Every bride is beautiful. That’s a given. And why not? It’s one of the happiest days of your life and you’re going to be spending it with the people you love best in the world. That alone should be enough to make you glow from the inside out.
Of course you still want to do everything you can to look your best. Whether that means having your makeup professionally done, or treating yourself to a special hairdo with the luxuriously long hair you didn’t have time to grow on your own. Surprisingly, there are cheap hair extensions that you can even do yourself in minutes for the ceremony and take out or replace – with fun colored streaks, for example – for a different look during your honeymoon.
The one thing to be cautious about is doing yourself up for the wedding in a style that’s super trendy right now but that will look dated pretty quickly. Your wedding pictures are something you want to cherish for a long, long time and you don’t want to cringe when you look at them in years to come. Just ask any 80s bride (your mom, maybe) what she regrets now about that mall hairdo she adorned with a headband that eclipsed her forehead.
Speaking of wedding photos, there are some tricks you can learn that will assure flattering images. A few minutes of practice in front of the mirror before the big day will be time well spent. The typical starlet on the red carpet pose can look awfully artificial, and you don’t want to use any of those giddy poses you may have perfected for Instagram, but you also don’t want to stand squarely in front of the camera like you did when you were six. Think composed, graceful, and timeless. Here are a few tricks:
Lighting is key
You may not be able to control the light source completely, but if you’re inside try not to stand directly beneath a chandelier or other ceiling light because they will cast unfavorable shadows. The best exterior shots are taken in light shade, like under the dappled light of a tree. Bright overhead sun does no one any favors.
Angle your face and body
The classic three-quarter pose is the most complimentary, but don’t take every picture that way or the results will be boring. Just be sure to angle your face and body somewhat instead of facing the camera head on.
Put your best foot forward
Place one foot slightly in front of the other, with your weight on the back foot. If your feet are going to show, you can cross them loosely at the ankles.
Loosen your arms
Keep your arms soft rather than stiff. If you’re holding your bouquet, try holding it casually with one hand for interesting asymmetry. Do leave a little space between your arms and your torso because having them close to your body adds their width to your midsection. Just avoid posing like Peter Pan, with both hands on your hips and your elbows sticking out.
Mind your hands
If you’re not holding a prop like your bouquet or a glass of champagne, curve your hands gracefully and hold them beside you with your thumbs facing forward and your elbows slightly bent.
You’re going to be smiling a lot on the big day, which is a good thing. But you don’t want the same expression in every single picture. Some women who are often the focus of photographers, like models and celebrities, swear by the trick of pressing their tongues to the roof of their mouths before they smile to keep their smiles from looking frozen. Laughing is also a good way to assure a genuine smile.
Group shot hints
The bride is always going to be in the center of a group shot, so no unflattering end-of-the-line worries for you. To keep it looking casual if you’re not holding your bouquet, put your arms lightly around the waists of the people next to you. If you’re planning ahead for fun and interesting ways to pose the bridal party, you can start by looking here.
Of course the best way to assure great wedding pictures is to be yourself. Relax and let your happiness show!