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

While knowing how to pose for wedding photos can help couples look stunning in every shot, the idea of posing for photographs may seem nerve-wracking. We’ve already given brides and grooms plenty to think about on their wedding day. Now, how do we add posing?

Mikkel Woodruff, a wedding photographer, says that the key to taking great wedding photos is not to pose. She says that the digital age has allowed us to capture more images. This allows us to preserve those candid moments in beautiful ways, more like photojournalism. We want photos that aren’t forced, so I consider myself the art director of the day. I will assess whether my couple requires more or less guidance.


Mikkel Woodruff, a luxury and destination wedding photographer, is based on the East coast. She has photographed many weddings, from proposals and engagements to elopements.

Tips to Pose Naturally

Woodruff noticed that her couples needed some help when it came to natural posing during her years of wedding photography. The most common problem? It is easy to end a natural, candid moment too quickly. She says, “I tell my partners that if they are inclined to do something or move naturally, don’t stop.” “I have found that couples are able to smile and laugh perfectly and then stop to check if they’re in the right place. Just keep going! The photographer should let you know if you don’t look great.

Woodruff is often asked if she has any advice on where to place my arms. While natural poses are essential for wedding photography, Woodruff says that there are some rules and guidelines for placing your arms. It all boils down to relaxation. She advises that you don’t put your arms against your body. If the bride wishes to hold her bouquet, her arms should be relaxed and extended. Her arms could look less flattering if she pressed her elbows into her body.

Woodruff suggests that you keep your arms in a group shot with arms wrapped around one another. This will prevent stretching and stressing fabric.

Although candid photos that show personality are great, it can be difficult to get those natural poses such as laughing in the garden or under the sun. Woodruff also has some silly tricks that will work for almost all her couples. She says, “If you’re discreet, try a little bitt squeeze. The laughs that result from that are incredible.” You can also try starting at your partner for 20 seconds straight. One of you will undoubtedly start laughing. My favourite is to think of a secret, dirty or clean, and whisper it into your partner’s ears. This works wonderfully.

How to Avoid Making Wedding Mistakes

The most common wedding pose errors are made by the couple acting unnaturally stiff. Wedding photographers and videographers advise the couple to act unnaturally. However, this is not always easy. What are some simple ways to look natural while taking photos with your camera?

  • Close-eyed Kissing: While it is not natural to kiss with open eyes, many couples choose this style of kissing on their wedding day. Woodruff suggests that you remind your photographer about this. However, if in doubt, kiss naturally.
  • Keep it simple: This is not a make-out session. Woodruff states, “We want clean and neat kisses.” “Make sure you turn your head so that your partner doesn’t feel like you’re squishing their noses in. You may feel like you are squishing if it feels that way.
  • Slow it Down¬†Walking photos are great for couples or larger bridal parties, but you must tread carefully. Woodruff said, “It’s no race.” “So often, the wedding party ends up walking way ahead. Slow down and have fun with your guests.
  • Don’t practice¬†too much: While brides and grooms might want to perfect their smiles prior to the big day, Woodruff suggests that they spend that time somewhere else. She says, “Don’t practice smiling. Then you’ll overthink.” I can see when couples try to practice smiling and end up looking too self-conscious.
  • Talk up: If you have insecurities or prefer a particular side, let the photographers know. Woodruff states that it could be something as simple as a height difference or a preference for a certain side of the body to be photographed. You can both be more successful together with the final product if you are open with your photographer.

We’ve highlighted some popular wedding photo poses that you can use for your big day.

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Admiring the Dress

Some brides wait for years, others even a lifetime! The perfect dress is something that brides wait for. Photographers love to capture her, admiring her dress moments before she puts it on.

Tie the bow tie

Photographers love to capture key moments in wedding preparation, such as the groom tying his tie. Similar shots include tying the tie, putting on the jacket and lacing the shoes.

The First Look

While the wedding-day first glance is an important photograph, couples should not think about the photographer. Let the moment unfold, embrace the emotions and know that the photographer will capture every detail.

The Twirl

While wedding dresses are beautiful from all angles, they come alive when twirling. The bride dances in this pose, almost like a ballerina. The final photo is stunning and full of movement.

Candid Laughter

It’s always great to capture candid laughter. These moments are often captured by photographers during pre-session, as well as during wedding party portraits.

The Forehead Kiss

A soft peck on your forehead is one of the most photographed kisses. Photographers often ask for at most a few of these sweet poses in portrait sessions.

The Wind-Blown Veil

Photographers will be able to make the most of that beautiful veil, no matter how windy it is. Many photographers will ask their assistant to raise and then lower the veil while the couple kisses. This photo looks straight out of a magazine.

The Stroll

This intimate moment between the couple is captured in the stroll. The pose is great on any surface, including a sidewalk or a field. It looks equally good in photos and video.

The Subtle Glance

Photographers at weddings love to catch a subtle glance at their camera. This photogenic pose is great for all occasions, including bridal portraits and prep photos.

The Cake Cutting

The iconic cake cutting shot is candid or posed one. The catering staff will provide the tools and instructions while the photographer takes pictures of everything from the first cut to the last bite.


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