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Schedule a bridal portrait in advance of the ceremony date
There’s an incredible amount of pressure on the wedding day to tick off everything on the to-do list and everything takes longer than you think. You want the photographer to have all the time he or she needs to pose you, work with the light and find your sweet spot. While you may get lucky and have all of this come together on your ceremony day, if at all possible schedule this important shot another day.

Purchase disposable cameras for the tables
Disposable cameras decorated with a wedding theme are cheap and easy to find. Either ask your photographer to provide them (and develop them!) or buy them yourself. Your photographer can’t be everywhere at once, so even if you toss 80% of what comes out of the disposables, you’ll probably get some great keepers that make the nominal expense worthwhile. Don’t wait til the last minute, however. Order in advance!

Create your posing list at least one week in advance
You’ve probably got at least a few posed photographs with key wedding party members or family members that you’ll want. Make sure you get this list to the photographer in advance of the Big Day!

Add thirty seconds per person to the amount of time it will take just to organize a picture
I realize you and your guests want to get to or get on with the celebration, but give your photographer as much time as you can to position people for these once in a lifetime shots.

Request your guests’ emails on the invitation reply so you can easily share your online proofs with them
Unless you’re indifferent as to who looks at your proofs, make sure your photographer provides adequate access encryption.

Send your wedding day plan of events to the photographer
Include all the details from the moments the bride first begins hair or make-up, to the grand departure at the very end. It really helps the photographer to know what to expect, especially during the ceremony, so he or she can locate the optimal shooting angle.

Be sure to include the ceremony location contact information
Send the photographer the name and contact information of the person in charge of the ceremony location so that he or she can talk to the source about lighting rules. Some venues allow flash and/or extra lighting while others don’t. Once the photographer finds out what the rules are, he or she should have a discussion with you about the implication of the lighting options.

If you have a logistics coordinator, tell your photographer
Many event locations have a coordinator who keeps the event sequence rolling. You’ll get better pictures when your photographer is in the loop and is in place when these events begin than when he or she is rushing to catch up.

Plan the photography sequence with your photographer
If you’re willing to see your future spouse before the ceremony, get as many group photos as possible out of the way beforehand. If not, at least get wedding party and family photos on each side done in advance.

If it suits you, allow your photographer to spend a good amount of time with the bride in the final stages of preparation
If you haven’t purchased a full day of photography, I urge you to skew the amount of time with your shooter to the time before the ceremony rather than the reception. I say this because some of the most intimate, touching images come out of the last few moments of the bride’s preparation and interaction with her mother and bridesmaids.


It’s no coincidence that this section is short. All the hard work takes place in advance so you can kick off your shoes and shake a little on this day!

No matter how thirsty you are or how great your party mood is, if you’re posing for a group shot, put the drink down or hide it behind your back.

Brides – Keep up your lip color and a bit of gloss
It’s easy to forget about your lip color, but it goes fast when you’re drinking and nibbling. If you start out with a touch of color and a bit of shine, remember to refresh your lip look regularly.

Plan, relax and enjoy
Above all else, I want you to enjoy and remember this day with joy in your heart and peace in your soul.

If there’s anything else you think I should add to this list, please let me know. I wish you love, contentment and sensitivity to the special people in your life not just on your wedding day, but for all the days to come.

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