How to Pose for Wedding Photos, According to a Wedding Photographer

Knowing how to pose for wedding photos will help couples look picture-perfect in every shot, but the concept of posing may sound nerve-wracking. Brides and grooms already have enough to think about on their wedding day—now we’re adding posing to the mix?

Tips for Posing Naturally

Throughout her wedding Lavan Photography career, Woodruff has noticed a few areas her couples need help with when it comes to posing naturally. One of the most frequent issues? Ending a candid, natural moment too soon. “I tell my couples if they’re inclined to do something or move in a natural way, don’t stop,” she says. “So much of the time I have couples smiling and laughing perfectly, and then they remember I’m there and stop to make sure they’re in the right position. Just keep going! If you don’t look good, the photographer should tell you.”

Wedding Pose Mistakes to Avoid

Most wedding pose mistakes come down to the couple acting stiff and unnatural. That’s why wedding photographers and videographers tell the couple to pretend they’re not there—but that’s easier said than done. So what are some easy fixes to pose naturally with cameras snapping?

Close-eyed kissing: Kissing with open eyes is hardly natural, but couples nervously adopt this style on the wedding day. The photographer should remind you about this, Woodruff says, but when in doubt kiss naturally.
Keep it clean: That said, it’s not a make-out session. “We want neat and clean kisses,” Woodruff says. “Also, turn your head enough so you’re not squishing your partner’s nose in. If it feels like you’re squishing, you probably are.”
Slow it down: Walking photos look great for couples and the larger bridal party, but you need to tread slowly. “It’s not a race,” Woodruff says. “So many times the wedding party ends up walking way ahead. Just slow down and interact with each other.”
Don’t over practice: Brides and grooms may want to perfect their smiles before the wedding day, but Woodruff recommends spending that time elsewhere. “Don’t practice smiling because then you’ll overthink it,” she says. “I can tell when couples have tried to practice their smiles, and they end up looking too self-conscious.”
Speak up: If you have any insecurities, or you have a side you prefer, tell the photographers. “It could be a height difference, a particular side you like photographed, or insecurities about, say, your arms or your stomach,” Woodruff says. “Be vocal about this with your photographer beforehand, then you both can be more successful with the final product.”

Admiring the Dress

Brides spend months and years (some even a lifetime!) waiting to wear that perfect dress. That’s why photographers love capturing as she admires her dress moments before putting it on.

Tying the Bow Tie

When it comes to the groom, photographers love capturing key moments during wedding prep like tying the tie. Similar shots include lacing shoes, buttoning the suit jacket, and fastening the watch.

The First Look

The wedding-day first look is one of the most important photographs, but couples shouldn’t even think about the photographer at all. Instead, let the moment unfold while truly embracing the emotions (tears and all) knowing the photographer will capture every detail along the way.

The Twirl

Wedding dresses look beautiful from every angle, but they really come to life while twirling. In this pose, the bride twirls around, almost like a ballerina. The final photograph is dazzling and full of movement.

Candid Laughter

Candid laughter always looks great on camera. Photographers tend to recommend these moments most during prep time, but also during couple and wedding party portraits.

The Forehead Kiss

One of the most photogenic kisses is a soft peck on the forehead. Photographers commonly ask for at least a handful of these sweet poses during portrait photo sessions.