The first kiss as newlyweds is a momentous occasion in any wedding ceremony, symbolizing the couple’s love and commitment to each other. Capturing this fleeting yet unforgettable moment requires foresight, creativity, and coordination. Below are tips and inspirations to help photographers, from seasoned professionals to friends of the couple, capture that perfect first kiss wedding pictures.

Talk to the Wedding Officiant

The first step to guaranteeing a good first kiss photo is to be prepared.  Understand the duration and flow of the wedding ceremony, and in particular, find out what ceremony events directly precede the first kiss. Understanding the ceremony’s flow helps anticipate the exact moment of the first kiss. Some officiants may give a cue or pause before announcing the kiss, providing photographers a heads-up to get ready.

wide center Stefani Ciotti Photo by Stefani Ciotti (Website) at Stoney Ridge Villa in Azle, TX

Anticipate the Moment and Be in Position

Positioning is everything. Anticipate where the couple will stand and the officiant’s placement to find the best unobtrusive spot that offers a clear view.  Prior to the first kiss, move into position down the center aisle and have your camera up and ready to capture the moment with a few different focal lengths.

center medium Paul Cooper Photo by PMC Photography (Website) at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA

Discuss the First Kiss with the Couple

Consider discussing the first kiss with the wedding couple prior to the wedding.  Advise them to hold the first kiss for a few seconds to allow you to capture a few different angles of the important moment.  Without the guidance, some couples might decide to do a quick “peck,” which is easy to miss.

wide center Cameron Martinez Photo by Cameron Martinez (Website) at Skyview At Fall River Village in Estes Park, Colorado

Capture the Scene with a Wide Angle

Start with a wide-angle shot that encompasses the entire ceremony space, including the altar, the couple, and the guests. This context-rich photo sets the scene and captures the ceremony’s atmosphere.  Here are a few of our favorite photos from our Wedding Maps Photographers.

wide center Andy Sidders Photo by Andy Sidders Photography (Website) at St Albans Cathedral in St Albans, Hertfordshire UK

wide center Brett Moist Photo by Joanna and Brett (Website) at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas

wide center Nina Larsen Reed Photo by Larsen Photo Co (Website) at Sapphire Point Overlook in Breckenridge, CO

wide center Sam Barker Photo by Barker Images (Website) at Serendipity Garden Weddings in Yucaipa, CA

Consider Getting Creative with a Higher Angle

If possible, consider getting creative with a higher vantage point with a unique perspective. Overhead shots can be striking and offer a creative twist to the traditional first kiss photo. However, ensure this is planned and cleared with the venue in advance.

Wide Angle and Top Down Angle Scott Josuweit Photo by SMJ Photography (Website) at The Star Barn in Elizabethtown, PA

Capture a Medium Crop, Center Angle

A medium crop focusing on the couple is also a great way to capture the first kiss. This classic angle captures the couple’s expressions and the significance of the moment, balancing intimacy and context.  Consider starting with the medium crop and then zooming out to a wider crop.

medium center Charles Moll Photo by Charles Moll (Website) at Chateau Event Center in Bozeman, Montana

center medium Lucia Diaz Photo by Luzye Photography (Website) at Brick Venue in Liberty Station in San Diego, CA

center medium Stephen Mayo Photo by Stephen Mayo (Website) at Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, NY

Zoom in Close on the Moment

A close-up shot of the first kiss captures the emotion and details — the gentle touch, the expressions of joy and love. If you have time to capture a zoomed in shot, after you’ve captured the more standard medium composition, the results can be incredible.  This intimate shot is often the most impactful, showcasing the couple’s connection.

high crop Danieka Photo by Picturist Photography (Website) at The Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley, California

tight, vertical David Linn Photo by The Linns (Website) at The Reserve at Hot Springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas

tight, vertical Geoffer Lopez Photo by Geoffer Lopez (Website) at Santiago Church in Tres Rios, Costa Rica

zoomed in Thaddeus Ladzinski Photo by Ladman Studios (Website) at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, FL

close up PJ Oswald Photo by Fits and Stops Photography (Website) at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, CA

Have a Second Shooter to Capture Side Angles

A second shooter can capture the kiss from a side angle, offering an alternative perspective. Side shots can reveal the couple’s faces more clearly, and catch the guests’ reactions, or add depth to the story of the day.  Ask your second shooter to find an interesting, creative angle while you, the lead photographer, focus on the center aisle position.

side angle Roy Serafin Photo by Roy Serafin (Website) at Bakers Cay Resort in Key Largo, FL

side angle, second shooter Shukhrat Kamalov Photo by Shukhrat Kamalov (Website) at St Patrick Church in Farmington, CT

Capture the First Kiss with the Crowd in the Background

Finding an angle with the couple in the foreground and the crowd behind them adds a communal feel to the photo, highlighting the support and joy of family and friends witnessing the union.  These angles are a bit more challenges, as it requires you to be in an exposed position that is potentially obtrusive.   If you decide to take this angle, be sure to clear it with the videographer and the couple to avoid any misunderstandings.

angle to see crowd Adrian Ong Photo by Lets Make a Memory (Website) at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fountain Valley, CA

crowd Elizabeth Victoria Photo by Elizabeth Victoria (Website) at Camarillo Ranch in Camarillo, California

crowd Photo by Jessie and Dallin (Website) at Walker Farms in Lindon, UT

crowd Christina MacMeeken Photo by The Macmeekens (Website) at Clark Gardens in Weatherford, TX

crowd Luis Roberto Cabello Garza Photo by Creando Fotos (Website) at Las Nubes Eventos in Santiago, Nuevo Leon Mexico

facing crowd Jess and Kim Photo by Party of Two (Website) at Rural Hill in Charlotte, NC

Capture the First Kiss with an Elopement Wedding

For elopements, where the setting might be a remote or scenic location, focus on the environment as much as the kiss. The intimacy of the moment, combined with a breathtaking backdrop, creates a powerful image.

elopement Vows and Peaks Photo by Vows and Peaks (Website) at Silverton, Colorado

scenic elopement Becky Haskell Photo by Scenic Vows (Website) at Glacier Lake in Montana

elopement Alexander Clem Photo by Vow of the Wild (Website) in Colorado

scenic, elopement Larissa Welch Photo by We The Light (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Breckenridge, CO in

Other First Kiss Pictures for Your Inspiration

Explore these other first kiss pictures for your inspiration!

other Jennifer and Joe Mackey Photo by JCM Photography (Website) at The Parker Mill in Whittier, NC

other Joe Dantone Photo by Love + Legacy Studios (Website) at Hudson House in Jersey City, New Jersey

other Mattie Wezah Photo by Mattie Wezah (Website) at Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, VA

other citylux Photo by Citylux Studios (Website) at Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA

crowd in background Natasha Lamalle Photo by Natasha Lamalle (Website) at Home Wedding Venue in Washington DC


Capturing the first kiss at a wedding is about combining technical skill with an artistic eye. Each wedding is unique, and so is each first kiss. By preparing thoroughly, communicating with the officiant, and considering multiple angles and creative approaches, you can capture this unforgettable moment in a way that reflects the couple’s personality and the day’s emotion. Remember, these photos will be cherished for a lifetime, so aim to tell the story of the couple’s love through your lens.