infographic stating pro tips on taking stunning wedding recessional photos

Don’t let the magical moment of the wedding recessional slip by without capturing it on camera! While the bride’s grand entry and the couple’s first kiss are undoubtedly essential moments to document, this final moment of the wedding ceremony holds its own special place. In this ever-so-brief window of time where emotions are raw, smiles are genuine, and love fills the air, the opportunity to photograph a memorable wedding recessional presents itself! It’s the culmination of months, or even years, of planning, and you don’t want to miss it! To help you out, we’re sharing some wedding recessional photography tips on how to capture perfect wedding photos of your couple walking down the aisle. So, get ready to take some amazing shots! 

What Is A Wedding Recessional?

infographic stating the wedding recessional is the order in which the newlywed couple exits their wedding ceremony

The wedding recessional is the grand crescendo of the big day, signaling the end of the ceremony. At this moment, the couple walks hand in hand down the aisle. The traditional wedding recessional follows a rather well-choreographed order. As the officiant pronounces the couple as officially married, guests burst into applause and cheer. The newlyweds then lead the way down the aisle, with the wedding party following suit. The couple exits the ceremony, accompanied by classic wedding recessional songs like the Wedding March playing in the background.

However, these days many couples are opting for non-traditional wedding recessionals, infusing this special moment with their own unique twist. From playful and whimsical exits, such as confetti showers or a procession of colorful balloons and smoke, to fun departures where the newlyweds break out in a dance and groove to their favorite song, the possibilities are endless. Non-traditional wedding recessionals allow couples to express their individuality and create memories that reflect their love story. Whether steeped in traditional ways or brimming with originality, the wedding recessional remains a cherished scene that captures the magic of saying “I do”.

Suggested Read: Ceremony Photos Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

5 Pro Tips On Taking Stunning Wedding Recessional Photos

1. Be Prepared For The Wedding Recessional

a wedding couple exiting the wedding venue after the ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

Before the ceremony begins, establish clear communication with the couple, wedding planner, wedding videographer, and the wedding officiant and understand the wedding recessional order or any other crucial details that will shape your approach to photographing the moment. Additionally, take note of the ceremony’s duration, the events leading up to the recessional, the videographer’s position, and the couple’s plans during this pivotal moment. Be prepared with all the information you need, such as whether there will be a shower of rose petals or a burst of confetti as the couple makes their grand exit. With this vital information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to capture the wedding recessional in all its glory. 

2. Choose The Right Gear And Camera Settings

a wedding couple kissing during their grand exit from the wedding
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Having the right wedding photography gear and camera settings is extremely crucial when it comes to capturing perfect wedding recessional photos. Your equipment becomes an extension of your artistic vision, enabling you to freeze this wonderful moment with precision and beauty. Here’s what you might want to consider:

  1. Lens choice: Opting for a versatile zoom lens, such as a 24–70mm or 70–200mm, allows you to capture a range of perspectives without interrupting the natural flow of the recessional. This flexibility enables you to seamlessly transition from wider shots that encompass the couple and their surroundings to intimate close-ups that capture their raw emotions.
  1. Shutter speed: During the recessional, moments unfold in a heartbeat, and you don’t want to miss it. Selecting a faster shutter speed, such as 1/250th of a second or higher, along with burst mode, helps freeze any movement and ensures your subjects are tack-sharp. This is particularly important as the couple walks down the aisle, ensuring every step is captured with clarity and dynamism.
  1. Focus mode: To capture the perfect shot, switch to continuous autofocus (AI-Servo or AF-C) mode. This mode tracks your subjects’ movement, adjusting focus continuously to maintain sharpness, even as they walk or share a spontaneous sweet glance.
  1. ISO: Be mindful of your surroundings and adapt your camera settings accordingly. Assess the available lighting conditions. Whether it’s the natural glow of golden hour or the romantic ambiance of indoor lighting, understanding the lighting will help you to capture the perfect shot. Adjust your ISO setting to ensure optimal exposure while minimizing noise. Experiment with different aperture settings to achieve the desired depth of field

Related Read: From Meh To Magic: Mastering Long Exposure Portraits

3. Encourage The Couple To Walk Slowly

a wedding couple holding hands and leaving their wedding ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

As a wedding photographer, you have the incredible privilege of guiding the newlyweds through every step of their special day. It’s not uncommon for couples, especially those who may feel a bit overwhelmed by the spotlight, to rush through the exit, heads down and hearts racing. This is where your expertise in wedding photography comes in! Encourage the newlyweds to slow down and savor each step as they walk hand in hand. Remind them that this is their moment to shine. By taking it slow, they allow themselves to fully experience the beauty of the moment and exchange smiles and heartfelt glances with those who have come to witness and celebrate their love. Plus, it presents you with an incredible opportunity to capture their genuine emotions that make this day uniquely theirs. 

4. Experiment With Different Perspectives

a wedding recessional following the wedding couple with a bubbles exit
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto

Let your creativity soar, and experiment with different compositions and camera angles that will elevate your images. Consider taking a birds-eye-view approach, capturing the recessional from an elevated position. This angle provides a stunning panoramic view, allowing you to showcase the couple, their guests, and the entire scene in a single frame. The birds-eye-view perspective adds a sense of grandeur and magnitude to the moment, emphasizing the significance of this joyous occasion. Alternatively, you can get up close and personal by crouching down for a low-angle shot. This perspective not only adds a touch of drama and intimacy but also emphasizes the emotions on the couple’s faces and the intricate details of their attire. 

Suggested Read: Wide-Angle Wedding Photo Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

5. Capture Genuine Reactions And Emotions

a wedding couple followed by the wedding party exiting the wedding ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

As the couple walks down the aisle, stay focused, attentive, and agile. Be ready to document their genuine reactions. Embrace the candid interactions that occur as the couple is greeted by their exuberant guests. Capture the laughter, hugs, and joyful tears that spontaneously erupt. Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots of the same moment, as you’ll have a wealth of options during the post-processing stage. Every photo you capture will have a slight variation in expression or a subtle shift in emotion. This allows you to curate a collection of images that captures the essence of the recessional in its entirety. 

Further Read: Tips On How To Build Wedding Photography Portfolio

As a photographer, your goal is to document genuine emotions, authentic reactions, and the pure magic of this unforgettable scene. By being well-prepared, choosing the right gear and settings, guiding your couple, experimenting with perspectives, and capturing raw emotions, you can create a breathtaking visual story that will last a lifetime. We hope these wedding recessional ideas and tips help you in crafting wedding photos that truly capture the essence of a ‘happily ever after’.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow as a wedding photographer. However, if you find that endless editing tasks are blocking your way and sapping your energy, let us help! To learn more about how our professional photo editing services could give you your time back, check out our pricing plans.

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