No bride and groom wants to have pictures of their wedding ceremony only. While the ceremony is important and contains a lot of monumental, photo-worthy moments, the reception is equally as important in the way of photography. Friends and family gather at the reception, meaning a lot of personality is combined in one place. Add to this food, games, and music, and the photographer has some great stuff to work with.

The new journalistic approach to photography brings a new look to the function. For the photographer, it is less about taking formal shots and more about capturing the journey of the day like a news reporter. Every moment needs to be captured. When making a list of photographs you want taken, consider the reception as well as all of the ceremony, bridal party, and family shots. Here are some ideas to remember:

  • Father-Bride Dance
  • Mother-Groom Dance
  • Bride and Groom First Dance
  • Bridal Party Dance (should you have one)
  • Cake Cutting
  • Guests Dancing
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Toasts

Between all of these formal shots, your photographer will want to be shooting the random occurrences of the ceremony. For example, the many bride and groom kisses every time the glass clinks. If you plan to have games at the reception, photographs of the competition are great. Pictures of DJ and dancing always provide funny faces and enjoyable memories.

Years down the road, you may not remember all of the details of the reception either. For this reason, have the photographer take pictures of the table arrangements, the food and appetizer tables, the event decorations, the card table, the guest book, the favours, and the cake before being cut. Any notable element of the event should be photographed.

A great way to remember all of the guests at your reception is to have the photographer shoot each table. This way, you can remember who sat where and have a good glance at every guest’s face without having to shuffle through random photos later.

The best way to photograph a reception is to shoot it step by step. The photographer can simply follow the schedule and be at all of the important and not-so-important places at the right time. Having photos of each moment and element of the reception will ensure you have a well-rounded memory of your wedding day. You won’t miss your first dance or that funny look on your little cousin’s face when he was talking.