Shooting for a frame-worthy first kiss on your big day? Psh, what bride isn't! Make sure your photographer gets the perfect shot by heeding the advice of these pro planners. That way, you can post your picture-perfect PDA on Instagram for the world to see later. We kid, we kid...well okay, not really!
Ask Your Officiant to Step Aside
Because duh, you and your hubby should be the only people in the shot! If you didn't hire a wedding planner, Chandra Keel, owner of Chandra Keel Weddings + Events, recommends letting your officiant know in advance that you'd like him or her to move out of the way during your first kiss. "Then on the day of, ask your photographer and a back-up friend or family member to ensure this actually happens when the time comes. Officiants get nervous sometimes too," she explains.
Lock Lips for Longer Than You Think You Should
Just trust us on this one, brides. As seasoned planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques, points out, holding that first kiss longer than what feels natural will give your photographer time to capture multiple shots of the special moment. "Most of your guests are probably trying to capture snaps on their phones too," she says.
When in doubt, kiss again. And again. If you don't like one first kiss photo, you'll have several more shots to choose from.
Remember: Practice Makes Perfect
It may seem kind of corny—but hey, it'll be fun—and everything will fall perfectly into place when the big moment finally comes, assures wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events. "You won't be worried about where your hands are supposed to go, or that it will be so quick that the photographer might miss it, or that you'll topple over from an overzealous groom."
Get Your Bridal Party Involved
Some first kiss pics are bound to include your bridal party. Thus, for all ceremony photos, Erica Taylor, co-founder of NYC-based event design and planning company Tinsel & Twine, says it's important to reiterate to bridal party members to look alert and enthusiastic. "For whatever reason, be it nerves, stage fright, or painful shoes, we've seen photos where the bridesmaids and groomsmen look totally zoned out," she tells us. "Such a shame when their dead expressions kill the frame."
Keep It PG, but Do Get Hands-On
Save the passionate kiss for later. "A soft, tender kiss with a slight smile is just right," notes Keel. And don't forget to get hands-on. In other words, embrace each other. This may sound strange since it's the natural thing to do, however, Keel says you'd be surprised at how many couples keep their arms dangling at their sides like they're kissing a stranger. "Softly and tenderly touch each other," she instructs. "That touch will almost immediately settle your nerves as well."
Slow Down and Focus on Your Fiancé
Last but certainly not least, take things slow. Don't race into it because you're nervous and just want it over with. You'll end up missing your target, clashing teeth or smooshing your faces together, warns Keel. "Meet each other with eye contact and enjoy the kiss! Try to forget that there's an audience as best you can." You'll want that sweet emotion to come across on camera, not the awkwardness that you might be feeling in front of your friends and family.