by Asif & Nicki Ali

1) Have an engagement shoot

You don’t want the first time you interact with your photographer to be on the day of your wedding. What if you simply don’t mesh with his/her personality? This is an important thing to find out BEFORE the wedding so you can be sure that you picked the right match for you and your fiancé. An engagement session is the perfect chance to “practice” with your potential photographer and is a great way for the photographer to get to know how the two of you interact with each other. Plus you get some great photos as a bonus!

2) Book a makeup artist

Professional makeup artists know how to apply makeup that will look good on camera. The difference between a bride who had professional makeup done and a bride who did her own makeup is always noticeable in photos. It is totally worth the money because they will help you look your absolute best and besides, it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about doing yourself that day.  

3) Plan enough time for what you want

Determine what's important to you. Would you want to stay in one place for all your photos or would you like to hit up a couple different locations? Be sure to find out from your photographer how much time you’ll need to allot for that. It is safe to assume that it will probably take longer than you anticipate. There is only one chance to get these photos so it is vital to plan ahead and communicate with your photographer about how much time is needed for your requests.

4) Consider a “first look”

What is a first look? It’s a special moment before the wedding when the bride approaches the groom and he turns around to see her in her dress for the first time. Yes, this may break the tradition of him not seeing her till the wedding, but that moment of him seeing her for the first time in this setting is far more intimate. It’s a time set aside to slow down and focus on each other before the rest of the day goes by in a blur. A first look is the absolute ideal option if the ceremony and reception are happening at the same venue with little time in between. By doing a first look you get all the photos out of the way before the ceremony so you can enjoy the cocktail hour and mingle with your guests.

5) Don’t overlook the small things

There are a few often over-looked details that can help the images turn out even better with simple adjustments. Whether it be how your jewelry and shoes are arranged to be photographed or how you're being posed, the small things make a big difference. It is your photographer's job to be mindful of these details and to know how to improvise, but there are a few things you can do to help. For example, have a nice hanger to photograph the gown on and remember to move your chin slightly forward and down to avoid the double chin at those "candid" times (such as walking down the aisle). Ask your photographer ahead of time if there are any other small things to take notice of. Also, let him/her know if there are any meaningful details you want captured that he/she may not otherwise know about (such as the inscriptions on the inside of your wedding rings).


6) You get what you pay for

Is it necessary to hire the most expensive photographer out there? No, it’s not, but there is truth to the line, “you get what you pay for.” We’ve all heard the horror stories of  “my Uncle Bob with a nice camera” or the “Craigslist photographer” who left the couple with little to no decent images of the biggest day of their lives. Once you know your budget, research as many photographers as you can who fit your budget and meet with them to make sure that he/she is someone you’d actually want to be an integral part of your day. And if possible, be willing to stretch this part of your budget a little because you won't regret splurging on the photography. 

7) Embrace the unexpected

With all the planning that is involved in putting together the wedding, it can be hard to think about the unplanned things that you can’t control (a torrential downpour, the ring-bearer  throwing a tantrum, that one obnoxious person who doesn't know when to be quiet - you get the picture). What’s best is just to accept that there WILL be those unexpected things on that day and at that point, all you can do is go with the flow. You’ll be a lot happier that way and it will show in your pictures.