Weddings are beautiful occasions, filled with love and sentiment that deserve to be documented. Posed photos are great and totally necessary, but it’s the unposed, raw shots from your wedding that accurately capture the romantic, heartfelt emotions. We spoke with wedding photographer Annamarie Akins about the best candid moments to be sure your photographer captures on your wedding day:
1. The bride getting into her gown: When the bride puts on her gown, the fact that she’s about to get married starts to truly hit her. “It’s my favorite part of the day because it’s the first big moment, the excitement is building, and all the girls are happy, laughing, and giddy,” says Anna. All the important women in the bride’s life, including her mother, are all in one spot together, which makes this time truly special.
2. The father daughter first look: More and more brides are doing these nowadays because it’s such a monumental moment for a father to see his little girl in a wedding dress. The father daughter first look is emotional for both parties, and since the father may not participate in other significant moments, like helping the bride into her gown, doing a first look allows him to feel included.
3. The first look: A first look is when the bride and groom choose to see each other before the bride walks down the aisle. Although non-traditional, Anna loves them and estimates that about 75% of her couples choose to do one. “They’re so intimate, and you get to see each other on your wedding day without the distraction of anybody else.” First looks are incredibly emotional and romantic, and the honest, heart-felt emotions make for gorgeous, “Awww” inspiring photos.
4. The groom’s face as his bride is walking down the aisle: This always creates an absolutely priceless photo. Because men are typically less prone to show emotion, this is a picture you’ll want to be sure to capture. Even if the groom happens to be notoriously tough, his emotions during this sentimental moment may surprise you!
5. The parents’ faces as the bride walks down the aisle: The pride and joy in parents’ eyes during the wedding is often quite moving. “I think it’s important to capture loved ones emotions on the day as well…it’s little details like those that create photos which really tell the story of the day.” Weddings are significant occasions for parents as well, so documenting their reactions and emotions is essential.
6. The first kiss: Since this seals the deal, it’s crucial to capture, especially if the groom shows off with something like a dip kiss. The walk down the aisle afterwards is also an equally beautiful, yet less documented moment, as the couple is typically beaming with love in their eyes.
7. The bride and groom arriving at their reception: The arrival is a big moment because it documents the first time the two lovebirds are in public together as a married couple. Make your arrival even more memorable by getting creative with it. “I just recently had a couple show up to their reception by boat, which was epic.” Vehicles such as vintage cars, motorcycles, and horse drawn carriages also make for memorable entrances.
8. The toast – This is another emotional time, as loved ones will express heartfelt well wishes, tell funny stories, and reminisce about happy memories from the past. Again, Anna loves to get shots of not only the bride and groom, but close family and friends during this time as well, because their expressions can be similarly touching.
9. The exit – The moment the bride and groom leave the reception exemplifies the fact that they’re off to start a brand new, exciting chapter together. Have fun with it by doing something unique, such as involving sparklers, having fireworks, or leaving in a stylish vehicle. Involving fun touches will make your photos even more extraordinary.
10. Any special touches: Sometimes couples plan to do things on their big day that are unique, such as lighting a candle for a deceased relative, or doing a passionate duet. If you’re involving anything out of the ordinary on your wedding day that is meaningful to you, be sure to have it caught on camera.
By asking your photographer to capture these key moments, you’ll document true emotion, and be able to look back at photos that perfectly narrate the beautiful story of your wedding day.
*Photo by Annamarie Akins