From the very moment you announced your engagement to the world, you probably got soaked by a tidal wave of advice from your happily-married friends and family; your pencil getting blunted a hundred times over as you tried to remember each valuable nugget of hindsight. But when you finally read these notes back, you’ll find there’s one wedding-lesson everyone repeated: “your big day will be over way too quickly”.
It’s one of those cliches that people seem to say on autopilot, which is why you might laugh it off with a smile. But, trust us, everything you’ve heard is true.
Your wedding day will come and go so fast, quicker than anything else you’ve ever experienced. It’ll fly by in a flash. Like a awwww-inspiring firework filling the night sky, it only needs a moment to mesmerise. But that’s all it is: a moment. That’s why you need make your prepare how you’ll capture the special moments that make up your special day, and that means picking your perfect photographer and thinking about your shot list.
The good news is: your photographer will know exactly which snapshots they plan on capturing.
The even better news is: you can tell them what shots you want to add to this.
So, without further ado, here are the pretty pictures that make the most magical memories:
1. Invitation Ensemble
Everything you popped in the post should be captured on camera. The save the date you sent out months ago, that gorgeous invitation you spend ages decorating, the regal reception card, arty directions, weekend itinerary and, yes, even the belly band that kept your invitation suite looking picture-perfect. It all deserves documenting. All of it.
2. Remember The Ring Shot
Wrapped around the heels of your bridal shoes, made the focus of an arm-in-arm moment, a ring-centric pic of your first dance, tied to a lovely lace bundle, against the backdrop of your bouquet - there are a million ways to photograph your wedding rings. It’s just a matter of picking the one that you will cherish forever, and that means making a list of all the gorgeous ideas you fall in love with and going from there.
3. Getting Ready
Before anything else - before you arrive at the venue, walk the aisle and see your soulmate for the very first time on your very big day - there will be you and your squad getting ready for the magic to happen. Your bridesmaids will be pampering you, champagne will be shared, mum will be applying the finishing touches to your hair and those intimate moments behind-the-scenes will be had. You just have to make sure they are captured on camera and cherished. You’ll be so glad they did.
4. Your Beautiful Bouquet
It may play a teeny-tiny role in your big day - that little something that stops your hands shaking as you walk down the aisle - but every bride should have a beautiful shot of their bouquet to keep. It could be a standalone photograph of your delicate arrangement perched on a windowsill, or you might prefer a diptych of you holding onto and then throwing your bouquet over your head. All that matters is that you have a snapshot of your bouquet.
5. Dressed In Adoration
One of the cutest photographs in your wedding album will be the one of a flower girl admiring your dress; that moment when they are caught unawares as they stare up at your gown on its hanger, the sun bursting in through the window behind them. It will melt hearts every time, so make sure someone is ready to capture the incredible innocence of this adorable adoration.
6. Hair To Stay
Having sat down for an hour to have your hair done in the most angelic way imaginable (as you sip on champagne and share a hundred smiles with your bridal party), you’ll want to make sure you remember just how gorgeous it looked, which is why you need to add your hair moment to the photographer’s shot list. It might be you taking a deep breath in the mirror, that moment before you head through the church doors or you walking down the aisle splitting a sea of overjoyed guests; any coiffure shot from the back is a must-have.
7. Looking A Million Dollars
There is a few minutes of perfect silence between the moment you’re all made up and the moment you leave to start your happily ever after. It’s this perfect silence you want to capture. This moment where you’re looking a million shades of wow, looking out of the window of your dressing room, your dream moment waiting right around the corner. It’s the moment your love will be made to miss, and yet want to keep in his bedside drawer for eternity.
8. Bride & Her Maidens
It goes without saying: every bride needs to be photographed with her bridesmaids, caught in that moment of total love and absolute bliss, each girl looking more lovely than ever. It’s that last moment of love and friendship before they walk you down the aisle to smooch the love of your life at the altar, the raucous chorus of cheers and whoops and tear-eyed applause ringing out as you do. It may not sound like much, but it’s one of the most special memories you can hold on to.
9. Not Quite The First Peek
There is something breathtaking about that minuscule moment right before the couple catch a first glimpse of each other. It’s as if the world has stopped, both of you waiting on bated breath as you slowly tread toward the life you were destined to have since you first met. It’s the look on both your faces - that cocktail of anticipation, nerves, excitement and joy - that makes the most magical picture.
10. The First Look
It’s the moment of pure love. That moment when you first set eyes on each other knowing you’re only a few heartbeats and deep breaths away from tying the knot and entering your venue to a monsoon of pretty confetti. That’s a moment you’ll want on the wall of your home, not just the pages of your wedding album.
11. Catch Those Vows
Hand in hand, eye to eye, the promise of an eternity together escaping your lips as you fall in love with each other all over again, this time in front of your nearest and dearest, your hearts pounding against your rib cages as you rush toward that moment you both say “I do”. These are the final moments before you become husband and wife; moments worth keeping forever.
12. The Kiss
“You may kiss the bride.” They are the words that seem to hang in the air forever, your chance to lock lips for the first time as Mr and Mrs Happily Ever After. It’s that massive moment at the centre of your big day and yet it rushes by like an out of control Catherine Wheel. Trust us, you’ll want to stay in this moment forever and, with a photograph, you almost can.
13. Dancing Feet
Of all the dances you have ever shared and will ever share, your first dance is the one that will hang to your memory like vines on an old mansion. The moment you step onto the dance floor, the second your song starts to play, the sea of smiles and applause, and the moment all your friends rush to join you - these are all milliseconds worth capturing on camera. All of them.
14. Sparkler Exit
There will come a point at the end of the night when you and the love of your life leave the party to start your adventure together, stepping into a ribbon-wearing motor as you wave to you nearest and dearest from the back seats, the sound of tins bouncing along behind you. But before this moment happens, there is one last photo to request - the sparkler exit. Of all the photos on the list, this is the one we love the most; that photo of bride and groom leaving the party against a backdrop of fizzling sparklers and effervescent cheers. That’s the moment. That’s the second in time most couples would love to stop time on.