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7 Methods to Nail the Bouquet and Garter Toss Images

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After the ceremony concludes, the bride and groom make their way to the reception, where they get to celebrate with their family and friends. During the reception, one of the exciting moments is the bouquet and garter toss. When this happens, all single women and men line up to catch the bouquet or garter, in hopes they will be the next to get married (and hopefully book you for their wedding)!

Because both events happen so quickly, it can be difficult to capture the best images every time. So you can document every exciting moment, here are 7 methods to help you nail the bouquet and garter toss images.

1. Discuss the Shot

As in every part of the wedding day, it can be helpful to have an idea of what will happen during the bouquet and garter toss. When you talk to your clients before the wedding day, discuss these shots with them. Perhaps they want someone in particular to catch the bouquet or garter, and that can help you focus on that individual during the shot. You can also ask them to take their time before tossing the bouquet or garter in the air. Because this is a fast moment, inform them you would love to capture their genuine excitement in the photos. 

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Image Compliments of Danny and Julia Dong

2. Create a Posed Shot

If time permits, have the bride and groom pose for the shot you desire to take of them before they throw the bouquet or garter. This can be a quick moment, especially if you prepare for it with your couple. When you shoot the bride during the bouquet toss, have her pose with the bouquet and the group behind her, then have her position her arms in the air as if she were to throw the bouquet. Use the same process to shoot the groom during the garter toss. Though this is a little different than when you capture the genuine emotion, you will have a staple photo from each of these moments.

Related: We’ve pulled 26 key tips from Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Lighting – use them to advance your lighting knowledge!

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3. Focus on the Crowd

Since both tosses are shared with guests at the wedding, take a few shots of the crowd while they wait. Try a wide shot where the bride or groom are in the front of the photo and the crowd is in the back; you can blur the bride or groom so the focus is on the crowd. Once you take a wide shot, zoom in to capture the genuine emotions on their face during this moment. If you can, take a shot with the bouquet in the air and the crowd; you will capture the natural expressions and excitement on the crowd’s faces, which your couple will love.

Related: What can your second shooter do for you during the wedding day shoot?

4. Use Flashes

When you shoot the reception photos, the lighting can be challenging. Since you likely brought flashes with you to the shoot, make sure you use them during the tosses. You can place one of your off-camera flashes on a stand and have it aimed toward the crowd. Place another flash on your camera and have it fill in the details in front of you.

Tip: Even with the best equipment, the reception images can often be inconsistent. Always send consistent photos to your clients after the wedding day when you outsource your images to a post wedding photography company!

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5. Shoot From Unique Angles

If you get to pose the bride and groom before the actual toss happens, you may have the ability to shoot each from a unique angle. Try to shoot from a lower angle when the crowd looks up at the bouquet or garter when it is in the air. You can shoot slightly to the side of the bride and groom, and can even shoot from the perspective of the crowd. Each of these angles will add variety to your images and can share the exciting moments with the bride and groom.

6. Utilize Your Second Shooter

During the wedding day shoot, your second shooter helps you capture images from different angles and perspectives. Utilize your second shooter for the bouquet and garter toss to capture the angles and reactions you desire. If you want to focus on the bride and groom before and while they toss the bouquet and garter, have your second shooter work with the crowd. They can also shoot from the different angles you desire while the toss happens.

7. Capture the Excitement

Because this is a fun tradition, make sure you capture the excitement on the bride and groom’s faces, as well as their guests. When the bride tosses the bouquet, capture the anticipation on the crowd’s faces as they wait to see if they can catch it. Also, if more than one person catches the bouquet, focus on the bride to capture her laugh or joy at the moment. The same can be said for the groom and the crowd; make sure you capture the competitive side of the guys waiting to catch the garter. Your couple will appreciate your efforts to take shots that provide them with exciting and memorable images.

When you shoot the wedding day, the bride and groom count on you to document the important moments and create stunning photos. How can you capture the images that matter? Download our Guide, 127 Essential Wedding Images You Must Capture to learn more! 

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