35 Joyful, Candid Wedding Photos Your Photographer Must Get

March 1, 2021

Posed and creative wedding photos are great, but you WILL want these moments caught on film. Ready for real wedding inspiration of fun, candid wedding photographers you must get?

Candid wedding photography | Fun wedding photographer | Documentary wedding photographer

When you look back at your wedding, you’ll want not just photos of you and your partner, but memories of all the moments, laughter, joy, and utter surprises. THESE are the joyful, candid wedding photos your photographer must get.

Candid wedding photos
cake smash wedding photos candid

It’s so important that when looking for your wedding photographer, you book someone who is a wedding photojournalist: Someone who will document your day and catch real—not just posed—moments. Why? They’re fun, funny, beautiful, and real. The unplanned moments are so often the best. Examples:

-The dance moves from your grandma that you didn’t know were coming

-That moment when the vows make you laugh

-When the father of the bride can’t hold in a private joke

-Feeding cake to each other…but someone steps it up a notch

-Throwing snowballs at each other during a winter wedding

A wedding photojournalist isn’t for everyone, though most people who book me say that do for 2 reasons: My funky, adventurous photos, AND my ability to catch what my clients call “the real moments.” Couples hire me because they feel I catch the essence of the celebration versus only staged, smile-at-the-camera shots.

So, here are 40 fun, funny, candid wedding images you don’t want to miss, ranging from funny moments at the ceremony to funny dance moves—and everything in between. As a photojournalist, I rarely put my camera down, aiming to capture those funny, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss it moments. Make sure the photographer you hire is there to capture what you may miss!

Fun, Candid Wedding Photos You Can’t Miss Capturing


Many people are focused on the couple during toasts, and it’s easy to know why. While some are sweet and tear-jerking, it’s the laughter and happy tears that I love capturing.

BUT…listening to the toasts and capturing the laughter of the guests is just as fun! Instead of just two people, I focus on the great reactions from parents, cousins, college roommates, and so much more.


It doesn’t always have to be sweet and romantic (though of course I’ll capture all that too!). A lot of elopements and even 500-person weddings involve telling jokes, referencing something amusing, or calling out relatives and friends during the vows. I’m quietly walking all around during the ceremony to capture those wonderful moments.


While I’m known as a creative wedding photographer for my wacky, adventurous wedding photos, I also take beautiful, fun, and candid portraits. Instead of just posing for standard photos, we have a very relaxes hour where we chat, walk around your venue or park, and share stories as I’m capturing my couples. It’s perfect for those who feel awkward or nervous in front of the lens. Plus, you can just chat and laugh like normal! This is candid wedding photography you’ll love forever.


Candid wedding photojournalism is absolutely necessary for the ceremony since there’s always an unplanned moment or five!

Sometimes the ring doesn’t fit.

Sometimes the officiant makes an inside joke

Sometimes laughter helps everyone feel less nervous

Sometimes the flower girl or flower boy has a reaction that’s just too darn funny

Whatever happens, getting every surprise moment from different angles (2 photographers are better than 1 here!) is what every documentary wedding photographer aims to do.


Thrills, spills, drunken dances, and cultural celebrations—it’s all one of my absolute favorite moments to catch. Whether it’s a hora, a surprise second dance, alcohol-induced moments, or a game of limbo, the moments captured while dancing are irreplaceable. While it doesn’t mean your photographer(s) have to stay until the bitter end, it does mean that you will want at least an hour of dance footage so everyone lets loose on the dance floor!

Candid wedding photos can be raw and emotional as well, but I wanted to focus on some of the more funny, fun, and joyful candid wedding shots I’ve taken.

That said, below are some more of my favorite funny, fun, and candid documentary wedding photos from weddings I’ve photographed all around the country and world. Enjoy!

Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Candid wedding photographer | New York wedding photographer | Documentary wedding photography

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these candid, moment photos are the ones people go back and look at for years down the road! so important! great captures!

Oh my goodness these give me life! I love happy laughing photos, sometimes it feels like the wedding photography world is too serious and moody! please share more joyous moments!

So I had the biggest smile on my face going through this. THIS WAS AWESOME!! These candid moments are so special. This is such a great list and the fact that you have that many moments from different weddings really shows how much you love what you do!!

Thank you Will! Things have been rough lately for everyone, so I wanted to gather a bunch of photos showcasing pure joy. I’m glad these made you smile!

Love all the emotion in these. Great job!!

These give me all the feels! So many timeless memories that will keep your memories alive for a lifetime!

What incredible images! So much love, joy and diversity. The movement in that dance pic is amazing. Nice work!

Love every single one of these! Totally the must have shots for any wedding.