Your wedding day is going to be a whirlwind filled with emotion — excitement, joy, and laughter. Capturing those moments in a way that lets you relive those emotions all over again each time you open your wedding album is a critical part of your perfect wedding. So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few tips I’ve gathered over the years to get those perfect, emotional wedding photos that you’ll treasure.

A First Look

If you’ve been following my blog or social media for a little while you probably know that I’m a HUGE fan of first looks. This intimate moment together results in some of the most emotional wedding photos! And in case you’re wondering, no, it doesn’t take away the magic of the moment you walk down the aisle — sometimes it makes that moment even MORE emotional!. If you’re thinking about including a first look on your big day, check out this post!


Emotional wedding photos: The groom turns away and cries during the first look with his beautiful bride.

A First Look with Parents/Grandparents

While the first look with your fiance is always amazing, I’m an even bigger fan of scheduling one with Dad into your timeline. These first looks are ALWAYS emotional. Your dad has secretly been thinking of this day, this moment since you were a little girl. Setting aside a few minutes in your timeline to make sure you get great photos of it is never a bad idea! 

Father of the bride cries when he sees her for the first time as a bride.

Emotional wedding photos. Bride does a first look with her elderly father and he starts to cry.

Don’t Overload Your Timeline

Unless you’re a professional actor, you likely won’t be able to produce authentic emotion on command. Make sure that your wedding day timeline gives you plenty of time for everything you have planned, especially photos! If you’re rushed, you’ll feel stressed and you won’t be able to be as in-the-moment as you would be otherwise. By giving yourself plenty of time, you’ll be more present on the day-of and your emotions will flow naturally, resulting in amazing authentic photos. Hiring an experienced wedding planner and photography team can be a big help when it comes to knowing how much time you’ll need.

Bride and groom laugh candidly during their wedding portraits.

Aim for Meaningful Instead of Trendy

Let’s face it, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the latest Instagram #weddinginspo or popular Pinterest wedding trends. While I’m an avid user of both these platforms, I also firmly believe that it’s important to keep them in their place. Don’t let the trends overload your day so much that it loses the unique and meaningful things that make it special and personal to you and your fiance. The more personal things you can incorporate into your wedding day, the more meaningful it will be and the emotions will flow naturally. 

Some examples: 

  • Choose a first dance song that’s got special significance for you and your fiance rather than one that’s trendy right now
  • Use personal memories/milestones as the theme for your seating chart/tables
  • One Couple themed their entire reception on the two cities they grew up in, the table’s were named after the streets rather than having numbers
  • Some couples set aside a special table at the reception to remember loved ones who have passed away or to share wedding photos of their parents/grandparents
  • Your Something borrowed could be something that’s unique to your relationship. One of our bride’s had her husband’s name badge from his military uniform sewn into the underside of her gown.

Emotional wedding photos. Mother of the groom cries on son's shoulder during the mother-son dance.

Hire a Photographer Who Knows How to Evoke Emotion

As you’re looking through portfolios, look for photographers who take emotional wedding photos. Evoking emotion is a skill that not every person who owns a nice camera has mastered! When you meet with your potential photographers talk to them about how capturing emotion is a priority and ask them about their process. A seasoned wedding photographer will have a few tricks up their sleeve to get great expressions from you and your fiance when it’s time for posed photos in addition to knowing how to anticipate emotional moments that unfold naturally throughout the day.

 I’d love to chat with you about which emotional moments you’re most looking forward to on your wedding day and talk about how we can best capture them. Fill out this form to find out if I’m available for your wedding day!


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