Bride and groom laughing close together while brie places her hand on his waist as they stand in front of a shed painted teal with a dream catcher painted on it in a field of tall grass as the sun is setting at LaLa Park in San Marcos, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

How To Look Your Best In Your Wedding Photos

When it comes to wedding photography – whether it’s for your engagement shoot, your wedding day, or your bridal portraits – you’ve probably thought about all the poses and moments you want to capture.

You’ve scrolled through blog posts with titles like “Essential Engagement Photo Poses,” “Wedding Day Photo Ideas You Need to Know,” and maybe even our own “5 Tips on What to Wear to Your Engagement Photoshoot.” And you’ve probably made a few lists with all the ideas that you plan on giving to your wedding photographer.

Kudos for being almost prepared. You’re nearly ready to step in front of the camera and shine, but there are a few more things you need to keep in mind. It’s best to know these things now and prepare for them so you’re mindful once the photographer shows up.

Many couples talk about wedding day photo regrets, the sinking feeling that comes on once they get the photos back and see themselves slouching or snarling, especially in candid shots. Most people don’t realize they’re doing it and some of these situations aren’t things the photographer can edit out or tweak post production.

That’s why it’s essential you keep these things in mind as you walk the aisle, say your vows, pose for group shots, and mingle. That’s not to say you have to be on point all the time, but when you’re aware of how you’re standing, how you’re moving, whether you’re smiling or practicing resting bitch face, you’ll have a better chance of receiving photos you’re proud of. No regrets!

Here are the essential things to keep in mind as you get your photos taken.

Bride and groom smiling and holding hands while standing on a dock in front of 4 canoes as the bride holds her bouquet with a Piney lake and mountain backdrop at Piney River Ranch in Vail Colorado. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Watch Your Posture. After slouching over computers and phones all day, it’s no wonder our muscles automatically go to slump mode when we stand. This is one of the biggest regrets that couples, and even wedding guests, have when they see themselves in the photos and videos.

Practice straightening your back now, keeping your shoulders back, and lifting your chin just a little (this will help eliminate double chin, but don’t lift too much or you’ll go from graceful to gangster in a hot second). Getting into the habit will train your body so that you won’t have to be completely mindful of how you’re standing in the future. You’ll just automatically have good posture.

It won’t be easy and you might have to have your photographer remind you once you’re in front of the camera, but it will be worth it.

Let Your Arms Hang Naturally. Holding your arms tight against your body will make them look bigger than they actually are. Just let them fall naturally in front or beside you, giving them some space from your torso.

Also keep this in mind when posing with your bouquet. Instead of holding it close, position it near your belly button with your arms slightly curved out from your body.

Take a Breath. A wedding is a party, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a bit stressed, and stress can cause you to tense up, which will show in the photos. Before you step in front of the camera, take a slow, soothing breath and relax your shoulders (but keep them back!). If you need to, shake out your arms and legs and roll your neck around to loosen up.

You might also want to give your cheeks a mini massage; with so much smiling, your mouth might tense up and make it hard to smile, no matter how genuine. This can produce a half smile of sorts that looks pretty obvious in photos.

Black and white photo of a bride and groom smiling as they're heads touch and the bride's hands are on his chest at Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Feel the Feels. Don’t be afraid to cry happy tears in front of the lens. Holding back will only cause your face to tense up, and by now you know that tense does not photograph well. Instead, let yourself feel the feelings, focus on those emotions, let them be. It’s a moment worth capturing.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Sure, I’m telling you to be mindful of some things, but that doesn’t mean you should overthink the process.

If you’re stressed out about candid shots or what your hair looks like or whether or not you squint when you smile or…you get the point…all that overthinking will translate into stiff joints and worried eyes. And that’s definitely not the story you want your wedding album to tell.

Be in the moment, do your thing, celebrate!

Still worried you’ll have wedding day photo regrets? I have hundreds of tips from many brides that I’d love to share with you.

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