Any bride will tell you: The most important thing about your wedding day (besides your groom and, like, every other tiny little detail) is the photo album. So we asked wedding photographer Alisha Siegel for advice on how to snag the best photos that you’ll pore over for years to come. 

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wedding day dip

1. Choose a Photographer You Really Like and Trust
Posing for pictures all day can feel forced and strange. But having a photographer you feel relaxed around helps open you up to the camera, which means more authentic moments and less of that fake smile that makes you cringe.

wedding day coffeee

2. Plan a Pre-Wedding Photo Session with Your Photographer
Yes, engagement photos serve a purpose beyond making the world jealous of your perfect relationship: They help you get to know your photographer and vice versa. If your pre-wedding photo session feels relaxed, you can probably expect the same vibes on your wedding day.

3. Do a Trial Run with Your Hair And Makeup Team
Even if you booked a pro, his or her aesthetic might be totally different from what you’re going for. A trial will get you both on the same page—and help you avoid being stuck with a 1940s pinup-girl look (that you didn’t want).

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wedding day outside

4. Scout Photo Locations Prior to the Wedding
On one of your pre-wedding venue visits, snap some phone pics of spots you like. Your photographer can help figure out which locations will yield the best photos and which you can probably skip. (Ivy wall: yes; overtly phallic fountain: no) 

5. Create a Playlist That You Can Rock Out To
Or have your MOH do it. Good tunes will keep you relaxed while you’re getting ready. While you’re jamming to RiRi, you won’t be thinking about whether you forgot to order the one vegetarian dinner. Trust: Anxiety will show in photos.

wedding day kiss

6. Play Around with Natural Light
You may have a list of 50 shots you need to get. But if your photographer notices something magical happening with the light, be OK with spontaneity. (Hello, romantic “magic hour” shots.)

7. Be Comfortable in Your Dress
Every bride will tell you: Sit in your dress before you buy it. If you’re uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, you might miss out on fun non-portrait poses.

wedding day group
Alisha Siegel Photography

8. Carefully Select the People Around You
Aka your bridal party. These folks will be spending all day with you getting ready and being candidly snapped. So definitely pick the friends and family who make you feel (and look) happy. 

9. Stay Far, Far Away from Anyone Who Brings You Stress
And on the contrary, some people just drain your energy. So pick one calm friend to help keep some distance between you and whoever’s bringing that frown to your face. 

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wedding day dance

10. Remember What the Day Is Really About
This is your wedding! So be in love, because you are in love. Don’t overthink the photos too much. The camera will naturally capture your best self. 

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