We have to say it — we’re glad that 2020 is in our rearview mirror. But it is still worth a look back. While the year presented struggles galore, it also gave us the opportunity to learn new ways to connect with each other. What we discovered: people still want to celebrate together.
Last year, gatherings took new forms with Zoom anniversary parties, driveway proms, drive-by birthday celebrations, backyard socially-distanced weddings, virtual fundraising galas, and more. We saw unparalleled creativity from the events industry — and luckily, skilled photographers were around to capture every special moment.
Behold 26 event and wedding photo ideas to inspire all of your upcoming events (whatever form they take). Some of these images were captured during the global pandemic, and they depict couples who wanted to marry now and celebrate later as well as groups who worked with their event teams to celebrate safely.
Yet more of the event and wedding photo ideas featured here were from the beginning of the year, when we had no idea how lucky we were to be gathering together at all. Some of the images might be from years past, but just shared on PartySlate this year.
Whenever these photos were actually taken, we’re convinced that they will make you as happy as they’ve made us. In these images we see unfettered joy, special glances, secret moments, glorious eventscapes, and more.
Most of all, we see resilience. Celebrations are already coming back — intimately and safely — and we know that in the not-so-distant future, we will be able to clink our glasses and crowd dance floors once again. In the meantime, find event and wedding photo ideas here (and don’t forget to save your favorites by clicking the “heart” symbol on the images and/or events you love).
This image makes us miss exciting corporate conferences — with their big visions and even bigger entertainment. We can feel the energy of associations, ideas, and progress just by glancing at this dynamic image from Revelry Photo House.
photographer: Revelry Photo House
This wedding in France employed a chateau as a creative and stunning backdrop, ornamented with silk drapery and greenery. We adore how Amy Mulder Photography stepped back to delight us with a sweeping image of the entire glorious scene. Perfection.
A good photographer captures an event — a great one, like Andrew Weeks Photography, evokes emotion. We love the totally happy, sing-along vibe of this wedding shot (from a time when we could crowd dance floors with abandon).
Oh, how we love the way that Bozena Voytko Photography focuses only on this beautiful embrace, allowing friends and family (and the wedding venue and the details and décor) to momentarily fade in favor of this tender moment. Sigh.
photographer: Bozena Voytko Photography | venue: Company 251 | calligraphy table accents, menus, place cards, & table runners: The Blonde Scribe | calligraphy signage: By Precious Anne | marquee event rentals: To The Nines Events | hotel accommodations: Hotel Arista | invitation suite: Calligraphy by Christine; Cathleen’s Cards | videography: Anchored Films | wedding cake: Two Wild Seeds Baking Company
900 North Michigan is depicted as a towering tribute to the holidays in Chicago in this glorious image from Ben Ramos Photography. The sparkling photo was captured at the annual winter event kicking off the holiday season on the Magnificent Mile.
photographer: Ben Ramos Photography | event planner: Marquette Avenue Events | design & lighting: Kehoe Designs | venue: 900 N Michigan Avenue Shops | food & beverage: Aster Hall | musical performances: BeatMix Music | videography: Glam Tie Media
This wedding image evokes glamour with its grand staircase and ornate surroundings of the Four Seasons Chicago. But what we really love about this photo from Bob & Dawn Davis Photography is its perspective — not only how it has been captured from above, but also how it feels like we are peeking in on a secret moment. Just beautiful.
photographer: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography | event planner: Great Events | event design: Platinum Events | venue: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago | entertainment: HYPE Productions | stylist: The Wedding Dresser | makeup: Stella Mikhail | cake: Elysia Root Cakes
This image, beautifully captured by Carasco Photography, shows that Covid-safe celebrations can be both chic and fun, and that love isn’t cancelled. So many uplifting messages are packed into one joyful photo. The full event album on Carasco’s PartySlate profile has lots more creative and safe ideas for event seating and dining as well as more wedding photo ideas.
photographer & videographer: Carasco Photography | planning: Designer Event Chicago | floral & event design: Revel Decor | venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | catering: Chicago Botanic Garden | live streaming: Frost Chicago | rentals: Hall’s Rental Service, Inc | linen: BBJ Linen | entertainment: Rendezvous Music
When you’ve got 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, like McCormick Place in Chicago does, it’s not easy to convey the grand scale of an event. But that’s exactly what DTKindler Photography showed with this expansive image, giving us a feel for not only the space but also the massive number of summit attendees.
Romy Modlin beautifully captured the theming, camaraderie, and trip through childhood at this Bat Mitzvah celebration in one perfect image. We love how the massive round table echoes the circle of life that a Bat Mitzvah represents — ever turning, unbroken, filled with loved ones.
We have questions. “What is going on here?” is certainly on our list. But, mainly, we want to ask for a job so we can be invited to Brainlab’s rockin’ employee appreciation party — because Tori Soper Photography’s image tells us everything we need to know about the type of workplace that attracts (and celebrates) with a fun crowd like this.
photographer: Tori Soper Photography
Don’t we all feel like this at the end of a really fun night? A skilled photographer like Caitlin Hamilton Photography is always seeking out little moments that even the happy couple are likely to miss during their wedding celebration. Luckily, they will get to relive them later through rich images (as can you by viewing more photos from this event for your own wedding photo ideas).
photographer: Caitlin Hamilton Photography | planning & coordination: JA Special Events | floral designer: Statice Floral | hotel: The Charter at Beaver Creek | entertainment: Elite Entertainment | entertainment: Elite Entertainment | invitations: Alexa Pulitzer | desserts: Shamane’s Bake Shoppe
12. Kelly Hornberger
Most often, first looks happen between the happy couple who is about to be married, but this father-daughter first look grabbed us by the heartstrings. The very next image that Kelly Hornberger Photography captured shows dad, tears wiped clean, smiling at the cheek-kiss from his beloved daughter.
photographer: Kelly Hornberger Photography | planner: Belle Events | florist: Carolyn’s Flowers Of Aspen | lighting, dancefloor, DJ: LG Entertainment & Production | band: Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra | rentals: Yonder Design | favors & napkinsThe Essential Market | invites: Mesh by Alex | strings: The Silver City Strings
Celebrations are already coming back — intimately and safely — and we know that in the not-so-distant future, we will be able to clink our glasses and crowd dance floors once again.
Watching a wedding ceremony often has the effect of filling us all with gratitude for those we love. We adore how Cheers Babe Photo not only masterfully captured the ceremony, but also this sweet moment between members of the wedding party.
14. Duke Images
We just adore this sweet, stolen moment under the couple’s stunning floral wedding arch. It’s not easy to capture the scope of this glorious décor, as well as the love between this couple — but Duke Images manages to convey both grandeur and emotion. See more of Duke Images’ work to find additional wedding photo ideas.
15. Gabor Ekecs
We love how this birds-eye view, beautifully captured by Gabor Ekecs, shows the glamour of Hollywood at this exclusive HBO Golden Globes party (while also making it feel approachable). These kinds of behind-the-scenes peeks keep us glued to the photographer’s profile.
photographer: Gabor Ekecs Photography | event designer: Billy Butchkavitz | décor: Agile Eye Solutions | venue: The Beverly Hills Hotel | lighting: Images By Lighting | tent: SoCal Tents | projection: Bart Kresa | construction: Special Event Contractors
16. Greer Gattuso
We had a tough time choosing a favorite image from Greer Gattuso’s portfolio — from classic NOLA moments like a wedding parade to tents glowing in the twilight — but ultimately the creative perspective of this photo won us over. We feel immersed in this dreamy aisle, captured moments before the couple walked down it.
We love how Second Line Photography captured this special moment away from the hubbub of the wedding celebration. This frame-able image of two little girls dressed in finery conspiring on a mossy step makes us smile.
photographer: Second Line Photography
Don’t get us wrong, we love photos of invitation suites, especially when they’re styled with décor elements that evoke the vibe of the celebration. But this cheeky image captured by Theresa Elizabeth Photography delighted us as it shows two brides perhaps sharing a secret over their chic tablescape (evocative of our favorite visions of Italy).
photographer: Theresa Elizabeth Photography | event planner: Amanda Price Events | flowers: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | rentals & décor: Lovegood Wedding & Event Rentals | venue: Il Mercato| invitations: Dogwood Blossom Stationery | cake: Pure Cake Nola | caterer: Joel Catering | linen: La Tavola Linen | rentals: Just Ask Rental | True Value Rental | makeup stylist: Verde Beauty Studio | hair stylist: The Beauty in E
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19. ArtVesta Studio
Wow. Just wow. This magical image from ArtVesta Studio captures a private residence lit up for a birthday celebration. While the masquerade party inside was also beautifully captured, this photo of the scene that greeted guests upon arrival stopped us in our tracks (and made us envious of those guests).
photographer: ArtVesta Studio
Other images from this COVID-safe Zoom wedding, show the happy couple connecting with loved ones via computers and phones, their delight not dulled by the distance; but this image captured by Gruber Photographers shows the couple’s pure joy of being wed, even in the most difficult of times.
A key skill of a top photographer is predicting where to be at any given moment to capture what’s about to happen, and never have we seen a better example than this one from Roey Yohai Studios. We just love seeing cheering guests rush to the dance floor for the groom’s crowd surfing.
This hillside scene with swirling girls in white is giving us happy “Sound of Music” vibes. We appreciate how Sara Wight Photography allowed these girls to just be girls — barefoot and unposed — in all of their silly, twirling glory, while capturing every beautiful and lighthearted moment of it.
photography: Sara Wight Photography | floral & décor: Southern Blooms | venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards | entertainment: Entertainment Exchange | videography: Bowen Films | cake: Paradox Pastry | paper products: Just Write Studios | makeup: Emily Artistry | hair: Moxie | invitations: Michelle’s Memos
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This image from Francis Ralph Potograpiya depicts a golden moment — with a bride and child who seem to glow from within with captured expressions that tell their story in one glorious frame. Really, how did the photographer manage to capture this in what feels like 3-D as the subjects pop from the background?
Jim Vetter Photography beautifully captured every moment of this proposal — from the groom-to-be down on one knee to the happy soon-to-be-weds together. We love how the image evokes the happy couple, together, peering into their bright future.
photographer: Jim Vetter Photography | venue: Stinson Beach & Mt. Tamalpais
It’s not easy to capture a moment of dynamic entertainment in a static image, but here Lynn Boyle Photography conveys action and pure joy, and we can easily imagine the crowded dance floor filled with smiling faces just beyond the photographer’s shoulder.
photographer: Lynette Boyle Photography | floral design: Thierry Chantrel | venue: A Private Estate | catering: Sage Catering | band: Pride and Joy | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | bakery: Bouchon | hair & makeup: Wallett | paper goods: Osage Collective
This deep dip made us smile wide. Jen Philips Photography chose a wonderful angle on this couple’s first dance finale, allowing us to appreciate not only the loving moment between the grooms, but also the delighted and awed expressions of their loved ones.
photographer: Jen Philips Photography | planner: Napa Valley Custom Events, Sharon Burns | florals: Julie Stevens Design | venue: Tyge William Cellars | catering: Ramekins | lighting: Twilight Designs | rentals: Encore Events Rentals | hair & makeup: The Glamour Room | DJ: Josh Dukes | transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation | dessert: Sift Cupcakes; Ben & Jerry’s
Need help finding a top photographer near you? Check PartySlate’s featured photographers in your area to get started.