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We all know that capturing those picture-perfect wedding moments can be a challenging task. Whether it’s juggling an extensive list of family and friends or dealing with unexpected outdoor elements, the photo session can be a marathon in itself and it can truly be one of the hardest times of the day, mainly because of how long it can take. People are adding more and more guests into the mix who they want a picture with and this can go on for a couple of hours.

In this guide, we break down some essential tips to help you not just survive but successfully navigate your wedding day photos. Keep reading for bonus content on how to pose for your wedding photos!

1. Curated photo list

We always strongly suggest that you curate your photo list carefully because if you don’t you’re going to get exhausted, hot, and cranky. We have seen in some instances where the family has no patience for it and is yelling at the photographer to hurry up and stop. It’s typically not the photographer’s fault, because they are not the ones who make the list.

2. Select a photographer who knows how to snap quickly

Make sure that your photographer is somebody who can take photos quickly and efficiently. My team and I are in so many of these photo sessions and we can tell you that it is one of the hardest parts of the day, because there isn’t a whole lot of action, standing there and posing. You also sometimes have to hoard a group to do what you want them to do when no one is paying attention. If you have a wedding planner, that’s something that typically one of their staff or the photographer’s assistant will do, but you have to make sure that people are in the area – it can be really arduous.

3. Protect your glow: sunscreen and bug spray are your allies

During a recent wedding in Wyoming, my stylist team noticed the bride’s fair skin started to burn under the sun. We applied sunscreen to her whole back because the dress was open and to her shoulders, as the last thing you want is to be burned when you’re walking down the aisle. It’s a reminder that outdoor photos can be brutal on your skin. Always be prepared with sunscreen and bug spray. A small bag of essentials, including these items, can save the day and keep you comfortable throughout the shoot.

4. Keep your glam squad close

After your hair and makeup team works their magic, don’t let them disappear. Keep them close by for touch-ups, especially during outdoor shoots where wind and heat can be challenging. If your budget allows, definitely keep hair and makeup on standby and have them follow you around. We recommend that they stay until after the wedding dresses bustled, which is typically when our team also leave. You can even do a touch-up and bustle at the same time, and you’re going to look fresh and be prepared for your party.

5. Stay hydrated, but mind the lipstick

Bring a bottle of water to the photo sessions or have somebody bring it for you. If you don’t have a dresser, or a planner, maybe put your maid of honour in charge of this little bag of goodies, and keep hydrated. Definitely throw in a straw because you won’t want to get your lipstick all messed up. Drink in slowly so as not to have to reapply every time you do.

6. Comfort Over Fashion: Swap Out Your Shoes

Another issue that comes up a lot is this is the time that your feet start to hurt. Standing for extended periods during the photo session can take a toll. You may be able to wear stilettos all day and walk around Manhattan, but the wedding day is a totally different experience because you’re standing in one spot, and not moving, which is a different kind of action, or inaction.

Another thing to consider if you’re going to be outside taking pictures is a block heel, a wedge, or flats to be able to navigate the photo session, the last thing you want to do is trip if you are wearing thin heels. If you can have a backup shoe that’s relatively the same height and do your photos in these, no one will notice as you’re going to be standing for the most part and your dress will be down to cover them. If you can be comfortable during the photo sessions, a quick change into stilettos before the ceremony will keep you dancing all night without the pain.

7. Master the Art of Holding Your Dress

As a team of expert bridal stylists, one of our top priorities is ensuring that the bride looks absolutely flawless, and nothing irks me more than witnessing a beautiful dress tainted by dirt before the ceremony even begins. Holding the train of your wedding dress properly is an art that can make all the difference, especially when venturing outdoors for those enchanting photos. It’s a delicate balance between capturing breathtaking moments and preserving the pristine condition of the gown.

When planning for outdoor pictures, it’s crucial to engage in a thoughtful discussion with the photographer, planner, and, of course, you – the bride. We assess the surroundings, identifying potential dirt traps, and strategize on how to navigate them without compromising the dress. It’s a collaborative effort where we weigh the importance of protecting the gown against the desire for capturing picturesque shots. Our wedding day dressers advocate for prioritizing the dress, we understand the allure of those unforgettable moments frozen in time.

Part of our expertise lies in teaching brides the art of holding their dresses elegantly. Here are some practical tips for holding your dress that we recommend when planning an outdoor wedding photo session:

  • If you know there’s grass involved, we recommend hemming the gown slightly shorter during fittings to minimize the risk of dirt accumulation. Always err on the side of a little bit shorter if you know you’re going to be on the grass.
  • Additionally, we guide brides on the proper technique for holding the train – grabbing the midpoint, pinching it with their hands, and gracefully swinging it around to prevent any dragging.
  • Ensure you have someone who can help you pick up your train and check it’s not dragging. You can even tell your photographer because they are going to be the ones looking at you the most and you can ask them to let you know if they see it dragging.

By communicating with the photographer and enlisting the help of a vigilant assistant, you can confidently navigate outdoor spaces, ensuring that your dress remains as immaculate as the day you say: “I do.”

8. Stand Tall on Solid Ground: Bring a Tarp

Outdoor locations can be unpredictable. To safeguard your dress from dirt, mud, or wet grass, having something to stand on makes a world of difference. We always carry with us a clear plastic tarp. You can find one at any hardware store, we cut it up and stick it underneath the dress. It’s a discreet yet effective way—especially if you’re doing portrait sessions with the whole wedding party and you can’t even see the dress behind you—to ensure your gown stays pristine, even in challenging environments.

This is a trick we’ve used on the steps of the New York Public Library and in the middle of a field in Jackson Hole—even when it’s not raining! If you have a dress that has a fabric that attracts dirt, like silk faille or satin, and even lace, you don’t want it to be laying on the ground getting dirty. It’s best to put a sheet or clear plastic to help keep it clean.

10 Tips for How to Pose for Wedding Photos

Among the many elements that contribute to the everlasting memories of this day, the art of posing for wedding photos is an important factor. Crafting the perfect pose not only immortalizes the magic of the moment but also encapsulates the unique essence of your love story.

Here are our top 10 tips to help you strike those picture-perfect poses, ensuring that every frame tells the story of your special day with elegance and authenticity:

1. Natural Interaction

  • Focus on natural, candid moments. Genuine interactions often result in the most heartfelt and authentic photographs.
  • Interact with your partner as you normally would—whether it’s holding hands, sharing a quiet moment, or stealing a kiss.

2. Relax and Be Yourself

  • Relax your shoulders and take a deep breath. Tension can show in photographs, so try to stay calm and be yourself.
  • Trust your photographer; they are experts in capturing beautiful moments and will guide you when needed.

3. Consider Your Venue

  • Take advantage of the unique features of your wedding venue. Whether it’s a scenic view, an architectural element, or a beautiful garden, incorporate the surroundings into your poses.

4. Practice Posing

  • Before the wedding day, practice posing in front of a mirror to find angles and poses that make you feel comfortable and confident.
  • Consider an engagement photoshoot as a practice run with your photographer.

5. Show Emotion

  • Express genuine emotions. Whether it’s laughter, joy, or a soft gaze, let your emotions shine through in your facial expressions.
  • Don’t be afraid to show a range of emotions—wedding photos are about capturing the full spectrum of your feelings on this special day.

6. Group Photos

  • When posing with the wedding party or family, create a sense of connection.
  • Encourage natural interactions and avoid overly stiff or formal poses.
  • Vary the group formations to add visual interest to the photos.

7. Use Props Wisely

  • Incorporate meaningful props like your bouquet, a veil, or any items that hold sentimental value. However, use them sparingly to avoid distractions.

8. Be Mindful of Lighting

  • Work with your photographer to understand the best lighting conditions for your photos.
  • We love how soft, natural light often produces the most flattering results.

9. Experiment with Angles

  • Explore different angles and perspectives. Some of the most interesting and artistic wedding photos come from experimenting with unique angles.

10. Enjoy the Moment

  • Remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your love. Enjoy the moment, and let your happiness and love for each other shine through in your poses.

Your wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions, and the photo session is a crucial part of capturing those everlasting memories. By following these tips, you can navigate any challenges with grace, ensuring you not only look stunning but feel comfortable throughout the process. Remember, preparation is key, so start thinking about these details in advance to make your photo session as smooth as possible.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can connect with us at hello@thestylishbride.com