The key to looking your best in pictures is confidence. And preparation can help you to be confident while the camera is pointed at you almost ALL day. Here's some things to be aware of so you can feel as beautiful as possible in your wedding photos, and wedding video, too!
Good posture is slimming, makes you taller, and makes you look happier and more energetic. You should stand tall, with your shoulders slightly back. This applies for both women and men. Also, holding your head up will help prevent double-chins and slim your neck and face. But you have to make these adjustments look and feel natural, we don't want anyone looking stiff or awkward.
Your hair and make-up should be done by a professional. You'll look your best, and feel your best, which will show in your images. I would also suggest that you get a quick touch-up before entering the reception. And since you'll likely be getting photographed while being made-up before the wedding, it's also important that you get ready in a space that works well for photography. Salons, hotels, and bridal suites are usually more photogenic than bedrooms or living rooms. Make sure to keep the area clean and clutter-free.
Show emotion! You don't have to have the same huge smile all day long; just be natural, and in the moment. Look each other in the eyes, and show each other affection. Be aware of your hands, and whenever possible show off your wedding ring. It's important that you are well-rested, so get enough sleep the night before, and no hangovers from the rehearsal dinner!
The first kiss should not be rushed, as you want to give the photographer time to get the shot. 3-5 seconds should be about perfect. And I would suggest actually practicing it ahead of time. As you walk down the aisle, keep your head up and smile. Try to look down as little as possible. The groom should be reacting to seeing you for the first time, and looking you in the eyes. For all of the big "walking" moments (walking the aisle, the entrance and exit from the reception), you should be looking at the camera, the crowd, or each other. Not the floor! All of this applies for the entire wedding party and family, as well.
I would also practice the first dance prior to the wedding. While slow-dancing, it's okay to lean your head on his shoulder a few seconds, but don't bury your face. Your arms should be around each other's waists, or in a way so we can see both of your faces. When cutting the cake, your left hand should be on top of his, so we can see your rings. Cut the cake slowly, and enjoy the moment. During key moments, you want to move slowly to ensure the photographer gets the shots. Don't rush the garter and bouquet toss, either. Have fun with it, and it will show in your pictures!
I've noticed many people are nervous when the camera first gets pointed at them, but that usually wears off quickly. And hopefully you're doing engagement and bridal portraits, which will give you some practice before the big day. I truly believe that if you read this article the morning of your wedding to keep these tips fresh in your mind, it will have a big impact on the quality of your wedding photography and videography. I hope you find this guide useful, and that you fall in love with your wedding photos when you see them!
Thanks for reading! I'm Trevor Mercer, a wedding photographer from Columbia, SC. I've been photographing weddings for over 10 years, and as a second-generation wedding photographer, I literally grew up in the business. I'm now providing wedding photography and videography for weddings in my state and well beyond, and I'm a 2016 winner in the Knot's Best of Weddings. I decided to start a blog and share everything I've learned about weddings through the years, and I hope it helps make your wedding planning a little easier. Please subscribe, share, and comment with your input or questions! See everything about me at www.TrevorMercer.com