couple with mr and mrs signs

Photo: Patrick Hadley Photography

Yes, you and your future spouse are clearly going to be the center of attention on your wedding day – and prominently featured in many, many photos. But, there are several very important photos your photographer will take where neither you nor your spouse will be included at all.

Check out our list of essential photos that don’t include you.


wedding dress hanging on door

Photo: Riverland Studios

The Dress, Solo
A photo of the bridal gown hanging by itself (preferably in a scenic location) is an iconic shot and gives you the opportunity to swoon over it for years to come.

wedding bouquet with roses and succulents

Photo: Vivian N Photos

Close-Ups of Personal Flowers
Make sure your photographer takes photos of the bouquets, boutonnieres, and other personal flowers. Years from now, you’ll want to remember how gorgeous they looked.

silver wedding shoes

Photo: Joanna Tano Photography

The Accessories
Jewelry, shoes, bow ties, cufflinks and more – all the little details that make your look uniquely you. You might not be able to see these accessories so clearly in photos while you’re wearing them, so your photographer should shoot them solo so you’ll always remember what you wore.

engagement rings and wedding bands

Photo: Candice Adelle Photography

The Rings
Take some shots of your newest accessories – the engagement rings and wedding bands, too! Photographers often like to take creative and artistic shots of the rings for a fun twist.

wedding venue exterior

Photo: Matt Wood Photography

Your Venue
Whether you’re marrying indoors or out, at a house of worship, on the beach, in a ballroom, or any other venue type, you’ll want to remember exactly how it looked on your wedding day. Your photographer can take a few exterior shots of your venue so you can remember how amazing it is!

bouquet charm with photo

Photo: Mirelle Carmichael Photography

Heirloom Details
Make sure to let your photographer know if there are any small but special details that are extra-important—for example, if you’re carrying a handkerchief that belonged to your grandmother, or wearing a special piece of jewelry. These items deserve to be photographed, too.

chevron wedding invitation set

Photo: Bernadette Pollard

The Stationery – All of It
Be sure to bring a copy of your invitation, save-the-date, and other paper goods so that your photographer can take photos of them for posterity.

flower girl cheering

Photo: BHP Imaging

Kids Being Kids
Your littlest guests will likely provide comic relief during your wedding. Even if they aren’t on their best behavior, you’ll want to remember how cute they were on your big day!

outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo: Holly D Photography

Ceremony Décor
You may not be able to see all of your ceremony décor up close (you’ll be a little busy during the ceremony, we assume!), so your photographer can take some shots of all of the décor for you to view later on.

grandmother crying at ceremony

Photo: Femina Photo + Design

Your Family’s Reactions
There are a lot of things to focus on during your ceremony – the words of your officiant, your very-soon-to-be spouse, your vows, and more. You may not get a chance to see the emotion on your parents’ and other close friends’ and relatives’ faces up close. It’s your photographer’s job to capture them at this important moment.

bridesmaids at ceremony

Photo: Stanlo Photography

Your Wedding Party During the Ceremony
It’s an honor to have your nearest and dearest standing by your side. You’ll want to remember how they looked as they watch you wed.

pink wedding reception decor

Photo: Aster & Olive Photography

Reception Décor
You spent hours figuring out the color palette, choosing the centerpieces, picking out the linens, and thinking about the lighting – and your hard work has paid off! Your photographer should take both wide shots of the reception space and close-ups of the centerpieces and other important décor items. These photos should be taken before the guests arrive, when the flowers and décor is at its most pristine.

wedding entree

Photo: Viera Photographics

The Food and Drink
We fully recommend eating at your wedding – but there’s a chance you may skip the food to enjoy mixing and mingling with your guests. Your photographer can take photos of the food so that you can remember what it looked it – even if you didn’t actually taste it!

guests dancing wedding reception

Photo: Fia Forever Photography

Your Guests Rockin’ Out
From your besties to your Great Aunt Mimi, your guests will (hopefully) hit the dance floor all night long! You’ll love looking back and seeing their crazy dance moves years from now!

barn venue with guests courtney bowlden photography

Photo: Courtney Bowlden Photography

Everyone Enjoying the Party
During your reception, be sure to take a moment, look around, and remember seeing all of the people you love in one room together. Your photographer can also capture this moment in an image.

classic wedding cake

Photo: Mary Rose Photography

The Cake
A sweet treat that’s (almost) too pretty to eat! Of course, the cake cutting photos are a big photo op but make sure that photos are taken before the cake is cut.

father of the bride toast

Photo: Viera Photographics

The Toasts
Wedding toasts can be emotional or just plain silly – but they come from the heart. You’ll want some shots of whoever is giving the toasts during your reception.