40 Pics Every Couple Must Take On Their Big Day

by Natalia Lusinski

The big day. As you know, a ton goes into planning a wedding—from the food to the flowers, from who will be bridesmaids and groomsmen to the guest list and if kids will be allowed. And, of course, THE PHOTOS. What special day would be complete without those must-have wedding photos? The average cost of a wedding photographer is $2391, as of 2015 findings, and account for 8-10 percent of one’s total wedding budget.

According to The Knot’s 2014 analysis, the average American wedding costs $31,213. Of course, this can also vary depending on where you live. (The typical wedding spikes up to approximately $76,328 if you’re in Manhattan!) To really save some money, you can have a virtual wedding via IKEA (yes, IKEA!). (IKEA has everything else, so this shouldn’t surprise any of us!) Then, photography costs will be even more economical. If money is not a concern, however, you can opt for all kinds of photographs now, from wedding pictures taken underwater to more inland ones, at vineyards and in the snow. This couple even moved to Hawaii to make their photography dreams come true and take pictures of engaged and married couples under the sea, so to speak. Others stay on land and have mermaid wedding themes, making for unique photos. Then, there’s always photo booths and friends’ smartphone pictures (thanks to tons of apps out there), which couples sometimes opt for versus hiring a professional photographer.

Wedding photo locations and settings mean a lot, too, like getting caught in the rain or when this wildfire that photobombed a couple’s wedding. There are plenty of photos you MUST take at your wedding, like these ever-so-sensual ones, yet also many where you see them at others’ weddings and go "WTF?!" For instance, you should avoid certain stereotypical-ones-which-were-once-clever-and-no-longer-are pictures, like the bride and bridesmaids recreating the infamous shot from Bridesmaids , or the groomsmen pretending to be a boy band and trying to hard to pose like one. There are lots of articles (and pictures as proof!) of what NOT to do—from no guns to no iguanas.

But, all in all, there are many ways to find the perfect wedding photographer and, on sites like WeddingWire, you can even see others’ recommendations.

Here’s a list of must-have photos not to miss taking.

1. The Dress

JP Yim/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

2. The Prep

3. The Rings

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

4. Solo Shots (of the bride and/or groom)

5. The Ceremony


6. The Impromptu Close-Up

7. Impromptu Non-Close-Up

8. The Kiss


9. The Real Kiss


10. Coming Down the Aisle

11. The "Just Married!" Look


12. Bubbles, Rice, Confetti (or Whatever Else Your Family & Friends Toss at the Just-Married Couple!)

ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

13. Candid Shot Amidst Family

The Setting

14. The Great Outdoors

15. Rain...

16. Or shine...

17. Or snow...

WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

18. Unposed (Cuddly) Shots

19. The Parents Pic

20. The Grandparents Pic

21. The Immediate Family


22. And the Group Shot

23. And Random Fun With Friends

24. Father-daughter

25. Mother-son

26. The Bridal Party

27. Less Formal Shot of the Bridal Party

28. The Flower Girl & Ring Bearer

29. Other Close "Family"/Ring Bearers

30. The Speeches

31. The Toast

32. First Dance

33. The Cake

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34. The Frosting (& More)

35. Black & White


36. Photo Booth (The Couple)

37. Photo Booth (Guests)

38. Outside the Box (or Circle)

39. The Surprise Twists

40. The Parting Shot (sunset optional)

ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

And, some things, you don't need pictures of.

Or this.