That Bridal Smile

So, let’s talk wedding photos. They are this HUGE investment and they are really the only thing that lasts past the wedding day (other than your love for your new hubby/wife, of course!). Here’s the thing: after taking our engagement photos I realized that I have a huge smile. Mr. P does a great job of making me laugh and never taking life seriously, so during our entire e-session I was grinning from ear to ear. Now this might sound sweet, but how will I ever get myself under control on my big day!?!? I really love these romantic subdued wedding pictures.






This is what happened when we tried the oh-so-sweet head on the shoulder move:

I literally couldn’t stop smiling! He kept whispering silly nothings in my ear. Sigh. I love the man but he makes it so darn hard!

I totally recognize that there are lots of reasons to be smiling from ear to ear on my wedding day. I love how intimate and tender those moments are… I only hope that Mr. P and I are composed enough (or comfortable enough) to get it together for our big day.

So here’s the slightly crazy obsessive bridezilla part: sometimes I make us practice being serious. Usually I just catch our reflection in a mirror in our apartment (usually while we are brushing our teeth or something) or walking by a window or in the review mirror while sitting in a cab. Hehehe. I know its silly and usually ends with us making “blue steel” faces or making gangster faces or just plain silly faces, but I’m honestly worried.

Do you have any photography concerns? How are you dealing with these concerns? Did your e-session calm these fears or make them worse?


Mrs. Pancakes

New York/Costa Rica
Wedding Date:
May 2011
Free Tickets to The Wedding Salon NYC!
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  1. Member
    polkadot2527 41 posts, Newbee @ 6:02 pm

    I think you have an amazing smile and should flaunt it. However to get the pictures you want, just mention to your photographer that you want these types of pictures and when its time have them give you a minute to calm down and smile a little smile. Just take a minute to close your eyes and take a deep breath.

  2. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:06 pm

    I truly like your photo the best out of all of these because your smile is so warm and genuine!! We tried ONE engagement photo where we were serious and the photographer literally laughed out loud and was like, ok, forget that…Definitely not for us!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    John Prado, Guest @ 6:08 pm

    My name is John Prado, I’m a Wedding Photographer from Orange County, CA. I just wrote an article concerning the topic of smiling for your wedding day photos. I think you will find it beneficial to you.
    You can find it at:

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 6:09 pm

    Ok your smile is wonderful. A friend of mine wanted the serious, smoldering, sexy facial expression shots and she made her FI practice the model look and it looked awful! Their photos looked very unnatural and ended up seeming like they were on America’s Next Top Model trying to smyze or something. Seriously, people started referring to them as bridal blue steel.
    So I’d say go with your natural facial expressions. They’ll look way better!

  5. Member
    MissHoneyBun 1740 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:11 pm

    I think you should own your smile. It’s beautiful and it’s (more importantly) YOU. Maybe you’re not a serious smile person. Maybe you’re joyful! I think your wedding photos should reflect just that.

  6. Member
    redherring 1815 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:31 pm

    Woman, are you crazy?! Your smile is awesome!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    JaffaCakes, Guest @ 6:36 pm

    Like you, I found it impossible to not have a big smile while taking wedding photos. We tried taking “serious” photos, but they ended up looking weird as I only wanted to be smiling from ear to ear.

    You know what? I LOVE our photos. They look like us. Serious bride isn’t me, and I’m glad my photos are honest. Own who you are and don’t compare yourself to what weddingblogland deems “necessary.”

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    lala, Guest @ 6:38 pm

    I (and the hubs) are smiling in every single one of our wedding photos. At first, I was also like, oh no we didn’t take any serious/romantic ones. But the thing is, these are romantic! They show how truly happy we are. I love them. So I say just be happy that you’re happy!!

  9. Member
    Rgeddy 2188 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:39 pm

    I’d just speak to your photographer. If they’re good they’ll take the time to listen to what you want and definitely be able to work with you. Most good photographers will be able to instill a quite serious moment when you’re shooting – especially if there’s nobody else around. They’ll be able to bring a serene moment – even if there isnt one! seriously!

  10. Member
    napabridekelsey 3373 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:40 pm

    i’m nervous about FI! He’s not a huge fan of taking pictures, so he has anxiety about the photo portion of the wedding. Otherwise, I’m not super concerned about smiling or not. We’ll probably have lots of kissy pictures :)

  11. Member
    Rgeddy 2188 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:40 pm

    ps. you’re really pretty. just saying!

  12. Member
    dreamocracy 1570 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:58 pm

    Ok I’m not gonna lie, your pic looks way better than any of the ones you posted above. :) I just think yours looks so natural and sweet, some of the others look like they aren’t really enjoying themselves very much.. like they are losing something. Yours looks like you are happily in love!

  13. Member
    thekindbride 39 posts, Newbee @ 7:22 pm

    smile away! it’s so much more natural. (on the same note: i can’t not smile either and when i try to be serious, i look like i want to kill someone.)

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    JB, Guest @ 7:27 pm

    I’m sorry but this made me LOL. You have a beautiful smile!! Be yourself!

    I don’t smile very well, if that makes sense – it’s crooked and my eyes get all squinty. So – be glad you have a gorgeous smile and work it!

  15. Member
    JillBill 425 posts, Helper bee @ 7:29 pm

    When we were taking our e-pics, the photographer tried to pose one of FH looking at the camera and smiling while I looked at him. After a couple snaps, she kindly asked if I could do what I was doing but without smiling. The resulting image is a combo of a smile and a bizarre look on my face when I realized I had no idea what to do. Probably not the best. Plus, you’re supposed to be all smiley when you’re with the one you love!!

  16. panther Member
    panther 1112 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:44 pm

    Smiling is better!!

  17. lox Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:51 pm

    Silly Pancake, smiles are always better! You two are so beautiful together, why would you ever want to be something you’re not?

  18. Pincushion Member
    Pincushion 1074 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:13 pm

    I’m with everyone else! Smile big! (I definitely did, and while I look ridiculous in a lot of photos, it’s ridiculously happy.) Keep practicing your blue steel if you want, but you look great with a non-blue steel face too!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    John Prado, Guest @ 8:25 pm

    Smile but smile sincerely! And that smile of your is completely sincere. :)

  20. Member
    kimbo89 874 posts, Busy bee @ 8:57 pm

    your e-pic looks soooo much better than all of the others,they kinda look…..posed and not really natural.You have a beyond-amazing smile and it looks so natural and its so infectious it makes me want to smile just looking at it!x

  21. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:03 pm

    You have a beautiful smile. :) And, I’m betting that throughout the day your photog will catch some of those subdued moments!

  22. Member
    Sunlavender 567 posts, Busy bee @ 9:29 pm

    We’re all too critical of ourselves. You have a great smile. Go for it!

  23. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:35 pm

    Your smile is GORGEOUS! Don’t hide it from your photos!! I’m so stressed about how our photos will come out. Neither of us are very photogenic, so hopefully our awesome photogs will work some magic for us. We’ll see how the e-pics go!

  24. Member
    bmarie12 174 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:52 pm

    The other photos are beautiful – but when I saw yours, it made ME smile – as others have said, your smile is absolutely gorgeous. Although Blue Steel photos would be kind of great….

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Cindy, Guest @ 10:14 pm

    I personally think that YOUR picture is the best out of the bunch! I love it!!!

  26. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:53 pm

    For our engagement shoot, we did some serious faces. None of them turned out quite as we’d have liked; I look pissed in many of them.

    Let the smiles loose! Your grin is infectious, Miss Pancakes! I’m sure you’ll get some naturally relaxed shots during the course of the day.

  27. Member
    miss.qwerty 206 posts, Helper bee @ 12:24 am

    I think your e-pic is the best of the bunch. I love your megawatt smile and the smile crinkles on Mr. P’s face – so much joy and happiness. 😀

  28. cinnamonbun Member
    cinnamonbun 1116 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:58 am

    I smile like you do! I figure that look will be plastered on my face all day, but I’m hoping the photographer will manage to surprise me a couple times, and get a different look on my face.

  29. Member
    discgirl 220 posts, Helper bee @ 3:00 am

    I agree with the other posters… you have a beautiful smile. Own it!

  30. Member
    Miss Kid 122 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:51 am

    I am totally with you!!! I’m always smiling, and my fiance is always making me smile, but I looooove the subdued pictures. I would say just take a deep breath and get all the giggles out, then you’ll get some great subdued shots. Talk to the fiance and let him know that you want a few less frivolous shots, and I’m sure you still won’t be sorry to have some silly ones in there too.

  31. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:20 am

    I do the same thing. All of our photos have my big huge grin in them. And I don’t mind a bit cause that is exactly how the day was. 😛

  32. Member
    smiles1979 574 posts, Busy bee @ 8:52 am

    Yes, Miss Pancake, your picture DOES look the best b/c, imo, it truly shows that you two are fun loving and in love! That’s so awesome!! Like others said, you should own that and be proud of it. :) (hugs!)

  33. rainbow Member
    rainbow 1525 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:27 am

    I say go for a combo, that’s what we did. Most of them have genuine smiles, but some of them are definitely more posed/model faces. I love both styles so I’m glad we’ve got a variety!

  34. Member
    rachaelrobin 2915 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:33 am

    I love this post!!
    We had a great time during the engagement session, but like you mentioned, all of them are with me smiling my classic smile – squinty eye, lots of teeth, happy looking, but not the most…’romantic subdued’ look, as you so nicely put it.
    But, that’s my smile, and it is in a lot of the wedding pictures. However, for some of the shots, I remember thinking in my head “smile with your eyes.” It worked! We were able to manage the ‘romantic subdued’ for at least a few shots.

  35. Member
    strawberrybee 156 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:49 am

    As everyone else has said, I like your pic best of the ones above :). I have the opposite problem…I can smile all I like, but I feel very unnatural when I show my teeth (and my sister is always yelling at me that I’m never smiling in my photos as a result). I’m just going to try to let the happy through and hope that the pics look genuine!

  36. Member
    TiffyNicole 67 posts, Worker bee @ 10:22 am

    your smile is something that makes you, YOU.. don’t change it, you look SO happy, not to mention beautiful. I say forget the so-called “romantic” pictures you speak of, your smile makes your pictures look like you are totally head over heels in love!

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Molly, Guest @ 11:11 am

    Miss Pancakes, I had the EXACT same difficulty with my wedding pictures! My photographer kept trying to get me to “soft smile” but for most of my “soft smile” pictures, you could tell I was trying not to smile. Of course my husband had no problem mastering the art. But she did catch a lot of great pictures without my big cheese, so I wouldn’t worry too much. They take so many during your wedding that some great ones are bound to turn out. Of course my favorites include my big smile :)

  38. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:35 am

    You have a smile that can light up a room, Miss P. :)

  39. Member
    mrs.ball2b 126 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:25 pm

    Miss Pancakes- I know EXACTLY what your’re talking about!! I’ve been spending my days smiling to myself in the mirror & comparing my cheeser in other pics! haha. I feel like my favorite smile (at the risk of sounding cheesy..) is when I’m looking at my FI…that deep gaze & then my smile is the perfect D! He even says that their’s a “perfect smile” that I do that he loves…which after 2 years he won’t reveal… haha. I think I’m going to make him practice with me! But as far as your photos go I bet you’re going to look great! Be natural! You have an awesome smile!

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Robert London, Guest @ 12:27 pm

    Do not worry about it! You will have a selection of posed and non-posed photos, just be in the moment and let the photographer worry about the images. If you feel beautiful and are having fun then that will show in the pictures. Enjoy your wedding that is what is most important!

  41. husky Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:33 pm

    I love your smile! I found with our photos that I was smiling in most of them, but a few were captured during a moment when we were just lost in one another. I think the photos you want will end up happening naturally!

  42. mspancakes Member
    mspancakes 85 posts, Worker bee @ 7:02 am

    You ladies are all TOO sweet! I am currently in Southern Spain at a coffee shop reading all your comments and smiling from ear-to-ear.

  43. Member
    blanket 78 posts, Worker bee @ 12:53 pm

    I dig your happy head on the shoulder picture far more than any of the other sort of smile pictures. To be honest, they all seem like they’re trying to smile like that, like they’re holding back, attempting to look like a nice well behaved bride. You should totally embrace your smile. It’s beautiful, very honest and refreshing.

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