30 must-have shots from the wedding ceremony

On their wedding day, the bride and groom are wrapped up in wedding festivities, such as reciting vows, taking photos, visiting with family and friends, and dancing the night away. Because the bride and groom have many roles to play on their wedding day, there are many moments that the couple will miss. You have the unique opportunity to capture those moments with your camera. As you prepare your image list for your next wedding, check out these 30 must-have shots from the ceremony you can include showing your couple every important moment of their day.

1. Details of the Ceremony Site

Before guests arrive and the ceremony begins, be sure to take photos of the ceremony site with no one in it. These are great shots for the bride and groom to see all of the details that went into their ceremony site, and you can also share these images with vendors!

wide ceremony shot

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Roberto Valenzuela

2. Guests Arriving at the Ceremony

The bride and groom’s friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances arrive while the couple is behind closed doors. Be sure to capture the guests as they arrive since the bride and groom may get an opportunity to see the guests waiting in anticipation for the ceremony to begin.

3. Bride and Bridal Party’s Arrival

Whether the wedding is indoors or outdoors, this is a perfect shot to capture for your couple. If the bride arrives in a limo, take shots of the bride and her bridesmaids exiting the limo. This unique shot will show each member of the party’s emotions before the ceremony starts.

4. Wedding Party Walking Down the Aisle

The bride and groom carefully chose each member of the bridal party, who walks together, and how these individuals fit into the wedding as a whole. Capturing the wedding party walking down the aisle will showcase the bride and groom’s selections, and it will also highlight the bridesmaid’s dresses and the groomsmen’s tuxes.

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5. Both Sets of Parents Walking Down the Aisle

This is a big day for the parents of the bride and groom too, so make it a special memory by including shots of the people who are most proud of your couple.

6. Bride Walking Down the Aisle

It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for – and you must have this shot! Everyone stands, the bride appears and she looks glowing and gorgeous. Capture the moment that everyone will talk about for months after the wedding.

7. The Dress Details

The bride selected her dress because of the beautiful details that make it a one of a kind. Getting out of the limo with a 7-foot train is not an easy feat, so be sure that you highlight the unique details of the wedding dress.

8. Bride and Her Father Walking Down the Aisle

Walking down the aisle is typically all about the bride, but it is also a traditional and special moment for the bride and her father. Be sure to capture this moment for your bride as she and her father will cherish this image for years to come.

9. Groom’s Expression as Bride Walks Down the Aisle

As everyone admires the bride and her dress, turn to the groom waiting at the altar. He is likely to be gazing at his bride’s beauty and his expression will be priceless.

10. Bride’s Father Giving Her Away

Another huge moment for the father of the bride is handing his daughter over to her new soon-to-be husband. Shoot the handshake or hug the father of the bride and the groom share, and the kiss on the cheek the daughter receives from her father.

11. Wide Shot of the Entire Ceremony

Now that the bride and groom have joined together to officially begin the ceremony, take advantage of the stillness of the moment and get a shot of the entire ceremony.

12. Detailed Shots of the Bride and Bridesmaid’s Bouquets

Details matter! The bride and her bridesmaids are holding flowers that were specifically chosen for this occasion – get a close-up of bouquets and use the dresses as a blurred backdrop.

13. Document Traditions

In every wedding, there will be a different tradition that represents the bride and groom, as well as their families. Be sure to shoot the traditions that your couples celebrate, whether it is stomping on glass or lighting the unity candle, these are must-have shots!

14. Unexpected Moments

Did the glass not break the first time or did the lighter not work for the unity candle? These are unexpected moments that the bride and groom may want to remember, so be sure to capture the moments that are not planned.

15. Bride Over the Groom’s Shoulder

When shooting over the groom’s shoulder, you are allowing the bride to see everything from the groom’s perspective. The bride will see how she looks as she stands before her new husband, how her bridesmaids are reacting, and how the groom must feel taking all of it in. Be sure to capture a shot of the groom over the bride’s shoulder as well!

bride wedding ceremony

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Roberto Valenzuela

16. Both Sets of Parents Observing the Ceremony

The bride and groom are wrapped up in the events of the wedding ceremony, so they are likely to miss a lot happening around them. When you take shots of both sets of parents as they watch their children, you are showing the couple how much joy their parents had on this special day.

17. View of the Guests from the Couple’s Point of View

Have your second shooter stand from an angle that will not interrupt the ceremony, but will allow for a shot of the guests watching the happy couple. It will be exciting for the bride and groom to see how their friends and family respond during the ceremony.

18. Grandparents or Elderly Family Members

A wedding brings together family of all ages. A couple who is fortunate enough to have grandparents or other elderly family members in attendance should be reminded of the joy through the shots you take.

19. Close Up of the Bride and Groom During the Vows

As the groom begins to say his vows, zoom in on the bride to capture her reaction to his kind words. When the bride starts on her vows, switch over to the groom to capture his smile and his loving gaze.

groom wedding ceremony

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Roberto Valenzuela

20. Hand-Holding

Depending on the ceremony’s length, the couple may hold hands for a long period of time. Every couple holds hands in a way that shows their love to one another, so be sure to take some hand-holding shots during this time.

21. Bride with Bridesmaids Watching

The bridesmaids watch the bride say her vows and hold her husband’s hands, and they are most likely smiling at the joyous occasion. Capture the genuine excitement on each of the bridesmaid’s faces as they observe the ceremony.

22. Groom with Groomsmen Watching

Some of the most candid pictures come from groomsmen who are trying to be patient during a long ceremony. Take some shots of the groom and his groomsmen and hope that one of them is making a face that the groom can tease him about later!

23. Ring Exchange

Ring shots are very important at the wedding ceremony, so be sure to get pictures of the groom taking the rings from his best man, the groom putting the ring on the bride’s finger, and the bride putting the ring on the groom’s finger.

24. Close Up on Bride and Groom Right Before They are Announced Husband and Wife

It’s similar to being a kid on Christmas morning because the couple knows that the big moment is coming where they will be announced, husband and wife. Zoom in so that you get the couple looking at one another with true excitement before the exciting announcement.

25. The Kiss

The shot that will be plastered all over Facebook and Instagram minutes later is the kiss. It’s what seals the deal for the beginning of the couple’s lives – make sure you get up and close for a great shot!

wedding ceremony first kiss

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Roberto Valenzuela

26. “We Did It!” Ceremony Shot

As the couple turns to the audience, it’s likely they will put their hands up for the “we did it!” shot. This is a fun and candid moment that your couple will want to have in their photo collection.

27. Bride and Groom Walking Up the Aisle

Now that they are official, the bride and groom walk down the aisle to clapping friends and family. The bride and groom will be smiling from ear to ear, so be sure to snap many pictures of this moment.

28. Wedding Party Walking Up the Aisle

After the ceremony is over, the wedding party will likely relax and the pictures of them walking back down the aisle will have a more genuine feel – you’ll get more candid shots, as they will be laughing and celebrating with the bride and groom.

29. Congrats Shots

The bride and groom may stay around the ceremony area until everyone heads to the reception. Family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintance will line up to congratulate the couple, sharing hugs, handshakes, laughter, and tears.

30. Bride and Groom Leaving Ceremony as Husband and Wife

After everyone has gone to the reception, the bride and groom may begin taking their portraits. Once the shoot is over, take an image of the bride and groom leaving the ceremony hand-in-hand as husband and wife. This signifies the celebration of the bride and groom’s new life together.

After the wedding, remember that the bride and groom will be anxious to see the photos. Set up your post production photography workflow so these images can be seen by your clients as soon as possible. Discover additional images your clients will love from throughout the wedding day with our Guide: 127 Essential Wedding Images You Must Capture. Click the banner below to get yours today!

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