The Most Important Photos to Capture on Your Big Day

By Jeff Frandsen

There are many photos to take on your wedding day. In this age of digital cameras, your wedding photographer will likely snap thousands of details and moments. We all know that photos of the first kiss, dancing with the parents, and portraits are important. But there are a few special captures that will stand out from the rest.

Your “Something Borrowed”

Honoring the legacy of our ancestors can be a special moment. While this isn’t necessary, if you decide to borrow a trinket (like jewelry), the tradition says happiness will transfer from that family member or friend to you. Sometimes these pieces are in memory of someone who has passed. Images of your “something borrowed,” no matter how understated, are especially important to have captured on your big day.

The “First Look”

Whether you decide to do a first look before the ceremony or save those special glances for the aisle—it’s important that your photographer captures the exact moment you see each other for the first time. Regardless of the number of tears shed, you can’t deny that the truest emotion is shown in these memorable minutes between a couple—bonus points for photographs of any parents present. Just remember to pack the tissues.

Parents and Grandparents

Yes, our wedding days are about us. But we cannot forget the people who helped raise us. If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents and parents present at the wedding, photos of them are especially significant. Have your photographer capture candid shots of them, along with formal family portraits, and you’ll be left with images you can cherish for years to come. As we get older, the opportunities to take photos with (and of) our elders will lessen. As sad as it sounds, these photographs may be some of our last big memories with them; this is why they’re so critical.

Candid Moments

Wedding photography is too often staged these days. The portraits and family formals may seem somewhat stiff at times. A good photographer, however, will bring out the best of both personalities. But it’s those in-between moments, those candid captures that truly stand out. These instances can happen throughout your wedding day, so it’s good to always have a photographer around. From family yakking it up during cocktail hour to stealing kisses before being announced at your reception, these snapshots will be the most authentic photos from the day. Because we can’t be everywhere or with everyone at all times, these captures become the eyes we didn’t have. These images showcase the best smiles, the intense joy, and the real emotion. A great photographer will anticipate those significant times. 

The Details

Your wedding is all about the details. Okay, not really. But let’s be honest, you’ve spent so much time thinking about every little aspect of the day. The invites, the venue, the florals, the signs, the napkins, the outfits—you get the idea. These little (and big) details are important to you, so they should be captured. Just because they might not be “wedding album worthy” doesn’t mean having a photo of them isn’t important. Some of those details may hold meaning, which might not be obvious to your guests. Examples include hand-painted signs by a best friend or maybe champagne flutes that were a gift from your parents. Around every corner of your venue is a memory of time and beauty worth capturing.

Every Photograph Is Important

The reality is every wedding photo is important. And we all value specific aspects differently. Your list may look different from mine, and that’s totally fine. What’s important is that you vocalize your desires with your wedding photographer, so they know what photographs are must-captures. That way, when you receive your hundreds upon hundreds of captures after the big day, you’ll find your cherished moments inside that gallery. Hopefully, you’ll find a ton of hidden treasures as well.

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