51 Must-Have Wedding Photos You Don't Want to Miss

Putting together your wedding photo short list? Here are some pretty picture ideas you might want to include.
by Amy Levin-Epstein
  1. Getting Ready

    Groom and groomsmen getting ready
    photo by Christine Foehrkolb Photography

    You'll want to see both sides getting ready, so ask your photographer to shoot the guys doing their ties up while the gals do the same with their zippers.

  2. Your Dress

    Ruffled tulle wedding dress on silk hanger
    photo by Caroline Tran

    Granted, you'll have about 100 wedding pictures of you in your dress, but a still life lets you preserve it in your memory just like the first time you saw it -- a beautiful piece of wearable art.

  3. Bridal Details

    Low chignon bridal hairstyle
    photo by Sara Wight Photography

    This portrait is a great way to capture small touches, like hair and jewelry.

  4. Your Rings

    Wedding bands still life
    photo by Diana Lupu Photographer

    You'll actually want two shots. One alone, against your dress, for a high-fashion look, and one of your two rings together, to symbolize your new union.

  5. The Shoe Shot

    Groom's shoes and bride's blue sparkly heels
    photo by Lindsay Madden Photography

    A cropped pic of your shoes (and fun socks!) gets an update by being casually posed.

  6. Your Invitation Suite

    Peach and gray wedding invitation suite
    photo by Holland Photo Arts

    This is probably the most often forgotten photo -- it's not part of the day, like your flowers or cake, and some couples forget to bring it (or ask someone to bring it).

  7. Welcome Bags

    Rustic welcome baskets
    photo by Amy Arrington Photography

    You put effort into these gifts for your guests -- make sure your photographer documents them before people dig in.

  8. The Groom's Accessories

    Groom's wedding day accessories
    photo by Kallima Photography

    This may seem a little "artsy" but it's really nice to have. After all, the groom's extras are carefully chosen too, so why should the dress and bridal accessories get all the love?

  9. The Bridal Bouquet

    White bridal bouquet on armchair
    photo by Joey Kennedy Photography

    It's detail shots like these that will really help tell the story of your wedding.

  10. The Bridesmaid Bouquets

    Garden rose and anemone bridesmaid bouquets
    photo by Laura Ivanova Photography

    A group shot of your bridesmaid bouquets will remind you how much fun it was having these close friends and family by your side.

  11. Groom's Boutonniere

    Rose and lily groom's boutonniere
    photo by Nyk + Cali

    The guy's answer to the bride's bouquet deserves its own picture.

  12. Groomsmen Boutonnieres

    Groomsmen's boutonnieres
    photo by Katelyn James Photography

    If you took the time (and spent the money) to get the guys amazing accents for their suits, why wouldn't you want to capture them for your album?

  13. Bridal Portrait

    Bridal portrait
    photo by Karlisch Photo

    A posed shot worthy of a fashion magazine will make you feel like a model.

  14. The First Look

    First look moment for bride and groom
    photo by Ashley Leslie Photography

    A playful take on the first look -- with the bride covering her groom's eyes -- is a new classic.

  15. The Other First Look

    Bride and bridesmaids getting ready
    photo by Charlotte Jenks Lewis

    You've heard about the first look photo, well this is the first moment the bridal party (and mom and dad) sees you.

  16. Preceremony Notes

    Bride reading groom's note before ceremony
    photo by Harper Point Photography

    This is one of the few personal moments of alone time you have before you say your vows, and while you're reading you'll be in your own world.

  17. Preceremony Emotions

    Father of the bride and bride's wedding day transportation
    photo by Leslie Barbaro

    Whether it's your separate car rides to the ceremony or last words of advice from parents, these final moments are emotional, and worth capturing.

  18. The Relaxed Bridal Party

    Casual wedding party group photo
    photo by Anni Cee

    The modern bridal party shot is laid-back and captures the personalities of your friends and family without being too kitschy.

  19. Bridal Party Solos

    Brady Bunch-style wedding party portraits
    photo by Yeah! Weddings

    Capturing each of your bridesmaids' individual personalities makes for a great gift -- just ask your photographer to create a collage (Brady Bunch–style) of everyone's portraits.

  20. The Modern Family Shot

    Casual family wedding photo
    photo by Jonathan Canlas Photography

    A super-casual pic of you and your family captures how you really are -- not perfect but perfectly happy.

  21. Bride in Action

    Black and white photo of bride wearing veil
    photo by Lindsay Madden Photography

    A black-and-white shot of movement -- you swishing your dress or, if the weather cooperates, your veil blowing in the wind -- feels uber-romantic and timeless.

  22. A Dramatic Pose

    Bride and groom in the woods
    photo by Matt Lien

    This is your wedding (and album), so if you want your photographer to do a few more artsy or dramatic shots, tell them!

  23. Bridesmaids at the Ceremony

    Bridesmaids at ceremony
    photo by Libelle Photography

    An artistic angle of your bridesmaids at the ceremony gives you a perspective you weren't able to see while at the altar.

  24. The Wedding Party Kids

    Flower girls with white tulle dresses and flower crowns
    photo by KT Merry

    When these kids are all grown up, how cool will it be to look back at your album and show them you really did know them -- and love them -- when they were itty-bitty?

  25. The Aisle Walk

    Mother and father walking bride down the aisle
    photo by Hudson Nichols Photography

    Whoever accompanies you, this is a dramatic shot you'll treasure long after the recessional.

  26. Groom at the End of the Altar

    Groom at end of altar
    photo by Kallima Photography

    The look on a groom's face as he awaits his soon-to-be-spouse is always extremely emotional and beautiful.

  27. Your Furry Friend

    Dog ring bearer
    photo by Tec Petaja Photo

    Don't forget to have your photographer get shots of the personalized details and touches that make your wedding yours alone.

  28. Sweeping Ceremony Shot

    Wide shot of ceremony
    photo by Apple Moon Photography

    Look at your vows from a different view altogether.

  29. Special Traditions

    Bride and groom releasing doves
    photo by Summer & Boyd

    Alert your photographer to any unique aspects of your ceremony, so she can be sure to caption them.

  30. Ceremony Decor

    Rose flower arrangements and garlands at outdoor wedding ceremony
    photo by KT Merry

    Don't miss shots of small touches you made to make your big moment as pretty as it is special.

  31. Your Guests

    Hanging lanterns at outdoor ceremony
    photo by Alissa Saylor Photography

    Candid shots of your guests' reactions during your ceremony give you a perspective you don't have while you're saying "I do."

  32. We Did It!

    Guests throw petals as bride and groom exit
    photo by VUE Photography

    The recessional shot is usually one of the happiest in an album.

  33. Make it Legal

    Framed marriage license
    photo by Ruth Eileen Photography

    You'll have a lot of photos of wedding moments, but there's only one moment where you legally go from single to married.

  34. Environmental Pictures

    Outdoor wedding ceremony venue setup
    photo by Mi Belle Photography

    Pulled-out shots of the entire space, including the sky or ceiling, really set the scene for what it was like on your wedding day.

  35. In-Between Moments

    Bride and groom reception entrance
    photo by Jocelyn Filley Photography

    Whether it's you on your way to the ceremony, or you and your dad about to walk down the aisle, the small moments between the big ones sometimes make the best photos.

  36. Reception Decor

    Hanging potted flower arrangements at reception
    photo by Rebekah J. Photography

    Getting a pulled-back shot of your reception before guests arrive will let you get a feel for "the scene" you've set so carefully.

  37. The Guest Book

    Envelope guest book
    photo by L Photographie

    A shot of your family and friends signing the guest book will make you feel like you're a guest at your own wedding -- in the best possible way.

  38. Reception Tables

    Peach and pink outdoor wedding reception
    photo by Lori Paladino Photography

    From the centerpieces to the chairs and flatware, have your photographer capture all the decorative details.

  39. Escort Cards

    Fern escort card display
    photo by David Manning Photography

    If you spent time (or money) on unique escort cards, this is a must-have for your album.

  40. Cute Signs

    XOXO wedding ceremony sign
    photo by Lindsay B Photography

    Interesting signs telling guests where to go are functional and worthy of a photo op.

  41. Signature Cocktail

    Berry signature wedding cocktail
    photo by Jen Huang Photography

    Wedding guests -- and photographers! -- love a cocktail that looks as good as it tastes.

  42. The Food

    Salmon wedding catering ideas
    photo by Carrie Patterson Photography

    A good caterer will make a menu that's not only delicious but also beautiful -- and a good photographer will be sure to snap it.

  43. Your Wedding Cake

    Sugar flower wedding cake
    photo by KT Merry

    Your cake is an iconic part of your wedding -- remember it well after it's eaten by preserving it in your album.

  44. Your Musicians

    Jazz wedding band
    photo by Apple Moon Photography

    Whether it's the ceremony musicians or wedding band, you'll want to capture an image of the folks who had your guests on their feet all night.

  45. Your First Dance

    First dance at destination wedding reception
    photo by James Christianson

    You might not remember much of your first dance, so this photo is priceless.

  46. Father-Daughter Dance

    Father daughter dance
    photo by Christine Foehrkolb

    This and the mother-son dance are classic, emotional moments that make for touching photographs.

  47. Aerial Shot

    Overhead view of indoor wedding reception
    photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

    A shot of the festivities from above gives a unique perspective.

  48. Listening to Speeches

    Bride and groom's reactions to wedding reception toasts
    photo by T&S Hughes Photography

    An image of you two listening to your families and friends' toasts is sometimes even more meaningful than a photo of the speaker.

  49. The Favors

    Olive oil and spice mix wedding favors
    photo by Clary Photo

    Whether you DIY or buy them, favors are a fun finish to your evening (and album).

  50. The Exit

    Bride and groom during sparkler send-off
    photo by Alicia Pyne Photography

    A classic "just married" shot is a perfect ending to your album.

  51. The Getaway

    "Just Married" sign on wedding transportation
    photo by Weber Photography

    Whether you have a sparkler send-off or something more low-key, a good-bye shot is yet another way to close your album.

Up Next
Wedding photo album
How to Make a Wedding Photo Album
Don't make your wedding photo album an afterthought. A little prep goes a long way toward picture perfection.
by The Knot