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After months (or maybe even years) of planning, your wedding day will absolutely fly by. After the guests head home and you return home from your honeymoon, all you will have to remember your big day are memories and photos. You’re relying on your photographer to capture the day’s biggest moments and deepest feelings. Doing all you can to ensure your photographer is set up for success will result in beautiful images as mementos of your wedding day.

Use these tips to help your photographer capture the best moments of your ceremony and reception.

  • Schedule an engagement shoot. Get to know your photographer and practice posing with your significant other for more relaxed wedding day photos.
  • Think about lighting. Make sure there’s plenty of light in areas you’ll definitely want photos, including the head table, dessert table and dance floor.
  • Make a shot list. Let your photographer know what you want photos of and who you want photos with.
  • Let guests know who will be needed for photos. Writing a shot list for your photographer doesn’t mean the guests you need will magically appear at the right time. Assign a few family members to gather guests as needed.
  • Confirm your day-of itinerary. Let your photographer know what the plan is as soon as possible so they can be in all the right places at all the right times.
  • Listen to your photographer’s suggestions. Your photographer has likely worked a lot of weddings, while this is probably your first time getting married.
  • Ask venue(s) about rules regarding photography. Then, let your photographer know what, if any, restrictions your ceremony or reception venue has on photography.
  • Always look camera ready on your big day. Ditch the sweatpants before your photographer arrives at the bridal suite.
  • Keep get-ready rooms as free from clutter as possible. Nothing ruins a beautiful shot of you and your mom or best friends like a pile of dirty laundry.
  • Ask guests to refrain from photographing big moments. There’s nothing worse than a photographer trying to capture your dad’s smile and instead getting an image of him looking at you through his phone’s camera.
  • Keep the alter clutter-free. Make it easy for your photographer to capture you and your fiancé while you exchange vows and rings.
  • Kiss for longer than you think you should. The first kiss is an important moment you definitely want a picture of. Keep your lips locked for a few seconds to make it easier to capture.
  • Minimize your shoot locations. You have a finite amount of time to take photos between your ceremony and reception, so stick to one or two locations. If you’re using a public park or other popular destination, make sure you have any necessary permits.
  • Leave your phone and keys in the car. Having items in suit pants pockets looks strange in photos.
  • Have your DJ announce big moments. This is not only so your guests know what’s going on, but so your photographer can be in the right place at the right time.

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