10 Wedding Photos I Need

I trust my photographer to get all the major “must-have” wedding pictures for me—the bride getting ready, the bride and groom saying their vows, the best man’s speech, etc. I also trust that she’ll be good at getting everyone in natural looking poses. She did a great job at alleviating my anxiety and awkwardness during the engagement session by giving us poses to try and tweaking them when we looked awkward. This is essential in a photographer, because sometimes you think you look great/cute/hilarious/adorable in a photo, but really you just look strange.


Personal pic

When we posed for this, I thought it looked cute. But seeing the picture, I am confused at the angles. What, exactly, is going on here?

I probably won’t give my photographer a comprehensive list of all the photos I want taken, but I do have a running list in my head (which is to say, Pinterest) of photos that might not be standard for every photographer—photos that I absolutely need to have. Here’s the Top 10:

1) The groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle: Obviously there will be pics of me walking down the aisle, but my favorite part of wedding ceremonies is seeing the groom’s reaction to it. (Okay, maybe I stole that from 27 Dresses, but it really is a great part of wedding ceremonies!) A lot of weddings I see online omit these pictures (it’s possible that they took them but just didn’t include them in the blog posts) but I want to make sure I get Mr. Unicycle’s reaction! And he better cry at my devastating beauty!


Image via Danielle Hartland Graphic Design and Photography


Image via Joielala Photography

2) The “dad first look” and “bridesmaids first look”: I’m sensing a trend here. Maybe I’m being vain, but I want a reaction shot of my dad and bridesmaids too. Ever since I saw Mrs. Balloons’ post on the Dad First Look, I’ve wanted one of those too. I think parents always imagine what their daughter will look like on her wedding day, and my mom won’t get to see the reveal since she’ll be there to watch the transformation.


Image via Mrs. Balloons on Weddingbee / Photo by Audrey Hannah Photography


Photo by Meredith Perdue Photography

3) A group shot of all the guests: I was inspired by Mrs. Lox, among others, and I would really like to see this logistical nightmare come true. It sounds like a headache for everyone involved, but the pictures are so amazing.


Image via Mrs. Lox on Weddingbee / Photo by Chad Lippiatt Photo


Image via The Knot / Photo by Gruber Photographers

4) Sassy drinking pictures: I don’t know why, but I love these two pictures and I want to copy them. Except I don’t drink beer, and nothing else seems as badass and as throw-back-able as a glass of beer. Can I do this with wine?? Or maybe a shot…


Image via Mrs. Zebra on Weddingbee / Photo by Sara Zarella Photography


Photo by Miller + Miller

5) A picture of us holding a “thank you” banner: We held a date banner for our Save the Dates, and it would be kind of cool to continue the theme with a thank you banner to use for our thank you cards.


Image via Intimate Weddings / Photo by Our Labor of Love


Image via Intimate Weddings / Photo by Three Blondes and a Camera

6) A photo of the sparkler send off: I’m basically doing a sparkler send off because I want the cool photos from it. I also like the drama of the bride and groom leaving in a special way. I’m sounding kind of vain again, aren’t I?


Image via National Geographic


Image via Martha Stewart Weddings

7) A backseat kissing shot: I love wedding pictures taken in cars. It seems so romantic and classic, perfect for my retro theme! We’ll be hopping into a limo after our sparkler send off, so I’m not sure if this will work, with the tinted windows and all.


Image via Kiss the Groom / Photo by Thayer Hearts Weddings


Image via Mrs. Earrings on Weddingbee / Photo by Jane Sanders

8) The bridesmaids in sunglasses: I love cheap sunglasses (the song and the accessory) so I’m thinking of buying a few pairs for me and my bridesmaids to don in an ironic/hipster photo. Plus, it’ll be sunny out, so we might need them.


Image via Ms. Kettle on Weddingbee / Photo by Bella Pictures


Image via flowersbythevase on Etsy

9) Informal bridesmaid pictures: I don’t want the bridesmaid pics to be overly posed and cheesy. I like the ones that just look like a group of friends is hanging out. Because it’s totally natural for my sister-in-law, college roommate, grade school BFF, and high school BFF to all hang out, right?


Image via Saritalou


Image via Green Wedding Shoes / Photo by Deidre Lynn Photography

10) A candid pic of the Unicycles PDAing: Hey, it’s our wedding day! Sue me!


Photo by Oh Darling Photography


Image via Snippet and Ink / Photo by Aaron Delesie

What are your must-have wedding photos? What’s your favorite moment of every wedding?


Mrs. Unicycle

Chicago, IL
Wedding Date:
June 2012
These Bacons Are Taken: Tea Time
When Rings Make You a Ding Dong
Add a comment


  1. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:57 am

    This is a wonderful list. I just may steal it. :)

  2. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 7:45 am

    I did the sunglasses thing and it was awesome. Got a TON of great (and hilarious) pictures and would totally recommend it. Idk if you have a good place to pick some up but if you’re looking for more realistic looking glasses (vs. neon soulja boy kinda stuff) http://www.nineapair.com/ is really great, fast and cheap, I’ve used them several times now and have always been pleased.

  3. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:58 am

    You have a great photo list, I really like a lot of them – How much time will all that take? I have been saving pics to send to my photographer of things I want. I am just freaking out about the timeline. I like time to be open to allow whatever to be whenever – so I just wonder… Hmm?

  4. Member
    anna4041 226 posts, Helper bee @ 8:13 am

    These are awsome! I had a few on my (small ) list, but I really need to add the rest. Tahnks! BTW…my favorite is the all the guests shot. I hope we can pull it off with 300+ people!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Sue Smith, Guest @ 8:23 am

    I have to say (as a wedding photographer), that most photographers HATE when you give them lists like this. First, it makes you focussed on getting everything off the list, rather than capturing things as they naturally happen.

    The other things that most couples seem to insist on, then later regret spending time doing is the group shot of everyone. No ones faces show up, so you can’t even really see them and it takes valuable time away from capturing other valuable photos. I would say to take that one off the list. If I have heard one thing over and over again after the wedding, it’s that it was a waste of time to get that shot.

    Also, the photo that you posted of the bridesmaids on the ground is not an informal shot- that is a very posed photo…

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Kate, Guest @ 8:32 am

    I LOVE this list! Thank you for putting into words the ideas I have in my head. And don’t listen to others’ negativity. If you want a photo that will bring you a lifetime of memories, GO FOR IT!!!!

  7. Member
    ItsDestiny 627 posts, Busy bee @ 8:40 am

    I love these pics I may be stealing these too 8]

  8. Member
    mkewed2010 509 posts, Busy bee @ 8:41 am

    My MIL wanted a group shot of everyone and the photographer was going to do one from the balcony of everyone lookingbut it didn’t work out because the organist started playing our recessional music before our pastor could say anything. She’s still upset over it to this day…If there is some kind of balcony or something at your venue maybe you can have something like that happen???

  9. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:42 am

    Good list! I gave my photographers a list and they were thankful for the guidance. I really wanted a lower half shot, showcasing our cowboy boots!!

  10. Member
    b00kbug 931 posts, Busy bee @ 8:47 am

    I love the list!

    But….I have to say that the ‘everyone’ group shot is a massive pain as a guest. I have been dragged into several and I can’t stand them. I am having a good time, and then I need to stand around waiting for 10 min while the DJ keeps yelling at everyone to get together for a picture. Not fun.

  11. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:02 am

    @Sue Smith: Whoa, I’m shocked because I met with three photographers and all told me the wanted me to check off Required photos, and make a list of anything extra and to email them shots of things I would like. I found a fab picture in a magazine, at the photographers request (the one we went with) he asked I mail it to him with the list a month before our wedding. If they hate lists like these – I don’t understand why they request them.

    Enjoy, and get every photo you want. The photographer is not a mind reader if you have something specific you want then go for it.

    @Mrs. Honey: I love the feet pics – I’m doing the opposite, requesting a shot of us back to back holding hands. I am a bit taller than my wonderful man and with my heels I think it will be adorable.

  12. Member
    LanternsofLace 10 posts, Newbee @ 9:38 am

    I love all of these. I want them too!

  13. Member
    irish.melis 41 posts, Newbee @ 9:48 am

    I love this. The one thing I have read over and over is that photography is not something to skimp on since when the day is done that is all you’ll have left. My photographer gave us a contract, and on that contract had a spot for people who NEED to be photographed, and check list of must have photos-my opinion is they want to know. You are paying for a service so why not get what you want.

    Love the retro theme, we’re taking pics with a cherry red 57 chevy so the sunglasses are going to be a must! Oriental Trading has them by the dozen for cheap.

    Love the post, love the pics, !

  14. unicycle Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 9:49 am

    @lisaelanna: thanks for the tip (but what’s wrong with soulja boy…? jk hahahah!)

    @Miss Ke Aloha: We’re going to have about 3 hours to kill between the ceremony and cocktail hour, so I’m not too worried about the timeline. I think we should be able to fit this all in!

    @anna4041: 300+ people! now that’s a party!

  15. unicycle Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 9:52 am

    @Sue Smith: If I were a wedding photographer I would prefer some direction. I don’t think a list of 10 is asking too much. Photographers are working for brides and grooms, so if they’re too inflexible to work with a bride or groom’s request, they’re in the wrong industry. And by “informal” I meant not all of us standing in a row smiling at the camera.

  16. Member
    jaquita 74 posts, Worker bee @ 9:53 am

    I might have to steal a few of these. I love the pics with the bridesmaids wearing sunglasses and laying in a circle (although slightly worried about laying on the ground in my dress). My list also includes a picture of the two of us walking while holding hands…those always look so cute!

  17. unicycle Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 9:54 am

    @mkewed2010: yes, actually! Our reception is on the second floor, which has a balcony, and our cocktail hour will be outside below the balcony. That would be perfect for the group shot!

    @irish.melis: I’m off to check out Oriental Trading now! The red chevy sounds AWESOME!

  18. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:10 am

    @Miss Unicycle: that is so awesome you have 3 hours between. We are squeezing in 45 min and hoping not to miss the cocktail hour. :-(

  19. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:50 am

    Great list; I especially like the last one :) Also, you’re allowed to be vain on your wedding day, so ask for any and all pictures you want.

  20. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:19 am

    I am totally going to ‘borrow’ this list as well. Great job on finding the example/inspirational photos! Some even made me teary. What a great post!

  21. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:47 am

    This is awesome! I didn’t have a list this specific – the reason we chose our photographers is that they’re so good at capturing life as it is, so we trusted them to get amazing shots (and they did – drool!). That said, if there are specific shots like this that you absolutely want, don’t be afraid to remind your photogs in the moment. Photogs have about a million things they’re trying to capture, and a specifically posed shot might slip their minds. So if you remember a shot you want but haven’t taken yet, feel free to take the initiative in getting that shot. That way, you’ll be sure to get all the pictures you want!

  22. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:56 am

    I don’t think a list of 10 pictures you want is too much to ask for! It’s different if you’re providing a list with a zillion things on it, I get that…but 10 shots that make you happy don’t sound like a lot to ask!!! Love it!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Lisa, Guest @ 12:37 pm

    As a photographer myself and as someone who does social media for a corporate / wedding planning co., I have first hand experience on both sides. I think it’s important to give your photographer a list of must-haves, but try not to be too specific. After all, you hired them because you like what they do, they’re talented! But if it is paramount that you have a photograph with, say, 4 generations of women on your mother’s side, you should make sure your photog knows so you’re not 1. stressed about telling him/her on the day or 2. disappointed when you don’t get the shot. Just be reasonable, don’t give your photog 5 pages of requests… you don’t want to limit their creativity!

  24. highwire Member
    highwire 1021 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:46 pm

    I trusted my photographer’s style and professionalism to get all of the shots I wanted, but as a blogger, I still gave a list b/c I knew there would be specific things I needed pictures of in order to blog about them.

    There were things I asked for on the list, but didn’t get pictures of BTW. So make sure you are absolutely clear! I think my mistake was giving a list that was too long. I like that you made a very specific list of things. I hope you get them all!

    Make sure to be clear about what you want. You are a paying customer.

  25. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:47 pm

    Great list! Something I never though about, but in retrospect am glad that I checked a few of those off our list!

  26. Member
    FarAway 26 posts, Newbee @ 6:31 pm

    I am going to borrow your list also!! I want PDA shots also. And a shot of my grooms face when he sees me for the first time. I plan on having two photographers. :) I love all of your ideas.

  27. Member
    Snowflake343 112 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:18 pm

    I definitely want a groom’s expression picture (or series of pictures…).

    It’s your wedding day. It’s the one day you’re allowed to be as vain as you want; take advantage of it!

  28. Member
    Soon2BeMrs7913 545 posts, Busy bee @ 6:17 pm

    love the list.. definitely stealing it and adding some more.. (not 5 pages worth though lol)

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Becca, Guest @ 1:33 am

    I’m LDS (mormon) & it is veryyy standard, like almost a must to get a group shot of who is at the temple for the actual wedding. there is always steps perfect for it & is always just the fun iconic one to have! Love the other ideas too, my sister just got married & the photographer did a lot of these, so fun! :)

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Kelli, Guest @ 7:10 pm

    This is a great list in theory – but don’t get too caught up on this on your wedding day – enjoy the day and let the photographer capture YOU. As a wedding photographer, I do like to have a few suggestions from my clients, but in the end they are paying me to get the money shots and to be creative. Each photographer has their own style and if you just want someone to replicate another photographer’s work, hire a friend! My favorite part of shooting weddings is learning the personalities of the bride and groom and the wedding party and then owning up to the challenge of capturing those personalities on camera! Also, please remember that your photographer is NOT a miracle worker. For instance – if you want to make sure you get your groom’s reaction + you walking down the aisle, make sure you have 2 photographers and also that your set up makes it easy for the photographer to see the groom. I agree with the other postings about the group photo – huge momentum stopper for your party and a pain for the photographer – just have fun and if you want a picture of everyone – give them disposable cameras, have a photo booth or set up a website where everyone can upload their snapshots that they took. Again – just give your photographer a few basic ideas and then let them worry about the details so you can enjoy the day! That’s what you’re paying them for! HAVE FUN!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Molly, Guest @ 11:41 am

    I would focus on creating great moments like what this list represents and less about creating pictures to imply them. Great experiences lead to great photography – trust your photographer to capture what really happens on your day and you will love your pictures more than what you’ve collected here.

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    craig john, Guest @ 12:49 pm

    YEESH! I hope my brides don’t see this list.

    The biggest pet peeve of a photographer is pretending to be another photographer, and replicating someone else’s work.

    No photographer in their right mind will ever agree they can absolutely capture every photo on a list, no matter how hard you both try. The longer the list, the worst it gets. The one un-admitted guarantee they can give you is; they’re going to miss more genuine moments if they have their head buried in a piece of paper trying to check off a “must have” list — the shot list on the Knot be damned.

    The wedding day is a living breathing fleeting event, and the time and day will get away from you much faster than you can possibly imagine. …Especially once you put your wedding dress on.

    Mrs. High Wire, I get the argument “You are a paying customer”, so my recommendation to all the brides from my experience: “choose your photographer” wisely to get the type of photography you want. Don’t shoehorn a style or method that doesn’t match your photographer. And above all, don’t treat the photographer like a “Go-fer”. An unhappy wedding photographer is a “bad” wedding photographer.

    Hire a good photographer, trust them, and let them be inspired to shoot your wedding day their way. You hired them for a reason.

    Much love,


  33. Member
    strawberrysunshine 9 posts, Newbee @ 1:35 pm

    I love this! As a future bridesmaid, I’m definitely going to use some of these as suggestions. I love the idea of celebrating with sunglasses and candids :)

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Mandie, Guest @ 1:42 pm

    I’m a wedding photographer and I think this is a list of very cute shot ideas. I do have some thoughts and advice to share, however.

    As a wedding photographer whose style is a blend of photojournalism and and artistic portraits/details, I often work without a list. Lists put pressure on me to create images that aren’t off the cuff and created out of my very own creativity, which is what my clients hire me for. A couple of shots here and there are easy enough to accommodate, but I also need my clients to allow me to work as I normally do so that they get something unique that reflects their wedding day. So beware that if the list grows too much longer than 10 requests, you could be hindering your photographer from doing what they do naturally.

    As for some of the shots, like “first looks” with your dad and the bridesmaids, just be sure that your schedule is put together to accommodate these moments. Be sure your dad knows when you’ll be ready and where to meet you. Be sure you have a spot with enough nice light to capture the reactions on all the girls’ faces, and be sure they know they when & where too so that they don’t end up in the bathroom by accident. Ill-preparedness might take these moments from “fun and easy-going” to “stressful and gonna make you late for the ceremony.” :)

    The statement about the large group shot rings true- they are VERY difficult to coordinate. The best way to do it is to determine ahead of the day what location and what time this will occur, and if it’s possible, do it at the reception and have your DJ and venue coordinator aware of it so that they can help move things along and get your group to where you want them. The last time I did this, the shot ate up about 20 minutes of the reception and the guests were very confused- because it was a last-minute request and neither the DJ nor anyone else was prepared to help get everyone together. I have often done this immediately following a ceremony because the officiant asked everyone at the ceremony to follow the couple to a set location for a photo right away.

    I don’t know very many wedding photogs (and I know very many in general!) who prefer a list. What I have found is that the list helps when photographers are starting out and newer, but often when we become seasoned, we know what we’re looking for and our clients trust that we’ll get what they need. :)

    One last thought. Understand that some of the best shots from your wedding may be the ones that are unplanned- the ones you never would have expected to get. If you have your photographer focusing on a list off of Pinterest all day, their attention to those random moments may be lessened. By definition, photojournalism requires very little direction.

    There’s nothing wrong with a list of inspiration, but if you’ve hired the right photographer you should feel confident that you’ll love your images even if they miss a couple of those on the list- and that you can help them get those shots if you plan accordingly so that all they have to do is snap the shot and move on with what they do best! :)

    Best wishes for your wedding, I’m sure you’ll have wonderful photos!

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Angelina, Guest @ 9:57 pm

    As a wedding photographer, I love to see these posts. I love when my brides have Pinterest accounts I can follow, and it’s important to me to see their “style” via their favorites. For example, I have had brides refuse to even walk on grass, let alone consider lying down on it. So, these inspiration boards are so important to me to help me really focus on capturing the overall personality and energy of the couple. When the earlier photographer commented that we don’t like “lists”, though, she wasn’t lying. When your photographer asks you for a list, it is a general thing for specific people. If your great grandmother doesn’t make it in a shot, will you be devastated? Those are the types of things for the list. I also suggest that you choose a coordinator from among your friends and family to be in charge of this list in the wedding day. If Grandma is nowhere to be found, it is then the coordinators job to round her up. Your photographer does not have a spare 1/2 hour to do so. On the other hand, giving a “list” of must-haves of poses can be a generally bad idea, and I will tell you why… Every photo you “pin” has a LOT of thought and practical detail in it. Gorgeous backlight is a perfect example. If you are getting married at 1pm, the sun is high in the sky, not low enough to create the shot. Even bringing in flash units will not really make it look like a setting sun. Also, consider your own body type, your fiancé, your bridesmaids. Sometimes what you want is impractical. I am nearly a foot shorter than my husband. We can not just “copy” a full body pose from someone else and expect it to work… I had a mother of the groom late to the ceremony-so no pre-wedding pics for them, even though pinning the fliwer on was “on the list”, instead, we were careful to get an intimate shot of her and the groom during the ceremony. He was watching his bride walk down the aisle, while she (his mother) only had eyes for him, with tears in her eyes. In the end, that photo was much more moving and sentimental. We fulfilled the spirit of the list, even though we were unable to fulfill the letter of it. we photographers DO love to see your ideas. And we want to give you what you want. Look through your photographer’s galleries carefully, find someone you trust and share your inspirations. A good photographer will take that inspiration and run with it, giving you unique photos that are one of a kind…not a copy of someone else’s. By all means, come prepared with your props, your signs, etc. Talk with your photographer about what appeals to you well before the wedding. He or she can help you make your dreams a reality. And help you plan the logistics so that your dream shots can work (remeber the backlit shot? Your photographer can sneak you out of the reception at sunset for ten minutes. But only if she knows you are willing!) In the end, you want them to be YOUR dreams, not a cookie cutter shot that’s trending all over the internet, but says nothing about you. we’ve all seen the “don’t corrupt the flower girl” shot. Hilarious! But don’t do the shot if you and your friends don’t drink, don’t smoke and think of bible retreats as the best vacation ever. Stick with ideas that will flow naturally. The sunglasses work when you’re all on your way to the church if it’s sunny. They’ll look forced if it’s dreary or raining. Don’t have your heart broken over it. Let your pro do something adorable with you girls and umbrellas, instead. Let the list be a fun and exciting inspiration, but never tie yourself or your photographer to it, or you could miss out on the much more important and fun “real” moments as they happen.

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Well Dressed | Short & Sweet Bridesmaids Dresses, Guest @ 12:53 pm

    […] // 1 :: // 12 :: Pinterest // 13 :: Jim Hjelm // 18 :: 100 Layer Cake //19 :: Carly Daniel // 20 :: Wedding Bee // 21 :: Wedding Chicks // 22 :: // 23 :: wedluxe // 24 :: Wedding Chicks // 25 :: Wedding Bee […]

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Alex, Guest @ 10:07 am

    Nice stuff! I just got married this summer, and I know my wife was all about getting the “perfect” set of wedding photos together. Thankfully I work for an online canvas & wall mural company now (LifeWall, http://www.yourlifewall.com), and so I know how I want to share them when I get them in my hands. Thanks for the post!

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Sara Zarrella, Guest @ 8:15 am

    Hello Best of luck in your wedding planning and your wedding. I see you like one of my shots! Just want to say thank you so much for giving us photographers credit…many forget :) xoxo

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    Trueblu – Fun Shots, Guest @ 4:12 am

    […] Image via Wedding Bee […]

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Strike a Pose | Top Photos To Take with Your Leading Ladies » The Bridal Detective, Guest @ 12:39 pm

    […] // Emin Photography via Bridal Guide // via media // Azzura Photography // Apple Brides // Axioo // Wedding Bee // Tweet#call_to_action h4{padding:0px […]

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    Robbin Colandrea, Guest @ 8:09 pm

    LOVE this list, and YOU are paying the PHOTOGRAPHER you decide…group shots, might be a pain and not always come out, but they are a treasure…certain shots are SO worth taking the time for, and a good photographer will gladly set it up and work for your special shots…and these can be ideas to jump off from and you make your own, like we had all our guys feet in a shot due to steel pennies in their loafers, special to us…

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Pin Perfect: Making Memories | Oh, What Love Studios | The Blog, Guest @ 9:08 pm

    […] group shot 2. best friend 3. sparkler kiss 4. ring bearer 5. cheers 6. heart hug […]

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    Norm Deplume, Guest @ 10:30 am

    I love a candid shot of the bride, after the formal photos are taken, when she has that precious few moments to “relax” before the ceremony. There’s an ease and a beauty in those pics that is hard to match.

  44. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms. Suzy, Guest @ 6:54 pm

    Being the parents of the bride, really wanted one picture of both of us (mom and Dad) together, one with bride’s elderly grandparents, and one with grandmother, mother and bride with wedding rings and flowers in background, as in a “hand shot”! Didn’t get any of those, and can’t go back and re-do. So if there is something you really, really want, make sure the photographer knows!

add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors