professional Wedding Photographer based in Manchester & Cheshire, England. He has photographed over 375 weddings throughout the UK & Europe.


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