Wedding photography is one of the most important parts of a wedding day! Get our wedding party photo list to take amazing wedding party photos
Wedding Party Photos
Photographing the bridal party on the wedding day can be a daunting task. It’s a constant thought – to take unique wedding photos that are true to the bride and groom.
Maybe there’s over 20 people involved. Maybe there’s an odd number of Bridesmaids to Groomsmen. Maybe you have 20 minutes or less to photograph everyone involved. Whatever the scenario wedding group photos are still a must!
Over my 8+ years as a Wedding Photographer, I’ve experienced all of the above and then some! But shooting the bridal party and family formals doesn’t stress me out anymore. Here’s a few tips for you to help streamline the process, evoke true emotion, and make sure you’re consistent through every single wedding.
Wedding Party Photos List
Always keep in mind what you NEED from the bridal party
- Formal Photo of Bridesmaids + Bride
- Formal photo of the Groom + Groomsmen
- Candid Photo of Bridesmaids + Bride
- Candid Photo of the Groom + Groomsmen
- Individual Photos with the Bride + Each Bridesmaid
- Individual Photos with the Groom + Groomsmen
- Individual Photos with the Groom + Ushers
- Detail shots (Bouquets, dresses, tuxes, boutonnieres, shoes, flower girl baskets etc – you know all of those details! )
- Formal photo of the ENTIRE Bridal Party
- Candid/Fun photo of the ENTIRE Bridal Party
- Bride + Groom with the Flower Girls
- Bride + Groom with the Ring Bearers
- Bride + Groom with the Ushers
I’m pretty soft spoken myself, but on a wedding day, I’m the boss and I make sure everyone knows to respect authority.
Have a list of PROMPTS to direct the Bridal party with.
This way the emotions are natural and it’s not stiff. Bonus: a bridal party that is having fun will remember you and refer you to their engaged friends 😉 A few of my favorites are:
- Bride + Groom, go in for a kiss. Everyone else CELEBRATE! Woo! If they’re not loud enough, I’ll make a comment like, “Boo that was weak! Once more with FEELING!”
- “Ladies, pair up with the guy you walked down the aisle with. Half on one side of the couple, half on the other. Boy-girl-boy-girl.” This way you can have some variety for the Full Bridal Party. I recommend starting with the Girls on the Bride’s side, Guys on the Groom’s side. Shoot a few frames like that. Then switch to the girls on the Groom’s side, guy’s on the Bride’s. Then mix it up with the prompt above.
- A common questions is “What do I do with my hands?” Have the ladies hold their flowers at belly button level. Guys can do left over right, or thumbs/hands in pockets. Wrap arms around waists. Link arms. Hold hands. Adjust cuff links/ties.
- Introduce some motion! Walking shots always look great. You can do them with the girls, guys, or the entire bunch. Create a bit of depth by placing the Bride + Groom a few paces in front of their Bridal Party, then have them walk towards you slowly, gazing at each other/holding hands, then have the crew in the back talk/laugh with each other, following suit. When I’m doing a walking pose with the guys, I always like to say something like, “Alright dudes. Pretend Michael Bay is directing the film you’re in, and everything behind you is exploding. Walk away real cool from the explosion.”
- Girls are more at ease being close to each other than guys typically are. I’ll put the Maid of Honor/sisters next to the Bride and have them hold hands with each other, then pose the other ladies individually. Staggering the heights of the bouquets and what the girls are doing with their hands adds a bit more interest.
- While in the above position, I’ll tell the Bride to look at her favorite Bridesmaid. That usually gets some giggles!
- When it comes to individuals of the Bride + Maids & Groom + Dudes, I’ll start with a formal pose, then have them do something silly/random. Usually the guys get wayyyy more into it than the ladies, but it’s a ton of fun either way. I’ve seen them recreate the “Titanic Pose”, “Prom Pose”, “Heisman”, piggy back rides, and quite a few butt grabs.
Bridal Party Pictures
Remember the Details!
These can be just as important as the individuals. Usually the Bride carries a different bouquet than her ladies, so make sure to photograph the Bridal bouquet by itself, as well as one of the Bridesmaid’s bouquets. Same with the Groom/Groomsmen and the boutonnieres.
Have your Second Shooter grabbing details from the side.
While I typically shoot the group photos with a Sigma 35 ART or my Canon 50 1.2L, my second has on a tighter lens (usually a 70-200) and is zooming in on the laughter, bouquets, etc from the side. Don’t have a second shooter? No problem. You can quickly just move to the side and grab the same shots. Having a great second shooter can be vital to your wedding party photos going smoothly!
Change up your focal length and crop
It’s always a good habit to shoot a wide/full body shot, then crop in from the waist up. Do this with both your horizontal images and your vertical images to add a ton of variety.
Location, location, location.
When I do Bridal Party photos, I make sure to pose them somewhere with good light and enough space for everyone. Sometimes if I have enough time during the day, I’ll photograph a quick formal shot of the entire Bridal Party together at the alter, but then do the other photos elsewhere on the property. Natural light is my jam, so typically I bring them outside and put them in open shade.
Don’t be afraid to get creative/have fun with it!
Grab some chairs from the ceremony and stagger everyone while having them give you the “Model Face/Smize”. Play into their humor. Another favorite is to have the Bridesmaids + Groomsmen line up in an aisle across from each other, make a tunnel with their hands, and have the happy couple run through while they cheer. Or, if you’re really crazy like me and the venue has a pool… see if they’ll all jump in at the end of the night.
Make sure to snap candids of the Bridal Party throughout the day, not just in posed Wedding Party Photos
These people are important to the couple. They’re their siblings, someone they’ve known since childhood, their best friends. They mean something. So make sure to take the time to capture their candid moments throughout the day too. Maybe it’s the MOH shedding a tear when she sees her best friend in her wedding dress. Maybe it’s the Best Man putting his hand on the Groom’s shoulder in support as the Bride comes down the aisle. Maybe it’s the bridesmaid who catches the bouquet. Or maybe it’s one of the guys getting choked up during the toasts. Those moments matter.