Taller Bride + Shorter Groom = No Conundrum At All

A while back, the magnificent Megan had this to say:

You know what I would love to see? A post about and with lots of photos/poses where the bride is taller than the groom. That’s sort of a “common but unusual” thing and I think many people aren’t sure how to handle it. Do brides still wear heels? Are photo poses different? Do they embrace it? And so on.

Easy-peasy, I thought, there are probably hundreds of photos of taller brides posed with shorter groom out there since tall ladies do marry compact gents. But, no. I thought wrongly. The problem is not that there aren’t brides who are taller than their grooms, but rather that so many couples and/or wedding photographers go to great pains to hide what everyone can clearly see.

So instead of hundreds of photos, I found one great photo, some really crap photos, and then hundreds of blog posts and forum discussions all about how to hide the fact that the groom is shorter than the bride. Here are some highlights:

  • Shoot at ridiculous angles so you can’t tell how tall anyone actually is
  • Find a hill and have the groom stand higher on the angle than the bride
  • Outfit the bride in flats, and put the groom in lifts
  • Have the bride stands in a depression in the ground
  • Or have the groom stands on a box
  • If the couple is sitting, they may be the same height
  • Be sure the bride is hunching over or bend her knees in posed shots
  • And maybe also kick off her shoes
  • Pose them on a staircase with the groom on a higher tread

There was also a lot of “ask him if it will make him uncomfortable to look up at you” and “check with the groom to make sure he doesn’t mind the thought of your wearing heels,” as if the ‘shorter groom’ wasn’t once the ‘shorter boyfriend’ and won’t forevermore be the ‘shorter husband,’ even if the bride hates heels.

And really? No one worries about “looking mismatched” when it’s the groom who is taller than the bride! Sometimes couples and their wedding photographers will even have a bit of fun with it. Let’s say the photog takes all sorts of posed shots that make the groom look taller than the bride – I can just imagine their future kiddies asking their daddy why he was so much taller than mommy when he was younger.

So to answer Megan’s question, there are lots of ways to make shorter grooms look taller than their taller brides, mostly involving angles, hills, staircases, sitting down, and taking off one’s shoes. Unfortunately, what this leads to is a lack of great photos that show shorter grooms and taller brides looking happy and natural. Plus, it means that there are lots of photos of shorter grooms and taller brides that look like photos of taller grooms and shorter brides, which just end up looking like everyone else’s wedding photographs.

And to that I say “Bah!” I can understand not wanting to accentuate the difference – in any couple where one person is a lot taller than the other – but to actively try to hide it? I’d much rather see a pair of people who are comfortable with who they are and in love and enjoying their wedding day without worrying about who is taller than whom, in which case you get a photo like this:

All right, I know they look like something straight out of a magazine shoot, but that there is a real live couple in their wedding finery, as featured on Short Shrifted via Loveship. They look great, no? And they look great together, yes? And oh em gee her dress! And that bow tie! *swoon*

The only other great shorter groom/taller bride wedding photo (other than this one) I could find came from wedding photographer Chris Ling, who caught a kiss from far off and says “The first reaction I got from this photograph to the few people I have shown it to is, ‘Why is the bride taller than the groom?’ and my question to them is, ‘Why not?'”

Indeed. Why shouldn’t a bride be taller than the groom? Like I said, plenty of groom’s are ridiculously taller than their brides and no one seems to kick up a fuss over that. It may not be the most common bride-groom configuration, but there are tall guys and short guys and tall gals and short gals. No one should have to hunch over during their reception or stand on a box during the ceremony or wear flats when they live in heels just because someone somewhere thinks XYs must always be taller than XXs.

13 Responses to “Taller Bride + Shorter Groom = No Conundrum At All”

  1. Katie August 2, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    As a taller bride to be, thank you for this post. While I am planning to wear flats, that’s mostly because I usually prefer them anyway, and we certainly won’t be doing anything to make my dear fiancé look taller!

  2. Paula@DreamWeddingItaly August 2, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Why not! Some men don’t like women being taller, and my own ex didn’t like me to wear heels… but if a guy has proposed to you, he has proposed to all 6ft whatever of you… he knows you are taller, and loves you as you are!

  3. La Petite Acadienne August 2, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    People actually asked “Why is the bride taller than the groom?” Um…because she’s taller than the groom, that’s why?

    Damn, people are stupid.

    I think that photo is gorgeous, bride is gorgeous, and groom is seriously hot. Height, schmeit.

  4. Kate the Bride August 2, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    I was a taller bride! With pride, I even wore heels. Check out the photos on my blog, I think you’ll find we weren’t ashamed!

  5. Twistie August 2, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    You know, nobody makes a big deal about how I don’t quite come up to Mr. Twistie’s shoulder. I wore flats and he wore a top hat on our wedding day. Our photos look great because they were taken well and we were comfortable just being ourselves.

    I see no reason on earth why a couple where the woman happens to be taller than the man should be any different. After all, he’s not going to suddenly grow four inches just because he’s marrying a tall woman, anymore than I was going to get any taller before my wedding!

    The best wedding photos are of people really being who they are. So what if they don’t look exactly like most people expect?

  6. Megan August 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Thank you sooooo much for addressing my question! I’m so flattered :)

    I think you found exactly what I have – it’s very hard to find great photos of taller bride.

  7. Vizia August 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    I’ve been unable to find a shot from their actual wedding, but Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum appear to simply not care about their height difference, and are a gorgeous couple…http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/11/article-1242316-07D09375000005DC-890_233x563.jpg

  8. AmazonPrincess August 3, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    I’m a taller bride! And I will totally link pictures once I get them :-)

    I did wear flats, but we got married in a redwood grove and I would have fallen flat on my face if I had heels on.

  9. Dynamite Weddings August 3, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I’m 5’10 and the higher the heals the better! Embrace that gorgeous heigh everyday!

  10. AmazonPrincess August 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I said I’d be back with a picture once I had one, so here you go! :-)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pizdushka/4860237913/

    (For the record I am 6’2″ and my husband is 5’9″ish)

  11. Josh @ Shortshrifted August 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Great post, Christa! I’m so glad you didn’t go with the usual media flow on this one and just parrot the standard have-the-groom-stand-on-a-chair type advice. You really nailed it: Why the heck shouldn’t the bride and groom look like themselves? Thank you!!

    And thanks for the link to my blog! As I said there about the Loveship pic (above), I love how there isn’t even an attempt to hide their height disparity. It’s practically *emphasized* in a couple of shots, with the groom standing down the hill from the bride etc. Love it. If anyone’s curious about my original post on the folks pictured, it’s here:

    http://shortshrifted.com/?p=1323

  12. Claire August 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Great Post. I absolutely agree. You shouldn’t get hung up on height differences. I think natural photos taken showing how happy and how much in love the couple is on their wedding day is so much more important.

  13. Julie Watts September 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Great topic! As a professional photographer (and daughter of a 6′ tall mom and 5’10” dad), for me the issue isn’t “hiding” the height discrepany. That is never my goal. Great captures of the couple with cozy, intimate poses are just naturally easier when their heads are closer (no matter WHO is taller). Bottom line, I want to capture their closeness, and photographers must care, and be more skillful to achieve this goal. A great image, to me, is one in which the CONNECTION and BEAUTY between the two is MORE striking and attention getting, than any other aspect of the image. And BTW, My parents photographer DID have my dad stand on a box in 1968. One day when I was 17, I finally noticed “Hey! Dad was NEVER taller than mom like in this picture in the hallway..what gives?!” Photography will always capture the social norms of the day…a fascinating aspect, I think.