Candid Wedding Photography Tips for the Most Authentic Wedding Photos

September 29, 2023

Candid wedding photography of a bride laughing as guests stand around them while outside.

While there are some classic and timeless photos that everyone should have from their wedding, it is also a day celebrating you and your partner and should capture your authentic feelings and emotions. Candid wedding photography is one of the best ways to do that. 

Now, you may be wondering, what is candid wedding photography? Well, these are the moments that are unplanned, unposed, and show your true emotions without any effort. These pictures are often some of the best pictures from your wedding day and can bring back amazing memories from your day years down the road. 

While the point of candid wedding photography is that it is not planned or staged, there are a few things that you can do throughout the day that can help you stay more present and have more of these moments that can be captured. 

Here are a few of my top tips for how to get the best candid wedding photography. 

How to Get the Best Candid Wedding Photography

Create a timeline that is not crammed back-to-back

First, try to plan out a timeline that gives you plenty of breathing room. If you have every single thing throughout your wedding day planned back to back, you are most likely going to feel super rushed if someone isn’t exactly on schedule or just feel anxious that you aren’t going to make it to the next thing on time. 

This creates a general anxiety that, one, isn’t necessary on your wedding day, and two, makes you feel like you can’t stay present and in the moment to have these small interactions with your friends and family that mean the most. 

Another great tip is to make sure that anyone you need throughout the day has a copy of the schedule for the day. You want to make sure your parents know when they need to be ready if you want them to help you to get ready when they have to be ready to walk you down the aisle. Your wedding parties should know when they have to be at the venue or wherever you are getting ready when you are doing portraits with them, and they need to be ready to walk down the aisle. 

The last thing you want to be doing is running around trying to find people or missing moments throughout your wedding day because you are trying to track people down and make sure they are in the right place at the right time. 

Stay off your phone

As hard as this may be, stay off of your phone as much as possible, especially earlier in the day when you are getting ready. Think about it: do you want all of your getting ready wedding photos to be of you on your phone? Probably not. 

Now, while you may not be able to turn your phone off and ignore it all day, you can give it to someone else to handle during your wedding. Maybe this is one of your parents, one of your friends, or one of the people in your wedding party. This way, if there are any calls or messages that need to be made throughout the day, someone else can handle it. 

I would also suggest leaving your phone in your getting ready room during your reception. This is a time to celebrate with your closest friends and family, and you want to make sure that you are soaking it all in and enjoying it! 

Hire vendors to handle things so you are able to live in the moment

Vendors can really make your wedding day so much better and less stressful. One of the most important vendors you can hire is a wedding planner. Whether you hire them to plan your entire wedding or to just help you with coordination as your wedding day approaches and on the day itself, they can help handle all of the last-minute details, so all you have to focus on is getting married. 

If there are things that you are going to do on your own (like set up the reception area, put out chairs for your ceremony, place the flowers around the venue, etc.), I highly recommend doing this the day before your wedding. 

Even if you are having a wedding in the evening, you don’t want to have to worry about rushing to get everything set up that morning or feeling like you have to rush to get ready because you are behind schedule. 

Overall, if you hire vendors who are well experienced in weddings and work together well as a cohesive team, you will be able to sit back and actually enjoy your day with ease!

Try not to fuss over the small stuff (hair, makeup, wardrobe)

I have photographed a ton of weddings, and I can tell you very few of them, if any, have gone off without a hitch. Things are going to happen. As much as you can try to plan out every little detail, life always throws you a curveball. 

When this happens, try not to fixate on it. These small things are not going to make or break your wedding, and when you look back on this day in 10 or 15 years, you probably won’t even remember them. 

If you want true candid moments either between you and your partner, wedding party, or your guests, you really just need to let the moment happen. If you’re mentally tied up in wondering if your hair, makeup, or outfit is in the perfect place you will lose that genuine emotion in your photos. To be honest, those slight imperfections can actually make your candid photos even better!

Make sure you’re actually having a good time with your new spouse!

This may seem obvious, but make sure that you are having a good time with your new spouse. This day is all about you and all for you, so have fun with it. Part of this is also making sure that you and your partner have time carved out throughout your wedding day that you can spend to soak each other in.

This can look like a first look, a private vow reading, a pre-reception dinner with just the two of you, or intimate sunset photos. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you and your partner get to do something that you love and enjoy time with each other on this special day. 

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you can walk away from your wedding and feel like it was truly the best day of your life, not that you wish you would have done more with your partner or spent more time with them. The day really can go by in the blink of an eye, so making sure you actually give your partner attention among friends and family is sometimes more difficult than you think!

These special moments with your partner are some of the best moments to capture candid wedding photography. Nothing beats those first-look moments or the dance battle you and your partner have under the disco lights. 

Be Yourself! 

Finally, be yourself. This day is for you, and there is no mold or expectation you need to fit into. Just because this is an important and special day doesn’t mean it has to be super serious. If you are an energetic and fun-loving person, let that shine through. 

Everyone came to celebrate you and your partner and your authentic love, so if there is any day where you should give off that main character energy, this is the day. Make jokes, play pranks, dance obnoxiously to your favorite songs, and sing the night away! 

Final Thoughts on Candid Wedding Photography

Hopefully, these tips will help you feel more confident and authentically on your wedding day. Candid wedding photography creates some of the best and most memorable moments of any wedding, so don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and have fun! 

If you are still looking for a photographer who is obsessed with capturing these amazing candid moments for you to cherish forever, you’re in the right place! I think that these are some of the most special moments to capture and love being part of the small moments of your wedding that mean the most. Think we are a good fit? Click here to check out my wedding photography services, or head over here to get in touch. I would love to help capture your special day for you!

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