10 Must-Have Photos before the Wedding Ceremony

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wedding photos, wedding photography tips, wedding album

Photo by Mat Wall / CC BY

Remember that time you went out and had a crazy good time? And then you realized the next day that there weren’t any photos – at least not a single decent, non-blurry one anyway – to show for the memorable night you just had.

Having a wedding without key wedding photos being taken can feel a lot like that.

Most of the time, you won’t even realize you needed that special shot, until you see someone else have it in their wedding album. Ignorance would’ve probably been bliss in this case. Not to forget, the flurry of activities preceding the wedding ceremony can also make one forget that the smaller moments are parts of the wedding too.

And unlike regular events like a night out, you can’t really schedule another wedding (if you did, lucky you!) just to have those moments again to photograph.

Importance of good wedding photos

If you are a bride who’s about to get married, learn about these shots so you won’t end up moping over your missed photo opportunities. Keep them in mind so that you can inform your wedding photographer about the specific shots you want taken. Your photographer will be more than happy to comply with your requirements.

So what are some of those important shots? Many of them are ones that will occur even before your wedding ceremony takes place, which is what this post will be focusing on.

To keep the list short and sweet, here are 10 crucial photos you need clicked on your big day!

1. The bridal gown

Take a photo showcasing only your bridal gown. Sure, you are the belle of the ball, but give your wedding dress its own special moment before donning it. There’s something tranquil about taking a photo of a dress of this much sentiment.

Tips: Lay it on your bed, or let it hang gloriously on a hanger – just don’t be in the shot! There are many creative ways of taking a wedding dress shot. Play around with the natural light in your environment to bring out the best features of the dress. If you are going to do the hanger shot, the photo will turn out even better when the hanger you use is nice-looking!

2. Bridal look intricacies

Now you can be in the photo too! Take photos of your entire bridal look up close to show off the smaller, subtle details of your bridal look, including your wedding dress detailing, veil trimming, accessories, shoes, etc. Every small detail goes into making you look as beautiful as you do on the big day, so it’s good to dedicate a few frames to them! More importantly, you as the bride will have painstakingly chosen specific wedding details yet will probably never think about again. It will be worthwhile to keep them as memorabilia.

Tips: The best detail shots are ones that are clear, have a good background and small depth of field and are created in places with good lighting. If you are hiring a pro, your photographer will be aware of these.

3. Ring pictures

Among the most important shots taken in the day will be your ring shots. The symbolic meaning of wedding rings makes it a shot you absolutely cannot miss on this special day.

Tips: Don’t just take close-up shots of the individual rings. Take photos of the rings to showcase the union of you and your groom.

4. The groom’s look and accessories

The groom’s look is often given somewhat less importance on weddings. This should not be so (unless it’s something he’ll feel more comfortable with)! Let the groom have his moment too. Have the groom’s process of getting ready be documented as well.

Tips: Because the groom’s look is often minimalistic, well, at least compared to the bride’s, a cool way of taking an overall shot of the groom’s accessories would be to lay them out and take a shot from the top.

5. Getting ready with the bridal party

wedding photos, wedding photography tips, wedding album

Photo by Paul Barbera / CC BY

wedding photos, wedding photography tips, wedding album

Photo by John Hope / CC BY

The period of the bride and groom getting ready amongst friends and family is a poignant moment worth immortalizing. Make sure to capture it!

Tips: For brides, have the photo clicked when someone is helping with your zipper. For grooms, take the photo of someone helping the groom with his tie or bowtie!

 6. Delicate floral arrangements

Flowers are beautiful by default. It’s the first thing anyone takes if they grab hold of a new camera! So, why should your bouquet and your bridesmaids’ bouquets not deserve a place in your wedding album? Be sure to include boutonnieres, or the floral decoration worn by the groom and his groomsmen, too!

7. The bridal portrait

Take a photo of you in your wedding dress that is worthy of any bridal couture magazine! This is the time when your make up is the most fresh and your hair on-point. Make the best of it!

8. Preparing your vows

There are two things you can see from photos of wedding couples trying to practice their wedding vows: their nervousness and their commitment. It makes for the perfect photo to show dedication despite the pre-wedding jitters.

9. Show movement and fluidity

wedding photos, wedding photography tips, wedding album

Photo by Mario Mancuso / CC BY

As much as you want perfectly posed photos for your wedding album, there will be much movement on the wedding day itself. Luckily, professionals will know how to take pictures of you and everyone moving, without it looking like a blur mess. These types of photos will be one of the photos that, when you look back in a few months or even years, will send you right back to the wedding day.

Tips: Take the photos in black and white instead of color for a timeless feel.

10. Emotions leading up to the wedding

Excitement, nervousness, happiness, relief, sadness and exhilaration are just some of the emotions that are in the air when a wedding takes place. Make sure to capture these moments whenever possible.

Tips: It can be in the form of a father discussing something with the bride, the groom having a laugh with his best man, or anything really. Nothing will trump the raw photos you will take while being unaware of the photographer.

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