WEDDINGS
10/06/2015 06:56 pm ET | Updated Oct 08, 2015

25 Award-Winning Wedding Photos You Just Have To See

These are not your average wedding pictures.

Four times a year, the Fearless Awards honor the very best photos by the world's top wedding photographers. And the most recent collection, released Tuesday, is no exception.

After poring over more than 15,000 submissions from 1,300 photographers, a group of curators carefully narrowed the finalists down to a mere 184.

See some of the awe-inspiring images that made the cut, along with commentary from the editors of the Fearless Photographers site, below. 

  • "Golden sunset light simply pours over this loving couple, giving the scene a soft, misty, and completely romantic look. And it's not only a lovely portrait of the couple, it's a wonderful display of the gown's long, beautiful train. From lighting, to styling, to posing, it's a resounding success."
  • "Presenting this image in black & white perfectly distilled the relationships between three generations. We don't need to see the faces to relate perfectly to the emotions—they're all there in the body language, captured at the perfect moment of connection."
  • "A sunny blue sky and fresh gold field form a clean canvas that lets us zoom in on the story: the cheerful turquoise car and the couple jumping for joy. Their mirrored composition at either end of the frame makes the viewer's gaze linger, bouncing back and forth between the car and the exuberant bride and groom."
  • "As the happy newlyweds leave in a shower of rice and rose petals, we get a glimpse of unbridled happiness. It takes masterful timing to bring every element together so perfectly, and here it looks effortless. All we feel is the joy."
  • "Presenting this image in black & white stripped the scene down to the bride and groom, each left to his or her own thoughts. We are left to imagine the story and fill in the mystery."
  • "This image thrives on juxtaposition of celebration and intimacy captured in angle to clearly show both. Bold red and gold colors throughout the frame unify the composition and the story."
  • "Marriage is the foundation of families, generation after generation. The story here is told in an instant—with simple elegance and subdued tones that honor the women who have gone before and the new wife who begins her journey today."
  • "There's a lot going on in this image—more than you probably even notice at first glance. This new mom of twins and bride-to-be has multitasking down to a science, and her photographer captured the heartwarming chaos in a sweet, loving way."
  • "Of the thousands of stories here, only one matters. The couple is simply posed and perfectly framed in a royal blue opening, making them pop out from the colorful and visually complex environment. Bookishness never looked so wonderfully stylish!"
  • "Wedding photography is perhaps at its best when it reveals an emotional moment, as it does here. While the bride gently affixes his boutonniere, her father's face is full of love for his little girl. A story that has been unfolding for decades is encapsulated in this single frame."
  • "It takes a keen eye to take full advantage of an unusual scene like this wall of glass vases—and here it all comes together. The couple, posed in an opening, is delicately backlit to pop them out from the golden sunset tones that fill the rest of frame."
  • "Grandma! The emotion of a sweet smooch between generations is hard to resist, especially in a context as tradition- and family-laden as a wedding. The directional lighting and black & white presentation bring the contrasting skin and hair textures to the fore in a soft, flattering way."
  • "A steeple, a veiled bride, and a gown -- we have most of the requisite wedding subjects all in one frame! The rhythm of front-lit and backlit elements force us in and out of the light, and render the statuesque bride and gown as components of the framed skyline." 
  • "Bright backlighting from a large window suffuses the whole room and lends a perfect sense of lightness to this exuberant image. The photographer captured not only the spontaneous event but also the joyous reactions of all the onlookers."
  • "Who says artistic wedding photos can't be sexy? This couple is definitely heating it up with their tight pose—and the world seems to be steaming up around them. Lit from the back, the combination of hard edges and soft flare makes the photograph feel bold and alluring."
  • "Running toward the camera with reckless abandon, the bride's expression lights up the foreground while the groom's crazy posture brings up the rear. The unusually graphic -- and slightly precarious -- location is full of lines that keep drawing your eyes back to the playful couple."
  • "The light streaming down through the trees to the forest floor makes for an otherworldly glow. As if taking a break from an afternoon drive, the couple looks lost together in this secluded, magical world. The starburst sun and black & white presentation make the image a classic -- and a little bit epic."
  • "If there's such a thing as 'love light,' this might be it. A golden beam washes out all but the barest background detail and wraps the couple in a warm glow. Rim light sharply defines their forms, but then quickly drops back into a sweet softness that perfectly suits their pose and loving expressions."
  • "The photographer used a simple design and clean lighting to let that one perfect prop carry this narrative. Elegantly appointed and lovingly clasping hands, it's clear that these grooms appreciate the sentiment."
  • "Our spouses are often our proverbial 'islands in a storm'; in this image, those words are brought to life. As the swirling blue waters rush around them, the couple clings to each other and stands firmly together in their love. It's a moving and artistic depiction."
  • "This photographer let the tears of joy in the pretty bride's eyes tell the whole story. A close view of the moment—no props, no fancy backgrounds, no camera tricks -- was all that was needed to make us fall for this sweet image."
  • "The Eiffel Tower is one of the world's most photographed structures, so it takes a creative mind to make it look fresh and intriguing. In this graphic silhouette of the bride's kicked-up feet -- with her sheer skirt flying -- the photographer did just that."
  • "With the sun at a low angle below the tree crowns, this grove was filled with soft streams of light. The couple was perfectly posed between the twisted trunks, making them stand out from foliage. Surrounded by cool, mossy tones, they stand at the golden, glowing heart of the composition."
  • "Of course it's a fake scene made for the camera. Maybe its goal is to illustrate trust? If so, this groom seems to have a happy future all sewn up. The silly situational pose and composition set this photograph well on its way to success, but it's the bride's expression of intense concentration (and maybe concern) that really sells it."
  • "Wedding photography can be about big moments or tiny twinklings like this one. Trailing inches behind the bride, this devoted canine companion seems eager to perform his or her part of the big day. But be careful not to step on anything important!"

For more incredible photos, check out the slideshow below. To see the collection in its entirety, head over to the Fearless Photographers website. 

Award-Winning Wedding Photos

CONVERSATIONS