now this is picture perfect

who better to consult for a photo friendly

wedding than your photographer?

Forget the cute wedding hangers and stationary. You want the whole day to be magazine-worthy. These are the shots you'll be gushing over with your friends. It will be the album you take out to reminisce as your grandchildren plan their wedding. It has to be perfect. Picture perfect.

After photographing over 100 weddings, I've pretty much seen it all. From elegant extravaganzas, to intimate backyard micro-weddings. In my experience, there are plans a couple can make that will go a long way towards making their day not only flawlessly picturesque, but also the fun celebration they dream of.

Focus on the venue.

It may seem obvious that the venue sets the scene for your wedding day and photos. Whether you'd love a backyard garden party, or elegant ballroom, there are venues to suit every vision and budget. Focus on the natural beauty of the space. It's infinitely easier to bring out that authenticity rather than to transform a space that doesn't already fit your style. If your dream is a waterfront ceremony, consider the difference between a true waterfront venue and a seaside themed ballroom. Each will photograph quite uniquely and set the style of your entire wedding photo gallery.

Consider the light.

A good photographer can capture your love in any space you choose, but don't forget to consider the light. When you browse through endless inspiration boards, what catches your eye? Do you prefer the dark space of a romantic wine cellar? The glow of cafe lights in a rustic barn? The sparkle of chandeliers in a ballroom? Make sure your photographer has experience in a similar setting. It's okay if they haven't worked at that exact venue, but someone who is exclusively a natural light photographer may not be the best fit for a dim restaurant. Whatever your style, talk to your photographer about how it will appear in your photos. Ultimately, a picture perfect wedding depends on your photographer's ability to make any wedding as picture perfect as possible!

Don't forget timing.

This one mostly applies to outdoor weddings and your couple's portraits. It may seem to work well for your timeline to have an afternoon ceremony, but consider things like the heat or sun. Mid-afternoon in August can be miserably hot, and squinting with the sun in your eyes is not romantic or good for your photos. Try for a ceremony time that allows for softer light, or find a shady place for both of you. Planning time for your couple's portraits should also be high on your priorities when deciding on your timeline. Ideally, this should be about 1-2 hours before sunset. If that's not possible, work with your photographer to choose another good time or a location that makes the best of whatever time you choose.

Details that matter

Are you a couple on a budget?

Here are a few details that will will give you the most for your money in your wedding photos.

Bouquets and boutonnieres.

You've likely heard this one before, and it's true! Your bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets and men's boutonnieres set the theme of your whole wedding day. These florals bring color to your wedding party photos and allow you to carry that theme throughout your couple's portrait session. A good photographer can also use bouquets to add touches of color throughout the day to give otherwise simple shots an extra wow and cohesive look for your gallery. Bonus tip: Remember to grab your bouquet before your recessional back up the aisle!

Make up artist.

Depending on your view, this may be a must-have, or easy thing to cut. From your photographer's perspective, it's certainly a must-have. I'd have to defer to the make up artists about how exactly they accomplish the amazing results they do, but I've seen first hand hundreds of times the difference that professional make up can make. Professional make up can bring out your best, and survive a long wedding day. If you've never worked with a make up artist before, do a test run for your engagement photos. There are so many styles, you want to feel and look your best on the wedding day. Testing out your make up for your engagement session allows you to see how it will look on camera and ensure it will outlast a long day.

Ceremony decor.

Your ceremony alter is a fun and easy area to dress up. From fabric to florals, wood to metal, you can use nearly anything here to highlight the theme and look of your day. Browsing Pinterest can give you limitless ideas for every budget and style. Go ahead and get creative here! You can also reuse many of the items throughout your reception. Moving some of this decor behind your sweetheart table or cake table is a good way to stretch your decor budget and impact.

Bonus tip: Ask any married person what were the most long lasting things from their wedding day. For me, these are our rings and our photos. And my husband, of course! Everything else is just for fun! Throughout it all, remember to focus on what's the most important.