From an edgy and modern warehouse to rustic barn weddings, it’s no secret that every couple sets their own style and vibe for their wedding day. But when it comes to your wedding gallery, EVERY bride will want to connect with their wedding photographer to ensure these MUST HAVE shots get included in the day:
1) The Details
Sometimes a given these days but no wedding gallery (elopement or otherwise) is complete without capturing some of the couple’s details. From cufflinks to rings and everything in between these little personalized details really help capture a couple’s style and will spark intimate memories and stories when looked back upon in the days to come.
P.S. When thinking "details" think...
Rings in Florals
Cufflinks / Bracelets / Jewelry
Veil / Shoes / Accessories
Vow Books / Hand Written Letters
Anything that was CUSTOM ordered (i.e. Etsy items) or are family "heirloom" items. For example, the silver cake cutter above is an heirloom that every bride/groom in this particular family use on their wedding day. Other popular heirloom items include hankies, broaches, dress buttons, etc.
2) The *BACK* of The Dress
Okay so MOST photographers remember to capture a few shots of the dress in all her glory but what they often forget is to capture THE BACK as well… and I don’t just mean the train. Today’s wedding dresses are highly detailed on BOTH sides of the gown with plunging necklines and illusion lace being the most popular in the 2020s so far.
That said, if you picked the dress for some of it’s detailing on the back, be sure to share that with your photographer as you’ll want a full length as well as detail shots of those items. Gone are the days of only having the train pulled around front for a formal shot.
You only get to wear your dress once… let’s really make her shine!
p.s. In my experience the best way to showcase the BACK of a wedding dress is when the bride is actually IN the dress. Otherwise it tends to cave in upon itself, so be sure to keep that in mind as you plan.
3) The Reveal: Dad and/or Bridesmaids
Okay y'all this is one of my FAVORITE parts of any wedding day. Although the verdict is still out for many brides doing a “first look” with their partner, EVERY bride deserves a reveal moment with her crew. Personally, I really love when our brides opt to do it with Dad before the ceremony. It always results in a beautiful moment of Dad (Step Dad/Grandpa) being stunned for a minute and a monumental hug/smile to go along with it. I love it.
Doing a reveal with your bridesmaids is also a really good practice for a few extra reasons:
It lets the girls see you “all put together” for that grand “aww” moment with all the tears, smiles and emotions captured in print.
It lets you and Mom/MoH/ whoever is helping you get dressed have a quiet moment together getting you ready without all the extra noise and clutter (which also helps your photographer a TON when photographing in tight spaces: i.e. No one half naked in the background).
It allows your bridesmaid’s extra clutter in the bridal suite to be removed shortly before you begin to dress, helping your photographer create the best set up for your bridal portraits.
4) The Aisle Kiss
So I know I said I love the “reveal” shot above in #3 but #4 might actually be my all time favorite. After the rings are exchanged, the vows read and the kiss seals the deal, it’s time to walk back down the aisle way as husband and wife. This promenade through the guests, back to your bridal suite also creates an AMAZING shot opportunity of the bride and groom kissing in the aisle with the guests clapping and celebrating around them.
It also tends to allow a beautiful (yet different) angle of your wedding altar as well, helping capture the moment in it’s totality. It is important to note that a similar shot can also be done during a “Rice Toss” if you miss it but I HIGHLY recommend including this kiss in your gallery line up. There’s nothing quite like it.
5) The Veil Shot
Veils are back in it seems for the ‘20s and I’m here for it! Cathedral veils came sweeping back into fashion since the moment Kate Middleton stepped out of her royal carriage in 2011 and have continually been building in momentum since.
This news is fabulous for photographers as it's such a fun, whimsical prop that can be used in so many ways the day of your wedding. But of all the “veil shots” that are possible, I must admit that the classic over-the-head-kissing and the “gone with the wind” shots are by far my favorite.
I’ll also admit that were the hubs and I ever to re-do our vows, although I’d probably choose the exact same gown (I STILL LOVE IT) I would probably forgo the bird cage veil I wore and opt for a long, whimsical, cathedral veil instead. After all… what screams happily ever after like the pomp of a Princess style veil (and I’m a tom-boy at heart, so that’s really saying something!)?
6) The Nose to Nose
Okay sis, the Nose To Nose Kiss is a must have shot for any bride as it’s so versatile and really helps capture the silent intimacy of a wedding day, in the years to come.
Sometimes shot as a vertical image, encompassing all of one’s gown, my favorite way to capture this shot is actually much tighter. Easily coupled with #5’s “The Veil Shot” the sense of intimacy it shares is astounding and really leaves you looking at an image that feels like a whisper.
7) The Sunset Mini
And last but not least, what evening wedding is complete without stealing away during your reception for some sunset shots. In my experience, not only does this time of day create amazing portraits (think of the famed “golden hour”) but it also gives my bride and groom a moment to sneak away from their guests after the ceremony and really be alone for a few minutes to enjoy their new union together. Personally, I’ve always found it kind of ironic how weddings are such an intimate affair (joining the lives of two people forever) and yet we do it in front of such audiences, rarely getting a moment alone together on our wedding day, itself. Odd isn’t it?!
Scheduling in sunset shots is also a great logistical move for a bride and groom as it reduces the amount of time guests are waiting for the couple to arrive, after the ceremony and before the reception kicks off. By breaking your couple’s portraits into two halves, you not only get to work in TWO spots in the day where you are basically alone-- you also create a way for your photographer to get all the shots without leaving your guests bored and waiting for the reception to start. (p.s. which is a HUGE PERSONAL PET PEEVE of mine). Good Rule of Thumb: never keep the guests waiting more then 70 minutes between ceremony and reception (think cocktail hour before your entrance).
So that’s it! Seven simple shots to include in your wedding gallery that have a HUGE impact on the overall memory of the day. Whether you’re printing images or compiling them in an album these 7 poses are sure to help tell the story of the day while capturing the emotion of it all.
When Choosing A Wedding Photographer & Sharing These Shots
Ok sis, so of course each photographer will have their own way of managing what shots to take and what items are priority to the couple. Here at HTM our style includes a mix of details, candids and formals that captures the day in its entirety from getting ready down to the dance floor at the end of the night.
So remember, when booking your wedding photographer, be sure to not only chat with them about your plans but also be sure to flip through a few of their galleries, to see if these shots were included for their other couples.
Chat with them not only about the “important” people of the day (i.e. I want a photo with grandma during the formals) but also that their style NATURALLY fits into the vision you’re planning. After all… your wedding photos, like your vows, are one of the few things that live past the big day. Let’s make sure it’s done, right.
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Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at HashTag Memories Photography!
Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.