Worried About How To Pose for Wedding Photos? We’ve Got Pro Tips for You!

People worldwide, for decades, have turned on America’s Funniest Home Videos for a good chuckle, and we’ve personally seen wedding video fails that made us feel bad for the couple!

As social platforms like TikTok surged, hashtags like “awkward wedding photos” have also gone viral.

It’s human nature to laugh at pratfalls and unfortunate moments, and I get as big a laugh out of my collection of goofball pics and vids as I do anyone else’s!

But we’re talking about your wedding photos here. While a few impromptu shots can be hilarious, especially as the years go by and we remember them fondly, we can think of nothing more disappointing than a whole album of awkward pictures as your only memories of a beautiful day.

Don’t worry. We’ve got the best tips about how to pose for wedding photos, so everyone shines, and you’ll be proud to show off an entire album of wedding photos.

Let’s hold the “say cheese!” for now, and answer your questions about posing for wedding photos!

A girl in a wedding dress lies on the grass in the forest among yellow flowers
Photo by Erynn Brown Photos

How Do I Make My Wedding Pictures “Not Awkward”?

Groom hugging his wife
Photo by Morgan Belieu Photography

We hear this question most frequently at Wedding Pioneer.

The good news is that we have a nationwide list of wedding photographers with the talent and skill to do what you need on your wedding day: capture the best moments naturally so you can cherish them forever.

The groom hugs the laughing bride
Photo by Wild Romance Photography

Here’s a checklist of important things to talk to your wedding photographer about beforehand because it can eliminate your worries and let you concentrate on being a beautiful bride:

  • How long will the pictures take: have you ever felt your best and most confident when you feel rushed or late for something? Pro wedding photographers know that the best photos come when people relax, enjoy the moment, and often forget the photographer is there!
  • How many photos will be taken: discuss your expectations regarding a wedding album. Make sure your photography budget is straightforward because the low to high costs can range from a few thousand dollars to closer to $6,000.
  • What kind of wedding are you most comfortable with: are you stressed about the idea of a big wedding? Knowing in your heart whether a wedding or elopement is your dream will reflect how happy and relaxed you are as a bride.
  • Any insecurities you have: do you have a “better side?” Usually, it’s not like you think, but it’s best to let your photographer know about your “trouble spots” because they’ll keep that in mind and put you at ease by shooting at different angles.

A great wedding photographer has experience in weddings of every size. Many wedding photographers specialize in traveling to a destination of your choice, or they’re pros at elopements, and that location knowledge will also increase your confidence.

The bride hugs the groom on the background of the mountains
Photo by Olivia Hope Photography

An Engagement Photo Session Is Your Best Practice

Of course, we love engagement photos, too, so we’re all for the trend of getting a photographer to capture your engagement in the moment or a planned engagement photoshoot after the question gets popped!

A girl in a black dress hugs a guy with glasses
Photo by Jenna Marie Visuals

Here are some great articles on engagement photos:

Woman and man on the lawn hugging their 3 dogs
Photo by Alex Hoedebecke Photography

Many couples choose to hire a photographer to take their engagement and wedding photos. You’ll get a comfortable feel for the person behind the camera and their style, and they get to know both of you, and that often means the best, most natural, and least awkward photos on your wedding day.

What Are the Most Important Moments to Capture?

Happy bride in a white dress next to her mother
Photo by Elissa Deline Photography

Brides have always wanted a time capsule with pictures of them getting ready for their wedding. Here are two fantastic articles on the subject, courtesy of Wedding Pioneer author Kelly, a pro photographer with tons of elopement and wedding experience!

Incredible Bride Getting Ready Photos is a detailed guide to capturing your wedding morning forever. Everything from timing tips, location, lighting, and more to get you in a beautiful bride mood that lasts the whole day and even longer.

The next step in photographing your wedding day is having bridal portraits taken. Kelly’s great advice here includes dedicated one-on-one time with just you and your photographer, resulting in more beautiful, intimate shots of you that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Another thing to discuss with your photographer in advance of your wedding day is a newer trend: getting your pictures taken before your wedding ceremony.

While some couples feel it ruins the surprise on the wedding aisle or it’s even bad luck, the truth is a wedding first look works exceptionally well for couples who are anxious about the emotion of seeing each other in front of a crowd of people.

How to Pose for Family Wedding Photos?

We only need to look at the British royal family to see how significant family wedding photos get captured formally for a display to millions of fans worldwide.

Though their fairytale marriage ended in tragedy, the stunning and historical images of (now King) Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding take us back to a red drawing room at Buckingham Palace decades ago.

But searching for behind-the-scenes images of their wedding, we found “Charles and Diana, relaxed picture with the wedding party,” a hilarious and impromptu shot that’s our favorite!

That’s why it’s okay to include those candid photos that you might think are “fails.” These wedding photos often show you at your happiest, and you’ll love looking at them as time passes.

Getting Great Group Shots

Bridesmaids and groomsmen walk next to the bride and groom
Photo by Marissa Photography

The beauty of a wedding photo gallery is the mix of formal and informal shots that can be the best memento of your day.

Here’s a checklist to make it easier:

  • Ensure your photographer gets a list of names to include in group or family pictures.
  • Make sure to coordinate it, so people on your list gather to be included in the pictures after your ceremony.
  • Generally, the couple gets pictures taken with each side of the family. However, if there are divorced parents, step-parents, or step-siblings, ensure your photographer can arrange individual group shots efficiently.
  • Please discuss with your photographer whether they will take informal shots at the reception of your family members in more spontaneous poses and intimate moments. Some of these random moments are the most beautiful and heartfelt.

Your photographer will understand how to pose the couple and the group around you in family or friend photos. Many photographers will create a lighthearted mood because the laughs are more genuine, and the pictures reflect that.

Our most important tip is to stay relaxed, especially with your arms, and try not to focus on posing; just go with what your photographer encourages and have fun!

Bridesmaids and groomsmen posing for the camera
Photo by Ali Photography

How Should Wedding Guests Pose?

You’ll probably want group photos with close friends and relatives who aren’t in the wedding party, so make sure to jot down their names for your photographer.

You’ll get pulled in every direction at your wedding reception, too (trust us!). So when people are snapping pictures of you and assorted wedding guests on a cell phone from every angle, try to hug people (and be hugged) around the waist because it’s more comfortable and flattering.

How Should the Mother of the Bride Pose for Wedding Photos?

Brides and their moms have a fantastic opportunity to share the best of life’s moments on a wedding day (don’t worry, dad, we haven’t forgotten you either).

Father hugging his daughter who is getting married
Photo by Emily Blackford Photography

Ideally, you can discuss any special posed pictures you’d like taken with your parents in advance. But a talented and intuitive wedding photographer can sense those little private moments and capture them from unobtrusive angles.

Here’s a fantastic article of 9 Amazing Mother-Daughter wedding photo ideas to give you more inspiration!

For dads, here are two articles: 26 Incredible Father Of The Bride Pictures for ideas on getting those joyous candid shots of your pops, and 21 Amazing Father-Daughter Wedding Pictures that celebrate your special bond with dad.

Final Wedding Photo-Taking Tips

Happy bride and groom holding hands in the forest
Photo by The McDonalds

While we recommend a pro photographer every time, we can also appreciate that your wedding budget might be tight—so we’ve got some great tips to pass on.

Check out Wedding Pioneer’s Ultimate Beginner Guide on How to Take Wedding Photos!

It’s a bit of a learning curve. Still, if you’ve got a friend or family member who enjoys photography, it’s possible to have them assist with capturing shots of your day, and since you’re already familiar with them, the comfort level is there!

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