Be You In Your Wedding Photos, No Matter What

Moments like these make the wedding

There is something just so awesome about the above image of a bride getting ready before her wedding. Personally, what I love about it is that it’s not the usual shot of the bride-to-be gazing at herself in the mirror, maybe a little tearfully, while her stylist does her hair or her mother helps her do the clasp on her necklace. (Speaking of those, do you know how many of those shots I’ve staged for friends’ photos? Lots. And to my eye, they all came out looking staged. Seriously.) The bride in the above photo? She looks FUN. And she looks like she’s the kind of chick who probably really enjoyed her own wedding reception instead of spending the whole time trying to be a perfect hostess.

I guess it could just be me, but the wedding photos that I actually like to look at are the ones in which brides and grooms look not like catalog models, but like themselves. Too bad that wedding photos that give you a glimpse of a couple’s personality seem like the exception, not the rule. Instead, you get albums full of stiff posed wedding photos, of brides and grooms mugging for the camera, uncomfortable looking fake smiles, etc. Part of the problem is that most brides and grooms are not celebrities, so aren’t used to having multiple cameras pointed in their direction, snapping away. You see someone about to take a photo… and freeze. Do you smile just so? Turn away? Get ready for it and suck in your gut?

Don't sweat the wedding photog, just be YOU

No, no, and no. For the most natural wedding photos, you keep doing whatever it is you were doing, even if it means you might be showing too much gum when you smile or you have a bit of a tummy. Who cares? That’s you; it’s what you look like. Maybe not all the time, but it’s what you look like when you’re laughing or hugging or crying or dancing. Do we really all need to look perfect all the time to feel good about ourselves? I hope not – since stressing out about whether you’re going to have a tummy or your bra strap is showing at your wedding reception is going to stress you out.

The sad thing about natural wedding photos is that brides and grooms don’t always like them. Couples shop around for the wedding photographers who will make them look model perfect, even if it’s all an illusion. It took me a long time to get over the fact that I didn’t look perfect in this or that photograph from my ceremony or reception, but eventually I realized those were absolutely 100% the BEST photos of me from my wedding. Why? Because I look like me and I look like I’m having fun and those are the wedding photos that people snapped when I didn’t realize that a camera was pointed in my direction.

So take a tip from Manolo for the Brides and don’t sweat your wedding photographer – move through your ceremony and reception as if he or she isn’t there, snapping away. Focus on the person in front of you who you’re vowing to love, honor, and cherish for the rest of your life. Focus on your loved ones and how amazing the catering turns out and the great music and the dancing and everything else that will make your wedding special. Yes, your wedding photos are probably the only keepsake from your wedding you’ll have years and years from now, so of course you want them to be beautiful. But wouldn’t it be nice if those photographs aren’t just beautiful, but also real?

Image: Maureen Lunn; Clairity

3 Responses to “Be You In Your Wedding Photos, No Matter What”

  1. bridal girl says:

    I do agree with you. Although couples are still trap with the thinking that the art of wedding photography comes with looking like a bridal model from a bridal magazine. I do hope that more and more brides realize that on their wedding that they will just enjoy being a bride and naturally have fun.

  2. Sri says:

    Why is a wedding so costly? A wedding has so many components that add up. The florist, the photographer, the wedding cake, the invitations, the caterer. The smallest weddings to the largest weddings all have the same basic requirements. The most costly component of most weddings is the reception – providing refreshments, a meal and cake. These alone represent about 40%-60% of the cost of a wedding. If you’re interested in cutting costs, there are many options for you

  3. The Jananator says:

    Okay, I’ll cop to posing and puckering in pretty much all photos like a drama mama! Next time someone is snapping in front of me, I will try to take this advice to heart!