Despite what advertising might suggest, Valentine’s Day is rarely the most romantic day of the year. However, it reminds us about the idea of romance. When photographing a wedding, one of the hardest things to capture is true romance. It’s a fleeting thing and never remains visible for long. On the 14th February, I found myself asking the question: what are the most romantic wedding photos I’ve ever taken? I’ve had a dive into the archive and here’s a selection of six favourites. They’re all black and white, they’re all unposed, and they all capture something palpably romantic.
I love this image of Sophie & Fin’s first kiss from their wedding at Iscoyd Park. The embracing arms offer a sense of real intimacy, the light flaring around behind Fin makes things feel slightly otherworldly and the hint of smile leaves everything to the imagination while also leaving no room for doubt. Add to this an incredible dress, smiling faces going wild in the background and lots of black tie (always a winner) and you have a seriously romantic wedding photo.
Romantic wedding photos are often about looks, moods or a certain tangible ambience. Here, I’ve used lighting, and a gap in the dancers, to pick out Rachel & Robb on the dancefloor. For me, this image has a sense of ‘together alone’. The atmosphere this image evokes is like a positive analog of isolation; Rachel & Robb are surrounded by their close family and friends, but in this moment, it’s as if only they exist, totally into each other, entirely ‘together alone’.
Sometimes, it’s all in a look. Romantic wedding photos are rarely about fancy composition or complex ideas because, most of the time, it’s the simple emotion that carries the day. Becky & Stacey were married in a tiny former goat shed (which was genuinely awesome) and everyone was packed in like sardines. There was a huge amount of emotion bouncing around and the atmosphere was downright electric. For me though, this simply magnetic look, says it all. It’s rich and complex and full of soul. But above all, it’s full of love. I’m a die-hard romantic and this one slays me!
This frame from Candice & Ed’s gorgeous day at Hampton Court House has something deeply classic about it – a la Fred & Ginger in their pomp. On one level it’s a storytelling image, but the twirl on Candice’s dress, the classy quality lent by a good morning suit and the sense of viewing something secret, and unintended for viewing, elevates it to a far more romantic level.
A wedding day typically has its own sequence of emotional themes. One of the most evident transitions is from the nervous excitement ahead of the ceremony, and often through it (“will we get our words right?!”), to the euphoria and joy when the deal is done! It’s like a great weight lifts and all that nervous excitement spills out as pure happiness. This image from Nick & Katie’s day at Wasing Park is a prime example of that emotive outpouring. It also offers up a huge heap of romance. I love the connection between them as they momentarily leave their guests behind for their very first quiet moment as Mr & Mrs. The clasped hands, the joy in the eyes – it just yells romantic. Add to that the wind in the ribbon and Katie’s hair and you have one of my favourite romantic wedding photos of all time.
I feel strongly about staying at each wedding until midnight as standard. Shots like this are one of the reasons why. The first dance may get all the attention, but it’s often the last dance, at the end of the night, that provides the gold dust. Once the pressure is off, and a few drinks have heightened the already intense emotion of the day, photographs like this sometimes result. I love the obvious closeness in this image from Justyna & Tom’s day. The disco lights highlighting them and the slipped strap just add to the mood. I really love this frame.
I hope you enjoyed this look at some of my favourite romantic wedding photos. If you’re interested in commissioning me for your own wedding, please head on over to my main site and don’t hesitate to get in touch. Have a great Sunday!