Weddings today can be elaborate productions documented by a crew of professionals (and guests) who capture hundreds, if not thousands, of candid digital images and videos of the nuptials and reception.
Browsing through the Denver Public Library's Digital Collections, however, we are reminded of a time when "wedding photography" meant a posed portrait or two of the wedding party taken in a photographer's studio. It was not until the 20th century that wedding photography began to change.
In the twentieth century, wedding photographers gradually broke free of past limitations, becoming more adaptive to individual couples' needs. On-location photography flourished with the availability of sheet film, flashbulb lighting, portable and faster cameras. Candid images of marriage emerged with these new technologies, making it possible to record spontaneous moments.
-Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography, 3-Volume Set by Lynne Warren, p. 1655
A post-World War II increase in marriages resulted in wedding photography becoming a profitable trade. By the mid-1960's, wedding photographs began to be shot on color film, and some couples opted for their images to be taken in a photojournalistic style that veered away from formal poses. Today, wedding photography tends to borrow the 19th century's formal poses and the 20th century's candid style to capture a couple's special day.