You’ve been planning your dream wedding since you were a little girl! And now it's time to take all of those ideas and dreams and turn them into your perfect day. You're putting extensive thought and effort into every little detail. It's going to be a day to remember for the rest of your life. But years from the wedding, all that remains are the moments, emotions and memories captured by your photo and video team.

Aside from hiring a quality photographer, there are other steps you can take as a bride to guarantee incredible photos. From incorporating a first look to picking that long flowy veil in the bridal shop, we’ve narrowed down the top 10 wedding photography tips you should follow as a bride.

1. Your Perfect Light - Lighting is the most important part of photography. If you're planning an outdoor afternoon wedding, make sure that it's not taking place under a tree where shadows of leaves will fall across your faces. One way to prevent this is to go to the venue at the time you plan to get married and have a friend take a few pictures of where you'd like to stand. If you see something that can distract from your beautiful faces, you can make changes before the big day.

For indoor weddings, make sure that there will be enough light (from windows or artificial light) to make sure the photographs are crisp and clear. We would be happy to visit your venue with you before your wedding day to help create a great lighting plan.

2. Create A Story Board - In order to deliver your personalized photography experience, it is important for your photographers to understand your personalities, preferences, and relationship. To help your creative team get to know you, it is best to create a storyboard. This storyboard can be created on a website or app like Pinterest, where you can save images that you like and even images you don’t like. This is a way for you to visually communicate the style of photos you love for your engagement and/or wedding day photos.

3. Make a Wedding Timeline - A wedding timeline keeps everyone on the same schedule. That doesn't mean everything will happen exactly as it's written on your timeline, but if the ceremony is a few minutes longer than expected, your photographer and other vendors can get the schedule back on track. It can also let the wedding party and family know when and where things will happen so that they don't disappear when needed. The Spruce website has some great wedding timeline templates, to get some ideas click here.

4. Allow Enough Time for Photos - When creating your timeline, you'll want to plan at least 2 hours for brides and bridesmaids (after hair and make-up) and 1 hour for the groom and groomsmen before the wedding. If you want to have a "first look", you'll want to schedule 45 minutes for that shoot and then after the wedding, family photos and bridal party photos will take approximately 1 hour. Of course, we will be also taking photos of the bride and groom alone, so that will take approximately 30 - 45 minutes. During the reception, we'll want to do a "break away" session with the bride and groom that will normally take about 20 minutes.

5. Minimize Your Locations - In order to maximize photo time on your wedding day, we recommend minimizing the number of photo shoot locations. You don’t want to spend more time traveling from point A to point B than actually taking pictures. A great photographer should be able to make almost any location work.  Even if you don’t love the background options of your venue, trust in the creative abilities of your photographer.

6. Bring a Wedding Invitation - When we photograph the details (shoes, rings, flowers, etc) it's always nice to have a copy of the invitation to shoot with the items.

7. Bring Your Unique Props - If he proposed at Disney World, you may want to bring your Micky Mouse Ears, or if you kept items from your first date, bring those. Every wedding is an opportunity to share your love story with your family and friends and these personal items help us to tell that story well.

8. Look At Your Love - During the ceremony, you'll want to keep your eyes on your partner and not on the crowd, photographer, or the officiant. The best photos are those where the couple is looking lovingly at each other.

9. You May Kiss Your Bride - Ahhhh, the kiss... it's such a beautiful moment, and as photographers we want to make sure we get the perfect shot. Hold the kiss for a few extra seconds to make sure your photographer has time to get the perfect shot. You may also want to have the groom hold the brides face or have the bride touch the groom's face during the kiss. It just adds that extra "something special" to the kiss photo.

10. Have a Sparkling Exit - You’ve planned your grand entrance, but have you thought about a grand exit? Sparkler exits are a great way to end a day of celebrations. Not only are sparkler exits unique and exciting, but it makes for stunning photos. Although many venues allow the sparkler exit, others may not. Confetti, bubbles, and flower petals are alternative options to include in your grand exit and will still look great in photos.

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