If you’ve ever googled ‘best wedding poses’ to find some inspiration for your next shoot, you’re definitely not alone.
Whether you’re a beginner wedding photographer or a seasoned professional, directing brides and grooms can be a challenge, be it for family formals, bridal portraits, or just when trying to nail some creative couple poses.
Put all the best wedding poses on the back of your camera, so you can reference them while directing your couples.
While we don’t recommend that you replicate all these wedding poses at every shoot, memorising a handful of favourites before the big day will definitely help with your confidence.
Let’s take a closer look.
Table of Contents
19 Wedding Poses for Photographers
1. The First Look
The first look is one of the more iconic moments to capture. Traditionally speaking, it’s the first moment the groom sees the bride in her wedding gown. While many photographers opt to capture this moment as a candid, it can also be done privately where you can ensure a beautiful background and less distractions.
There are many ways of orchestrating this. For instance, it could be as simple as having the bride walk into a room where there groom has his back to her, and then have him turn around.
(If you’re looking to photograph the bride on her own, check out our guide to natural female poses.)
For a more creative approach, you could even blindfold both parties and have them remove them at the same time. Or both parties could arrive at a beautiful location for the big reveal. As long as you capture the groom’s initial reaction, you’re good to go.
As far as wedding photo ideas go, this is an excellent example of a wedding pose where you have some control, yet also let it naturally unfold (sort of like the walking photos).
2. The V
One of the most frequently used poses in wedding photography is called the “V”, where you have the bride and groom stand next to each other with their waist or hips touching. From there, you can ask them to look into each other’s eyes, lean in, and/or caress each other.
Just make sure each of them are doing something with their arms and not just holding them at their sides – arms and hands in general are important to remember when posing people.
You can also ask the bride and groom to open up their stance a bit by having their feet face the camera and creating some space between the two, or come in closer together for an intimate moment.
Whichever you choose, the V pose is a fantastic starting point for many other static poses. From here you can branch out into a number of different shots, all without taking up too much time.
Walking is perhaps the easiest non-pose to do if the couple is feeling nervous. You can have them start by walking away from you, so they’re not facing the camera. Once they return you can have them look at the camera or continue as if you’re not there – whatever works best.
Ask them to talk about the first time they met or the first time they knew they really felt a “glow” for each other. Even better, ask them to each come up with a funny moment they’ve had together.
The natural look of them laughing, talking, and touching can often lead to some amazing photos and bring out the love they share for one another. Make sure to experiment with both half-body and full-body framing for a bit of variety in portrait poses.
If you’re outdoors in beautiful scenery, a wide angle shot may be a perfect choice as well.
4. One Behind the Other or “Stacked”
This is a simple couples’ pose where one person stands behind the other and they look off into the distance. The person in back can wrap their arms around the other, place their hands on the other’s shoulders, or whatever creative idea comes to you from there.
This pose is especially good when there’s broad, expansive scenery, but you can do it almost anywhere. You can choose to have either the bride or the groom in the behind position – just see what looks best.
5. The Kiss from Behind
While your wedding couple is “stacked” is a perfect time to have a tender kiss from behind, either on the shoulder or with the person in front doing a bit of a partial turn to kiss on the lips.
(If you’re looking to photograph the groom on his own, check out our guide to natural male poses.)
6. Kissing the Hand
The hand kiss can be worked into almost any other wedding pose, whether it be walking, in the “V” pose, or just about any other situation.
7. The Forehead Kiss
Another sweet and low-stress wedding pose is a gentle kiss on the forehead. It can be done with one person sitting, while in the V position, or if the groom is tall, with the groom standing behind the bride. Just makes sure that they’re connected in someway first, either by holding hands, linking elbows or by touching in some other way.
Done right this pose can show a lot of love and tenderness. It’s also a great ice-breaker for couples that are nervous.
8. Resting Foreheads
Another wedding pose that’s easy to work into sitting or standing is resting foreheads together. This often looks best with eyes closed, but you can experiment with one or both of them having their eyes open.
9. Back to Back
Another sweet wedding pose is to have the bride and groom stand back to back. You can ask them to gently hold hands or to lean their heads into each other. Looking into the distance is fine or at the camera.
10. One Leading the Other
A variation of the walking pose is one of the two leading the other by the hand. This can be done with either the bride or the groom leading. Talking or laughing works well here also.
11. One Leading the Other, One Reversed
A variation of one leading the other is having one of the two facing away from the camera while leading the other. This is a great opportunity to focus on just one of the two. If the bride’s leading, it’s also a great opportunity to look at the detail on the back of the bride’s dress.
12. First Dance Together
All of the firsts on a couple’s wedding day are important, and the dance is no exception. Lots of sweetness, love, and sometimes even flair comes up for many. It also brings in a sense of motion to the photos.
While the first dance usually happens at the reception, if the couple is nervous about it or are unused to dancing they can practice it during their photoshoot. This will allow them to get some practice in and you the chance to get in a greater variety of shots – especially if you also shoot the dance at the reception.
13. Moving in for the Kiss
A little secret in the world of wedding photography – and in couple’s photography in general – is the “almost kiss.” The actual act of kissing rarely turns out good in photos. The moment before their lips meet, on the other hand, has a lot more energy and romantic tension in it.
If they’re feeling nervous about it, find a way to get them to laugh or be silly. Once they’re relaxed, ask them to get close to each other and move slowly in for a kiss. Once their lips are almost meeting but they can still see each other, ask them to lock eyes and hold that moment.
14. The Kiss
While the “almost kiss” tends to create a better image, the actual kiss remains one of the most important of all the wedding poses. Luckily it’s easy to move into an actual kiss after holding the tension of nearly kissing.
Use your creativity here. Try close up, widening out, and in-the-distance shots. For some of the close-ups, ask one of them to use their left hand to touch the others’ face, that way you can feature the wedding ring in the shot as well. Or, for a classic intimate shot, place the bride’s veil over the two of them.
15. Classic Hollywood
One of the more romantic wedding photo poses is called by the some the “Hollywood Classic”. In this shot the groom stands facing the bride while the bride faces him with her back to the camera. (This shows off the details of the back of the dress, hence is also commonly used to pose fashion models.)
From there, bring the bride’s hand up to softly touch the groom’s face. Capture the bride and groom in profile, keeping their body language soft but structured.
16. Carrying the bride
Carrying the bride over a threshold or through a picturesque outdoor scene is another of the more classic wedding poses. It takes some strength from the groom and a lot of attention to the bride’s wardrobe, but can add a lot of action and magic to a scene.
This pose can take some time to arrange, so isn’t the best for a shoot that’s time-crunched. Not only is it helpful to experiment with different angles, but also with the bride’s dress and train.
17. The Bride: Looking Down
Along the the classic wedding poses, there are plenty of natural posing moments to be had when both the bride and the groom are getting ready. One of which is catching the bride as she checks out her shoes and dress.
The resulting photo is surprisingly fresh and natural if you catch the moment just right. If she isn’t looking down on her own, you can direct her to look back over her shoulder at her shoes. The point isn’t a full body shot here, but more of capturing the expression on her face. A half-body framing usually works best for this image.
For this one you really have to be watching. The right moment can be fleeting.
18. The Groom: Buttoning Up
On the groom’s side, there are some great photo opportunities to be found when he is putting on the final touches to his outfit. Asking him to button up his jacket, put on his cufflinks, or adjust his bow tie – all of these offer great opportunities for fantastic pictures.
Add in some natural light (i.e. next to a window) and you’re golden!
Remember to make sure the groom’s posture is good – this conveys confidence and strength, and is a key tip when learning how to pose for pictures no matter your gender!
19. The Ring
And finally, the ring.
Ring shots are a favorite both for the engagement shoot and for the wedding.
There are a number of wedding poses that feature the ring(s). Most of these use a shallow depth of field, with only the rings in focus. (You can play around with this.)
To just focus on the rings alone, have the bride and groom stand side-by-side, keeping their ring hands together. From there, ask them to hold the the bride’s ring out towards the camera.
You can also feature the ringin some fun engagement photo ideas too.
Additional Tips for Posing Brides & Grooms
One of the most important element in wedding photography is capturing the love and connection between the bride and groom. If you’re lucky there will be some great opportunities for candid shots, but learning how to bring this out during the posing is essential for landing great photos that the couple will treasure for years to come.
Unlike engagement photography sessions where you might have a couple of hours, wedding shoots are often short on time. That’s why another key skill is learning how to get a number of different looks by diverging off a single, basic pose (like the “V” pose). No matter what wedding posture you use, there are generally a number of variations that can be created from it – check out our posing cards for examples.
Simple changes like switching around where the bride and groom place their hands, where they’re looking (at each other, at the camera, off into the distance, etc.), and what expressions they wear will help create a variety of images that you can cull through later.
Also, make sure to continually check the couple’s wardrobe. Everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day and forgetting to check for wardrobe malfunctions can really ruin an otherwise great photo. If you’re new to wedding photography, this probably won’t come as second nature, so be sure to focus on it.
There’s also the added creativity of working with the bride’s veil or arranging the train into graceful positions that can heighten the impact of an image.
Wedding Photographer Posing | Final Words
Hopefully, this article has given you a few new photography ideas for wedding poses.
There’s no one right way to do wedding photography. Everyone has to find their own unique style and methodology.
The poses mentioned here are just meant to be starting points. You’ll need to experiment with them and figure out what works best for you, both in terms of wedding day photos and in capturing the connection between a couple in general.
Be sure to experiment with other poses, both static and dynamic. There are plenty of other options: sitting, lying sharing a toast, cutting the cake. Just make sure to capture the love and connection between the two, avoid wardrobe malfunctions, and help the bride and groom have fun on this very special day.
Usnea Lebendig is a travel and landscape photographer who loves trekking in the wilderness, exploring other cultures, and using photography for social activism.