You are investing so much in having a gorgeous wedding, so taking a little extra time to ensure your day is a bit more photo friendly pays off so much in the long run. When you are flipping through your wedding album in the years to come, you don’t want to be bothered by little imperfections from an otherwise perfect day. To help you capture your celebration in the very best way possible, here are six ways to have a photogenic ceremony.
Something many couples tend to not think about is how the light might be hitting them during their ceremony. If you are standing up at the alter for 30-60minutes, you’ll want to ensure you are shaded so that you can feel cool and comfortable. Having some shade is also great for photos! We don’t want you squinting as you say your vows to your partner, nor sweating off your makeup.
Here’s the fix: check out your ceremony sight during your scheduled ceremony time. The best light will be about 2hrs prior to sunset. Make sure there is something that is allowing you and your bridal party to be in a bit of shade- whether that be a tree, a building blocking the sun, a hillside, etc. If you are getting married at the location with absolutely no shade, then ensure the sun will be setting behind you (to the back of the officiant). This will allow for more ideal photos.
I won’t claim to know much about florals, but I do have a quick tip here that I think will be helpful in having a more photogenic ceremony. If you are having an outdoor ceremony with lots of green in the background (grass, trees, etc), try to avoid too much green in your ceremony arrangements. They unfortunately end up blending into the background and get lost in all that green. Instead, choose a design that has more whites and colorful blooms, and less greenery. Focus on a statement piece that works well with your surroundings. This will really pop off the natural background of where you are getting married!
Now if you are getting married indoors, the opposite is true. You want to bring that beautiful, lush garden vibe inside, so go crazy with all the green & floral pieces! You can never have too much when you are decorating an indoor space.
Traditionally, the Maid of Honor will collect the Bride’s bouquet after she has made it down the aisle and is about to join hands with her partner. She is also responsible to fluffing the Bride’s dress once she is settled at the altar so that it looks gorgeously placed for the duration of the ceremony. Make sure your MOH is aware of these two things, and practice this during your rehearsal if you have the chance.
I should’ve put this tip as the first one because it is the MOST important tip I can offer couples who are hoping to have a photogenic ceremony. Encourage your guests to leave their phones and camera down and be fully present in the moment with you. Nothing is worse than having a loved one step into the aisle with their phone to snap a shot of your First Kiss, only to block both your photographer and videographer from getting the shot.
An unplugged ceremony can be easily achieved by having a request to your guests be printed on the ceremony pamphlets, having a little sign as they enter the ceremony site, and having your officiant make a comment before he or she begins the official ceremony.
You are in love with your partner, let’s show that to the camera a little! You can have your ceremony photos feel more romantic by one simple trick- hold your partner’s hands during the ceremony. It breaks my heart when couples stand with their backs to their loved ones, 5ft apart, staring at the officiant. Everyone is here to see you and support your love so let’s ensure you are connecting with your partner and letting everyone else share in a little bit to this sweet moment. They (and your photographer) don’t want to stare at the back of your head the entire ceremony. Hold your sweetie’s hands and stare into their beautiful eyes as you two officially become married!
I know this one sounds funny, but you are probably super looking forward to your First Kiss photo, right? What if I told you that these photos can be super awkward if not practiced first. Often the couple looks like a dear in headlights, awkwardly holding onto one another (if at all) and the kiss is so brief that many of your loved ones miss it!
Here’s the fix: during your rehearsal, (or even in the privacy of your own home), talk to your partner about practicing The Kiss. Give it a whirl and pay attention to two things: 1. How do you hold onto one another. Wrap around the waist? Someone’s holding the others face? Does it feel comfortable and natural? The best is when you are both holding each other! 2. The duration of the kiss. This is your first kiss as a married couple! Make it long and proud! This also gives you photographer a longer chance to snap some cute shots. Want to kiss twice? There are no rules- go for it!
Bonus– Have your officiant step to the side as they are pronouncing you as a married couple for the First Kiss. We don’t want him or her cheesing it up in the background of your kiss. It’s best when they can move off to the side and let you two have your moment.
BRIDES agrees! See what they have to say about the First Kiss here.
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