Recessional: The Couple + VIPs

The first kiss happened and you captured it beautifully. Don’t put your camera down; it’s time for the recessional. The recessional can unfold quickly, so it’s important to carefully plan out coverage for the recessional and events taking place immediately thereafter, such as formal portraits and cocktail hour.

Here are the lenses, settings, and positions/shots to consider when capturing the recessional:


  • LEAD: 24-70mm
  • SECOND: 70-200mm (tighter)
  • THIRD: 24-70mm, 70-200mm (optional side angle)


  • SHUTTER SPEEDS: Ideally (1/500+) low-light (1/160+)
  • EXPOSURE: Max histogram without clipping shadows (highlight alert always on!)


  • LEAD: Front of couple (wide), then prep for formal portraiture
  • SECOND: Front of couple if possible (tighter), then follow wedding party/VIPs
  • THIRD: Optional side angle from crowd, then cocktail hour

If you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to direct the action a bit toward the back of the aisle. Grab the wedding party and VIPs and bring them to the back with the couple to create a large group shot.

These shots are great because they feature the bride and groom alongside all of their guests.


After capturing a standard group shot, cue the couple to kiss and the crowd to cheer for an epic recessional moment!