January 9, 2024  •  7min read

Who Should & Shouldn’t Be in Your Wedding Photos?

who should be in a wedding photo

Choosing who you want to include in your wedding portrait is important. Besides for sentimental reasons, it’s also for timing purposes. Going overtime on taking pictures can drag your entire event and result in you coming to the ceremony and reception later than expected. 

If you’re still unsure who should be in your wedding photos, this guide will answer that question. But the short answer is that you do not need to have anyone you don’t have a personal relationship with. Of course, it all depends on you. If you have a tight bond with your great-aunt or sibling-in-law, you should include them. 

Talk to Your Family and Photographer 

Once you know who should be included (and excluded) in your wedding picture, you should discuss it with your family. If you aren’t comfortable having your sister’s new S.O. or your distant uncle or long-lost cousin, you must ensure that everyone (including your parents and family members) knows it beforehand. 

Explain why you feel some are worthy to be included in your wedding pictures more than others, and offer some compromise in case things get heated. For example, consider having one large group photo at the beginning of your ceremony so no one feels left out. 

After talking with your family, the next step is speaking with your photographer. Give them a wedding shot list to organize their timeline that works for your event. Photographers are usually happy to step in any uninvited guests who try to slip into your photos. This is especially useful if you’re afraid of saying “no” to people, which will cause negative feelings during the day and down the line. 

Looking for Professional Wedding Photography?

"(Required)" indicates required fields


"(Required)" indicates required fields


The Must-Haves: Who Should Be in Your Wedding Photos 

Certain individuals are considered “must-haves” in your wedding photos. These people play a crucial role in your life and your wedding day, and their presence in your photographs is essential for preserving the memories of this special occasion.

Naturally, the two of you are the most important people in your wedding photos. Your photos will capture the essence of your love and the joy of your special day. Include your parents, siblings, and any close family members who are a significant part of your life. They have likely played a crucial role in your journey to this point, and their presence in the photos symbolizes their support and love. 

Also, include your closest friends and confidants to make up your wedding party. They’ve been there through thick and thin, and including them in photos adds a fun and memorable element to your wedding album. 

Besides that, you can include other individuals who hold significant importance in your life or who have a meaningful role in your wedding (e.g., godparents, mentors) should also be considered for inclusion in the photos. 

The Exclusions: Who Shouldn’t Be in Your Wedding Photos 

While capturing cherished memories is a vital aspect of wedding photography, there are instances when it’s best to exclude certain individuals from your wedding photos. 

If there are family members with whom you have strained or estranged relationships, you may choose to exclude them from your wedding photos. Including them could lead to discomfort and detract from your day’s joy. 

Ensuring that only invited guests are part of your wedding photos is important. Wedding crashers or uninvited guests can disrupt the event and should not be featured in your photos. 

Also, while vendors and service providers play essential roles in your wedding day, such as photographers, catering staff, or musicians, they generally shouldn’t be included in your final wedding album, as their presence might detract from the focus on you and your loved ones. 

Other red flags may include your former lover. Including former romantic partners in your wedding photos can be a source of tension and discomfort. It’s typically best to avoid this situation unless all parties are genuinely comfortable with it.

Dealing with Sensitive Situations 

When considering who should and shouldn’t be included in your wedding photos, you may need to deal with sensitive situations, as family members and other guests may feel left out when they aren’t in it.

Be mindful of the emotions and feelings of family members, particularly if there are estranged or separated parents or siblings. Try to find compromises that respect everyone’s boundaries. If you anticipate resistance or discomfort from certain individuals about their exclusion from photos, consider having private conversations to explain your decision and reassure them of your love and appreciation. 

Consider setting up separate photo sessions or moments with excluded individuals. This way, you can still capture memories with them without compromising your main wedding album. Strive for a balance between honoring your personal wishes and maintaining inclusivity. While you may exclude certain individuals, try to find ways to acknowledge their presence in your life, perhaps through a thank-you speech or a private moment of appreciation. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, determining who should and shouldn’t be in your wedding photos is highly personal, guided by your unique relationships and the dynamics of your special day. It’s an important decision, as these photographs remind you of your special day, encapsulating the love, joy, and connections that define the occasion. 

While considering it may be more difficult and complex than expected, remember that it’s your day, and your desires should be at the forefront. Open communication with your loved ones is key, as it can help resolve potential conflicts and ensure everyone is aware of your wishes. Finding compromises and creative solutions can go a long way in making everyone feel appreciated and included. 

Ultimately, your wedding photos should reflect your love story and your unique journey. Whether you follow tradition, embrace modern approaches, or strike a balance between the two, capturing the moments that matter most to you is the most important aspect. With the right planning, understanding, and collaboration with your photographer, your wedding album will be a beautiful representation of your special day.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

Related Articles

Have to decide how your dream wedding will look like?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr.