WEDDING- Behind the shots: Weird, wild, wonderful wedding moments

They say weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event, but for wedding photographers, the rituals of vows, cake cutting, and garter throwing are just another day at the office. Still, occasionally, somewhere between "I do" and "good night" something funny, touching, or downright bizarre happens– to be forever captured in the photographers' memories, and, if they're lucky, their lenses.

Tod Cohen, Tod Cohen Photography

The removal of pants at a wedding is a much more frequent phenomenon than many an embarrassed and hung-over guest would like to admit. However, as Tod Cohen found, on rare occasions, the trou dropping is not the result of too many cocktails, but is as carefully orchestrated as the bride and groom's first dance.

"When 'YMCA' was played, all the fraternity brother friends of the groom circled around the bride and groom and dropped their pants," Cohen reports of one wedding. "Most of them had these wild boxers on."

Then came the grand finale.

"The groom joined them, and then the bride lifted up her dress to show that she, too, was wearing boxer shorts," Cohen reports. "I believe this might be a tradition of the school or the fraternity, but I'm not certain."

Jen Fariello, Jen Fariello Photography

Outdoor summer nuptials may look idyllic in the wedding album, but on the big day, hot weather and full-length tuxes and dresses can make for a sticky mess. According to Jen Fariello, such was the case on this July day.

"We were at the un-air-conditioned Keswick Hunt Club, and it was one of the hottest days of the year," explains Fariello. "It must have been 110 degrees in there." 

As the hot sweat and cold beer kept flowing, this man could take it no longer.

"The DJ put on 'It's Raining Men,' and the bride's brother just got really into it," says Fariello. "He was soon joined by all the groomsmen in the disrobing antics."

Billy Hunt, Billy Hunt Photography

While there are countless wedding conventions like cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet, truly memorable weddings bear the personal touches of the bride and groom. At this wedding, that meant letting all the guests in on the bride and groom's personal inside joke.

"They and their friends have this contest called 'booty gear,'" says Billy Hunt. "When they all go out, they have various costumes to transform themselves. So they incorporated it into the wedding, with all the groomsmen going into the parking lot, changing, and coming back as '80s hip-hop."

And once the headbands and track suits came out, the fast and furious dance moves were not far behind. But in the middle of the break-dancing, the bride and groom managed to share this moment.

"They were having the best time," Hunt says. "It's a funny picture, but it totally made sense in context."

Will Kerner, Will Kerner Photography

This south Albemarle wedding that Will Kerner photographed was also a homecoming for the bride.

"She lives out in L.A.," explains Kerner, "but they were having the wedding at her parents' house, so everybody was pretty relaxed."

So relaxed, in fact, that the bride remained un-flummoxed when one of her bridesmaids struck this potentially threatening pose.

"They were trimming tags off various garments," says Kerner, "when this close friend of the bride grabbed the scissors and lurched into this pose."

Fortunately, no dresses were harmed in the making of this picture.

Says Kerner, "She was hamming it up big time." 

Meredith Montague, Meredith Montague Wedding Photography

Meredith Montague has experienced her share of unconventional wedding shoots, but this D.C. wedding was the first time one of her clients asked to be photographed at the feet of our 16th president.

"We were at the Lincoln Memorial," she says, "and of course there were all these other people around while we were doing the shots."

Among them was a group of high school students on a field trip who greeted the bride and groom with a particularly enthusiastic reception.

"As soon as they saw the wedding party," says Montague, "they all started screaming 'wooooo!' and clapping and high five-ing the bride and groom. I just sat back and took it all in."

Will Walker, William Walker Photography

Posing for friends and family photographs can be one of the more tedious activities of the big day, as it often leaves many members of the wedding party waiting their turn. While shooting on UVA's Lawn, Will Walker found these groomsmen just wouldn't stand for standing around.

"I don't know where it came from, but somebody had a football," says Walker. "So they started not just throwing it around, but jumping over each other, getting really into it."

This meant that after this picture was taken, all the groomsmen were huffing, puffing, and sweating from the spirited competition. However, that wasn't their biggest worry.

"Everyone was afraid of that moment when they ask, 'Do you have the ring?'" says Walker. "We were worried the best man would answer, 'Uhhhh...' only to find he had lost it on the Lawn. 

"Fortunately, that didn't happen."