It goes without saying that photography is a big part of the wedding experience, and accordingly, we’ve gone over some tried-and-true ways to get the best wedding photographs. Walking a photographer through the day (and the story behind it), identifying subjects for group photos, going over examples of wedding photos you like, and so on, can all help you to get the images you want during and after the ceremony.
On top of wedding photos that revolve around the bride, groom, ceremony, and reception though, a lot of couples also want photos taken of the wedding parties before everything really gets going. To that point, we’re going to focus in this post on a few fun ideas that will yield excellent shots of the groom and his groomsmen in the hours leading up to the actual wedding festivities.
1.) Drinks at the Bar
We may as well start with the fact that the idea of having a few drinks is just about inherent to the very concept of grooms’ parties. Indeed, as you’re probably well aware if you’ve been to enough weddings as an adult, drink-related accessories tend to be among the most common gifts for groomsmen also. There’s just something guys like about exchanging engraved flasks or special bottles of favorite beverages on a special occasion.
So the idea here is simply to lean into the theme for the sake of some good photos of guys just hanging out. If there’s a hotel bar at the wedding venue, or even a bar or restaurant within close proximity, consider getting the group together for a drink to mark the occasion. Particularly if you do so once people are dressed for the wedding, you’ll wind up with some really classy shots. A scene featuring the groom and his best friends seated in a bar with favorite drinks in hand, enjoying each other’s company and dressed for a wedding, makes a photographer’s job easy.
2.) A Game of Poker
Poker just seems like one of those groomsmen activities, doesn’t it? Okay, so it’s probably because there’s such a strong association between Las Vegas and wedding festivities (and specifically bachelor parties, which tend to feature similar crowds to groomsmen parties). Even if your group didn’t do a casino bachelor party though, there’s some appeal to this idea. You can set up a poker game just about anywhere; you can easily do it while dressed or even getting dressed for the wedding; and if anyone in the group doesn’t really know how to play, the rules of no-limit Texas Hold’em poker (by far the most popular version of the game) are pretty straightforward. Thus, everyone will be able to get in on the game.
As for the photos, there’s a lot that a skilled photographer can draw from a bit of poker among friends. Particularly if he or she is welcomed to simply hang out and rove around the table, there will end up being great shots of all men involved — complete with candid poses, laughter, and the almost inexplicably appealing props of cards and poker chips (and perhaps some drink glasses). Poker is basically a photoshoot waiting to happen, as well as a fun way to spend an hour with friends in advance of the wedding.
3.) Working Up a Sweat
This suggestion might sound a little bit unorthodox given that the last two involved groomsmen already being dressed for the wedding. However, it’s also worth mentioning that exercise is commonly recommended as a way for grooms to spend the morning of the wedding day (alongside groomsmen of course). Depending on the facilities available, it’s not unusual for the groom, his half of the wedding party, and maybe a few family members to “sweat out the nerves” on a golf course, with some beach volleyball, or even at a nearby basketball court.
Naturally, this makes for a different kind of photoshoot altogether, and one that will be a little less “wedding-like” upon first glance. But a professional photographer will have no trouble capturing the pure fun of sports among friends, and the shots will be wonderful to look back on one day. Just make sure no one turns an ankle before the wedding!
Drinks, poker games, and sports are just a few of countless ideas that might work for your groomsmen shoot. But hopefully, they’ve given you a few things to think about. Whatever you do specifically, you’ll always be glad to have those photos in later years.