Many years after you've walked down the aisle to say 'I do' to the love of your life, and the day is just a blissful memory, the lasting and resounding memento will undoubtedly be your professional wedding photos.
So, you need to ensure you get it right! But what next?
You can avoid the dreaded ‘photo-related-anxiety’ on your wedding day with just a little extra organisation and preparation with your photographer. Afterall, if you invest time in preparing in the lead up to your day, you’ll ensure that post-wedding you can appreciate and relive every detail you spent so much time organising and dreaming about.
To help you feel prepared, and remove any last minute worries on your wedding day, we’ve compiled a list of 150 ‘must have’ wedding photo ideas', including contemporary takes (alongside some of the great classics) partnered with helpful tips to make everyone feel at ease in front of the camera.
Equally important alongside communicating what photos you want taken is how you want your photos taken. Ask yourself questions like:
Are my partner and I camera confident, outgoing or vivacious people who need minimal direction?
Or are we a little more camera shy and would like more prompting?
Would we prefer formalised and structured photos or is something more organic and natural more our style?
What priorities do we have for our wedding album and what is it we would most like to remember about our day? * Insider Tip: Be sure to voice those little extra things you’d like noted at this point and don’t be afraid to be honest! Mention things for your photographer to consider like family dynamics or even any personal insecurities. If there is a feature you want to hide or promote let your photographer know so they can be sure to capture you in your best light.
Spending time workshopping these elements with your photographer will ensure they have a clear snapshot of how you can best work together to make you feel comfortable on the day and capture those elusive, candid moments that make a wedding album unforgettable.
Getting ready with the bridal party
Getting ready together on the morning of your wedding with your 'bride tribe' should be at the top of the list for must have photo ops. From sipping champagne to adding the final finishing touches these are the moments you won’t want to miss out on.
1. Hair and make-up essentials: In the midst of getting your hair and make-up done pause to capture the moments of preparation with your bridesmaids.
Tip: Work with your MUA to ensure a clear and clean space, be the focal point of the image with your bridesmaids looking on
2. Co-ordinating robes: Capture the mood of the morning festivities with your bridesmaids while you sip and laugh together.
Tip: Steam or iron robes beforehand for a crinklefree shot.
3. Presents for their presence: They’ve been by your side to support you through the whole process so capture the moment (and the reactions) when you give your bridesmaids their thankyou gifts.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal, sit on a lounge or chaise whilst doing this to get everyone together to share the moment.
4. Hanging dress:* Find a light filled space to showcase and hang your dress, be sure to use the height of a doorway or archway to your advantage. * Tip: Don’t neglect the details choose a hanger which compliments your dress
5. Admiring ‘the dress’: You’ve been dreaming of wearing this beautiful gown for months so before you slip into it take a moment to admire the sheer lacework one last time or run your hands through the delicate beadwork.
6. Getting into the gown: Capture an intimate mother and daughter moment as she helps you get fitted into your dress, if your lucky your photographer may even catch a few tears.
7. Finishing touches: Capture your bridesmaids assisting you in your final finishing touches, fitting accessories and slipping into your shoes.
Tip: These can be great opportunities to highlight and capture the finer details of your ensemble, a close up of your earrings, button work on the back of your dress, or lacing of your shoes. Details that may not be as clearly captured for the rest of the day.
8. Mirror shot: Nothing exudes romance like a mirror shot, whether by yourself or with your bridesmaids by your side.
9. Father of the bride first look: Whether in the bridal retreat or in another part of the venue don’t miss the magic of the moment when he first sees you ready to walk down the aisle.
Tip: Position your bridesmaids to be standing behind where he walks in and first sees you, that way everyone will be included in the moment and you’ll capture the delight of them seeing your response to him.
10. Adoring bride: Savor the moment and capture a final shot admiring your bevvy of beauties before you walk down the aisle together.
Accessories - it’s all in the details
11. The rings: Choose to capture the rings by themselves or craft a flat lay featuring the rings, shoes and bouquet together.
12. Perfume: scent is the strongest sense linked to memory so be sure to capture a reminder of the perfume you chose to wear when walking down the aisle.
13. Shoes: Unless you are opting for a shorter or tea length hemline you may not see those gorgeous shoes for the rest of the day so be sure to give them their moment in front of the lens.
Insider tip: When photographing the shoes have a hero shot where they stand alone alongside one with your bridesmaids assisting in the fitting of them on your feet.
14. Poses for your posies: Nothing is more breathtaking than a plethora of arranged flowers photographed together, opt for photos pre-ceremony with the bouquets by themselves or choose to capture the florals together later in the day when taking the wedding party photos.
Insider tip: If you're looking for an alternative to flowers on your wedding day check out out blog on this very subject.
15. It’s the little things that make the difference: in all the merriment of getting ready be sure to organise for your photographer to duck out to capture shots of the bespoke aspects of your wedding set.
While some brides may feel very at home in front of the camera by themselves, others may find this prospect a little more daunting. If your of the latter ilk then being equipped with a ‘set list’ for your bridal portraits will assist in helping you feel prepared and not caught unaware when you start being asked to ‘playfully twirl in your dress.’
Insider tip: To ensure you get the best shots keep acting natural and move in a way that is organic to you - your photographer will correct you if they need something or need you to move another way. Enjoy the moment authentically and leave it to them to capture the magic.
16. The veil shot: Be sure to take shots both with and without your veil, chances are you will be only wearing your veil for a portion of the day so you'll want to take the time to capture it in all its flowing glory.
17. The train shot: if you have a decadent or flowing train take captivating bridal portraits with the train positioned as the designer intended.
Insider Tip: If the venue has stairs use the varying levels to your advantage and allow the train to delicately cascade down the flight giving the illusion of height and elevated grandeur.
18. The piece de’ resistance dress shot: Capture, in detail, the feature that captivated you when choosing your wedding dress. Whether it be the plunging neckline, intricate beading or sheer lace work pay homage to the design element that took your breath away and made this dress ‘the one.’
19. The back of the dress: Nothing exudes sophistication more than the over the shoulder glance and the back of the dress shot. While most of the day will be spent photographing the front of you be sure to capture this alternative vista.
20. The fun and playful shot: Most of all your wedding day should be enjoyable, take the time to twirl in your dress, dance, strike a playful pose and just‘let your hair out’ for a moment - so to speak (just don’t undo all your hairdressers great work) and fully enjoy wearing a beautiful dress at a beautiful venue!!
21. Strike a pose: After you’ve relaxed and had some playful moments transition to the more formalised bridal portraits.
Insider Tip: Different angles will be your friend here. Capture the beauty of your ensemble (and the gorgeous woman wearing it) from all sides, including from above.
22. Holding the bouquet: Relax your arms and gently hold your bouquet at waist level, either looking at your bouquet or at the camera for one of the last shots before you walk down the aisle.
23. Model Pose: You need at least one shot that is ‘magazine cover’ worthy, work your magic and enjoying posing away.
While the bridal party spend the morning getting beautiful the grooms party will be working on looking extra dapper! So be sure to capture the morning spent with mates before the ceremony commences.
Insider Tip: Coordinate the timing with your photographer to ensure they will be able to capture both the bride and the bridal party getting ready and the groom and his groomsmen if they are at different locations, make sure the time is staggered or enlist a second shooter.
24. Just chilling: Let's be honest. Most of the groom's party will spend the morning ‘just chilling’ and enjoying each other's company. These moments are just as special as the formal proceedings and the perfect opportunity to capture relaxed, candid moments.
25. Textbook accessories shot: Just like the wedding dress gets to have its own moment so does the groom suit or tux, along with accessories.
26. Getting suited up: Coordinate shots of the groom and groomsmen suiting up and tying their ties.
27. Capture the cufflinks: Cufflink shots are also a must for the album. Make sure you get some close-ups of the groom fitting his cufflink (especially if they are customized).
28. Boutonnieres: Snap a picture perfect shot to remember what they looked like before the festivities started.
Insider Tip: For an extra special capture have the grooms mother assist in the fitting of the boutonnieres.
29. Pensive reflections: Capture the fleeting moments of the groom and groomsmen getting ready and doing the final checks together in a mirror.
30. Toasting the groom: Scotch, whisky, whatever the drink of choice, savour the groom taking his last toast as a single man.
31. At least one serious/posed shot: We say at least one because this will often feel the most awkward or unfamiliar, but it’s an absolute must, and the more the better.
Insider Tip: For the Groom (and groomsmen) have them put their hands crossed in front, crossed behind their back or in their pockets - whichever feels most natural to them.
32. Before the guests arrive: Capture the beauty of your ceremony location before the guests arrive with a panoramic or landscape shot.
Insider Tip: If time permits snap a shot of the bride inspecting her ceremony set.
33. Ceremony styling: Capture close up shots of floral arrangements, the arbour, the aisleway and any bespoke styling accents.
34. Here comes the ... groomsmen and groom: Capture photos of the groom and groomsmen waiting for the bridal parties arrival and welcoming guests.
Insider Tip: These moments are especially important to capture as the bride would have missed them. It’ll be a treat to relive these moments after the wedding day together.
35. Bridesmaid processional:* Capture each bridesmaid as she leads the way down the aisle.
Insider Tip: Be sure to communicate beforehand (on your welcome sign or a separate sign) if you want your ceremony to be ‘unplugged’ that way your photographer won’t be competing with well-meaning, iphone wielding relatives and the guests focus will be more present .
36. Here come the bride: Perspective plays an important role here, be sure to get lots of close-ups but also shots that include the guests as they watch you walk down the aisle.
37. First look: These are the heart-melting shots. Great to look back on together after the wedding and after the emotion of the moment has passed.
38. Exchange of vows: To ensure you are centered in front of your arbour during rehearsal appoint a place to stand or place a marker for the exchange of vows.
39. Ring exchange: Capture the moment with a close-up shot of both your hands and then standing in front of the arbour exchanging rings
40. Reactions of the bridal party: Not to be missed!
41. First kiss: If you ask us, the best part of the ceremony!!
Insider Tip: Organise to have the celebrant step out of the shot for this moment.
42. Exit down the aisle: Catch the post ‘I do’ smile.
Insider Tip: When spacing the aisle ensure there’s plenty of room at either side and the guests are seated far enough to the side that they don’t inhibit the path or crowd the shot when you walk through.
43. Photo of the signing table: Capture the ‘official part of the ceremony’ surrounded by the the bridal party standing either side.
45. First alone moment as Mr and Mrs: The shot when you've walked past the crowd, walked out of the ceremony and you grab hands, hold them in the air, smile at one another and lose yourself in the moment.
44. Time for drink and greet: After the ceremony you’ll have the chance to officially greet your guests...after you’ve grabbed a post ceremony glass of champagne of course.
Cocktail hour & Garden Party
45. Photos with guests: Cue candid celebration shots!! Chatting, drinking, feasting and enjoying the merriment together.
46. Sweet serenading: They help set the mood of the day, so make sure your musicians feature in the memories of the day.
47. Canapes and cocktails: Capture a shot of the carefully curated menu you delighted your guests with.
They are the loved ones that know you the best, have been by your side, laughed, cried, and ridden the ups and downs of life with you (and probably your wedding planning journey over the last 12 months)...so now's the time to enjoy making more memories together. Aim to get a mix of posed, natural reactions and celebratory shots.
48. Classic shot: Centre yourselves in the middle of your wedding party with the bridesmaids on the left holding bouquets and the groomsmen on the right
Insider Tip: This is not the shot to be holding beer and champagne flutes. For photos with arms around each other make sure they are kept at waist height to keep suits in alignment and prevent gowns from stretching or delicate fabrics from ripping.
49. Seal it with a kiss: Steal a kiss with the wedding party behind you looking on
50. Editorial arrangement: You’ll need at least one ‘magazine worthy’ shot with your wedding party arranged to either be sitting and standing or at varying heights (again, the stairs at your venue will be great for this) with a formal setting.
51. Natural photo: Have your wedding party pose together as though they weren’t at a wedding, natural and relaxed, a group of friends casually enjoying the afternoon kinda vibe!
52. Champagne showers: Now is the time to grab those champagne glasses and pop the corks. Let loose and have fun with these final wedding party shots - it’ll set the tone for the evenings festivities.
Loved up Couple shots
Relax, take a stroll together and follow the light of golden hour through the gardens. Don’t feel pressured by time, work together with your photographer to create a realistic timeline with flexibility for the moments you want to linger in. You don’t want to feel stressed or pushed...it will show through.
53. Intimate embrace: Hold each other close, breath the moment in and look into one another's eyes. This one is great to do on repeat all around your venue!!
54. Adoring gaze: Capture his adoring gaze while you look at the camera.
55. The over the shoulder lookback shot: Change it up with a relaxed gaze back towards the photographer while holding hands and a glass of champagne.
Insider Tip: Not only will it capture a more ‘natural feel’ to some of your couples shots but it’ll also capture the back detailing of your dress again.
56. Forehead kiss
57. Head on the shoulder: Take a lean and rest for a moment….and while you do, capture the moment.
58. Whisper in the ear and cheeky smile... enough said.
59. Hands around the waist: Hold each other close and have him wrap his arms around you. This style of shot would be perfect somewhere rustic.
60. Take a stroll: Enjoy the time spent taking portraits and capture the moments in between location shoots.
Insider Tip: If your tiring of a pose or feeling a little fatigued take a walk to shake it up and refresh the moment.
61. Lend a helping hand: Have your groom assist with holding your train as you stroll around the gardens, not only will it save the dress but it will make a great photo op.
62. The ‘I wouldn’t want to be doing this with anyone else’ pose: No posing required!
63. He’s looking at you: - Eyes only for you.
64. Veil Shot: Capture both of you under the veil together.
65. Dress dreaming: - Flail your dress to the side while holding hands and showcase its details.
66. Table settings: Capture the beauty of all the details of your reception set with a variety of shots of the dressed tables, centerpieces, floral arrangements and table settings.
Insider Tip: Feature lit candles heavily in your table settings for breathtaking images
67. Wander through your reception alone before everyone arrives: Before walking down the aisle browse your reception set, especially if it is drenched in stunning florals.
68. The walk-in: Capture the moment when you first walk in welcomed by the applause of family and friends.
69. The feasting before the frivolity: Savour the menu for later with shots of your entree’s, mains and deserts.
70. Toast the night away: Captur all your wedding speeches and the crowds reaction (before you dance the night away)
71. You can have your cake and then eat it too: Capture a shot pre-cutting of the cake
72. Cutting the cake as a couple: Your first official ‘act as a married couple’ **
73. First Dance: The highlight of the evening will be your first dance, cue the background fireworks for some added flair.
74. Dance Floor: Dance the night away with family and friends
75. Reception entertainment: The Shoe Game, Roving magician, Band or DJ. However you choose to delight your guests on the evening be sure to capture the moment - and everyone's responses.
76. Bouquet toss: Capture this crowd favorite as you toss your bouquet over your shoulder.
77. Night garden: Make the most of the 1000’s of fairy lights and festoon lights extravagantly hung from the trees of the Homestead.
Insider Tip: Work with your wedding planning team to find a time in the evening and your runsheet when your guests won’t miss your absence and will allow you to make the most of your night shots.
78. Parting is such sweet sorrow: Sparkler exit, firework lined driveway exit, sports car exit or simply bidding farewell with sweet adieu’s - enjoy the last fleeting moments of your wonderful night together.
79. End it with a kiss: End the best day of your life with one last kiss.
The finishing touches and little extras that bring the album together:
8o. Invitation suite: So you can remember all the little details.
81. On the day stationary: Place cards welcome sign and on-the-day stationary.
82. Bride/Groom seating at the reception: especially if you’ve added some personalised touches.
83. Personalised touches: If you are a DIY queen make sure you capture the styling elements you crafted to bring your day to life.
84. Remembering loved ones: If you’ve placed photos of loved ones past and present that couldn’t join you on the day be sure to capture them in your album.
85. Champagne Tower: It’s not every day you get to pour a champagne tower, so position the tower where it will only be the two of you at the centre of the event.
86. Driveway photos: Make the most of your venues stunning tree-lined stone driveway with portraits, wedding party shots and photos in front of your entrance car.
87. Car capture: Great to add to your grooms photo cache’, stagger the cars and have the grooms and groomsmen stand in front of the cars - especially if they hold special significance.
88. First looks: Choose a private place in the gardens to capture your first look.
89. First look alternatives: Sneak in a little ‘hold of hands’ or capture a moment before the ceremony together to connect before seeing each other at the altar.
90. Offsite photos: Mix it up a little by varying the landscape of your photos.
Insider Tip: Make sure you generously account for extra time that may be spent travelling to and from your venue for offsite photos. Schedule for a time in the afternoon or garden party when you won’t be missed by your guests.
91. Balloons and flower alternatives: If you’ve stepped away from traditional floral styling make sure you capture your alternatives in their own right. Play with the height of your balloons for the portrait shots of snap photos in front of ballon displays or arbors.
92. Let your lights shine: Neon signs, festoon lights, light-up letters and decadent pillar candles in hurricane displays, use the variations in light to add a point of difference to your album.
93. Group garden party shots: General shots of your guests mingling in the garden party are never disappointing.
94. Martinis and cocktails: from Espresso Martinis to Cin Cin’s and Ratu Sippers.
Long after the day you’ll enjoy looking back on the stunning vista’s that your wedding venue provided. Select a list for your photographer of ‘must have’ captures that you want included from your venue (a beautiful fountain, garden statues etc) but also allow space for your photographer's creativity to flow.
Insider Tip: Venue shots are great for creating montages on Instagram or other social media platforms.
95. The aerial shot of your venue
96. The front shot of your venue
97. Gardens: Towering figs, blossoming roses, rows of Clivia’s, Magnolias in flower, jewel toned autumn leaves, whatever the season, capture what your venue and gardens displayed on your wedding day
98. Swing into married life: Capture a shot of your groom sitting by your side or gently swinging you.
99. Character shots: Chandeliers or lighting features
100. Character shots: Fountains and water features
101. Character shots: Bespoke furniture, antique chairs, grand pianos and the like are the characteristics that make your venue unique so don’t miss them.
102. Hidden garden nooks and greenery
103. Exceptional service: Capture the waitstaff tray serving glasses of champagne to guests in the garden party
104. Selfie station: Make the most of your glitter wall, balloon garlands and floral walls to snap some selfies.
105. Dancing in the dark: Dance together with the festoon lights over head.
106. Dancing in the dark: Capture an additional shots under the sparkle of 1000’s of fairylights if your venue has them.
The little people in your life
Whether they are your children, a valued part of the wedding party and ceremony or children of guests. Cue multiple adorable captures for your wedding album.
107. Flower girl getting ready shots: Even if it's just applying a little lip gloss, have you MUA make the youngest members of the bridal party feel apart of the excitement.
108. Flower girl trying on shoes: Every little girls dream is trying on a beautiful dress or shoes so allow time to let this happen and watch their faces light up.
109. Walking down the aisle: Cuteness at its best!!
110. Family arbor shot: If your marriage is blending a family or bringing an existing one closer, prioritise taking photos together under the arbour at the end of the ceremony.
111. Flower girl mirror shot: Just like the bridal mirror shot...just the mini version.
112. Getting ready shot: Gather your little ones in close and get a shot of you all together in your coordinating robes. It’ll make for a memorable capture and give them a little extra reassurance.
113. Waiting at the aisle for mum to walk down: If you have appropriately aged sons forgo the paige boy role and have them stand alongside your fiance' as the altar.
114. It’s child play: If you’ve organized entertainment such as outdoor games or a teepee play station then capture them doing what they do best.
115. Celebration shot: Have a fun capture where you are twirling them around or lifting them up in your arms excitement, this day is just as momentus for them as it is for you.
116. Styling the playroom: If you’ve outsourced the styling of the playroom to a vendor have your photographer capture the room before its put to good use. You’ll be busy getting ready so you’ll have a record of what the little ones in your life got treated with on your wedding day.
Include the four-legged loves of your life in your wedding day celebrations for that extra special touch, start with deciding together which parts of the wedding you would like to include your pet in and what holds the most significance for you both. With a little bit of planning,logistics and playing to your beloved pets strengths, you can have them perform their 'pawfect part' in your wedding
117. Right by your side: Have your pets right with you throughout the morning, have them included in the ‘getting ready’ shots.
Insider Tip: Be sure to confirm that your venue is pet friendly and discuss your plans to include them in the day. Also notify your photographer of your intentions of having a pet-friendly wedding.
118. Re-assuring snuggles: In amongst the busyness of the morning take a moment to tap into some of the unconditional love that your pet gives you.
119. Nestled at your feet: Include your pet by having them nestle under your feet as you pose for your get ready shots.
120. Walking down the aisle: If part of the processional and walking down the aisle after the ‘ahhh’s’ and ‘oooh’s have subsided from adoring guests don’t forget to capture the moment.
121. Pet accessories: The groom and groomsmen aren’t the only ones who will be looking dapper on the day, capture any pet styling accessories such as mini tuxedos, flower halo crowns or embellished leads.
122. Paw of approval: Have your furbaby give their ‘paw of approval’ at the signing table.
123. Take a stroll: After the excitement of the ceremony take a stroll with you furbaby and partner.
124. Couple shots: Include your pet in portions of your couple shots, if one of you has spent the entirety of the morning with them it’ll be a welcome addition to have photos with the both of you.
125. Bridal portraits: For elevated pet photos have them feature alongside you bridal shots
126. Pooch portraits: Let them steal the limelight for a moment with their own portrait session in a stunning location.
Lastly don’t forget…..
127. Family portraits with Grooms parents and bride
128. Family portraits with Bride’s parents and Groom
129. Couple portraits of Brides parents
130. Couple portraits of Groom’s parents
131. Bride and Groom with Bride’s siblings and nephews and nieces
132. Bride and Groom with Groom’s siblings and nephews and nieces
133. All in together: Overhead group shot of all the wedding guests with bride and groom centred.
134. For those who’ve travelled: For guests who have travelled internationally or from afar to attend your wedding snap a shot together.
Insider Tip: Select a member of the wedding party to assist the photographer in identifying key guests or family members that the couple are prioritising getting photographed with.
135. Applause: Group shots don’t have to be curated, capture the moments the guests applaud after speeches or as you enter the reception for the first time.
136. Guest book and gift table
137. The sweet unscripted moments: The photo where he’s adjusting your dress for you, passing you your bouquet, helping you up the stairs or just doting on you in general.
138. Running while scooping your dress: For a playful take on couple portraits scoop your dress up to mid calf and show of those beautiful shoes
139. Resting hands: After the exchange of rings capture a close-up shot of your hands in each other and highlight your newly acquired wedding bands.
140. The lounging around shot: Find a white cane lounge and kick your feet up for a glass of champagne and the company of your loved one.
141. The sunbeam shot: In your golden hour couple shots have at least one sunbeam laden photo
142. More kissing: Don’t forget the both hands on either side of his face kissing shot...did we say you can never have enough kissing photos!
143. Wildlife shot: If your fortunate you might have a kookaburra or some of the friendly wildlife come and watch on.
144. Rainy day magic: If it happens to be wet on your wedding day use it to your advantage by sneaking a kiss under an umbrella as the rain drops fall around
145. Till Veuve do us part: Have a champagne station? Include it as a memento of toasting the afternoon away.
146. I’ll do it my way: Showcase your unique vibe, mood, spirit with a photo and pose that's uniquely you. Rewrite the rule book with this one.
147. Have matching Groom’s accessories...will flaunt them: Matching socks, ties, underwear? Let the grooms show off their coordinated attire.
148. See the world from a different angle: Lay on the freshly cut green grass beneath a blossoming Jacaranda and watch the colours pop against the crispness of your dress with an overhead capture.
149. Smoky haze: For couple shots that deliver in grandeur include some orchestrated haze.
150. Venue at night: You started the day in the morning light now capture a shot of your venue as the night closes.