Here at Wedding Ideas HQ ultimately all we want is for you to have THE best wedding of your life, with as little (no) stress as possible… So to help you get one step closer to achieving that, I’ve put together a ‘shot list’ of 20 must have wedding photos, which you can send right on over to your photographer today.

Obviously there will be others depending on the kind of day you’re having, and any little unique details you’ve added yourself, but this is my one-stop guide to all things photography.

So here we go, my ultimate list and a beautiful selection of images taken from Freddie and James’ wedding last year, to illustrate the above. Enjoy. All images courtesy of

Albert Palmer Photography.

  1.  A gorgeous outside shot of your venue – you picked it because it was pretty, right? So show it off!
  2.  Bride’s details: We class this as your shoes, jewellery, perfume and gifts for your best girls
  3. Bride getting ready: Hair and makeup
  4. Bridal party getting ready (giving bridesmaids gifts)
  5. Putting THE dress on
  6. Ceremony entertainment (String quartet, live band, pianist etc)
  7. Bridal party all dressed up in their finery
  8. Bride’s arrival (This is your moment – don’t rush. Savour every sweet second!)
  9. Your first kiss as a married couple (Wahay!)
  10. Group shot of the bridal party and all the guests
  11. Guests mingling at the drinks reception
  12. Reception tables (You want to remember them when they looked all neat and beautiful – before everyone came along and, let’s be honest, messed them up!)
  13. Table plan – A good way of remembering everyone who attended, and a lovely look at your stationery
  14. The cake. Yum yum
  15. Transport
  16. A good full-length couple shot
  17.  The speeches (Grooms, best man’s, Dad’s and your’s – if you decide to give one)
  18. Cupcakes, sweets, favours, cameras etc all the little details that made your party fun. This could include other forms of entertainment like a Groovybooth or band
  19. Cutting the cake
  20. Finally your first dance and of course the P.A.R.T.Y…..

So there you have it… your wedding in pictures from start to finish!

What are your must have wedding photos?


  1. Good work, WIM HQ, this is a pretty comprehensive list! I might nick it for the next wedding I shoot 😉

    A few things I would like to add to make sure you get awesome photos you love:

    Really do your research. Not every photographer has the same modus operandi and what ‘must-have’ photos you get very much depends on the style they shoot in. If you hire a photojournalist you won’t get that many detail shots because those guys and girls (myself in included) focus on candid people shots etc…

    Make it happen! If you want beautiful photos you have to make sure that there’s enough DAY light. I know this is probably the last thing people think of when they book a venue but small rooms with small windows and dark walls and ceilings aren’t ideal if you want magazine-style photos. Light (or the lack of it) makes or breaks photos. This also goes for the first dance 😉

    Be tidy! Stunning getting ready photos require lots of day light, a reasonably sized room and uncluttered surroundings. I can’t count the number of times I arrived at a bride’s house or hotel room to find plastic bags, half empty mugs and make up stuff on every available surface. I don’t mind doing a tidy up before I start shooting but it eats into the photo time, so why not pack it all up and shove it under the bed or behind a door!

    Before the speeches it’s a good idea to remove any face-obscuring things from the top table. This includes wine bottles and mount everest high flower arrangements. This helps your poor photographer who is trying to get the bride’s face in the shot in surroundings that offer very little room to manoeuvre.

    And last but not least: Rushed photos are bad photos. Allocate 4-5 minutes per group photo and at least 20 minutes for your couple shots. If you want to be creative with your formals, give yourself and your photographer even more time. Don’t try to squeeze 15 groups and your formals in a 20 minute time slot, I promise you’ll regret it later. And besides, who wants to feel stressed on their wedding day?!


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