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Get the Wedding Photos you Want through Planning Ahead

A couple’s wedding only happens once. It’s important to get all of the photographs you desire during that special day. There are no second chances. To help ensure your photographer takes all the wedding pictures and poses you would like to have, it’s a good idea to provide him or her with a checklist.

Planning ahead with regards to photography can also help with schedule planning for the wedding day. If you plan on having 50 or more photos of poses taken at the church right after the ceremony, you’ll know ahead of time to slot enough time to reasonably accommodate it.

Photographs Before the Wedding

Shots of the bride and her maids getting ready before the ceremony are invaluable. They capture the emotions of the day as well as document the last few hours before the bride is married. Wedding preparation time has priceless photographic moments that can provide great memories for years to come. Organizing a photographer to come to the bride’s house may not always be possible. If not, delegate the job to someone close to the family, who has a little skill with a camera to take photos.

Some classic poses before the ceremony are:

-the corsage being attached to the wedding dress
-the veil being placed on the bride
-bride and her bridesmaids together in the house before getting dressed and after
-the bride doing last minute touches to her makeup
-bride with her parents and/or brothers and sisters
-the bride being helped into the car to go to the ceremony

The same types of photos can be taken of the groom and groomsmen in his home.

Photographs at the Wedding

Once everyone has arrived at the location of the ceremony, pictures can be taken prior to the event. These can be tender moments of anticipation, and it is good to have an experienced photographer who can capture these moments effectively. Explain to the photographer what types of photos you are looking for ahead of time so she or he doesn’t miss any opportunities.

Photos of guests can be taken at the ceremony as they arrive, once seated, or both.

Some recommended poses:

-the bride with her parents in front of the venue, both together and one at a time
-the bride by herself
-guests being accompanied down the aisle to be seated
-the bride and her maids together
-the groom by himself
-the groom with his groomsmen
-the groom admiring the ring
-the wedding party as they come down the aisle
-the bride with her father or other party who walks her down the aisle
-groom walking down the aisle
-flower girl and ring bearer

Find out ahead of time what pictures can be taken during the ceremony. Some places or officiates will allow pictures, some won’t. Find out exactly what your photographer is allowed to do.


Invaluable shots during the ceremony are:

-picture of bride, groom and wedding party standing at their places
-bride and groom exchanging vows
-groom putting ring on bride’s finger
-bride and groom sitting together listening to ceremony
-bride and groom kissing
-photos of the seated guests – both a wide angle view of the whole ceremony and smaller sections up closer

If the location will not allow pictures during the ceremony, plan for some time after the ceremony to take some ‘staged’ photos. Even just a couple of staged shots after the fact can be invaluable, such as the bride and groom with hands held at the front of the altar or location, the couple kissing, the couple standing facing the clergyman/officiate.

Photographs in a Picturesque Location

After the ceremony and before the reception, most couples organize photos of the wedding party and close immediate family in a beautifully photographic location. This is where many of the formal and official photos are taken. Many poses are possible.

Some of the official and traditional poses are:

-bride and groom in many poses together (some formal and some informal)
-bride with her bridesmaids
-groom with his groomsman
-all the wedding party
-the bride and groom with their parents

There are so many more possibilities. The best person to talk to about these choices is your photographer. Depending on his/her skills and repertoire, they may have a lot of suggestions for poses they have experience in making look great.

Although everyone wishes their wedding will fall on beautiful weather, make contingency plans at another indoor location in case the weather goes south.

Photos during the Reception

The reception offers many opportunities for memorable photography. However, to get the shots you want, you need to be clear in exactly what you want from your photographer. Do you want a candid picture of every guest? Do you want a picture of each table? Do you want pictures of each speaker at the podium? These are decisions that need to be made long ahead of time because the last thing you want to be doing at your reception is conferring with your photographer. Again, a checklist is a great way to ensure you get all the pictures you would like.

Reception photos will really depend on what itinerary and events you have at your reception. Here are some photography suggestions based on a traditional wedding reception to get you started:

- the bride and groom arriving
- guests arriving through the door, whether there is a receiving line or not
- the guest book table
- the reception room before anyone arrives
- the wedding cake
- the head table
- the speakers
- cutting the cake
- the couple kissing
- the bar and bartenders
- candid photos of the couple talking and laughing
- each table of guests
- the first dance with bride and groom only
- the second dance with the bridal party and parents of the couple
- candid pictures of children guests
- the couple as they leave

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 May 2009 )
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