Your wedding day is something you will cherish forever and therefore your wedding pictures are of incredible value. As a wedding photographer myself, I have shot quite a few weddings and think I can give some useful advice about choosing your photographer and planning your wedding day. Here you can find ten tips for beautiful wedding pictures!

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1. Choose a photographer whose style you love! Try to think of what kind of pictures are most important to you and look at the portfolio of the wedding photographer you are considering, to see if you and the photographer are on the same page. Are his/her pictures mostly posed, documentary, romantic, funny, with natural light or flash? Think of yourself being the bride/groom in the pictures, would you like the pictures you see in the portfolio to be your wedding pictures? Just consider whether the photographer is a good fit for you.
Of course I am a little biased saying this, but if the wedding pictures are important for you, please please please let it be a priority when planning your wedding and in your budget! Your wedding day will be a one-time event and the pictures will help you to relive and remember some great memories of that day.

2. Hire a photographer who makes great work, but also with who you feel comfortable. If you feel comfortable, it will show in the pictures! Also, the photographer will be around you a lot on your wedding day so it’s nice if you feel relaxed with his or her presence.

3. Get a great hair and make up artist. With the right make up and hair you will look your best. Make sure you’ve tried your hair and make up at least once before the wedding so you know exactly what to expect and you will not get surprised with too heavy make up or something with your hair that you didn’t expect. Great hair and make up makes you feel beautiful and special and that will show in the pictures as well.

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4. Let the photographer tell YOUR story. Pinterest and inspiration boards are really cool to get an idea of how your wedding day should look like, but stop there. Don’t let the photographer recreate some images you have seen on Pinterest because that were probably typical images of someone else’s wedding day. Let the photographer tell YOUR story and I assure you it will be amazing!

5. Have a relaxed time schedule. Make sure there is enough time for every little part of the wedding day. When you are rushing you will not be smiling or relaxed on the photographs as when you have a lot of time to fully enjoy the wedding day with your family and friends. Also, when the wedding photographer has to rush, he/she will have less time to make creative or stunning shots.

6. First look. Pick a nice place where you see each other for the first time on the wedding day. You can also ask the photographer to help you for picking the right spot with the nice light and surrounding. Often a first look gives amazing real and emotional photographs because it is quite overwhelming to see each other for the first time in your beautiful outfits. It can be really cool to let your family and friends be a part of this as well, but you can also choose to let this first look to be a very special intimate moment between you two.

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7. Beautiful light. This is the key to beautiful photographs. Put on your make up in the morning in a nice clean room, near the window. Window light is soft en flattering. And as a rule of thumb; photographers generally love light rooms, with a lot of windows. Darker churches can be beautiful due to it’s more dramatic light, but preferrably with some natural daylight peeking through the windows or outside in the open shade. Of course you do not have total control of the light on your wedding day and maybe you don’t know what is suppose to be ‘beautiful’ and ‘bad’ light. You may always ask your photographer for input and his/her ideas! And for my advice on the photoshoot, scroll down to #9!

8. Details. Beautiful flowers, lovely menu’s, a gorgeous cake and other details make everything look more pretty. But even more important: let the details reflect who you are as a couple. For example I had a couple who let their little chihuahua carry the rings and he really became a part of the wedding. I loved it!

9. Schedule the photoshoot at sunset. If you’d like to have some time for a photoshoot, try to plan this around sunset. For photographers that is the best time to shoot, because you get that golden glow and it gives the pictures that romantic feel easily. If you don’t want to leave your guests alone for long, you could plan a cocktail hour so they can enjoy themselves with some drinks and chats. Or just take only 20 or 30 minutes around sunset, just enough to get at least a few of those stunning sunset pictures.

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10. Last, but most important: ENJOY!! Of course there are a million things that could go wrong, but just make sure you will not be bothered by it so you can enjoy the day fully! And people who smile are always the prettiest :)

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Do you have more tips for beautiful wedding pictures? Please let me know in the comments!