Must Have Wedding Photos – What Your Photographer Should Focus On

No matter how beautiful and fun your wedding day is, it will always feel like time went by just a bit too fast. The day will be so busy and eventful. As much as you’d love to just stop for a second and soak it all in, that’s nearly impossible. This is where your photographer comes in! When discussing your upcoming wedding day, you may have the urge to tell your photographer to just take pictures of every moment possible. We know you feel that everything on your wedding day matters (and we agree – it really does). But there are some moments we guarantee you’d definitely want to look back on. So here’s our list of must have wedding photos for your big day.

Getting Ready

Surrounded by family and friends, you’re the center of attention. The room is just buzzing with excitement and love. Both partners and their bridesmaids/groomsmen should be included in the photos of this intimate and eventful experience. Your photographer can also use this time to set up and snap photos of your rings, shoes, bouquets and boutonniere. Not to mention, all of the special details you’ve chosen for your immediate wedding parties, etc. Getting ready is the perfect time for some fun and creative character photos of the couple and their entourage!

Still Wedding Photography

Bridal prep still photos of the wedding dress, wedding rings, wedding shoes and more at a wedding ath the Digby Pines Resort in NS.

Bridal Getting Ready Photos

The bridal prep prior to the wedding ceremony of the bride getting ready at Digby Pines Resort in Nova Scotia.

Groom Getting Ready Photos

The groom with groomsmen getting ready for his wedding day at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax.

The Wedding Ceremony Setup & Decoration

You’ve worked hard with your wedding planner to plan everything and the details you’ve chosen should definitely find a place on your list of must have wedding photos. Make sure your photographer captures the wedding venue before any of the guests arrive, focusing on centerpieces, table cards, design details, and anything else that’s meant to be a signature piece. The way your venue looks on your wedding day is an important memory, and having photos of it is simply a must.

The wedding ceremony set up at Digby Pines.

First Look(s)

The first time you and your partner lays eyes on each other is a wonderful and emotional moment to be captured. Your photographer can play around with angles and setups, but it’s very important they capture the genuine and honest first reactions. Whether you up for a quaint and private first look or you are a couple with a more traditional up the aisle first look, these photos are going to be among the most cherished ones for years to come. With the right photographer, the magic will radiate from each and every one of them!

The Traditional First Look

The groom has his first look of his bride walking up the aisle during their Digby Pines Resort wedding ceremony in Nova Scotia.

The Non Traditional Private First Look

The groom has his first look at his bride in a private moment between just the two of them prior to their wedding ceremony at the White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia.

The Big YES (and the aftermath)

You’ll always remember the feeling that kiss up at the altar gave you, but photos of how it all looked will never let your memory fade away. A photo of the kiss itself is very important, but so are photos of the walk down the aisle, the ring exchange, the reactions of your friends and family, the newlyweds exiting the ceremony venue…

The Wedding Ceremony Photos

The bride and groom say their wedding vows to each other during their wedding ceremony at the White Point Beach Resort in Halifax NS.
The bride and groom exchange wedding rings during their ceremony under a wedding arch at the White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia.
The bride and groom have their first kiss under a beautiful wedding arch during their ceremony at the White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia.
The bride and groom sign their marriage certificate then proceed to the wedding recessional during a wedding at the White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia.

The Wedding Family Photos

After the ceremony (and before everyone heads to the reception) it’s always best to take family photos. Work with your photographer to make sure they know exactly what you want highlighted, and plan out the time for the family formals. Keep in mind that it would be nice to have pictures with older guests and couples with children taken first. These groups will most likely be among the first ones to head to the reception venue, and they will thank you for it. 

The bride and groom during family wedding photos at a backyard wedding in Halifax NS.
The bride and groom laughing during their wedding photos at the Digby Pines Resort in Nova Scotia.
The bride and groom wedding photos, they are standing against the wooden doors of an urban brick style building at the Old Orchard Inn.
The bride and groom with the wedding party posing for wedding photos in a boat, bride kissing a groomsmen and groom drinking alcohol during a backyard wedding in Halifax.

The Wedding Reception Photos

Wedding Reception Still Photography

If you love still photography we recommend you give your photographer a few moments alone in the reception hall before your guests arrive. This will give them time to capture all of the decorations you’ve put your hard earned money into.

A beautiful stunning wedding reception set up at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, NS.
The Georgian Room wedding reception at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, NS.

First Dance

The first dance has always been one of the most intimate moments a couple shares on their wedding day. While dancing, couples always seem as they only have eyes for one another, so make sure your photographer captures this magic between the two of you. Sweet-talking in each other’s ears, sharing small kisses, swaying to the sound of your favorite song – these emotions should be captured and framed for years to come! 

The bride and groom have their first dance during their wedding reception at Juno Tower in Halifax, NS.

Party Time

After all is said and done, it’s time to party! We recommend leaving the photographer some creative space to work on these photos. Photographing crowds in motion is not an easy task, so make sure to look through portfolios carefully and discuss your must have wedding photos list before you decide on a photographer.

The bride and groom dancing with their guests during their wedding reception at the Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax, NS.
Photographer playing with light as guests dance during a wedding reception at the Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax.

The Wedding Cake Photos

The cake is the crown of any wedding celebration. Sweet and beautifully decorated, it’s a staple moment of the day, so make sure your photographer snaps a few shots of it before it gets cut. A picture of you two cutting the first slice together is also a must, as are the first bites you give each other! Playful and intimate, yet shared with everyone present, these moments should definitely be on the must-have wedding photos list!

The bride and groom cut their wedding cake and then feed each other during their wedding reception at Juno Tower in Halifax.

The Bridal Bouquet And Garter Toss

What is a party without the garter and bridal bouquet toss so let the laughter begin. These are moments that your photographer shouldn’t miss because the memories of your guests watching on and participating is priceless.

The bride tosses the bridal bouquet into the guests and a man catches the bouquet during a wedding reception at Fishermans Cove in Dartmouth NS.
The groom takes of the bride's cowboy boots then grabs the garter off her leg during the garter toss.
The groom about to toss the wedding garter.

Wedding Games

Don’t forget the wedding games as well. You’ve put a lot of thought into the planning of your entire day. Not a moment should be missed. Every moment is a memory waiting to be captured by your photographer. Wedding games are no exception to that rule.

The bride and groom play the wedding shoe game during a wedding reception at Juno Tower in Halifax, NS.

We hope this list has shone a bit of light onto what you’ll need from your photographer. Make sure to hire a professional and don’t be afraid to speak your mind! After all, it’s your wedding day and that makes it all about what you want! Think about your wedding as a story, and add items to this list if you wish. Photos are all about preserving the memory of that one perfect day, so make sure the beginning of your happily-ever-after is something you will always be able to look back on and smile.

Additional Links

1. Check out some of my favorite wedding advise blog posts…
Planning A Nova Scotia Wedding-a 12 months timeline.
NS Wedding Venues Plus Tips For Choosing the Perfect Venue
Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer.

Capturing your L❤VE story is my passion…let’s chat!

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