One of the only bad things about your wedding day is the fact that it’s a one-off. You’re not going to be able to have a rerun of your wedding day and you’re not going to be able to have your wedding photos taken again, so you need to be sure that you’ve got a memory of all the moments that are going to be most important to you.
The last thing you want is for the day to be over only for you to think, “Oh, if only I’d got a shot of me and dad getting into the car to leave,” or “I wish I’d got a photograph of me and my new husband with all the kids.”
You’ll have enough to be thinking about on your wedding day without ticking off a mental checklist of images, so it’s far better to write a list well in advance of your big day and share it with your photographer. If you can, visit your venue beforehand to see if there are any particularly great settings and backdrops for your photos.
We’ve spoke to lots of brides over the years, so from past experience, here are a couple of the less obvious shots that you’ll miss if you don’t capture. Of course, you might have ideas of your own to add – in which case, let us know!
The boys getting ready
This is a real bonding moment for your fiancé and his closest friends and family members. It’s important to capture them being there for him on his big day so that he’s got something to remember it by.
A photograph of your entry in the marriage register
Yes, we know you’ll get a copy of your marriage certificate, but seeing your names in the actual book is quite special.
A snap of your reception tables before your guests arrive
You’ll have probably spent hours deciding how your tables should look, what decorations you’ll have, the floral centrepieces and the colours. In all the flurry you might not get to see the finished product, so make sure your photographer gets into the venue for you and records it all.
The exterior of your wedding venue
We think this is particularly relevant if you’re having a marquee – there’s something very atmospheric about a venue all set up waiting for the party to begin.
An image of the bride and bridegroom with all the kids at the wedding
Although you’ll be having some shots of you with your bridesmaids and pageboys, we think it’s wonderful to get a group shot of the pair of you with all the kids on your wedding day. They’ll love being involved and there’s sure to be lots of activity to look at in the finished product!
Get a photograph of your cake before it’s cut – and some close-ups if it has fine details
You’re probably planning on getting a shot of you both cutting the cake but get one done beforehand as well, perhaps with your flowers laid alongside.
Close-up of wedding favours on the table before guests arrive
Ah, wedding favours. Many brides spend hours agonising over them and carefully handcrafting them, only to never see them on the day itself! Seeing the finished product en masse can give you a real sense of satisfaction – especially if you’ve done calligraphic labels so that the favours double up as place settings. Get your photographer to record them in situ so you can remind yourself of your good taste!
The seating plan
It’s always fun to look back in future and see who was sitting with whom, what happened and whether a romance blossomed at your wedding on a particular table, so make sure you have a visual record.
Your married place settings
When you arrive together at your wedding breakfast, you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the attention, so when you sit down you may not take too much notice of what your place setting looks like. Get a photo taken so you can see how your names looked when they were placed alongside for the first time as ‘Mr and Mrs’.
Both sets of grandparents
If you’ve got grandparents coming to your wedding, your big day is going to be a proud moment for them. Make sure you get some shots of yourself – and your new husband – with your gran and granddad, and your ‘in-law’ grandparents too. Then print off a copy, frame it and present it to them when you get back from your honeymoon.
Have you both got brothers and sisters? Take advantage of everyone being in one place and get photographs of all of you together. This is a really nice family photo to have – particularly if you don’t live near one another.
These are just our ideas for must-have wedding photographs that you might otherwise forget, but your photographer will no doubt have some ideas too. Our biggest tip: make a list before your wedding day and brief your photographer thoroughly. Then you can just relax, enjoy your day and know you’re going to end up with the wedding album you want! For more tips on getting your perfect wedding photos, visit our Wedding Photography and Videography section!