Bouquet and Garter Toss photographs are a staple at weddings. They’re opportunities for the bride to have fun with her friends and family, but they can also be difficult to capture because of the fast-moving action and the low light environments at most weddings.  The action often moves quickly, and you can’t ask for a do-over, so it helps to know what to expect and how to light the scene so that you can move into position before the moment has passed.  To help, here are some tips for better Bouquet and Garter Toss photography:

Note: This education is an abridged, written version of the Bouquet and Garter Toss video tutorial in our Wedding Photography Training System within SLR Lounge Premium.

Direct and Position Everyone Involved

Image by Aaron Story

If you take the complete “fly-on-the-wall” approach to these moments, you might get caught out of position with a blocked angle. Take control and place everyone into the ideal locations for the best photos and video.  That might mean having to “stop” the action or move large groups of people.  But the results will be well worth it.

Get the Photography Team in the Right Positions

If you have multiple photographers, you have a chance to get multiple angles to help tell a complete story.  These other angles also serve as a backup in case either of you have any unexpected issues with your angles or your gear.

Lead Photographer – The lead photographer should be directly in front of the bride or groom with the bride or groom as the main focal point.  The group of people catching the bouquet or garter should be in the background, as you see in the image below.

bouquet toss lead photographer
lead photographer position for bouquet or garter toss

2nd Shooter (Option 1) – The second photographer can be in a similar position but focused on the guests catching the bouquet or garter.  Technically this photo can be captured by the lead photographer as well.  However, switching focus from the bride or groom to the group catching the items is difficult to time, so having multiple photographers is more ideal.

2nd shooter angle focused on the guests catching the bouquet or garter

2nd Shooter (Option 2) – Alternatively, you can have the second photographer perpendicular to the action to catch the entire scene.

Perpendicular side angle of the bouquet toss for the 2nd or 3rd shooter

3rd Shooter – If you have a third photographer, have him or her take one of the two positions mentioned above.

Watch Your Flash Power

Be sure your flash is recycling fast enough to fire multiple shots per second.  This usually means firing at a flash power of 1/16th or lower depending on the type of flash unit, the available light, and the environment.  The slower your flash is recycling, the more accurate you’ll have to time your shot for the right moment.

Pittsburg kansas wedding photography vinson images 78
Bouquet Toss Image by Jason Vinson [Website | Wedding Maps Profile]

Use the Right Lenses

For these types of scenes, zoom lenses (such as a 24-70mm) work well because they allow photographers to capture both wide and tight angles of the action. Bouquet and garter tosses usually draw large groups of “single” participants, so 24mm focal length should work for capturing the entire group while the 70mm focal length will allow for closer shots of expressions, which are usually pretty funny (as illustrated below in the example from the video of the girls diving for the bouquet).

These tips should help you capture some great memories of this fun tradition!  Check out our article on Wedding Maps for more bouquet and garter toss photos,   Also, if you have any additional thoughts or tips, please mention them in the comments below!  For more wedding photography education, be sure to see our Wedding Photography Training System within SLR Lounge Premium.