Wedding Photography 101: Capturing Memorable Moments of Your Big Day

May 23, 2023
10 min

Wedding photography is an essential aspect of your big day as it captures the moments that you will cherish for a lifetime. The wedding day is one of the most significant events in your life, and capturing its essence through photographs is an excellent way of preserving memories.

The role of wedding photography has evolved over the years, from traditional posed portraits to more contemporary and candid shots. Today, wedding photography is more about capturing the emotions and feelings of the couple and their guests. The focus is on capturing the genuine moments that tell the story of the day rather than staged or posed shots. Wedding photography has become an art form that requires creativity, skill, and technical expertise to produce stunning images that truly capture the essence of the day.

Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

Finding the right wedding photographer is crucial as they will be responsible for capturing the memories of your big day. These photos will serve as a visual reminder of the day and will be cherished for years to come. Therefore, it's essential to find a photographer who can meet your needs, style, and expectations. 

Here are some tips on how to research and select a photographer for your wedding day:

  1. Research: Start by researching wedding photographers in your area. Look at their portfolios and reviews from previous clients. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations.
  2. Style: Consider the style of photography you prefer. Do you want traditional posed portraits, or do you prefer candid shots? Look for a photographer whose style matches your vision for your wedding photos.
  3. Budget: Determine your budget for photography and look for photographers who fit within that range. Keep in mind that photography is an investment and should be a priority in your wedding budget.
  4. Availability: Check the availability of the photographers you are interested in and make sure they are available on your wedding date.
  5. Meet in person: Once you have narrowed down your list of potential photographers, set up meetings to discuss your vision for your wedding photos. This is also a great opportunity to see if you feel comfortable working with them.
  6. Contract: Once you have selected a photographer, make sure to review and sign a contract that outlines all the details of your agreement, including payment, services, and expectations.

By following these steps, you can find a photographer who can capture the essence of your big day and create beautiful images that you will treasure for years to come.

Preparing for Your Wedding Photos

Preparing for your wedding photos is essential to ensure that your photographer can capture all the moments that matter most to you. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your wedding photos:

  1. Create a shot list: Work with your photographer to create a shot list of all the important moments you want to be captured on your wedding day. This may include getting-ready shots, first-look photos, group portraits, and candid moments throughout the day.
  2. Discuss any special requests: If you have any special requests or unique ideas for your wedding photos, discuss them with your photographer ahead of time. This may include incorporating specific props or locations into your photos.
  3. Choose your outfits wisely: Make sure that you choose your outfits for the day with your photos in mind. Avoid anything too busy or distracting and make sure that your outfits complement each other.
  4. Prepare your getting ready space: If you want to capture getting ready photos, make sure that your getting ready space is tidy and free of clutter. Consider adding some personal touches to the space to make the photos more meaningful.
  5. Lighting plan: Lighting is critical for creating beautiful photos. Talk to your photographer about the lighting conditions at your venue and plan accordingly.
  6. Relax and have fun: Finally, remember to relax and have fun on your wedding day. Your photographer will capture all the important moments, so try to enjoy yourself and be present at the moment.

By following these tips, you can prepare for your wedding photos and ensure that your photographer can capture all the moments that matter most to you.

Capturing the Wedding Ceremony and Reception

Capturing the wedding ceremony and reception is an important part of wedding photography. Here are some key moments to capture during the ceremony and reception, as well as tips on how to capture candid and staged shots:


  1. The bride and groom's entrance
  2. The exchange of vows and rings
  3. The first kiss
  4. The recessional


  1. The grand entrance of the bride and groom
  2. Speeches and toasts
  3. Cutting the cake
  4. The first dance
  5. Bouquet and garter toss
  6. Dancing and celebrating with friends and family

To capture candid and spontaneous moments, it's essential to be observant and ready to capture the moment when it happens. Stay alert for emotional reactions, spontaneous dances, or candid moments between friends and family. Take a lot of photos and shoot in burst mode to capture as many moments as possible.

For staged group shots, make sure to plan with the bride and groom and schedule a specific time and location for these shots. Take control of the situation by directing the subjects and creating an organized, efficient process for capturing these shots.

To get the best shots during the ceremony and reception, it's essential to work with the lighting conditions and find the best angles for capturing each moment. Consider using a mix of wide-angle and telephoto lenses to capture the details and emotions of the day.

By following these tips, you can capture all the key moments of your wedding day, from the ceremony to the reception.

Wedding Video Editing and Delivery

Wedding video editing and delivery are important aspects of the wedding photography process. Here are some tips on how to ensure you get the best possible results:

  1. Importance of editing and delivery: Timely delivery of your wedding photos is crucial to ensure that you can relive and share your special day with family and friends. Editing is an important process as it allows your photographer to choose the best photos that capture the essence of your wedding day.
  2. Selecting the best photos: When selecting the best photos for editing, consider the ones that capture the important moments and emotions of your wedding day. Take time to review the photos with your photographer and communicate your preferences for editing style, color correction, and retouching. Make sure that you are on the same page when it comes to your expectations for the final product.
  3. Communicate your preferences: Be sure to communicate your preferences clearly with your photographer. If you have a specific style or mood in mind, share this with your photographer and provide examples of photos that you like. This will help your photographer understand your vision and create a final product that meets your expectations.
  4. Timelines for editing and delivery: Ask your photographer for their estimated timeline for editing and delivery. This will help you plan when you can expect to receive your wedding photos and video. Keep in mind that editing and delivery times can vary depending on the photographer's workload, the complexity of the editing process, and other factors.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you receive high-quality wedding photos and videos that capture the essence of your special day.

Trends in Wedding Photography

Wedding photography trends are constantly evolving, with new techniques and styles emerging every year. Here are some of the latest trends in wedding photography:

  1. Incorporating drones: Drone photography and videography are becoming increasingly popular for capturing stunning aerial shots of the wedding venue and surrounding landscapes. Drones can provide a unique perspective that traditional photography cannot, and can add an extra dimension to the overall wedding photo and video collection.
  2. Film photography: The use of film cameras is making a comeback in wedding photography. Film photography has a unique aesthetic that cannot be replicated by digital cameras, and many couples are choosing to incorporate film shots into their wedding photo albums. Film photography can provide a timeless, classic feel to wedding photos that is not easily achievable with digital photography.
  3. Moody, dark, and dramatic shots: Dark and moody wedding photography is gaining popularity, with many photographers using shadows and contrasts to create dramatic and evocative images. This style is often characterized by deep blacks, muted colors, and rich, moody tones. It can add a sense of depth and emotion to wedding photos and can create a unique and striking visual impact.
  4. Unposed, candid shots: Couples are increasingly opting for unposed, candid shots that capture real, spontaneous moments throughout the wedding day. These shots can provide a more authentic and personal feel to the wedding album and can capture the genuine emotions and interactions between the couple and their guests.

By incorporating these trends into your wedding photography, you can create a unique and memorable collection of photos that reflect your style and preferences.


Wedding photography plays a vital role in capturing the memories of your big day. From the early stages of finding the right photographer and preparing your photos to capture the key moments during the ceremony and reception, and finally editing and delivering the photos, every step is important in creating a timeless record of your special day. The latest trends in wedding photography, such as incorporating drones and film photography, provide even more options for creating a unique and memorable collection of photos. 

So, whether you choose to go with traditional or modern approaches, the importance of wedding photography cannot be overstated. It is a way to relive the special moments of your wedding day for years to come and to share them with your loved ones.


What is the difference between film and digital photography?

The main difference between film and digital photography is the way they capture and process images. Film photography uses a physical film to capture the image, which is then developed in a dark room, while digital photography captures images with a digital sensor and stores them as electronic files.

Can I request specific edits to my wedding photos?

Yes, you can request specific edits to your wedding photos. It's important to communicate your preferences with your photographer so they can work with you to achieve the desired result.

How long does it take to receive my edited wedding photos?

The time it takes to receive your edited wedding photos will depend on your photographer's workload and editing process. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to receive your photos.

How much should I budget for a wedding photographer?

The cost of a wedding photographer can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and services offered. It's important to research and compare different photographers to find one that fits within your budget.

How many photos should I expect to receive from my wedding photographer?

The number of photos you should expect to receive from your wedding photographer will depend on various factors, including the length of time they are hired for, the number of events they are expected to cover, and their style of photography.

What's the best time of day for outdoor wedding photos?

The best time of day for outdoor wedding photos is often early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sunlight is softer and more flattering.

How long does it take to receive my wedding photos?

The time it takes to receive your wedding photos will depend on your photographer's editing process and workload. It's important to discuss the timeline with your photographer beforehand to manage your expectations.

Try Online Marriage with Courtly

Online marriage has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in light of the current pandemic situation that has made in-person weddings difficult or impossible. This method of getting married offers several benefits, including convenience and accessibility, particularly for couples who live in different locations or have busy schedules.

If you do decide to pursue an online marriage, working with a service provider like Courtly can help to ensure a stress-free experience. Courtly offers a range of services to help you navigate the legal and practical aspects of getting married online, so you can focus on enjoying your special day.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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