A wedding is an occasion that demands to be photographed — and as well as booking a professional wedding photographer, your friends and family will be keen to capture every magic moment of your big day.
It makes sense to ask as many people as possible to get “snap happy” on the day, and ask them to send you their pictures after the wedding so you have a fantastic mixture of amateur and professional shots for your album.
You should also talk through the structure of your wedding with the photographer in detail ahead of time, so he or she knows exactly how you want your day to be documented, and make sure you don’t miss any of these top 20 most memorable moments...
1. Mirror, Mirror
As you prepare for your nuptials, expressions of excitement, anticipation and joy can be captured in a photograph. Make sure photos are taken of both bride and groom preparing to marry, so the happy couple can share these intimate photos with each other after the wedding.
2. Give us a Wave
As you pull away in the wedding car, waving to friends, family and neighbours, make sure someone is waiting with camera in hand to preserve the moment. If your professional photographer can capture this from inside the car it can make a beautiful photograph too.
3. No More Single Girl
You’ll be too emotional to think about it at the time, so make sure you request a photo in advance of the precious, final moment with your parents — or the special person giving you away — outside the church or registry office.
4. Take His Breath Away
The groom’s reaction when he sees you in your wedding dress for the first time is an absolute must for your photographer to capture. But if you can get pictures that show the bride walking into the church or ceremonial room, and the guests’ reactions too, you’ll treasure them just as much.
5. Eternal Emotion
As you’ll be so involved in the ceremony, you’ll miss the emotional responses of your guests as the vows are exchanged and readings take place: if they are captured on camera (as well as your own emotional reactions), you’ll love looking at them later.
6. Band of Gold
It’s a classic wedding moment, so make sure your photographer captures the exchange of rings in exactly the way you want (options could include close-up, showing only your hands, a portrait style photo that captures your facial expressions or a longer shot from further away to capture the drama throughout the church or ceremonial room).
7. Sign Your Name
Signing the register provides the ideal opportunity for a posed, traditional shot, but you may also want your photographer to take some reportage style shots, focusing on less obvious details in the room as you sign your names.
8. It Started with a Kiss
Your first kiss as man and wife is usually the moment the solemnity of the event is replaced by a jubilant, party atmosphere: it’s a fabulous moment, and a photograph taken looking back towards the congregation as you embrace will be treasured forever.
9. Petals Fall
As you leave the service and are showered with rice or rose petals, beautiful and natural photographs can easily be taken, capturing the joy of your first moments of marriage.
10. A Warm Welcome
Whether you form a traditional welcoming committee, or greet your guests more informally, have a photographer on hand to take shots of the moments you welcome your wedding party to the reception.
11. Quality Time
Once the guests have champagne in hand, sneak away with your official photographer for some quiet, quality time. Most photographers will have some fantastic ideas for capturing your first moments alone as a married couple, but make sure you spend some time just the way you want to.
12. Super Speeches
Whether you’re roaring with laughter at the best man’s jokes, or fighting back the tears as your new husband pays tribute to his beautiful bride, fabulous photographs can be taken during the speeches.
13. Giving Gifts
If you’ve bought flowers or gifts for your mums and bridesmaids, they will love becoming the centre of attention for a few moments — and those moments make for wonderful, and emotional pictures.
14. Cut Your Cake and Eat It
Another classic moment, your photographer will be on hand to take photos as you cut your cake, but ask friends and family to take as many shots as they can so you can see this iconic moment from every angle!
15. Friends Forever
As well as the special moments you’ll share with each other, the bride and groom should also request photos of giggles, tears and laughter they will share with friends and family members during the day.
Don’t you dare sneak away to throw the bouquet without tipping off your photographer first! This is definitely a moment that needs to be preserved in a gorgeous photograph.
17. Romance of Dance
No need to remind anyone to take photos of this moment: your first dance as man and wife will be furiously photographed by every guest with a camera (but make sure your photographer is prepared for the moment as some clever lighting and technical tricks may need to be employed to get a perfect picture).
18. Fresh Moves
Your youngest guests will provide plenty of photographic opportunities throughout the day, but make sure you snap them as they have a boogie on the dance floor — it’s going to be very sweet.
19. Dance the Night Away
The first dance is a really romantic moment, but make sure you have photos of you and your guests dancing the night away together too — you’ll be having the time of your lives, and that’s definitely worth documenting.
20. Special Send-off
It may be late in the day, but remind someone to grab a shot or two of your guests waving you off as you leave for the bridal suite or honeymoon. And if you have your own camera to hand, it’s worth taking a few photos from the car as you take a final look back at your wonderful wedding party.