Top photos to have on your wedding day!

The must have photos on your wedding day


All couples who are engaged know that wedding photos are one of the most important parts of the wedding day, so finding a Sunshine Coast wedding photographer who you know will have the eye to look out for the key shots to remember your day is important! These are the memories you’ll cherish forever and even look back on the very next day (“It goes by in a flash,” they all say). That’s why you want to make sure your photographer nails every photo-op, starting with the getting ready photos all the way through to your dance floor is rocking.

Whilst many “wedding magazine exports” claim it is best to have a photo list, I always deter my clients from doing so. Simply because I know the shots that need be taken and know my couples trust me in capturing the day in an authentic way which isn’t staged simple for a “list” some Pinterest photo gave you. This is going by the mantra that you make your wedding day personal and let it flow naturally – no lists or traditions just because someone told you it MUST happen.

So for me, here are some of the most fun and memorable moments I love to capture for my couples (in no particular order!).

1) Getting ready photos

For the prep time before the wedding, most couples think this is simply about getting beauty shots of makeup going on or some posed dress shots. For me, I look for moments where you are connecting with the most important people around you that are supporting you in that moment. Whether it be your family or friends, this time can be extremely intimate and special filled with love and happiness.

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Out of the images I take, I feel the pride the parents emote whilst watching their son or daughter get ready. I see the excitement and love that the bridal party or friends around you express. I see your dreams of committing yourself to your soul mate start to come true and the delicacy of that moment is irreplaceable.
So whilst the staged beauty shots certainly show the details of the day – it is all about the incredible moment of love from your side of the wedding coming together before it is included and fused together with your partner’s family and friends. What a special time!

For this, I recommend spending at least 45min-1hour with the groom as he preps and at least 1.5 hours with the bride before I leave for the ceremony.

2) Confetti Photos!

Confetti photos after you marry your loved one are FUN! The soft flutter of confetti pouring over you both can really set the mood and get the party started for the celebrations after such a serious part of the day with the ceremony.

Always let your photographer know prior to the wedding that you are planning a ceremony confetti recessional. That way your wedding photographer can be in the right place at the right time! My top tips for wedding confetti are:

Use real petals! Not only is it more eco friendly, but looks so much prettier in the shots. Some other types of confetti I’ve seen that worked really well are also Bioconfetti (which dissapears with water). Bio confetti is great for use in paddocks with animals around, or in a public space to keep the council happy. In many of my European destination weddings, traditionally potpourri is also used. Whilst it appears smaller in the photos, it can smell beautiful and be fairly cheap if you pick it up from a dollar store.
Delegate someone to give out the confetti whilst you are signing your wedding certificates. This makes sure it keeps the petals fresh and neat. You could also make petal cones and leave them on the chairs for seated guests.

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Allow the photographer or the celebrant to give some instruction on how to throw and went to throw. I always go by the mantra “up or at” for the guests so you as the bride or groom don’t have petals being thrown directly at your face.
For you both, as you walk down the aisle, I recommend making sure you keep your head up and look at each other and your guests too! Many people (when having things thrown at them) tend to duck and shy away which means the photographer does not capture your face during this fun moment. So instead of smiles and laughs we can capture a terrified face – not great!

3) First kiss photos

First kiss photos are the ultimate shot that all couples want. So here are some tips to making sure it turns out to be a beautiful well captured photo!

-Make sure your hair is out of your face – nothing ruins a 1st kiss photo like not being able to actually see the kiss!  The bride traditionally stands on the left side which means the right side of your face will be to the camera.  Be sure to ask your hair stylist to keep any hair that will be down to the left side.  If you will be having an outdoor ceremony don’t forget the possibility of WIND. I highly encourage my outdoor brides to have their hair styled up or half up.
Take it SLOW – take a moment before going in for the kiss… take a breath, move in slowly, and kiss longer than 3 seconds. Not only will this help your photographer get to take a couple more shots but your guests will be taking pictures as well and cell phone camera shutter speeds are much slower. You will get clearer sharper photos if you limit moving in and out quickly!  If you aren’t comfortable with a long slow kiss with such a large audience, opt for a 2nd kiss or a 3rd. It is your wedding after all!

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* Just the 2 of You – Before the ceremony ask your officiant to move to the side before the kiss. Having them in the photo doesn’t always ruin it but many times if they stay behind we end up with unidentified limbs coming out from behind the kissing couple.
*Mind your hands – the most successful 1st kiss photos have the couple with their hands purposefully placed. Hands grabbing the face always looks romantic in the movies but in the real world and for photo purposes they look much better when gently placed on the hips, upper arm, or chest of your significant other. Keeping them away from the face ensures we get a clear shot of that marriage sealing kiss.
I hope this leaves you feeling confident and ready for YOUR 1st kiss. Don’t be scared to practice. I’m sure your fiancé wont mind.

4) Bridal Party Photos

Bridal Party Photos are always a fun way to celebrate your freshly married life! Nothing compares to having your best buddies with you in these photos to make you smile and laugh and also “warm” into having your photos taken. I always like to start with some casual walking shots of the group, which loosens everyone up out of thinking they need to be strict “posed” shots. From here, moving into some fun group shots followed by some more traditional smile photos!

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With the portrait session, I recommend having at least 1.5hours set aside for this time (if you are not travelling anywhere). From this, I break it up to having 1/3 of the time with the bridal party, then 2/3 of the time with just you and your spouse. This way you get to celebrate with your friends but also spend some much needed alone time with your new husband or wife. This time is extremely rare and special on the day because as soon as you return to there reception, it is all a party and you will be talking to so many people.

5) Epic Landscape photo

In some locations where my couples get married, it provides the perfect opportunity to go for a beautiful big landscape photos. There is something about metaphorically stripping away the decorative parts of a wedding day, the guests, the formalities and going for a wander with your new husband and wife in some beautiful scenery. Just you two and a sunset.

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If you are planning a destination wedding or a wedding somewhere with some epic views, make sure you add time into your portrait session to go and capture this. Don’t forget to factor in travel time!
Also, be realistic with the weather on the day too. For example, One Tree in Maleny is an epic spot for Sunshine Coast Wedding Photos however it often can get super windy up there. Ask yourself, what do you want, an epic photo of the view and a windswept hectic picture of you two? Or do you want beautiful shots of you both in a more sheltered yet beautiful location. Take into consideration for the bride, your hairstyle, dress design and also the bridesmaid’s dresses (wrap arena dresses in the wind can be troublesome!). If you are not sure, simply ask your photographer and I’m sure they can suggest another spot that is more sheltered from the wind but with the same beautiful view!

So there are the first 5 important photo ops I love to take at a wedding. I have a list as long as my arm for great shots so I’m sure there will be a part two shortly! I hope this helps in shining about what is important for you for your Sunshine Coast wedding photography and I can’t wait to capture your big day!