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A Letter to Parents of the Bride & Groom

April 3, 2024

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Parents of the bride and groom

Dearest Parents,

The idea for “A Letter to Parents of the Bride & Groom” originated from a heartfelt conversation at the conclusion of a wedding day celebration.

As the reception buzzed with energy, I took a break from the dance floor to connect with those enjoying quieter moments. It was during this time that I had a meaningful exchange with Cindy, a mother of a recently married son, whose story deeply touched me. Cindy shared her recent experience of feeling underrepresented in her son’s wedding photos, despite playing a significant role in the day’s festivities. Please know, this communication was not from a parent who wanted to be at the center of attention. Cindy was truly surprised that she wasn’t in many wedding day photos. As a mother of four young men myself, I empathized with Cindy’s desire to be documented and lack-there-of on such a special occasion.

While I recognize that a wedding day centers on the couple and not the couples’ parents, featuring parents in the wedding gallery contributes to long-term family documentation. When there are healthy parent-child relationships, I advocate for including family whenever feasible, benefiting both the bride and groom, as well as, their parents.

Ultimately, Cindy’s sincere words inspired me to compile essential wedding day tips for parents of the bride and groom. This letter to parents provides tips meant to ensure that they’re documented on their children’s wedding days, preserving cherished family moments for generations to come.

Advice for parents wanting to optimize photographic moments with the bride and groom:

Participate in Getting Ready Moments

Parents who wish to be documented should participate in the getting ready phase of the wedding day. Mothers of brides can enhance the wedding day experience by getting their makeup done alongside the bride and bridesmaids. Additionally, sharing a champagne toast can create a memorable moment to cherish.

If possible, I always advocate for mothers to assist their daughter with putting on her wedding gown or jewelry. These moments are beautiful and highlight the mother-daughter relationship.

parents of the bride and groom

If you’re the mother of the groom, consider visiting the groom’s getting ready location to help with tasks like tying his tie, putting on the boutonni√®re, or simply offering a hug.

For fathers of sons getting married, ensure your presence by joining the groomsmen gathering during the preparation. Get ready with them and ensure you’re captured in photos with the group.

While fathers of daughters typically don’t participate in the bride getting ready phase, continue reading for tips on gift giving and first looks in the following sections.

Prioritize First Looks

One of my favorite highlights on a wedding day is a “first look” moment. Traditionally, a first look is when the wedding couple sees each other in their formal attire before the ceremony begins. As a wedding photographer, I play a crucial role in organizing these moments, positioning the couple for a reveal, and capturing the emotions that unfold. While first looks between the bride and groom are common, they can also be arranged between a father and his daughter or a mother and son. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when considering who should participate in the first look, as it allows for capturing additional family portraits and adds a unique touch to the wedding day.

Gift Giving

Another meaningful way for parents and their children to connect on a wedding day is through the exchange of gifts. Setting aside dedicated time for this emotional and thoughtful gesture provides opportunities for the photographer to capture candid moments and genuine interactions. Incorporating a gift exchange into the wedding timeline can be done seamlessly during the getting ready phase or as part of the first look experience.

Request Specific Portraits

parents of the bride and groom

While asking a photographer for pictures may seem simple, many people feel hesitant about making requests. I appreciate when guests request photos, especially during the reception when the schedule is more relaxed. I believe every wedding photographer should have a service-oriented mindset. It’s part of our job to fulfill specific photo requests. Please feel free to communicate your preferences, whether it’s a certain pose or a group shot with extended family.

Slow Down and Recognize Your Key Moments

Pause, breathe deeply, and savor the key moments of your son or daughter’s wedding day.

For example, when walking down the aisle, whether at the start or end of the ceremony, take your time. Maintain a smile and make eye contact with the camera. Many people tend to look away from the camera while walking down the aisle, but if the photographer is in front of you, connect and smile. This approach enhances the composition of photos and ensures that each moment is captured beautifully. Smiling and engaging with the camera adds warmth and authenticity to the images.

Participate at the Reception

Wedding receptions often kick off with the special first dances between the father of the bride and his daughter and the mother of the groom and her son. Don’t worry if you can’t dance; what matters most is sharing a joyful moment with your child on the dance floor. If you live close to one another, consider taking dance lessons or preparing a fun dance routine together. This always brings smiles and cheers from guests, as well as, lasting memories.

parents of the bride and groom

parents of the bride and groom

Parents, remember that your role doesn’t end after the first dances and speeches. As the bride and groom continue to dance the night away, join them on the dance floor. Dance with the bridal party and invite your family to join in; even if you just sway to the music, get out there and interact with the couple. Allow the wedding photographer to capture these special moments of laughter and joy.

parents of the bride and groom


All in all, it’s my hope that the advice provided assists parents with understanding key moments throughout a wedding when they can be photographed with their son or daughter. Optimizing photographic moments with the bride and groom is not just about being present; it’s about actively engaging throughout the entire wedding day.

Sincerely,

Alisha Cory – Wedding Photographer

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I'm Alisha and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about Alisha Cory couples, families, business, travels and more. Stay a while and say hello!

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