wedding recessional at madart studio in seattle

As a documentary photographer, I’m all about unexpected moments. I suppose that’s what makes this post so difficult to write! The last thing I’d want my clients to do is “stage” moments or provide a shot list. That being said, I think it’s important to be aware of some not-so-obvious moments that you’ll experience on your wedding day and be sure to make time for them to organically happen.

first look of bride and groom at a mountain lake with bride wearing pink floral wedding gown
1. First Look
The first look, whether you make it a more formal affair or wait until the moment you’re walking down the aisle, is a must-capture. Every couple has different reactions and it’s a special time no matter what the setting. If you want to read more about planning a first look, click here.

bride and groom walking back down the aisle being showered by lavendar during jackson hole wedding recessional
2. Wedding Recessional
Bubbles, rice, lavender, tears of joy, and of course, beaming smiles. This will forever be my favorite wedding day moment as a photographer.

bride and groom taking candid wedding photos on their winthrop wedding day reception
3. Candid Photos with your Guests
This is probably the only time in your life that you’ll get to throw a party of this size with all of your favorite people handpicked as invites. Spend time with them and make it count! The cocktail hour is a great time to take informal snapshots with some of your favorite people that weren’t a part of the formal family photos.

bride and groom posing on the beach during sunset after their des moines beach wedding
4. Sunset Photos
Sunset usually falls sometime between dinner and dancing. This is the perfect time to sneak away and soak in all of the excitement from the day in the form of a private photo session. Ask your photographer for best timing and location. Since most of the time bride and groom photos fall earlier in the day during less-than-ideal lighting scenarios, you will not regret taking time for the sunset!

bride and groom walking through bubbles during their wedding day exit
5. Grand Exit
I always love a good sparkler exit. Or bubbles, or even glow sticks. Get creative here and plan an amazing sendoff!