Some of us are naturals in front of a camera -- at ease, poised and effortless. And others? Well, not so much.
If you fall into the second category, you are not alone. On behalf of the photogenically clueless, we asked our network of photographers to share their best tips and tricks for looking lovely and relaxed in your wedding pictures. Learn from their sage advice below:
1. If you're feeling awkward or nervous, get in touch with your inner kid.
"Find something to jump off of. Even a picnic bench will do the trick. The tiny bump of adrenaline and the non-posed moment will make you feel awesome. Twirling works too. So much twirling!" -- Maggie Gaudaen of Pop! Wed Co.
2. Come up with a timeline for the day and stick to it.
"You must plan ahead in order to be ready at the time you and the photographer have agreed upon. You don't want to stress if you end up running behind schedule all because your hair and makeup took longer than expected. Clear communication and hiring stylists and makeup artists well-known for their timeliness will certainly help you have a stress-free day. And that leads to relaxed and enjoyable 'on-time' smiles!" -- Julie Hipkins of Turner Photography Studio
3. Keep the pre-wedding drinking in check; there's plenty of time to party later in the evening.
"Having a toast before the wedding is great. Enjoy this time with your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but don't over do it! Hungover, drunk or buzzing brides and grooms never look their best." -- Kathleen Atkins of JoPhoto
4. Get ready in an area with natural light.
"Near a window is great! Nothing is worse than dim hotel room light. If your space is dim, just move key moments (i.e. putting on your dress, final makeup touches, etc.) to a space with lots of natural light." -- Lynnsey Phillips of Lionlady Photography
5. Buy a suit instead of renting one.
"Rentals often fit horribly even after a fitting. Nothing beats the look of a custom-tailored suit." -- Flavio DeBarros of Flavio D Photography
6. Remember: Feeling good and looking go hand in hand.
"Get a massage the morning of the wedding; tension will melt away from your body and wedding day smile! Invest in good tailors who will make your attire fit like a glove, even on the dance floor." -- Maureen Cotton of Maureen Cotton Photography
7. Plan to take the photos you care about the most during sunset hour.
"The light is glowy, diffused and very flattering. This could be your ceremony or even an intimate session with your photographer." -- Lynnsey Phillips of Lionlady Photography
8. Make a point to make eye contact with your loved ones all day long.
"Connect with your eyes, look at people, embrace their look and remember the moment. In doing this, your behavior is more natural as you seek a bond and remember the many memories you shared with this person and why you are thankful they are there. This generally results in more photogenic and natural facial expressions." -- Matt Adcock of Del Sol Photography
*Some responses have been edited/condensed for clarity.