Weddings are always emotional events, and who hasn’t shed a tear on a wedding day? In this post I’ll look at the parts of the day where the tears will flow, and show how all that emotion can make for fantastic photographs.
Is crying on your wedding day a good thing?
There have been many articles written about crying at weddings. Some think that tears have to be controlled, while others are a little more realistic but then give advice on how to manage stress!!?? So what does a photographer, who has been to many more weddings than most bloggers and columnists, think?
I say, let those tears flow!! Tears are a natural reaction to an emotion. On my wedding day, I was a blubbering mess. I clearly remember the emotion I felt when I saw Sarah walk down the aisle, even after 25 years. If I had been concentrating hard on trying to prevent those feelings, it would have ruined the moment for me and the subsequent memories. So, yes, let those tears out.
Which parts of the wedding day cause the most tears?
Every part!! From getting ready in the morning to the final dance at night, tears can happen, but the most common times are during the morning, the ceremony, and the speeches. For this post, I’ll concentrate on those parts of the wedding day.
The wedding morning
Some bride’s do get emotional on the wedding day morning, but shedding a tear or two can often reset the emotions before the wedding gets underway. In my experience, brides that cry at this stage are very relaxed for the rest of the day.
In this image, the bride has just opened a gift and a letter from the groom. The moment is personal and emotional. It doesn’t need anything more from me than a simple, tight composition to let the emotion come through in the photograph.
Tears aren’t just for the bride. Here, at Storrs Hall, the bride’s grandmother succumbs to her emotions after seeing her granddaughter for the first time. A wonderful moment especially with the bridesmaid comforting her.
At this Swinton Park wedding, the bride was cool, calm and collected, right up to the moment she got dressed and put her veil on. The hairdresser’s arms draw the eye into the emotion.
The bride sees her father for the first time on the wedding morning at Rise Hall. No words are necessary. Everything you need to know about this image is in her eyes.
The wedding ceremony
If there is one part of the day when the tears flow, it is during the wedding ceremony. After months of planning, everything leads to this. Emotions are always running high. It is fantastic to experience.
Even before getting into church, the tears can start, although these aren’t the kind of tears anyone was expecting!!
At a Jewish wedding in Harrogate, the bride becomes emotional after seeing the Rabbi and the groom for the first time. The storytelling is key to this image, and I’ve used the Rabbi’s hat to divide up the image and to give context.
The groom and his son wait for the bride’s arrival. With myself and Sarah covering the wedding, we are always in the right place to get these moments.
An image of two halves. On one side, we see sheer emotion from the groom, almost alone for a moment. On the other, the relationship between the bride and her dad.
At a wedding in a sweltering marriage room in Amsterdam, Sarah has caught this beautiful moment between the very relaxed groom and his emotional bride.
In Sorrento, Italy, it is the mother of the groom that struggles to hold her emotions back.
A small church in Scotland during the winter. The groom is saying his vows to the bride. The light comes from a spotlight in the church. Dramatic, like an old movie.
During the vows, we must concentrate on the couple, but another picture can be taken by looking beyond the obvious. Here, the bride’s father holds back the tears as his daughter says her vows.
The wedding speeches
After the ceremony, there is usually a sense of relief as most weddings relax and move onto the drinks and food. However, when it is time for the speeches, that’s when emotions start to ramp up again.
In this image by Sarah, the groom is thanking his mum and dad during his speech.
The bride’s father shedding a tear during the groom’s speech. England football fans know he can be emotional, and he was!! From a wedding at Thornton Manor.
The best man being comforted by the toastmaster at the end of the groom’s speech.
Perhaps, the most poignant photograph I’ve ever taken. The man in the picture is the bride’s late father, and this is the moment in the speeches where they are paying homage to him.
Emotion plays a big part in any wedding day, and it is fantastic to see and photograph. So the next time you see an article suggesting seven steps to keep your wedding day tears under control, think about crying as just a natural part of the wedding day. It is and always will be.