Eleven moments that you'll want to capture on your wedding day

November 2021

Your wedding day can be one the most memorable days of your life, but it’s also easy for it to be a blur of emotion. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you capture each special moment of the day, so that when you look back, you can appreciate with fresh eyes just how joyful it was. But with often just one photographer working at a wedding, they can’t be everywhere at once, and so sometimes you need to decide if there are any key shots that you'd like to capture before the big day.

Here, we take a look at four moments that you won’t want to miss.

The wedding morning - getting ready

Traditionally, the bride and groom will get ready separately, with their respective bridesmaids and groomsmen (if they’re having them). This can lead to some really touching moments between friends and family, but if this is what you’re planning, you won’t get to see what the experience was like for your fiancée.

Getting photographs of the lead up to the ceremony can be a really nice way to share this moment with each other. Especially for the bride, there is often a big moment where she puts on her wedding dress for the first time, as well as her father or other significant person seeing her just before they walk down the aisle. Capturing these emotional moments can be really special.

When you plan on having a wedding album, it's great to have photos of the both of you before the wedding ceremony to tell the full story.

Photos of the bridal preparations
The bride getting ready before the wedding with her bridesmaids
The guys getting ready before the wedding
The guys getting ready before the wedding

The first look

This is a tradition that I see more and more at weddings in Scotland. Some couples prefer the big reveal when they walk down the aisle, but others want to keep this moment to themselves. The first look is something you should talk to your photographer about as you should plan this. The moment that one person enters the venue and their partner looks at them in their wedding outfit for the first time from the end of the aisle can be the perfect time to capture the raw love and devotion in their eyes.  

Follow this up with shots of the congregation as they walk down the aisle – for some weddings, you can almost guarantee that there will be happy tears.

First Look wedding photos

The groom's reaction when you walk down the aisle

If you have a traditional wedding where one of the partners is walking down the aisle - and especially if you have two photographers - it's great to capture the reaction of person at the front when they see you for the first time. Some grooms don't turn round and only look at their bride when she arrives at the front, while others face her and enjoy the view of her walking down the aisle. It's completely up to your own personal preference, but if you have a second photographer, one can make sure to take photos of the person's reaction at the front of the aisle.

The groom's reaction walking down the aisle
The groom's reaction to his bride walking down the aisle

Walking out of the ceremony together

After the ceremony, the couple usually walk out together which  is a great photo opportunity. You will see your friends and family clapping, smiling and the two of you will be full of love and smiles.

After the ceremony walking back the aisle together

Confetti / bubbles

First of all, check with your venue if you can throw confetti and what type of confetti is allowed. Some venues don't allow confetti at all, while others allow you to use bio-degradable confetti such as rice or dried flower petals.

If you want a great confetti photo, discuss this with your photographer before your wedding. Confetti photos don't happen naturally - usually the photographer arranges the guests in a line and then gives you a sign when you can walk through the aisle of guests while they throw confetti. The photo looks best if you don't look at the photographer but enjoy the moment and interact with each other and your guests.

A great alternative to confetti - if it's not allowed at your venue - are bubbles.

wedding confetti photo or bubbles
Wedding confetti or bubbles

The family photos

While standing in line for family photos might sound boring, these are some of the photos your closest relatives would love to display in their home. Usually the couple's parents would want a photo with them and the couple in it. They also make great presents after the wedding. Check out my blog article about the standard wedding family group photos.

Wedding family photos are so important
Wedding family photos are so important

The wedding decorations

If you have put a lot of thought into your wedding decorations, it's only natural that you want to have photos of your venue and the details. Ask your photographer to take some photos of table decorations, the flowers, the cake etc. You won't have much time to notice the details on your wedding day and it will all go so fast. Having lovely photos of the things that you spent so much time on will be a lovely keepsake for you.

photos of wedding decorations
Memories of every details from your wedding day

The first dances

The tradition of the first dance as a married couple can be a really proud moment, and is often the time that reality sets in and they realise that they’re actually married. When you pair this with a sentimental song for a slow dance, or perhaps even a choreographed routine for really prepared couples, it’s photography gold. Double photo points if there is a bride and father dance as well.

Additionally, the dance floor can be a great place to capture photos of the bride and groom dancing with their respective friends and family, and receiving congratulations from their guests.

First Dance photos at wedding
First Dance photos at wedding
First Dance photos at wedding
The first dance - romantic wedding photos

Showing off the rings

A wedding ring is a very visual demonstration that the couple are now married, so make sure to get a photo of them showing off their rings! Often, it’s the engagement ring that has the sparkly rock, so make sure that this is clean and ready for these close-up shots on the big day.

As well as close-ups of the rings, make sure to include intimate shots of the couples with their arms around each other, or with one person with their hand resting on the others’ shoulder, so that you can see the rings as part of a bigger picture.

Wedding Ring photo ideas
Wedding Ring photo ideas

Throwing the bouquet

While this is quite an old tradition, it can make for fun photos on your wedding day. Some brides have a second bouquet for this occasion, while others actually use their bridal bouquet. Discuss the best time with your photographer and let them know to get the reactions of the girls - in particular the one catching the bouquet.

throwing the wedding bouquet photo ideas
throwing the wedding bouquet

Sparklers in the evening

Sparklers make for some magic photos in the evening! Check with your venue if it's OK to use them (outdoors!!) and speak with your photographer to arrange the photograph. Similar to the confetti photo, the photographer would arrange the people and then gives the couple a sign to walk through the sparklers. It's so worth it!!

wedding sparkler photo ideas
wedding sparkler photo ideas

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer