Weddings are a magical time of love and romance, so celebrate your new journey with a creative photo manipulation!
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to build a beautiful wedding manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. First, we’ll tackle the scenic layout using mostly free stocks, and then we’ll adjust the wardrobe to fit the theme better.
The following assets were used in the production of this tutorial:
- Wedding Couple
- Wedding Veil #1
- Wedding Veil #2
- Salbatora Script Font
- Shimmer Photoshop Action
Wedding Inspiration & Theme
We’ll be tackling this fun manipulation using these free stocks shown below. Feel free to use your own photos if you’re creating this manipulation for a sweet project or gift.
Since weddings are a special time in anyone’s life, I’d like to keep this theme as “picture perfect” as possible. To do this, I’ll adjust the colors of the outfit for a traditional wedding appeal and build a dreamy mountainous landscape for a spectacular effect.
Many creative couples like to commemorate this big event with a new and unique twist. Find inspiration for this theme on Pinterest or Google by looking up keywords like “creative engagement photos” or unique wedding photo ideas.”
Let’s get started!
1. How to Build a Mountain Landscape
Create a New Document. My final manipulation comes in at 1424 x 1920 pixels.
Copy and Paste the Mountain landscape image onto a New Layer. Adjust the size using the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) so that it fits a little smaller. This will help us create more depth.
Place the image high onto the document, as shown in the image below.
Let’s keep building the landscape!
Now we need a bottom. Copy and Paste another selection of the Mountain landscape on a second New Layer underneath the first layer. Feel free to use a quick selection tool, like the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L), for this step.
Make sure to select the lower left portion because we’ll be creating a subtle path leading up to the couple.
Create another selection of the original photo. Select the lower, sandy section to help us create a path towards the center.
Copy and Paste it onto a New Layer underneath the mountain.
Now add a Layer Mask to the mountain and path layers where necessary. Brush away the harsh, sharp edges from each layer by painting black onto the mask with a Soft Round Brush (0% Hardness, 100% Opacity).
Notice the horses in the background? They make it a little busy, so let’s remove them!
To cover the horses, we’ll use nearby areas of the landscape to cover them with grass and dirt. To do this, we’ll need to select an area first with the Lasso Tool (L) and then Copy and Paste it onto a New Layer above the mountain layer.
Position the grass over the horse to hide it. Use a Layer Mask to refine any harsh edges.
Cover each horse until you have a result similar to the one below.
Bye bye horses!
When you’re through, select all the landscape layers and right-click to Merge them together.
Let’s create more depth of field. Doing so will help draw our eyes to the couple when we add them later.
Select the mountain layer. Create a selection around just the sky using the Magnetic and Polygonal Lasso Tools (L).
Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, adding a Radius of 5 pixels to help blur the sky.
Let’s push this blur a little further.
Next, add a Tilt shift blur. With the mountain layer still selected, go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Tilt-Shift. Create a tilt-shift effect like the one shown below.
Adjust the Blur to 15 pixels and hit OK.
2. How to Create the Wedding Outfits
Before we adjust the landscape even more, we need to add the couple and wedding details!
Make a selection around the Wedding Couple using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). Don’t worry about the edges—we’ll refine them in the next step.
Copy and Paste the couple onto a New Layer above the blurred mountain layer. Adjust their size using the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) and position them in the center of the composition.
Add a Layer Mask to the couple layer.
Use a Hard Round Brush (100% Hardness, 100% Opacity) to paint black on the mask to remove any unwanted areas still showing through.
Don’t forget to remove any open spaces between their arms and legs too!
Continue to refine the edges until you have a result similar to the one below.
Now for their outfits! I love styling!
Wedding colors come in different palettes all over the world, but to help this manipulation read clearly like a traditional wedding, we’ll create a black tux and white wedding dress.
- Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a selection around just the wedding dress. Then hold the Shift key to add a second selection around the violet roses. We’ll recolor them too!
- Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue and Saturation. Add the values shown below to turn the dress white. Then Right-click it and set it as a Clipping Mask to the couple layer.
Hue and Saturation Values:
- Hue: -19
- Saturation: -61
- Lightness: -18
Do the same for the man’s tuxedo. Let’s turn it black.
Set a second New Adjustment Layer of Hue and Saturation as a Clipping Mask to the couple. Make sure you select his tux first before adding the adjustment layer so that the right colors are changed.
Adjust the values to the following:
- Hue: 0
- Saturation: -100
- Lightness: -27
Here is the result so far! What a beautiful couple!
Feel free to refine the Layer Masks even more. Any important areas like the skin or hair shouldn’t be recolored and can be masked out.
Adjust the colors of the couple even further—they’re currently looking a little dull.
Set a New Adjustment Layer of Curves as a Clipping Mask to the couple layer.
Adjust the curves for the RGB and Blue Channels to the ones below to improve the contrast and color.
Then set the curve’s Layer Blend Mode to Hard Light and lower the Opacity to 50%.
Next, we’ll recolor the couple slightly to match the landscape. Set a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup as a Clipping Mask to the couple layer.
Set the 3DLUT File to FallColors.look.
Before we move on to the veil, let’s boost all the colors of our portrait a little.
Add a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup above all the others.
Set the 3DLUT File to Filmstock_50.3dl. Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Lighter Color and lower the Opacity to 68%.
Time for the veil!
- Create a selection of the first veil using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). Copy and Paste it onto a New Layer above the last Color Lookup adjustment. Flip the veil layer by going to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.
- Adjust the size and width to fit the bride with Free Transform (Control-T), and then add a Layer Mask to refine the edges of the veil.
For a more flowy effect, let’s add a second veil!
Using the same methods as before, extract Veil #2, and then Flip and Resize it to fit the bride.
Layer the new veil over the first one. Then Clip a New Adjustment Layer of Hue and Saturation to the veil layer to change the color to white.
Add the following values:
- Lightness: 0
Let’s increase the contrast of the veil.
Clip a New Adjustment Layer of Curves to the veil layer. Adjust the curve for the RGB Channel like the one below for more contrast.
Here’s our lovely couple so far!
3. How to Adjust the Color Scheme
Almost all of the major components of this manipulation are in place!
So now we’ll need to add a few more Adjustment Layers to tweak the color scheme for a better palette.
Let’s start with the mountain.
Create a New Layer and Right-click to set it as a Clipping Mask to the mountain layer.
Use a Soft Round Brush (0% Hardness, 70-90% Opacity) to paint green
#184d0e on the lower foreground sections of the grass.
Set the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 10%.
Clip another New Layer above that one.
I’m trying to separate the foreground and background grass sections by playing with light.
Now use a Hard Round Brush (100% Hardness, 100% Opacity) to paint light green
#b9b522 on these background grass sections. Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Soft Light.
Let’s Clip two New Adjustment Layers to the mountain layer.
Select the mountain using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map.
Create a green
#22847e to light green
#82b5a6 gradient. Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 70%.
Now Clip a New Adjustment Layer for Color Balance.
Adjust the values for the Midtones and Highlights to the ones shown.
- Midtones: +2, 0, -55
- Highlights:+13, -16, -77
Diffuse the sky with a little white.
Clip a New Layer to the mountain layer and use a Soft Round Brush (0% Hardness, 10-20% Opacity) to paint soft white onto the sky. Adjust the Layer Opacity as needed.
Make sure the brush hits the edges of the cliff for a subtle faded effect.
Add a New Adjustment Layer of Curves above the mountain layer. Make sure it isn’t clipped.
Adjust the curve of the RGB Channel as shown. It’s a subtle effect, but it’s very much needed to soften the intensity of the current colors.
4. How to Finish the Manipulation
Almost there! Get ready to catch the bouquet!
These last steps will require mostly New Adjustment Layers and subtle details. Let’s try to run through them as quickly as possible.
Create a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance above all the other layers.
Adjust the values for the Midtones and Highlights to the following:
Midtones: +14, -3, +6
- Highlights:-1, -19, -10
Then lower the Opacity to 60%.
Now add a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup.
Set the 3DLUT File to 3Strip.look.
Add another New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance.
Adjust the values for the Shadows to –50, 0 +1.
Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to Fill a New Layer with pink
#f2adaf above all the others.
Set the Layer Blend Mode to Hue and lower the Opacity to 25%.
Time to make this landscape sparkle with highlights!
Create a New Layer above the others and set it to Overlay.
Use a Hard Round Brush (100% Hardness, 10-30% Opacity) to paint highlights on the background grass leading up to the foreground.
Follow the direction of the light; it’s coming from the left side. Make sure you also paint parts of the wedding dress, bouquet, and the groom’s tux with light.
Continue pushing the clarity of the scene.
Now create New layers dedicated to more light and refinement. Use a Soft Round Brush to paint white at the top to diffuse the light even more.
Then use a Hard Round Brush to fill the bride’s skirt with solid white, and to create crisp, clear edges around the skirt and veil.
Adjust the Layer Opacities as needed. Here’s a before and after.
Add some subtle greenery!
Copy and Paste the original Wedding Couple photo over your composition. Add a Layer Mask and mask out everything except for the lower portions of the grass as shown in the image below.
Then Clip a New Adjustment Layer of Levels to improve the contrast.
You may need to paint a little more grass to balance out the landscape. Do so with a Hard Round Brush and a light yellow color
#f9f9da. Short, squiggly lines should do just fine.
Continue to balance out the grass with subtle layers of color if necessary. Paint directly over these areas with a Soft Hard Brush at a very low Opacity (5–15%) and use the Eyedropper Tool (E) to select nearby colors for reference.
Don’t forget to add a subtle shadow underneath the bride and groom! Paint a soft, dark green color underneath them to follow the lighting.
Now boost the clarity with a New Adjustment Layer of Levels above all the others.
Finish with a New Adjustment Layer of Gradient Map. Set the gradient to the Pink, Yellow and Green preset.
Then change the Layer Blend Mode to Color and the Opacity to 17%.
5. How to Add Text and Special Effects
To make this manipulation even more special, just add text!
Here I used this Salbatora Script Font to create the text for our couple at the bottom.
Check out the final result below!
All Done! Great Job!
Here comes the bride…
I hear wedding bells! Congratulations on making a beautiful wedding manipulation inspired by love and romance. Take your time and have
fun creating stunning moods from scratch.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! How’d you do? Share your comments and results below.
For more photo manipulation tutorials like this one, check out these links: