couple walking in the middle of the street

33 Wedding Photos You Need to Take: Advice from a Pro

You’re getting married, congratulations!
Now that the planning is underway, you’re probably wondering what wedding photos you need to take for this occasion.

As a professional wedding photographer, I have seen it all when it comes to photos. Brides and grooms often come to me and ask what photos they need to take at their wedding. While the answer varies depending on the couple’s style and preferences, there are some must-have shots that are important to completely telling a couples wedding day story.

Let’s go over the 33 photos you you need to take!

#1: The Invitation

Some photographers shoot the wedding invitation suite on the wedding day. In contrast, others do it in a studio after the event. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want in the photos.

the wedding invitation

#2: The Wedding Bands And the Engagement Ring

This is the most important piece of jewelry that you will wear on your wedding day. If there are multiple rings in play (say a diamond-studded one and an heirloom from grandma, make sure to get photos of all the rings.

wedding bands and engagement ring

#3: The Accessories

Accessories make everything look better! It’s like a final dazzle on every look, and of course, your accessories need a photo of their own. Even a tiny earring or clip has unique details to be showcased. Get a combined shot of everything, even if you’re wearing something old, new, or borrowed.

the wedding accessories such as the brooch, invites, boutonnieres

#4: The Boutonnieres

These little floral arrangements pinned to the groom’s lapel are so dainty that they add such a touch of elegance.

groom's accessories such as watch and boutonniere

#5: The Wedding Shoes

You’re going to be wearing these babies all day, so make sure to capture some shots of them. Also, have your photographer take a few photos of the groom’s shoes. It’s a minor detail that deserves attention.

cream colored wedding shoes

royal blue colored shoes of the groom

#6: The Bride’s Makeup

To capture the makeup moments, bring your photographer to the bridal suite. Include your partner’s getting-ready moments and a timetable before the big day. Make sure you get a picture of your makeup artist and hairstylist at work.

bride having a make up

a smiling bride while being made on

#7: The Getting Ready Moments

After all that wedding dress shopping, you’ll want to capture the big reveal. Take a photo of your mom or maid of honor zipping or buttoning you in!

Bride getting ready with the help of her mother and maid-of-honor

#8: The Bridal Portrait

This is your moment to shine in your wedding dress. You are about to experience wearing it once in your life and should be cherished like none other.

the bridal portrait

the bridal portrait

#9: The Veil

The key to getting an excellent veil photo is being aware of its looks from every angle. Make sure your photographer takes plenty of them.

the bridal portrait showcasing her veil

the bridal portrait showcasing her veil

#10: A Close-up of Your Bouquet

Your beautiful bouquet is the star of your wedding. Get close-ups and shots from all angles so that everyone can see how intricate they are, not just what’s in front.

a bouquet of white and purple roses

a bride's bouquet full of colorful roses

#11. The Exchanging of Love Letters or Gifts

Weddings are a time for joy, so why not share some of that with your significant other? If you decide to swap letters or gifts before walking down the aisle, commemorate this sweet moment by taking pictures of one another while reading each other’s love notes.

bride reading a letter from her husband

groom reading a letter from her bride

#12: A Moment With Mom or Dad

You want to make sure that you get a photo with your parents (mom or dad) before walking down the aisle. It’s one of the sweetest times you will have to spend with your mom and dad on your wedding day.

father looking lovingly at her daughter

father hugging at her daughter before the wedding

#13: Dressed Bridal Party

Take a picture with your BFFs for life. A concept that presents how everyone stayed together through everyone’s unbreakable bond.

couple with the whole wedding entourage

couple posing with the whole wedding entourage

#14: The Groom

It’s his turn to be the model! Make sure they get photos of your groom getting ready with his guys, too. Let’s not forget that the groom is as important as the bride. A picture of the groom looking dapper with his groomsmen as they enjoy this day adds positive energy to the event.

groom and his entourage getting a toast of champagne

a smiling groom with his enntourage outside the cathedral

close up photo of the groom

#15: The Candid Moments

There are countless smiles on a wedding day and the candid moments are a photographer's favorite. Don’t be shy about showing your true selves and enjoy the day.

candid moment of the couple

couple walking on their way to the church ceremony

jubilant couple during the wedding party at the Crystal Tea Room

#16: The First Look

The exact moment you both see each other on the day of your wedding is a magical moment that needs to be preserved. That is the perfect time to capture it. Though others would prefer the photo to be taken on the aisle, the choice is yours to make.

the couple's first look before the wedding

the couple's first look before the wedding

the couple's first look before the wedding

#17: The Entire Wedding Party

This photo of your entire wedding party is so fun. The laughter and smiling faces show that they are enjoying themselves, which you want for this day. Put everyone together in one big group.

couple posing with the whole wedding party

couple with the whole wedding entourage

couple posing with the whole wedding party

Let's Talk About Your Wedding!

Call us at 609-617-6675 or schedule a consult by clicking the button below!

#18: The Little Darlings

A bride-to-be requires a photo with her lovely flower girl and ring bearers. Take a few of each pose in whatever manner feels natural.

bride getting a kiss from her two flower girls

#19: The Ceremony Site

This is where you will say your vows. Have a photographer take a landscape shot that captures this moment in its natural setting. After all, we are celebrating something big here.

landscape shot of the church

an outside wedding venue

#20: The Walking Down The Aisle

This is a moment that will be with you forever. Whether walking on the arm of your mother, father, or both, this special connection can never change, and it’s something to treasure.

bride walking down the aisle with her father

bride walking down the aisle with her father

#21: The Groom Waiting at The Altar

The groom stands radiantly at the altar with an eager face. It’s a lovely moment that needs to be captured.

groom waiting for the bride at the altar of the church

#22: The Kiss

The smooch that seals your love with a promise to be together forever. Let your officiant take some steps back for an epic shot that captures the newlyweds sealing their love.

the first kiss

the first kiss

the first kiss

#23:  Signing The Marriage Certificate

Capture the moment you both signed your names to be forever united. This is the photo that will remind you of this day every year on your anniversary.

wedding day, bride signing guestbook after the ceremony

#24: Your First Walk As a Married Couple

A picture-perfect moment where two become one and you’re walking together through life, hand-in-hand as husband and wife.

couple's first walk exiting the wedding the ceremony

Newly married couple leave the church

#25: The Grand Exit

Make sure you have a photographer capture the grand exit as you make your way out as husband and wife. Throw some confetti in the air for an epic shot.

the couple's grand exit showered with bubbles

#26: The Portraits

You will want to spend some time with your partner after you say, “I do.” The perfect opportunity for capturing those golden moments when it’s just the two of you.



Ritz Carlton Philadelphia Wedding|romantic photo of bride and groom in hotel walkway

#27: The Cocktail Hour

Have your photographer capture guests enjoying their favorite beverages and socializing while the party is in full swing.



detail shot of cocktail hour food at Hotel DuPont


the crystal tea room during the party


#28: The Reception

For an epic shot of your reception, ensure that your photographer captures the décor, details, and the centerpiece setting.

landscape shot at the Vie by Cescaphe with its pool

family styled meal at crystal arts ballroom Wedding Reception Menu

the Wedding reception menu placed beside the flower decors

the wedding menu

reception table setting at the downtown club philly

the wedding reception at the terrain gardens

#29: The Cake

Snap a photo of the cake before it’s sliced! Include the newlyweds cutting the cake. It’s tradition to have a slice of the wedding cake after the ceremony, so be sure to snap a picture of you and your new spouse doing just that.

detailed shot of wedding cake at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia

images of wedding cake at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia

detailed shot of wedding cake

couple eating their wedding cake

couple having fun at the camera

#30: The Couple’s First Dance

Slow dance to your favorite song while the photographer captures this sweet moment.

the couples first dance

the newlyweds having fun on the floor at the Ballroom at the ben venue

the couples first dance

#31: Reception Traditions

Throwing your bouquet to other single women at your wedding (an old tradition) and similarly tossing the garter belt.

bride tossing her bouquet

#32: The Dance Party

Let’s get this party started! Your photographer is all set up to capture everyone’s fun moments.

couple enjoying the wedding party

guests enjoying the wedding party

guests enjoying the wedding party

guests enjoying the party at the Ballroom of the Ben

#33: The Night Shot

Have your photographer capture what will likely be the last images in your wedding album. Nothing says "The End" better than a romantic night shot!

end of night shot with the newlywed couple

Bride and groom walking out of reception while guests hold sparklers

intimate shot of the couple after the wedding party at the Crystal Tea Room

bride and groom in a bar

end of night shot with the newlywed couple in the middle of the street

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of what kinds of photos you should have on your shot list. But remember, this is just a guideline, so feel free to add or delete as needed depending on what’s most important to you and your partner. This wedding photo list is only a guideline. Every person’s wedding day is unique; therefore, you may wind up with something different from what you expected.


Ralph Deal is a Philadelphia-based wedding photographer. He has a decade of experience capturing weddings, engagement sessions, family portraits, and women's portraiture.

Let's Talk About Your Wedding!

Call us at 609-617-6675 or schedule a consult by clicking the button below!

Scroll to Top