You spend months planning your wedding, and then just like that, it’s passed you by in a flash. Thankfully, great photos can capture every aspect of the big day — even the tiny details you may have forgotten to notice. Without a doubt, there are certain shots no wedding should go without. Here, I’ve broken down those must-snap moments so that even years from now, you can take a look at the pictures and feel like it happened just yesterday.

The Dress

jake-andersonWhether it’s hanging in front of a window or from a bedpost, your dress deserves to be captured down to the smallest detail.

Bridesmaids Getting Ready

Bride with BridesmaidsEveryone knows that plenty of special moments arise when bridesmaids get ready together.

Mother or Maid of Honor Zipping Up the Bride’s Dress

aIMG_9017 It’s one of the last finishing touches before the bride says “I do” and a special moment to be shared and captured.

Groomsmen Hanging Out

Groom hanging out with groomsmenThey may not take as long to get ready as the ladies, so some of the best guy shots can come when they’re just hanging out together.

The Portrait

I_0336 Hair done? Check. Makeup done? Check. That means it’s time for your close up…beautiful!

The First Look

Bride and Groom First LookFirst there’s the anxiety and excitement, then all the joy pours out like no one is watching — capturing the first look is one of the best moments of the day!

The Ceremony Backdrop

Wedding CeremonyThere’s something wonderful about snapping the setting before it fills up with guests.

The Little Ones

Wedding kidsWho can resist taking photos of the oh-so-cute flower girls and ring bearers?

Walk Down the Aisle

Bride walking down the aisleIt’s the moment that kicks it all off and one that you’ll want to revisit over and over again.

Groom Watching the Bride Walk Down the Aisle

Groom's first lookSome of the most heartwarming photos from a wedding often come from a smiling, sometimes teary-eyed groom as he watches the bride walk toward him.

The Vows

Bride and Groom Wedding VowsOf course you wish you could freeze your vow exchange forever in time. But the next best thing? A lovely photo to remember it by.

Wedding Rings

110What wedding photos would be complete without a picture of the marriage symbol?

Bride’s Bouquet

flowers You can’t save a beautiful bouquet forever, which is where great photos come in.

The Entire Wedding Party

sLIDER Jana and Nate Wedding PartyOne of the top wedding-shot must haves? Getting everyone from the wedding party together in one picture.

Location Shot

Ceremony site Chances are you chose your wedding location for its great scenery or backdrop, so don’t forget a shot of you two surrounded by all its beauty or special features.

Family Portrait

Wedding Family PhotoA photo of both families is a treasure that will make you smile even years down the line.

Floral Arrangements

Bridal BouquetsYou can never have too many photos of flowers, especially when they add such beautiful dimension to your day.

It’s in Print

Wedding InvitationWith their fun fonts and colors, your charming touches deserving of some photo attention.

Candid Kiss

Bride & Groom KissIn the midst of all the action, a kissing couple is a sweet sight to see.

Table Setting

Wedding Head Table ShotYou poured hours into choosing napkin colors, designing centerpieces and just the right favor — get the photo that captures it all together.

Decor Details

IMG_5811Sometimes it takes a little zooming in to catch all the stunning details of your big-day.

The Toasts

toasting glassesLaughs, tears, and everything in between — speeches and toasts by loved ones promise all kinds of photo gems.

Dessert Table

KT&EricReceptionDessert tables are nothing but fun to photograph, whether you have one cake or a bunch of smaller sweets.

First Dance

Bride and Groom First DanceSlow song, dance jam — it doesn’t matter. The first dance is definitely something that should make it into your wedding album.

Dance Floor Groovin’

Dance with Dignity

The Send-Off

Bride & Groom ExitWedding send-offs are so fun and the perfect way to end a perfect day.

Are there any that I have missed?  What are some of the photo shots that are a must have for your wedding day photo list?  Please share in the comments below and let me know.

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Marsha VanArk at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events