5 Overlooked Photo Opportunities and Must Have Moments On Your Wedding Day

Filed in: Resources, Weddings



Let’s be real. Wedding planning can be overwhelming. There are so many details that require your attention, it’s easy to miss out on things you “should have thought of” or “wish you had known about.” I’m the first person to admit that sometimes, I have the weddings wish-haves and I really don’t want any of my clients to EVER feel that way. I know my wedding was beautiful and exactly how it was meant to be but, planning it in 12 weeks meant I just didn’t have to time to think out things to a certain level of detail that I’m used to having in most aspects of my life. Being a bride and a photographer has really given me a unique perspective to bring about beautiful moments for all of my clients and help them avoid those post wedding must have moments on your wedding day. 

These moments are the ones that will give you goosebumps, make you smile and bring tears back with the memories. These are moments that you don’t want to be afterthoughts because when allotted time for – they make your day uniquely sentimental. These moments are a huge reason as to why I’m so adamant about having my hands in your wedding day timeline so that your day is everything you dreamt it to be. I’m so honored to share some of my clients special moments but also show some images from my community of photographer friends as well!

1. Parent / Grandparent & Special Family Members First Look

The anticipation of you wedding day has likely been on your family’s mind just as long as yours! Take the time to set up a special reveal with your close family members. It may only take 5 minutes, but to your family member – it will mean the world.

Bride and Father First Look on Wedding Day Leesha King PhotographyMegan Montalvo Photography_0171.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography
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Megan Montalvo Photography_0174.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography

2. Reading Vows During the Ceremony

Hands down, my favorite moment of my wedding was hearing my husband’s vows. That moment far outweighed the anxiety and nerves I had about writing and reading my own. Hearing those words on our wedding day is a moment I’ll never forget and resulted in some of my most treasured images like the one below of my husband wiping my tear.

Megan Montalvo Photography_0177.jpgSierra Ford Photography
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Megan Montalvo PhotographyCeremony and Vow Photos on Wedding Day | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DayLeesha King Photography Reading of Vows on Wedding DaySO PhotographyGroom reading his vows to his bride on their wedding dayBradley Hanson Photography

3. Exchanging Special Letters / Gifts

The perfect addition to a wedding keepsake box, a sentimental letter or heartfelt gift will make your loved one feel special and bring about the “today is the day” feels. If you’re not a fan of reading vows out loud, this will give you an opportunity to still make each other feel special and excited for your marriage. You’ll get to see each others sweet moments when your wedding galleries arrives.

Megan Montalvo Photography_0180.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography
Megan Montalvo Photography_0181.jpgMegan Montalvo PhotographyBride and groom first look and gift exchange before their weddingB. Jones Photography Emotional moment between bride and groom before their wedding | | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DaySierra Ford Photography 

On another note – gift exchanges are often done with parents, grandparents and/or the wedding party. This is another opportunity to thank those who have worked so hard to make your day come true and make for great authentic moments on your wedding day.

Bride and Father Gift exchange on wedding day | | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DayMegan Montalvo PhotographyMegan Montalvo Photography_0179.jpgMegan Montalvo PhotographyBride and Father First Look and Gift Exchange on Wedding Day Aziz Studios

4. Recessional Exit

This is a fun one – plan out something for your guests to participate in when you walk down the isle as a newly married couple! Bird seed, flower petals, lavender, bubbles, confetti – there are so many options and it ALWAYS brings upon THE BEST smiles. If your not a fan of the extras or if your venue won’t allow it, a sweet kiss at the end of the isle is equally perfection.

Megan Montalvo Photography_0170.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography
Megan Montalvo Photography_0172.jpgMegan Montalvo PhotographyMegan Montalvo Photography_0186.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography
Megan Montalvo Photography_0178.jpgMegan Montalvo PhotographyMust have moments on your wedding day - the recessional exit! Amy Galbraith Photography

PRO TIP : Make sure your officiant announces it before the ceremony starts so that guests are aware to get ready.

5. Reception Viewing

Whether you have a wedding planner or family’s help – there is a lot of time, effort and money that goes into the look of your reception. 75% of the times, brides don’t get to see that perfection before guests enter the room. We highly recommended to close off the reception to guests during cocktail hour so that you can have a special reveal and see all of the beautiful details before your guests enter. The photos make awesome memories and it will give time for us to capture your reception details completed and untouched.

Reception viewing for Bride and Groom on their wedding day | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DayReception viewing for Bride and Groom on their wedding day | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DayMegan Montalvo Photography

BONUS : Reception Exit Ideas

Megan Montalvo Photography_0187.jpgMegan Montalvo Photography – While seconding with Jenny Storment Photography Megan Montalvo Photography_0185.jpgMegan Montalvo PhotographyReception Exit | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DaySO Photography 
Reception exit with confetti | Must Have Moments on Your Wedding DaySierra Ford Photography

Looking for more inspiration for your wedding day? Be sure to check out our post on “Why Getting Ready Photos Aren’t Just Wedding Photos!”

Interested in having me as your Tacoma Wedding Photographer?  Email me today for information and to reserve your date!

Megan Montalvo is a Wedding and Elopement Photographer based out of the Seattle, Washington. She offers Seattle Wedding photography to surrounding PNW destinations such as Olympia, Tacoma, Mt. Rainier, Lake Quinault, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum, Suncadia, Leavenworth, Ruby Beach, Cape Kiwanda, Cannon Beach and the San Juan Islands. Megan also travels for destination elopements and weddings all over the country and internationally.

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  1. Emily Thomas says:

    Megan, we are so glad that we have all of these special moments in photos! Some of these moments are the ones I remember most of the day and to have them memorialized for forever is…too good.

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Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!

Hey there! I'm megan-
Washington Elopement and Intimate Wedding PHOTOGRAPHER



The Sanders Estate is the perfect combination of southern vintage elegance and outdoor beauty. It was no surprise that these two had a stunning day filled with sunshine, beauty and sentiment.

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