The bride and groom may be the biggest stars of the day, but delivering exceptional wedding party photos is also a major part of the job.
Let’s face it, though: nailing group shots where everyone is in focus, have their eyes open, and isn’t making a funny face is quite a feat – even without the pre-wedding drinks to complicate things!
Whether you’re a seasoned wedding photographer looking for new bridal party poses or simply learning how to photograph a wedding, this guide can help.
We’ll take you through 13 wedding party pictures that will make any wedding album shine and also share 7 tips for nailing beautiful wedding party photos every time.
So, let’s jump in.
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7 Tips for Stunning Wedding Party Photos
Before we jump into wedding party photo ideas and poses, here are some general tips to help you with your wedding party photo shoot.
1. Don’t just wing it
Weddings take a lot of planning, and so should your photoshoot. You need to consider the entire wedding party and the wedding day schedule. Don’t just rely on candid shots!
Are they getting ready in the same place or in different locations? Are you taking the wedding party pictures before or after the ceremony?
All these things help you understand what you’ll need. Should you hire an assistant or a second photographer? What type of gear do you need to pack? When and where you should be throughout the event, etc.
Getting amazing photos of the wedding party involves a lot of prep that has nothing to do with pressing the shutter button!
2. Get some background information
It’s important to ask for some background information about the wedding party members. The most classic example is to ask whether there’s anyone who doesn’t get along with someone else. This way, you can avoid pairing them.
It’s also important to ask in advance how many people are there. Are all the bridesmaids’ dresses the same? If so, which color are they?
It’s essential that you understand who’s who in the wedding party. You can only do that by talking to the bride and groom beforehand and asking the right questions. This way, you can better plan some poses, color palettes for props, etc.
3. Arrive with some posing ideas in mind
As photographers, we should provide guidance to the subjects because they aren’t models. The couple is already stressed on their wedding day, and the wedding party is doing its best to help out. The last thing they need is to worry about looking bad in the photos.
Help them relax by showing that you’ve come prepared and know what you’re doing. Give them clear instructions and show them example pictures to show what you want them to do.
4. Show emotions
The wedding party includes family members and their best friends. They are close to the couple, so a lot of emotions run every time they are together.
5. Don’t forget about the details
The wedding party is not only there to celebrate – they all have their roles. You should capture photos that reflect their participation on the special day.
6. Pack the right gear
As part of the planning is good to have a gear checklist to pack before you head out. It should include everything you need for the wedding photos depending on the venue, time of day, etc.
Usually, a wedding photographer bag has one or two cameras, a couple of lenses, batteries, memory cards, a flash, and a lens cleaning kit.
If it fits your plan and style, you should bring some props and accessories. This could be smoke bombs, fairy lights, etc. Everything that you need to take beautiful photos of the big day.
7. Master camera settings
As good as digital cameras can be, you can’t rely on auto mode if you’re a professional photographer.
Weddings are full of challenging situations. if you don’t know your camera, you won’t be able to take good pictures.
Dialing in the best settings for wedding photography before the moments occur is essential to not miss any of the action.
13 Wedding Party Photo Ideas for Great Results
Here are some ideas for some stunning wedding party photos.
1. The bridesmaids facing back
Ask the bridal party to turn their backs to the camera to highlight the bride looking straight at it. This is also a great way to get a rear view of the bridesmaid dresses. Remember: wedding photos are as much about these details as they are about the people.
2. The groomsmen with the bride
Don’t forget a photo of the bride with the groomsmen, for example, of them holding the wedding gown. It’s also important to get the groom with the bridesmaids.
3. Bridal parties
The moments before the wedding are also a part of the big day. The bridal party usually includes family and close friends. Capture a few pictures of them preparing together. Make sure you highlight the bridesmaid dresses.
4. The flower girl
Many wedding parties have a flower girl. It’s usually a daughter, niece, or someone close to the bride and groom. So, capturing a photo of the flower girl entering the aisle or posing with the bride is a must.
5. The kiss
It may not be their first kiss as a married couple, you can also ask them to pose for a picture kissing each other. You can pose the wedding party behind them. To make it fun, ask them to throw the bouquets, light sparklers, or hold a “Married” sign.
6. The grand exit
A handful of moments are so fun and photo-worthy as the bride and groom coming out of the church or the ceremony. You can use this moment to capture a beautiful wedding party photo.
Pose the bridesmaids and groomsmen on each side of the exit, clapping or throwing rice.
7. Alternate bridesmaids and groomsmen
The wedding party pictures can be fun or serious – it depends on the couple. In any case, make sure you get some standard wedding party poses before you start experimenting.
One of the classics is to form couples alternating bridesmaids and groomsmen.
8. Throwing bouquets
The throwing of the bouquet is a must-have. Having the bride and bridesmaids throw the bouquets and capture the moment they’re in the air.
9. Find different angles
You’ll have a boring album if you capture all the photos from eye level. Try different perspectives to make an unusual shot of the wedding party.
10. The groom preparing with the groomsmen
Even if it sometimes gets overlooked, the groom and his groomsmen have their preparation traditions on the wedding day. Make sure you take a photo of them before the party.
11. Stage a ‘candid’ photo
Posing for pictures can be awkward for the members of a wedding party. So, try and make it fun by staging ‘candid’ pictures.
12. The walking shot
If you want a more dynamic photo, ask the bride and groom to walk toward you and have the wedding party follow them.
In general, asking people to do an activity is more fun than asking them for standard poses. As a result, they’ll feel more relaxed, and you’ll capture more beautiful photos.
13. The hero shot
The wedding party pictures might not make it to the album cover, but they are an important part of the wedding photos. Make sure you have at least one that features everyone – this can be your hero shot.
It’s also the type of photo where your style as a photographer gets to shine. These stylized photos are the ones that separate you from the competition.
Wedding Party Photos FAQs
How long do bridal party photos take?
Around 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want to capture intimate and fun moments during the preparation without being the way. For that, you should consider enough time to take the pictures.
When do you take wedding party pictures?
Every couple has a different idea. Some prefer to do the wedding party pictures before the ceremony, and others prefer it after. Traditionally, it’s done afterward. Yet, recently is becoming more popular to do them before.
How should bridesmaids pose for photos?
Usually, the bridesmaids pose around the bride in a circle or a line making the classical prom pose. They can also pose with the groomsmen.
Final Words on Bridal Party Photos
I hope you liked these wedding party photo ideas! Remember that the key to getting really memorable wedding party photos is to ensure everyone is relaxed, and preferably having lots of fun!
As a photographer, your role is as much to make the wedding party feel at ease as it is to take stunning photos. With some direction and your general relaxed and professional demeanour, you can help create wedding party photos that look and feel natural.
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own for getting great photos of the wedding party.