1. Pad Your Schedule

By now, you have probably planned your wedding day down to the minute. But as we all know, things often take longer than you think. Build in at least an extra half-hour for the beginning of your day when the photographer is shooting you getting ready. Between makeup tweaks and the chaos of everyone getting dressed, you’ll probably need it!

2. Think About The Lighting

Because photographers are basically playing with light, consider the spaces and times of your wedding. For instance, if you want outdoor group shots in winter, schedule your wedding earlier in the day before the sun goes down. Is your getting-ready room or reception space kind of dark? Add strings of cafe or fairy lights for a fun, warm effect.

3. Trust Your Photographer . . .

Believe it or not, your wedding photographer knows what she’s doing. Chances are your wedding isn’t her first rodeo, so trust her with shot and pose suggestions. When she suggests doing something a little off the beaten path, give it a try. Your photos will come out beautiful, creative, and unique. Those shots may even end up being your favorites from the day! A good way to build this trust is to schedule an engagement shoot with your photographer. You can build rapport and get a feel for both her shooting style and the look of her photos once they are edited.

4. . . . But Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

If there is something really important you want a shot of (a DIY you’re proud of, a family heirloom, an elderly family member), be sure to let your photographer know. Make her a shot list so she knows what you want her to focus on. Weddings are full of people and commotion so some direction can help, especially during the reception. Your photographer doesn’t know anyone at your wedding, so giving them a “VIP” list can also help your photos be full of your nearest and dearest rather than the randoms your parents forced you to invite.

5. Splurge on the Big Stuff

With millions of wedding ideas flooding our social media pages, details seem to be the wedding trend these days. But more often than not, you and your guests won’t remember what the chair covers or programs looked like. Instead, spend your money on bigger things that will be captured in more photos. For example, ceremony backdrops are a great return on investment because they appear in lots of shots. Same goes for professionally-done makeup and hair for the bride.