Picture perfect! 86 wedding photos you can't forget to capture

What's the secret to fabulous wedding photos? Capturing just the right moments.

Taking photos and adding a collection of memories will be vary for each wedding, but feel free to use this list of ideas as a starting point. From formal portraits to party-time candids, from classic black-and-white portraits to vibrantly colorful snaps, the options are endless — so take advantage!

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Martha Stewart: How wedding style has changed for the better

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Skim through the wedding photo ideas below, then bring this guide with you to a meeting with your photographer. As with all wedding vendors, the results will be much better if you discuss your expectations ahead of time.

Getting ready

1. Bride's dress on the hanger or over a chair

First Class Photos PTY LTD / Shutterstock / First Class Photo
Photo of a wedding dress hanging on a wardrob door.; Shutterstock ID 210454; PO:

2. Close-up of bride's shoes

Jen & Travis Stitt

3. Close-up of bride's bouquet

Andrei Zveaghintev / Shutterstock / Andrei Zveaghinte
nice wedding bouquet in bride's hand; Shutterstock ID 350965157; PO:

4. Bride in curlers or having makeup applied

Nina Buday / Shutterstock / Nina Buday
Stylist makes makeup bride on the wedding day; Shutterstock ID 165528203; PO:

5. Bridesmaids applying their makeup

6. Bride putting on garter

Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock / Kaspars Grinvalds
Bride wearing wedding garter; Shutterstock ID 332019032; PO:

7. Mom and/or bridesmaids helping the bride arrange her dress, bustle the train, etc.

Odrida / Shutterstock / Odrida
Beautiful, stunning bride, getting dressed in her wedding day by her mother; Shutterstock ID 264800723; PO:

8. Close-up of dress details

Jen & Travis Stitt

9. Bride together with bridesmaids

10. Bride hugging mom

Courtesy of Sherry Blackledge and Brooke Zugg / Charlotte Stringer Photography
Brooke Zugg embraces her adoptive mom, Sherry Blackledge, on her wedding day.

11. Flower girl(s) ready to go

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

12. Mom or bridesmaids putting finishing touches on bride, adding the veil, etc.

Iryna Prokofieva / Shutterstock / Iryna Prokofieva
Bridesmaid is helping the bride to dress. The bride's dress.; Shutterstock ID 292188416; PO:

13. Bride spending moment alone, thinking quietly, praying or looking out the window

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

14. Full-length shot of bride all dressed and ready to go

15. Groom putting on tie

16. Groom with groomsmen

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

17. Ring bearer ready to go

lozas / Shutterstock / lozas
Wedding rings on the pillow; Shutterstock ID 112814653; PO:

18. Groom with dad, hugging or whispering advice

19. Bride and groom separately getting in the car, limo or cab

RELATED: Martha Stewart's wedding trends: Mermaid gowns, mismatched bridesmaids


20. Groom looking out the window, waiting for the bride to arrive

21. Car arriving with bride

22. Bride stepping out of the car

saraev / Shutterstock / saraev
bride's hand and the hand of the groom while getting out of the car; Shutterstock ID 377231317; PO:

23. Wide shot of ceremony space from the back

24. Guests arriving (especially if they're using special transportation like a shuttle bus, boat or even escalator)

25. Ushers helping grandparents and special guests to their seats

26. Front and back shots of flower girl/ring bearer walking down the aisle

27. Close up of details (guest book, pew decorations, etc.)

soft focus of beautiful flower decoration in the beach wedding ceremony; Shutterstock ID 298326995; PO:

28. Groom and groomsmen waiting nervously for bride to walk down aisle

29. Guests sitting down, waiting for ceremony to start

30. Bridesmaids walking down the aisle

31. Wedding party standing at the altar

32. Bride just before walking down the aisle

33. Back shot of bride (and escort) beginning to walk down the aisle

34. Full-frontal shot of bride (and escort) walking down the aisle

35. Close-up of groom's face when he sees bride for the first time (this can be done earlier, if photos are done before the ceremony)

36. Back shot of bride and groom together at the altar with officiant between them

37. Shot focusing on bridesmaids' bouquets, lined up as they hold them at the altar

Frank Rosenstein / Getty Images stock
bridesmaids with flowers, red dresses Getty images stock wedding,

38. Close-up of each hand as the rings are exchanged

39. Close-up of bride's face, as seen over the groom's shoulder

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

40. Close-up of groom's face, as seen over the bride's shoulder

41. Shot of both sets of parents' faces as they witness ceremony

42. The kiss

43. Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple

Adagion Studio
Vivian Fel-Solomon's wedding.

44. Guests getting ready to shower the couple with well wishes (and bubbles, birdseed, etc.) as they leave

Guests Throwing Confetti Over Bride And Groom.

45. Bride and groom walking out of ceremony space, hand-in-hand

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

RELATED: Social media for weddings: Maid of Social will live-tweet and Instagram your big day

Before the reception

Cocktail hour (These can be taken before the ceremony)

46. Full shot of bride and groom together, smiling

Trent Bailey

47. Full shot of bride and groom hugging

Jen & Travis Stitt

48. Full shot of bride and groom kissing

Wedding; Shutterstock ID 141871711; PO:

49. Bride being lifted or carried by groom or sitting on groom's lap

50. Close-up of couples' faces as bride is lifted, carried or sitting on groom's lap

51. Bride with her parents

Courtney Lindberg Photography

52. Groom with his parents

53. Bride with groom's parents

54. Groom with bride's parents

55. Bride with bridesmaids

Tanyagonchar / Shutterstock / Tanyagonchar
Hispanic bride and bridesmaids in row; Shutterstock ID 278157353; PO:

56. Groom with groomsmen

57. Bride with groomsmen

58. Group shot of bride, groom, family and wedding party

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

59. Groom leaning up against a wall with bride in front of him, kissing

60. Bride and groom walking toward the camera, holding hands

Courtney Lindberg Photography
Jason and Gennifer Schacter on their wedding day at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, CA.

61. Bride and groom walking away from camera, holding hands

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

62. Bride and groom looking off in the same direction together

Young newlyweds enjoying romantic moment together at wedding reception outside, wedding guests in background blowing bubbles; Shutterstock ID 223468474; PO:

RELATED: Not your parents' wedding: The new do's and don'ts for modern wedding guests


63. Close-up of details (place settings, name cards, etc.)Close-up of centerpieces

wedding set up; Shutterstock ID 149847542; PO:

64. Wide shot of entire room before everyone arrives, even better if taken from above

Courtney Lindberg Photography

65. Any special moments during the receiving line process

66. Bride and groom's first dance

67. Groom dipping bride

68. Bride dancing with her dad -- close-up of her face as seen over his shoulder

69. Groom dancing with his mom

70. Close-up of cake

Swanky Fine Art Weddings

71. Bride showing her new ring to the guests

A new study finds that tying the knot between your mid to late 20s and age 32 is ideal. The risks of divorce apparently increase for those who wait beyond their early 30s.

72. Bride and groom hugging guests, close-ups of faces

73. Best man (or other guests) making a toast to the couple

74. Bride and groom's faces as they listen to the toast(s)Guests smiling and clapping

75. Guests dancing and cutting loose on the dance floor. (Tip: Ask for a slow shutter speed to get a blurry/focused effect)

76. Wide shot of entire room after guests arrive, even better if taken from above

Courtney Lindberg Photography / Courtney Lindberg Photography

77. Close-ups of guests' faces, laughing and having a great time -- lots of these

78. Groups of friends sitting together at their table or dancing

79. Bride and groom whispering to each other

80. Parents (or even better, grandparents) dancing

81. Kids dancing or playing around

82. Close-up of band or DJ

83. Bride and groom cutting the cake

84. Bride and groom feeding each other

85. Bride and groom in back seat of getaway car

Ira Lippke Studios

86. Back of car as it drives away

Vintage wedding car with just married sign and cans attached; Shutterstock ID 130862363; PO: marriage-week-today-stock-tease-150821; Client: TODAY Digital

RELATED: Trendy wedding style: 18 things former brides wish they knew

This story was originally published on January 1, 2013 on