20 Wedding Party Photo Ideas Everyone Will Love

Your wedding party is your support team through this momentous time. Here are some creative wedding party photos to capture how amazing they are.

By The Zola Team

Wedding Party Photo Ideas
Photo by Kimberly Florence Photography

The First Look ✨

  • While the primary focus of any wedding photographer is always the happy couple, they're also trying to capture the wedding party.
  • Wedding party photos range from the Tldr traditional to the totally Tldr creative and unique, including the “staircase shot,” the “looking back,” and the “action shot.”
  • With Zola’s vendor search, you’ll find pre-screened pros in your area who match your budget and fit your personal style.

You’ve already sent out the requisite “Will you be my…?” gift boxes, and everyone you love has said “I do” to being part of your wedding party. Now it’s time to start envisioning what your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and more will look like—including how each moment of your special day will be captured.

In this guide, we’ll outline 10 creative wedding party photo ideas you’ll want to add to your wedding photo list, plus tips on how to find the best wedding photographer for your personal aesthetic—and budget.

We’ll also run through best practices for seeking out other vendors, such as beauty professionals who can tackle the glam needs of your entire wedding party.

20 Photo Ideas for Your Wedding Party

Your wedding party may include everyone from your partner’s twin sister to your own best friend from elementary school.

Photographing such a diverse group of people from different points in your lives can be tricky—there are a lot of personalities to capture. But, don’t worry, your trusty, experienced photographer (more on how to hire one of those below) will understand this photo shoot intuitively.

Check out the following 10 ideas for unforgettable wedding party photos, then relay to your photographer which poses are on your “must-have” wedding photo shot list. He or she will probably have some of his or her creative poses to try out, too.

1. Classic Symmetry

Even if your style is more off-the-cuff and wild child than straight lines and symmetry, you may want to consider posing for a classic symmetrical shot with the entire wedding party.

Probably best shot pre-ceremony (unless you’re doing a first look walking down the aisle), this will be a jazzed-up group photo, with the bridesmaids to one side and the groomsmen to the other, flanking the radiant stars who will stand center stage.

While you’re in position, don’t forget to show off some personality. Have both sides of the wedding party lean in slightly and look toward each other. Allow fake laughs to become real laughs, and voila, you have a stunning (and hilarious) keepsake for the books.

2. Mix-and-Match

This can be a great way to get the wedding party to relax and have fun with each other early in the evening before the real fun begins.

This photo opp has the groomsmen and bridesmaids mixed so that you end up with a lovely portrait of contrasting colors, patterns, and friends.

3. Bridesmaid, Groomsman, Bridesmaid, Groomsman

If the mix and match approach feels too chaotic or random for you, you can make things a little more structured by alternating bridesmaids and groomsmen in a line. That way, both the wedding party is mixed together—but there’s still a sense of visual order.

Looking Back

The “bride looking back pose while the wedding party walks ahead” is fairly traditional, but that certainly doesn't make it trite. This can be a great opportunity to bring out the personality of the bride, letting her revel in all the love and joy around her before she heads to the altar.

5. The Staircase Shot

When in doubt, seek out the nearest set of stairs. Stairs bring depth to a photo, offering some contrast to the traditional symmetrical look. This can be an opportunity for a posed-candid, with the wedding party slung casually against the steps, with elbows propped and bodies turned towards each other like they’re mid-way through a hilarious anecdote, or it can be kept classy—the choice is yours.

Note: When it comes to aesthetically symmetrical photography, stairs can help even the playing field for wedding party members of all different heights. Have your wedding party arranged from tallest to shortest, with the shortest individuals higher up on the staircase.

6. Artsy Arrangement

Depending on your style and the style of your photographer, you may want to set up your wedding party for some posed shots—think of a poster of your favorite adventure saga or romantic drama.

This artsy arrangement may involve the bridesmaids sitting seriously to one side, peeking over the shoulder of their bride while the groomsmen linger moodily to the corner behind the groom. Think “Sopranos,” but more wedding-friendly.

7. The Kiss

Having your wedding party rally around you and your partner as you share a kiss is another great photo opportunity that can be sweet and sentimental (although it’s also a great option for a silly photo). Your wedding party can look at you in awe, or they can whoop and holler behind you, throwing up bouquets.

8. Wedding Party Walk

Who doesn’t love a good (moderately posed) moving shot? Most experienced wedding photographers have mastered the fine art of walking backward, which they’ll put to good use to capture this shot.

As you and your crew make your way to or from the ceremony, or perhaps from cocktail hour to the reception, have your shutterbug capture everyone walking in stride, smiling big with the sun soft behind you.

9. A Shared Toast

There will be plenty of cheering throughout the day, from the time everyone starts getting ready with mimosas to the end of the evening when Uncle Joe becomes a mixologist.

Before your friends break off into separate huddles on the dancefloor, have your photographer get one epic wedding toast with every member of the party raising a glass.

10. Action Shot

Photographers love also love a solid, pre-planned action shot.

Before or after the ceremony, consider having the wedding party come together with the bride, groom, or an expert saber-popping a bottle of bubbly.

11. Goodbye Tunnel

If you want to throw in one more classically inspired shot for good measure, have your photographer capture a wide-angle shot of the entire wedding party bidding adieu to the happy, newly married couple.

12. Fawning Over The Bride...

If there is ever a day to fawn over a bride, it’s their wedding day. This classic photo, where the bridal party looks towards the bride adoringly, is one of the bridal party photos many brides cherish the most—so, if you (or your bride) don’t mind being the center of attention, ask the photographer to capture this moment.

13. ...Or The Couple

Who says only the bride should be started at adoringly?! You can also recreate the “fawning over the bride” shot with both parts of the couple—and the entire wedding party.

14. The Candid Shot

Photography poses can ensure that you get the wedding pictures you want. But sometimes, the best photos are the ones that are unexpected and unposed—so let your photographer know that you’re open to them snapping candid shots throughout the day.

15. The BFF Photo

Your wedding party includes your closest friends and family members—which is why it’s sometimes nice to just shoot a normal, laid-back shot of your crew (which we like to affectionately call the “BFF pose”).

16. The “Boy Band” Pose

Want to take a more playful approach to your wedding party poses? This shot, where members of the wedding party pose like members of a boy band shooting an album cover, can be a great way to break the ice and get people more comfortable in front of the camera. (Laughter tends to loosen people up!)

17. The “On The Way To The Wedding” Photo

If you and your wedding party have to travel to the ceremony site, it can be a great opportunity to get a group shot—particularly if you’re traveling in an interesting way (for example, if you have to catch a trolley or are traveling in a vintage car).

18. The At The Altar Shot

The moment where you say your “I do’s” is one of the most memorable of your big day. It also happens to be a moment when your entire wedding party is lined up beside you and your partner—making it a great opportunity for your wedding photographer to snap a photo.

19. The Dance Floor Shot

Many couples kick off their wedding reception with a grand entrance from the wedding party straight onto the dance floor. This can be one of the more fun wedding pictures to feature in a wedding album—so make sure the photographer is ready and waiting to snap a few photos of your wedding party’s moves.

20. The Wedding Party Table

If you and your partner are sharing your wedding table with your wedding party, it can be another opportunity to catch some candid shots of you and your nearest and dearest enjoying the reception.

Tips to Finding—and Landing—the Best Vendors

Unless you’re headed to city hall, you probably have at least half a dozen vendor decisions to make. These may include:

  • Photographer/videographer
  • Venue
  • Florist
  • Wedding planner
  • Beauty professional
  • Band/DJ
  • Caterer
  • Transportation company
  • Rental company

Different couples have different priorities, and you’ll want to discuss which wedding vendors you’re willing to spend the most effort finding and money on before you launch an active search.

If capturing high-quality wedding party photos is of utmost importance to you, you’ll probably want to prioritize both a photographer and a beauty professional (so that everyone looks and feels their best).

Finding a Photographer

These days it seems that everyone is a photographer.

From your 13-year-old neighbor who went viral on TikTok to your retired uncle who is rediscovering a passion for film photography, there’s a self-proclaimed photographer everywhere you turn.

The very best professional photographers and professional wedding photographers are not a dime a dozen, though. The stunning spreads you see in glossy magazines were not shot by an amateur, they were shot by an artist who knows exactly what they’re doing.

To find the best photographer to meet your wedding day needs, consider the following:

  • Ask your friends: Chances are that you know someone who has worked with a photographer recently, whether they got married, took family photos, or hired a pro to shoot their budding food service business or dog washing gig. Your friends can be honest with you about their experience as well as what they thought of as far as the pricing—was it fair? Would they use this photographer again?

  • Stalk Instagram: Social media can be a rabbit hole, we know, but this is one time when you can let yourself get lost for hours scrolling through your favorite accounts. Start by using the Explore function to search hashtags, from #weddingphotography to more specific designations, such as “wedding photography in ___ city.” You can also use other vendors as a launching point, looking at who has been tagged in photos at your wedding venue, using your caterer, or wearing a gown from the local bridal shop where you purchased yours.

  • Use Zola’s vendor search: Zola is the matriarch of meet-cutes. She wants to help couples and professionals make a meaningful connection so that wedding bliss can be a reality for people on both sides of the aisle. Zola’s easy-to-use, free vendor search allows couples to plug in when and where they’d like to get married, plus what their style is and how to choose your wedding photographer (laid-back versus direct, for example).

Photography Styles for Every Personality

Professional photographers take their craft very seriously. Just as you wouldn’t commission a sculptor to sketch you a graphic novel, you wouldn’t ask a photojournalistic photographer to capture strictly traditional photos at your wedding.

While some pros dabble in a few different styles, be sure to ask your photographer candidates what their experience and comfort level is with each style before hiring.

Some of these styles include:

  • Photojournalistic: Think of photojournalistic wedding photos as “National Geographic,” but with finely dressed humans as the subjects instead of roving wildlife. If you want pure, raw, unfiltered emotion and action captured on your wedding day, this is the style for you.

  • Fine art: This style of photography is often shot using film, which gives the resulting photos a grainy quality. These photos can be highly composed and dramatic, which may be exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you want to hang these photos on your wall like pieces of... fine art. Keep in mind that film will often cost your photographer much more to shoot and process, which may be reflected in their pricing unless a film is a passion and they decide to use it no matter the cost.

  • Traditional: If you want hundreds of shots of your wedding party, bridal portraits, family portraits, ceremony photos, and living-it-up-on-the-dance-floor shots sent to you after your wedding, traditional photography is the style for you. Your photographer will probably have a stable of poses in mind and will have a plan to capture everyone from every angle.

  • Natural light: Natural light photography, as the name implies, uses the soft light provided by Mother Nature to reflect the warm glow you’re feeling on your special day. This style is best reserved for outdoor weddings taking place while the sun is up, or setting. If your reception will kick off in the dark of night, be sure to ask you are natural light photographer if they’re willing to use some artificial light to capture the antics on the dancefloor.

Finding a Beauty Pro for Your Whole Party

Finding a beauty professional who can handle the various needs of your wedding party should certainly be on your list of vendor considerations. With Zola’s vendor search, you can narrow down the makeup and hair artists in your area by:

  • Price
  • Availability
  • Service type (wedding party, large group, guests, groom, etc.)
  • Signature styles (trendy, natural, glamorous, natural, etc.)

If you’re set on treating your entire wedding party to hair and makeup services, you can determine who is available and at what price far in advance of your wedding day, helping you to move around the rest of your budget, if needed.

Capture Your Wedding Party the Right Way

Capturing the personalities of your entire wedding party may be one of the most memorable aspects of your wedding day. Your expert photographer will likely have an arsenal of tried-and-true wedding party photos that he or she wants to stage, and you can always coordinate with him or her to include poses that you’ve researched and fallen in love with.

Here at Zola, we want wedding planning to be a breeze. We know you’ll still have a few headaches and hiccups here and there—nothing’s ever foolproof—but we're here to walk you through every high and low that you may experience in advance of your big day.

With Zola’s free and easy-to-use tools, such as the vendor search, and our resource guides, such as the Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist & Timeline, we hope to set our couples and the professionals they hire up for success.

Find Your Wedding Vendors at Zola, All Pre-Screened for You