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Group of Wedding PhotosIf a picture is worth the proverbial thousand words, then your wedding photos can tell many stories. You have budgetary restrictions and your photographers need to know how they should spend their time in capturing your special day. A guide to the basic types of wedding photos can help as you collaborate with professionals to get the moments that matter to you most on film.

Basic Portrait and Group Photos

Group photos usually include the happy couple and additional shots with their wedding party, parents, siblings, and grandparents. Depending on how many people are involved, you may need to have your photographer schedule about an hour for this session, whether it’s prior to the ceremony or between the ceremony and the reception. Writing for A Practical Wedding, contributor Maddie Eisenhart recommends that you pre-plan these shots, choose 5 to 10 portrait combinations, and then provide this list to your vendor. You can modify your schema to suit your aesthetics and needs, but if you’re stuck, you can use these combinations as a starting point:

  • The couple
  • The full wedding party with the couple
  • Each half of the couple with an honor attendant
  • Individual spouses with only their attendants
  • The couple with their parents
  • Each spouse with his or her family

A Few Words About Candid and Trendy Shots

In recent years, lists of unusual or trendy non-standard shots have been making the rounds. The Knot rolled out its own rundown of “must-haves” and the internet is replete with many more wedding experts adding their own favorites. Social media may have influenced this development, with sites such as Instagram and Pinterest leading the pack, and some couples want memorable pics designed to grab the eye and encourage widespread sharing. BBC writer Jessica Holland comments that this may have caused the average wedding price tag to inflate, with some couples eyeing every detail and vendors encouraging them.

Nevertheless, a 2018 Harper’s Bazaar piece warns that trying to factor these into your own photo plan can become unwieldy. Not only that, including these “non-keepsake” pictures can cause you to sacrifice valuable opportunities such as unexpected candid shots or time for a longer portrait session. Instead, writer Carrie Goldberg advises focusing on a prioritized shot list with pictures you’ll want to frame or spotlight in your wedding album.

Special Moments During the Ceremony and Reception

What pics might take center stage in your wedding photo collection? Martha Stewart Weddings provides its own exhaustive checklist, but you may want a longer or shorter agenda of shots for your own celebration. Basic standards for the ceremony and reception can include:

  • Wedding party entrances
  • Individual spouse’s entries with their escorts
  • Exchange of vows and rings
  • First kiss after vows
  • Processing out of the ceremony space
  • Exiting the venue
  • The newlyweds’ entrance and first dance
  • Cutting the cake and eating the first slice
  • Special dances with parents and the wedding party
  • Wedding party toasts

Additionally, special ceremonial elements that are culturally specific or hold deeper meanings should also make your list. This can include practices such as unity candle lightings, stomping on the wine glass at a Jewish wedding, the exchange of garlands at a Hindu ceremony, or the tying of the couple’s hands together at a handfasting.

Work Together With Your Photographers

Your photographers will develop an artistic vision for capturing your big day, but you’ll have a significant amount of input. To avoid stressing over minutiae while getting the look and feel you desire, it’s wise to develop your own basic list of “must-have moments” and supplement it with general ideas and directives. With such collaboration that balances your preferences with their styles, the ideal results will be photos you’ll treasure for years.

Category: Wedding Planning

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