Dec 27, 2021

For Your Wedding Photography: 11 Must-Have Photos on Your Wedding Day

Hi, I’m Amy! If you’ve stumbled across my website, I’m going to take a guess and assume you may be excitedly preparing for the real-life rom-com that is your wedding day, so congratulations! Planning your wedding can be such an exciting, emotional, exhilarating, overwhelming (and the list goes on) experience for you and your soon-to-be forever partner, I completely understand! So, to help you along the way, I thought I would put together an ELEVEN MUST-HAVE WEDDING PHOTOS LIST you can go over with your wedding photographer to make sure you capture the magic of your wedding day, forever! In fact, these are what I try to focus on a wedding day to ensure my clients have a good story in their wedding photography, so read along!

I not only listed the different photos you can have, but for each category, I wrote down how much time is needed to take the photos. These rough time estimates will link to another blog post about 4-Hr, 6-Hr, and 8-Hr WEDDING TIMELINE EXAMPLES to help you schedule your wedding and to help make sense of the hour coverage when you hire your wedding photographer! I will be back with that post next week, so stay tuned!

So, let’s get to the list!


20 – 25min (1.5 hr – 2 hr Before Ceremony)

These photos are all about capturing the little details that make your big day so special. The radiant flowers laid out across the bed, ready to be carried down the aisle by your best of friends, the groom’s suit hanging perfectly by the window waiting to be worn, the family heirloom pin your grandmother so lovingly placed upon your dress or the hand-sewn names in your bridesmaids dressing gowns. There is so much beauty and anticipation in the carefully laid out details, and I adore capturing them.


30min Shoot Each (Bride/Bridegroom)

I absolutely LOVE the palpable excitement and anticipation captured in these photos! Being able to encapsulate the moments of nervousness and wonder about all that will eventuate throughout the big day is truly something special. It also makes it so fun to look back on after the big day has played out to relive those moments! Keep in mind, if the soon-to-be wedded couple are getting ready in separate places, we do have to allow more time for this to happen. Alternatively, hiring a second photographer is another great option for this pre-ceremony shoot.


20 min Shoot each (bride/bridegroom)

There are often beautiful moments to be captured in the gifting of something borrowed, blue, or just something special. I absolutely love being able to shoot these interactions and the emotions, reactions, and warmth in the room. So whether it is a gift from family members, friends, or even a little something from your soon-to-be forever person.



It’s hard to hold back the tears on this one. When I talk about the magic moments on a wedding day, this shoot often comes to mind. Watching the moment two deeply in-love people first lay eyes on each other on their big day is truly captivating to witness. I really really adore being a part of first look shoots.



Sneaking away with your closest family and friends is a really beautiful way to celebrate the people that make this celebration of love so wonderful and full. I encourage you to think of the people you would like to be involved in your family portrait session before your big day (and make a list), that way I can call on them to join in on these moments and we can capture as many photos as possible! This shoot is usually done after the ceremony is over.



These are THE moments. The couple portraits are most likely to take up the coveted spot on your bedside table or be lovingly hung in the living room. Often, wedded couples will find these are the shots they can relax and shake out their nerves away from the crowd of people at the ceremony. This is where we can really capture the intimate moments and connection between the two of you. If you tend to feel awkward or uncomfortable in front of a camera, don’t worry! It’s my job to help you feel at ease during this shoot. I want to see your true self shine through the shots, and I’m confident that together we can make that happen!


Length is Dependant on the Couple’s Schedule

From the candid shots to the must-have ‘I Do’ and aisle moments, there is so much to be captured throughout the ceremony. This shoot will time-capsule the treasured memories of walking down the aisle on the arm of whoever walks alongside you, the first kiss as a married couple, and the happiness and joy on the faces of those sharing the celebration with you. Hey, we might even get a few tears from your forever person waiting at the end of the aisle!


Length is Dependant on the Couple’s Schedule

This is where the guests (and you!) start to really relax into the day and the fun begins. The reception shoot is a great place to capture all of the laughter, joy, and explosive dance moves that often jump out of your wedding guests after dinner and a few drinks. The reception is a great time for candid shots, it’s the best time for me to make my way around the space and capture the interactions between you and your guests, as well as chronicle all the people that were there to make your special day what it was.


Length is Dependant on the Couple’s Schedule

Whether you’re a ‘burst through the doors in dramatic and dazzling choreography’ type of person or you are more suited to an intimate sway accompanied by emotive piano or violin, the first dance is always a great moment to capture. It is a really fun way to witness the unique connection between the two love birds and often shows a charming insight into who you are as a couple!



This is a fun one! As the happy couple cut their cake, I’ll be there to capture the beautiful celebration! And don’t worry, if a food fight ensues I’ll snap all the action shots for you to laugh at afterward!

11. EXIT 

10 – 15min Shoot

An exit shoot is a great way to tie the bow on your wedding photography collection. You might have your guests gathered around cheering you on, perhaps arranging a tunnel of arms for you and your now spouse to dance out through, or you might prefer to slip out quietly and get that final kiss outside the front doors to seal the night. Whichever way you make your final exit from your big day, I’m happy to be right there with you to capture it!

I hope this list gives you an insight into what kind of photos you will receive in your online gallery when I am hired as your wedding photographer. If you have any questions or you’d like to chat about your upcoming big day, I’m here to help! Also, if there is a must-have shot you want to be captured at your wedding, I’m more than happy to chat more about what we can create together.

To leave you with my final sentiment, I’m here to capture the magic. All you’ve got to do is make the memories, and I’ll make them last.

Ready to Capture Every Moment?

In case you still didn’t know, I am a Weddings Photographer and I have a great passion for artful wedding photography for couples in Seattle! I can ensure your upcoming celebration is captured as vividly as possible, keeping those special memories alive for years to come.

Ready to get started? Contact me today to learn more!

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