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Wedding Photography: 85 Great Photo Suggestions

Your wedding day will be packed with precious moments. Take stock of them here and you won't miss a shot.

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

No doubt there are many wedding moments you won't want to miss. The best way to ensure your photographer captures the right moments for all posterity is to provide a suggested shot list. Of course, the style and number of these images will all depend on the photographer you've chosen and how long you've hired that pro for, but a shot list of photos you'd love to have is a great way to cover your bases. Since you should count on at least five minutes per shot, it's unrealistic to expect all the photos below, but pick and choose those shots that mean most to you.

Getting Ready


  • Bride's clothes hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair
  • Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup
  • Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup
  • Mom helping bride with one last detail, such as veil
  • Full-length shot of bride in gown checking herself out in mirror
  • Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, something borrowed, something blue
  • Touching shot of bride with parent/s and/or stepparent/s
  • Touching shot of bride with sibling/s
  • Bride hugging honor attendant
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Bride with all the women
  • Groom getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)
  • Touching shot of groom with parent/s and/or stepparent/s
  • Touching shot of groom with sibling/s
  • Groom with his arm affectionately around best man
  • Groom with all the groomsmen
  • Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties
  • Intimate shots of bride and groom chatting with/crying with/hugging parents and siblings preceremony
  • Dad whispering last-minute advice to groom
  • Groom ready to go
  • Bride ready to go
  • Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony (in a limo backseat, hailing a cab, walking down the street/hall/stairs)

The Ceremony


  • Guests streaming into the site
  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats
  • Ushers escorting moms to their seats (Christian wedding)
  • Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle
  • Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering
  • Honor attendant walking down the aisle
  • Grandparents walking down the aisle (Jewish wedding)
  • Wedding party waiting at the altar
  • Groom walking down the aisle
  • Bride and Dad/escort/parents (Jewish wedding) walking down the aisle
  • Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
  • Bride and groom at the altar
  • Altar or canopy from the back during ceremony
  • Wide shot of audience during ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view
  • Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows
  • Close-up of bride's and groom's hands as they exchange rings
  • The kiss
  • Bride and groom proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides
  • Bride and groom outside ceremony site
  • Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends and family
  • Bride and groom leaving ceremony site
  • Bride and groom in limo backseat

Before the Reception (During the Cocktail Hour)


Note: You can also take these before the ceremony.
  • Bride and groom together
  • Bride with her happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
  • Bride with her entire immediate family
  • Groom with his happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
  • Groom with his entire immediate family
  • Bride and groom with all parents
  • Bride and groom with immediate family members from both sides
  • Bride and groom with groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and groom with whole wedding party

The Reception


  • Shot from outside reception site (to set the tone)
  • Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, favors table, and champagne glasses
  • Bride and groom arriving (make it dramatic -- their faces through the dark limo windows, the two lovebirds atop a staircase or pushing through a curtain)
  • Receiving line moments
  • Bride and groom at head table
  • Parents' table
  • Guests' tables
  • Close-up of friends and family making toasts
  • Bride and groom sipping champagne
  • Bride's and groom's parents whispering to each other during dinner
  • Bride and groom chatting up the guests
  • Bride and groom's first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)
  • Parents dancing
  • Bride and Dad dancing
  • Groom and Mom dancing
  • Wedding party dancing
  • Grandparents dancing
  • Kids playing or dancing
  • Musicians or DJ doing their thing
  • Guests going nuts on the dance floor (again, slow shutter speed could be effective)
  • Bride laughing with bridesmaids
  • Cake table
  • Bride and groom cutting the cake
  • Bride and groom feeding each other cake
  • Dessert table
  • Bouquet toss (perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)
  • Tossing and catching of the garter
  • Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat
  • Rear of car departing

-- The Knot

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