14 Must Take Wedding Ceremony Photos!

One of the major benefits of your job as a wedding photographer is you have the opportunity to observe beautiful and special moments between loved one. The wedding ceremony, in particular, is full of emotion, excitement, and joy, but can also happen so quickly you may have to scramble to capture the images that matter. To help you focus on the images your clients will love (and ones to send to a publisher), we’ve asked ShootDotEdit to share the 14 shots you should focus on shooting at the wedding ceremony.

As the premiere post production partner for wedding photographer editing, ShootDotEdit sees quite a few wedding ceremonies! Here are their insights on the must-have shots to take from every wedding ceremony.

Note all images in tutorial: France Photographers

Must Take Wedding Ceremony Photos

1. Document the Details

Since the bride and groom put a lot of thought into what their ceremony site would look like, take a shot of the small details they added. These photos are also ideal to send to vendors, since you photographed the work they put into the wedding day. Examples of these details can be the flowers, programs, and any other unique items like the unity candle or sand for a sand ceremony.

2.  Include the Guests and Wedding Party

As guests arrive to the ceremony, take photos of their interactions with one another as they wait in anticipation for the ceremony to start. When the bride and groom arrive separately with the wedding party, take photos as they get in position for the ceremony to begin.

3.  Share the Ceremony Beginning

Before the ceremony begins, the groom may be the first to walk down the aisle as he takes his place. Snap photos of him, as well as when the wedding party, parents, and grandparents, walk down the aisle once the ceremony starts. These are important images to document everyone who was involved in the couple’s day. Many will have traveled quite the distance to be there.

4. Highlight the Bride

While everyone stands for the bride, take images as she walks down the aisle with her father or other important person in her life. You are guaranteed to receive candid emotion from her as she walks down the aisle to her future husband.

Must Take Wedding Ceremony Photos

Bonus: Try to capture this moment from both the front of the aisle, where you will see the bride’s face and expression, and also from behind, where you will see the details of the bride’s dress and the groom’s reaction. This can be a challenge! Two photographers are a big help here.

5. Share the Groom’s Expression

While he waits for his bride to walk down the aisle, take a few photos of the groom. Whether he has a smile on his face or tears in his eyes, the expression you will capture as he watches her will be priceless.

Must Take Wedding Ceremony Photos

6. Photograph the Entire Ceremony Site

Similar to when you took a wide shot of the ceremony site before the guests arrived, take another photo with the bride, groom, and entire congregation present. This is a great way to showcase everyone in attendance to watch the couple say “I do.”

Bonus: This wide shot makes a great background image on an album spread down the road!

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7. Showcase the Traditions

Each couple you work with will have unique traditions which represents them and their families. If they stomp on glass or light the unity candle, make sure you include these moments to showcase the traditions they chose to include in their day.

8. Capture the Unexpected Moments

Even the most planned ceremonies have unexpected moments. If the glass did not break the first time, or the lighter did not work for the unity candle, capture these occasions. Most likely, a lot of laughter will go along with these moments, which is a great addition to the images.


9. Observe the Parents and Grandparents

Because the bride and groom are focused on one another during the ceremony, they may miss out on moments around them, such as the joy on their parents and grandparents’ faces. Take photos of their families, so after the wedding, the bride and groom can look back and see how their loved ones reacted.

10. Showcase the Couple During Vows

When the bride and groom begin their vows, zoom in on each to see their reaction to the other’s words. The vows are the perfect time to capture genuine emotion from the bride as she listens to the groom’s sweet words, and the groom as he hears his future wife speak.

Bonus: The best reactions will often come by focusing on the person who is receiving the vows, rather than the person who is speaking them. Plan where you need to be in advance so you are where you need to be – these moments happen fast!

11. Focus on the Ring Exchange

As one of the biggest symbols of the wedding day, showcase the bride and groom as they exchange rings. Take photos of the best man handing the groom the rings, the groom placing the ring on the bride’s finger, and the bride placing the ring on the groom’s finger.

Must Take Wedding Ceremony Photos

12. Zoom in on the Kiss

Once the couple says their vows, and the officiant announces them as husband and wife, it is time for the anticipated kiss. This is a big milestone for your couple, so make sure you shoot close up to share the moment with them.  Don’t just shoot one image here – you don’t want to inadvertently miss the focus or catch a bad expression. Shoot several frames from several different focal lengths.

13. Take the “We Did It!” Shot

After the first kiss, the couple may turn to their guests and raise their hands for the “we did it!” shot. Capture this moment so you can share it with the bride and groom when you deliver their images, and they can see how happy they were.

14. Document the Married Couple

When the ceremony concludes, the bride and groom will walk down the aisle to ecstatic family and friends. Document this moment, as the bride and groom will be smiling and laughing together as newlyweds.

As you capture these 14 shots from the wedding ceremony, you share one of the most important parts of the day with your couple.

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