These stunning couples made us look twice. Take a second glance at their epic photos, then look back at each unique celebration.
Photography: Carrie Patterson1 of 21
Most couples will say that wedding photography was one of their main priorities, and therefore one of their largest big-day investments. There's a good reason for that: After the party is over and your guests have gone home, the pictures of your wedding day are all you have left to help inform your memories. And don't you want to remember every last detail that you spent months (or years!) pouring over?
While we do love those detail shots, there's something about a couple's portraits that always stick with us. That's why we combed through the last years' worth of real weddings to highlight our absolute favorite photos. Sound fun? It was, but that didn't mean it was easy. With so many unique celebrations and stunning pairs, choosing just 20 photos was no small feat, but we ultimately resurfaced the snapshots that we simply could not forget.
From formal celebrations and at-home parties to rustic nuptials and seasonal events, this collection of photos represents a wide variety of weddings. If you're planning a summer wedding, do and Keisha and Luke did and pose for photos in a sunny meadow. Tying the knot in the winter? Ashley and Hughes took a gondola ride to the top of Aspen Mountain for their snow-dusted first look. Fashion-forward couples may want to steal a page from Lindsey and William's or Carey and Eric's books: Both couples brought in seamless backdrops for their formal portraits, and the results were so timeless and chic.
If you're ready to see the best of the best of 2017's real weddings then click through here. Revisit 20 of our favorite wedding photos from the last year, then let these double-take-worthy images inspire your own wedding album.
Photography: Abby Jiu Photography2 of 21
Lindsey and William
"We didn't want to focus on the location, but on the people," bride Lindsey says of her and William's fashion-forward wedding in Washington, D.C. So instead of posing in front of capitol landmarks, the duo had a custom seamless gray backdrop made to give their photos a timeless look.
Photography: Kyle John Photography3 of 21
Alexis and Zach
For this fashionable couple, only an incredibly cool wedding would do. That's why Alexis and Zach planned to tie the knot in Italy, where the rolling hills of Tuscany and this incredible venue served as their backdrop. It's no wonder they took portraits in this striking courtyard.
Photography: Jose Villa4 of 21
Rebekah and Chris
Rebekah and Chris tied the knot on a crisp autumn day in Tennessee, so it was only fitting that their wedding portraits highlight the season. Changing foliage and fallen leaves were the ideal backdrop for their newlywed photo shoot.
Photography: Michael Radford5 of 21
Lisa and Louis
When you tie the knot in the heart of Palm Springs, you're basically required to pose with the locale's mountains and natural foliage as your backdrop. That's exactly what Lisa and Louis did, and the punchy bougainvillea and trailing palms perfectly captured their wedding destination.
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Photography: Ben Christensen Photography6 of 21
George and Shawn
For this couple's chic destination wedding in Palm Springs, every detail infused the celebration with a healthy dose of style. For their formal portraits, George, right, wore Givenchy, while Shawn, left, chose Alexander McQueen.
Photography: M. K. Sadler7 of 21
Christine and Benjamin
Photography: Meg Smith8 of 21
Mahncy and Anish
Mahncy and Anish made it official with a colorful Indian wedding in Napa Valley, California, and their portraits showed off the couple's incredible traditional attire. The couple purchased their ensembles—plus outfits for the rest of the family—in India over the course of just a few days.
Photography: Erich McVey9 of 21
Christina and Shaina
Christina and Shaina wanted their Florida wedding to celebrate the area's rich history, not just the state's beautiful beaches. So the duo planned a wedding at a historic venue and used orange groves, Spanish architecture, and overgrown gardens as their inspiration. They took all of their portraits on the grounds of the property, too.
Photography: Elizabeth Messina Photography10 of 21
Carey and Eric
This fashionable twosome planned an equally stylish wedding in Chico, California, so it's no surprise that their photos are worth a second look. Our favorite shot of all is this portrait of Carey and Eric, in which the couple poses in front of a backdrop made from the very small wallpaper that hangs in their bedroom.
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Photography: KT Merry11 of 21
Natalie and Jamey
With a backdrop as stunning as Miami's Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, it's no surprise that Natalie and Jamey wanted wedding portraits that captured the incredible architecture. This beautiful shot of the couple kissing on the stone balcony perfectly captures the spirit of their Cuban-and-Texan-inspired celebration and the party's venue.
Photography: Jen Fariello Photography12 of 21
Anne and Staton
College sweethearts Anne and Staton tied the knot at their alma mater, University of Virginia in Charlottesville. As a lieutenant in the United States Navy, the groom wore his uniform, and this snapshot of the couple getting ready to leave in their vintage white limo feels so timeless and lovely.
Photography: Lauren Kinsey13 of 21
Brian and Gene
Brian and Gene wed on a family farm in Maryland, and the entire celebration was planned in just one month. To emphasize the winter season, the grooms wore rich fabrics, like velvet and flannel, in deep, warm hues.
Photography: Lacie Hansen Photography14 of 21
Ashley and Hughes
For this ski-obsessed couple, a winter wedding in Colorado was a natural fit. Ashley and Hughes posed for portraits with the snowcapped Rocky Mountains behind them after taking the gondola to the very top of Aspen mountain for their first look.
Photography: Redfield Photography15 of 21
Deb and Meryl
Brides Deb and Meryl planned a lively, colorful wedding in Philadelphia, and this photo only just begins to show the bright hues that their party pop. But it wasn't just the punchy flowers that caught our eye here—it's impossible not to see how in love this twosome is.
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Photography: Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography16 of 21
Meki and Ian
Meki and Ian's Detroit art museum wedding was packed with Scottish and Samoan influence, a nod to both the groom's and bride's family backgrounds, respectively. He wore a traditional Scottish kilt throughout the party, while the bride performed a traditional Samoan dance during the reception.
Photography: The Edges Wedding Photography17 of 21
Regina and Chris
This couple's candle-filled wedding in Mexico was dripping with romance, but it's this portrait of Regina and Chris that we're entirely unable to forget. After leaving their ceremony, the bride and groom posed for a kiss amid a sprinkling of white flower petals.
Photography: Nina and Wes Photography18 of 21
Joanna and Jay
JoAnna and Jay planned a New Year's Eve wedding with a burgundy color palette. The celebration was the perfect way to ring in the start of another year, and the photos of the event, especially the couple's portraits, were not to be missed.
Photography: Joel Serrato19 of 21
Aislinn and Eric
Look at that view! Aislinn and Eric tied the knot at a church in Los Angeles, then surprised guests by transporting them to Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards for a surprise reception with a seriously epic view. The couple posed for stunning portraits on the rocks near the estate just before sunset.
Photography: Greg Finck20 of 21
Colleen and Matthew
If you've tied the knot in Paris, like Colleen and Matthew did, how could you not pose for photographs with the iconic Eiffel Tower in the background? This twosome made a striking contrast against the cityscape behind them, thanks to the bride's bold red dress and the groom's sleek black tux.
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Photography: Ryan Ray Photography21 of 21
Keisha and Luke
Talk about picture perfect. Keisha and Luke's Oklahoma wedding venue—the very same property where the bride grew up—had so many beautiful spots for photo ops. The pair couldn't help but pose for portraits in this sunny meadow.