How to select your wedding photos

Our guide to the top 10 moments to include in your wedding album

Portrait open book with cross gutter wedding image

Are you ready to create your dream MILK Wedding Book or Album but unsure where to start? Selecting your photos can feel overwhelming so we've put together an easy-to-follow guide outlining the ten most memorable moments that will help pull your wedding keepsake together.

To celebrate your special day in it's entirety, put on your storyteller's hat and follow along.

Rest assured that with our elegant and timeless design templates, we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to create a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photo album as polished as any professional’s.

Top Ten Moments to Include in Your Wedding Album

1. Set the scene
2. Getting ready
3. Ceremony
4. Cocktail hour
5. Group photos
6. Newlywed portraits
7. Reception
8. Speeches
9. Cutting the cake
10. Dancing

1. Set the scene

(Our photo recommendations: wedding ceremony venue, wedding invitation, décor and florals)

Open spread with photo of the wedding venue setting the scene

Every great story begins with a defining introduction. Start your wedding book off with wedding photos that will set up the story of your day - such a day comes in many stages, so it is important to document each part to give it honor. Set the scene by using images that will build the excitement and create the tone for what’s to come.

Outstanding wedding books often begin with an intriguing opening shot. We recommend a photo of your wedding invitation. This is also important because it is one of the first parts of a wedding ceremony; notifying your guests of your upcoming special occasion.

Next, follow your wedding invitation with photos of your wedding venue to introduce the location your big event will be taking place in. This will create an atmosphere of the exciting event to come in your book.

2. Getting ready

(Our photo recommendations: hair and makeup, the dress, the suit, engagement ring and wedding bands, wedding day fragrances, bow ties, and wedding bouquets)

Open spread of the bride getting ready before the wedding

Once you’ve set the scene, it’s time to delve into the details. Aim to include photos of you both getting ready. These are greatly important yet understated moments of a wedding day; candid moments filled with mixed emotions including excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a bit of nervousness towards your new life awaiting you after the big day! As you and your spouse both used this time to individually reflect on the day to come, don’t shy awake from dedicating several pages with large image templates to really capture those emotions.

Alongside the photos of you, your partner and possibly wedding party, be sure to mix in photos of the wedding dress or suit, your engagement ring and wedding bands, wedding day fragrances, shoes, and bow ties. It’s these little details that shouldn’t be overlooked.

If you opted for a ‘first look’, now would be a perfect time to add these images in. Offer a visual narration of the ‘reveal’ with beautiful reaction shots.

3. The ceremony

(Our photo recommendations: guests, wedding party, walking down the aisle, reaction shots, holding hands, exchanging of vows, people doing readings, signing of the marriage certificate, the first kiss, walking back down the aisle)

Open spread of the wedding ceremony

It all comes down to this moment, the reason everyone is there: the ceremony. Capture the essence of this beautiful and memorable milestone by including wedding photos that help to creatively tell every moment of your nuptials.

Include photos of your guests arriving in all their finery. Look for those special wedding photos that capture the essence of how the guests are feeling – candid moments of laughter and smiles add charm to wedding photo books.

If you have them, include a few photos of you both just before the ceremony, the moment before you’ve set eyes on each other at the end of the aisle. The love and emotion expressed by these wedding photos will speak for themselves. Once the ceremony gets underway, it’s the perfect time to include snaps of your wedding party if you had one. Then, the big reveal – the bride or groom walking down the aisle! And of course, reaction shots to allow you to relive that short moment in time again and again. This is one of the most memorable parts of your wedding so do it justice with our large image templates to really let them shine.

Then it’s time for photos of the ceremony. This could include a mix of guests, the wedding party, guests doing readings, the exchange of vows, signing of the marriage certificate, and the first kiss. Then photo that captures your first moment as newlyweds, walking back down the aisle, is deserving of a double-page spread all to itself. You will have a captive audience now, feeling all the emotion of the day.

MILK Tip: For a unique touch, opt for an image template that includes a text box so you can add a copy of your vows.

4. Cocktail hour

(Our photo recommendations: Candid moments with guests, food, drinks)

Newlyweds celebrating their wedding with a champagne tower

Once the vows have been made, it’s time to celebrate. The warmth and love enveloping the crowd will be evident in every photo at this point. Be sure to include a few of the candid photos that capture the emotions of you and your guests; the smiles, congratulatory hugs, and champagne toasts.

5. Group photos

Open spreads of the newlyweds with their families

Post-ceremony is the perfect time to start adding in some of those more formal group shots. Hopefully your photographer has captured a good assortment of images of your wedding party, extended family and close friends. This can be a particularly challenging section to cull down as you likely have plenty of lovely group shots to include. But, having too many images per page can make wedding photo books look a bit busy, rather than simple and elegant.

For the group shots, we recommend focusing on 2-4 images per spread to ensure all faces are clearly visible. If you’ve managed to capture a shot of all your wedding guests, opt for a one-image template across a double-page spread for wow factor.

6. Newlywed portraits

Open spreads of the portraits of the newlyweds inside a building

Dedicate several pages of your wedding album to your favorite newlywed portraits. This is one day of your life where you are (hopefully) looking and feeling your best and having the photos to take you back to that moment in time is precious. The key here with selecting which photos to include is to focus on quality over quantity. Don’t feel pressure to get everything in there, we think simple is better.

7. Reception

(Our photo recommendations: Reception venue, tablescape, place cards, décor, guests, wedding party entering, catering and drinks)

Open spreads of the reception wedding details

Now the wedding ceremony might shift to a different venue and a different vibe as everyone transfers to the reception, an even more celebratory time, perfect for interaction and bonding with your guests. Set the scene with a few establishing shots of the wedding reception venue and décor before the guests arrive. Don’t forget to capture the little details you once poured lots of time into – think tablescapes, place cards, and menus.

Include photos of the wedding party entering the room, then plenty of your wedding guests enjoying the reception, with a good mix of posed and candid shots to capture the atmosphere.

8. Speeches

Open spread of the couple enjoying and giving speeches with the grooms speech typed out on one side

Everyone then settles to listen to the speeches. We recommend including at least one photo of every guest who made a speech, plus some of guest reactions. Mix in candid shots of you, your partner and the crowd giggling, clapping, toasting and crying to pull all the emotions of this time together.

MILK Tip: A lovely touch would be to include a copy of the most memorable speeches that you don’t want to risk ever forgetting.

9. Cutting the cake

Open spread of the detai

The pièce de resistance of many a reception, a wedding cake deserves to be showcased. Be sure to include some photos of the cake in all its delectable glory before you cut into it.

10. Dancing

Open book of the newlyweds dancing

The celebration continues! You can really go wild with creativity in this step, so don’t be shy about adding some truly fun shots for that extra sparkle.

As the night draws to a close, make a strong statement to finish out your album with a striking closing shot. A photo of you and your spouse leaving the room together, a snap of the crowd dancing, or a pair of discarded heels can truly be the picture-perfect finish for an exceptional book.


By the time the last page has been turned, everyone who experiences your wedding album will have gone on a joyful and emotional journey, reliving the magic of your special day.

Laying out your wedding photos isn't an exact science, but if you're looking for an easy-to-follow guide that will result in a beautiful wedding photo book that captures all the most important moments then look no further. With this guide your wedding photos will come alive, and the story of your day will be reflected beautifully.

If you're someone who likes to sort and order as you go, then the next step for you is to upload your wedding photos and get started. Once you’ve got your favorite images selected, simply choose your wedding album format, head into the MILK Design Studio, upload your images and start creating. It’s that easy to turn your beloved wedding photos into a beautiful wedding photo album.

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