There are a certain pictures you want to account for to have your photographer take, which will help you determine how long you’d like to pay to have your photographer there for. Photos are truly a snapshot in time, and your wedding day isn’t the time to “forget” about Aunt Susan and her family, have feelings hurt, or be looking back at your photos and wishing you had that perfect shot of you and your husband at sunset! There are definite photos you want to add to your list to give to your photographer and/or personal attendant. A physical, printed copy of a list helps everyone stay on task, but is also a good way to rope several people into the job of making sure pictures abcdef….stuvwxyz..gets taken.
Timeline for taking pictures on your wedding day
We decided to have a first look, prior to our 4:00 p.m. wedding. We decided to have a first look, prior to the ceremony out of courtesy of our guests. I mean, c’mon…dinner is on the line at that point, and no one wants to be waiting on dinner, getting all hangry!! This also allowed for time, that was probably one of my favorite moments of the day, that will stick in my brain for a long, long time. We decided to have a first look with my dad (and mom), and my in-laws before I got to see my groom. Granted my mom and future mother-in-law were getting ready with me all morning, but they were there to see the dads’ reactions. This was such a sentimental thing for the day. It was so cute to see my dad, all dressed up in his suit, and for him to see me ready for my wedding day. Not only was this special, but this is biblical as well. The bible talks about how after a couple is married they are to unite as one together, leaving her father and mother to be with the groom (Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”)
This was better than having him just walk me down the aisle. It really allowed the time for us to say our thank yous, love yous, and goodbyes as a family unit as we knew it, while another one was created. This is part of God’s plan for us, and he intends for it to be this way. I am not saying any of us had an easy time with this, but this moment of the wedding day was so special. I think you should take time to respect and honor your mother and father before focusing all on you and your groom. The wedding day is about you, but really it’s not. It is so much more than that! It is all of the family that comes with the joining of the families. It is all of the guests you have to witness this celebration of your commitment to one another. I do think it is one you should highly consider your photographer to be part of.
Pictures you are going to want to take before your wedding ceremony
Here was our Pre-Ceremony list of pictures to take. We allotted for two and a half hours to walk around about four blocks in town, and took pictures at four different spots within that four block radius. However, this is where it comes in handy…we did run over a little (20 mins) taking pictures, however, it IS your wedding day, you can be a bit late if you want to! No one is (or shouldn’t be!) getting up on the altar to get married, besides you and your spouse. Just keep in mind to be courteous to your guests. A little late is fine, a lot late is not.
Before Ceremony 1:00-3:15 p.m.
- Parents First Look-have everyone dressed in their wedding ceremony clothes, this will make for the nicest photos!
- Bride and groom first look
- Bridal party pictures
- Separate pictures with personal attendants and ushers
- Whole wedding party with ring bearer and flower girl
- Each of bridesmaids, personal attendants, guest book attendants, groomsmen and ushers with bride and groom individually
- Immediate family
- Bride, siblings, mom and dad.
- Add the groom and the rest of the family.
- For example, I have a brother. So we did one picture with just the four of us. Then we did another that added in the groom, plus my brother’s wife and their children.
- Bride with mom and dad
- Bride with mom
- Bride with dad
- Bride and groom with mom and dad.
- Bride and groom with both sets of parents.
- Groom, siblings, mom and dad. Add the bride and the rest of the family.
- Groom with mom and dad
- Groom with mom
- Groom with dad
- Bride and groom with groom’s parents
- Bride and groom with Ring Bearer and Flower Girl
- Bride with Ring Bearer
- Bride with Flower Girl
- Groom with Ring Bearer
- Groom with Flower Girl
Here is something nice to do for your family, but not required, especially if you are short on time. Allow them to take their own family picture. You have a photographer. They are all dressed nicely. Let them take a quick picture!
19. Extended family- I would recommend setting a specific time about half an hour before the start of your wedding ceremony to get extended family pictures done. In my opinion, it is rude to ask for extended family to come for pictures one to two hours before the wedding starts because you’re asking them to come to town early, get ready early, keep kids entertained for a long period of time, and then what do they do after pictures? Not a lot. So, keep it simple. Schedule and ask whoever can make it to the extended family pictures to come half an hour before the ceremony to take pictures OR take pictures right after the ceremony. Either way, it should work!
You’ll want to break this down by the bride and groom’s grandparents’ sides of the family.
Pictures you are going to want during the wedding ceremony
- Bride and groom with officiant
- Unity event
- Exchange of rings
- Signing of marriage license
- First kiss as couple
Pictures you are going to want after the wedding ceremony
- Wedding party at bar in reception area
- Random pictures of your guests having a great time!
- DJ games
- Mom with bride and groom with guest book quilt. My mom made us a really special wall quilt for our guests to sign. It is currently hung up in our basement, and is always talked about. It is so special to us.
- Dining room hostess
- First Dances – instead of doing separate dances for the groom with his mom, and me with my dad, and then a dance for the wedding party we shared this dance with my parents and the groom’s parents! We all started with our spouses, then shared dances with our parents, and rounded out the dances with a contest of who has been married the longest and a dollar dance. It was so fun!! Highly recommend!!
- Donut B!tches – we had donuts for dessert. We specified that my husband’s cousin’s younger kids would serve dessert. We HAD to have a picture
- The Outlaws. This is special for me, and we carry on the tradition throughout family get-togethers to this day. This is for the people that have married into the family. Ie-the in-laws…but the Outlaws, because we are bada$$.
Things to put together for your photographer before your wedding day
You’ll want to have some things together the night before the wedding for the photographer to take those beautiful posed pictures.
- Rings, with ring boxes
- Tie with tie clip/cuff links
- Shoes for the groom and bride
- Earrings, necklace, hair piece, veil
Pictures you will want your photographer to take on your
- People sitting together at tables
- Overhead, second floor pictures of the head table
- DJ (our DJ was a family member that has the DJ set up)
- Friends at reception
- Memorial flowers
- Think back, is there a picture with your mom, dad, sibling that you wish to create on this special day? For me, I have this picture of my dad kissing me on the cheek when I was crowned Tama County Fair Queen. We took this one right before he walked me down the aisle. Special.
Here is one that I wanted done, but it just didn’t work out. Women’s rings by generations.
Take the time to think ahead of time, BEFORE you book your photographer to identify what pictures are important to you. This will help you and your photographer to come up with an accurate timeline for taking the photos you want. Communicate with your photographer the list, so they can mentally prepare for the photos you want. Also, give your list to a trusted personal attendant or bridesmaid to make sure the pictures you want get taken. Most of all, have fun, don’t stress about it. Keep it simple. Enjoy the day. Trust the people around you to help you out. Love your spouse. The. End.
(Photographer: Emily Moore from A Couple Moore)