Wedding Planning 101

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Wedding Planning 101: The Dip Kiss

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Dip Kiss

A common thing couples like to do for a really cute photo op is dip and kiss as they either walk back down the aisle after the ceremony or as they exit the reception. When I pose a couple for a dip and kiss during their portrait time, I tell the groom exactly how to stand, where to put his hands, what direction to lean his bride, and how not to lose his balance. Then, I tell the bride where to hold her bouquet, how high to kick her leg, and how to help her groom not lose his balance. It’s more and more common for couples to want these dip photos in moments that are not โ€œposedโ€ though, and sometimes, it can be really confusing on how to do the dip at the most photogenic angle. So, let me walk you through it.

  1. Most important is the direction the groom points the brides head. If you are walking down an aisle or in between a row of people, you want the bride’s body to be perpendicular to the aisle you are walking down. That means her kicking foot is pointed to one side of the aisle, and the top of her head is pointed to the other side of the aisle. What commonly happens is her kicking foot is pointed at the camera, and her head is pointed to the beginning of the aisle. This is naturally how the dip falls when you aren’t intentional about what direction the bride dips back because it feels like that is where the most space is. It is also a natural direction to lean her when you are both facing the end of the aisle walking that way hand in hand because the groom turns to face the bride, which puts him in the position to dip her back the wrong way. So if you aren’t intentional here, it is easy to go into a position where the photographer is just shooting the bride’s foot kicking at her and can’t even see your heads kissing. SOLUTION: I have found the easiest way to make sure the bride is dipped in the right direction without stopping and interrupting the moment is to have her step in front of her groom positioning herself to have her back to one side of the aisle and her face to the other. This allows the groom to dip her back perpendicular to the camera/aisle!
  2. Second most important is where the bride holds her bouquet. If the groom does his part by pointing you in the right direction then you bring your bouquet up to cover up the kiss, we’re back to square one ๐Ÿ˜‚ A good spot to hold your bouquet is at your groom’s elbow. If you don’t like this option, the next best spot is to let your bouquet hand hang down towards the ground. Both are good options, but sometimes, it can feel strange letting your arm hang so most brides opt to hold it at the groom’s elbow!
  3. BALANCE. This is debatably the most important one because no matter what direction you’re pointed and no matter where you hold your bouquet, if he drops you on the ground, he is already in the dog house 30 seconds into marriage ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ So, what is the best way to keep your balance doing a dip? The BIGGEST component here is having a wide stance. Grooms, you want to step out in a kind of lunge situation. The foot you’re stepping with is on the side you are leaning the bride back. Having this foot somewhere under the bride’s upper body allows you to hold most of her weight on that leg instead of your single arm. Brides, hook your non-bouquet arm behind your groom’s neck and hold yourself to his body to help his balance. That helps distribute the weight he’s holding among various body parts. His neck/back/shoulders + his arm behind your back + his leg lunged under you.
  4. The kick and the dip. Brides, you don’t have to kick super high during your dip shot. If you are not a flexible person, doing a huge kick is just going to make this pose so much more uncomfortable. You can do a straight leg or a bent leg. If you do a bent leg, your toe doesn’t even have to come off the ground. If you do a straight leg, you can left it 5 inches off the ground or if you’re flexible and are really feeling it, you can leave it a few feet off the ground. Do what feels good because it’ll look good either way! Grooms, you can dip her back as far as you want. If you want to do a 30 degree angle where you just lean her back a little, you can. In contrast, if you want to take her all the way down, parallel to the ground, you can do that, too. Play it by ear and listen to your body. You’ll know when to stop.
  5. The train. If you have a long train on your dress, be prepared for it to get in the way. Obviously, there is no way to practice with your dress on before the wedding day, but if you do a first look, maybe practice it during your portrait time to see just how in the way it gets. Also, keep in mind it’s only in the way during the ceremony dip kiss. If you are doing it at your exit, you will be bustled so it won’t be in the way anymore. Depending on the direction you step in front of your groom, it may put your train in the spot where he’s supposed to plant his foot. If so, just go with it. It’s not the end of the world if he steps on your train at this point in the day. If you twist as you step in front of him, it will be out of the way of his lunging foot, but it’ll likely be twisted up around your feet. Untwist to finish walking down the aisle after the dip and kiss the same way you twisted into it. That’ll keep your feet tangle free.

Ultimately, I’ve never ever ever seen a bride fall to the ground during this moment. It sounds like a lot of work to make this shot work, but let me tell you, it’s worth it! It always looks SO good and usually ends up being one of the couple’s favorite photos from the day. Practice walking hand in hand and turning into a dip even without your dress on before the wedding day. Practice it during your portrait time if you do a first look. And if you don’t end up practicing at all, I would still recommend giving it a shot!

Iโ€™m a Knoxville Wedding Photographer that loves to travel. I shoot anywhere! Click here to contact me with any questions you have about pricing or booking! If you liked what you saw above, go ahead and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see my daily updates of the latest sessions!

See more from Amanda May Photos:

Wedding at The Mill & Mine

Small Wedding at Hunter Valley Farm

Wedding at Ramble Creek Vineyard

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