The other editors here are just a little sick of my story about The Wedding Photo Mishap. But I know getting good pictures is important to you readers; we ran an essay once by a bride who actually staged new wedding photos a year after the big day, to get better ones. So I'll share my experience, plus four additional mishaps from other real brides, in the hopes that I will spare you wedding-photo regrets.
Here's what happened: I hadn't thought much about the fact that I would be holding a big, heavy, jewel-encrusted bouquet in the majority of our posed photos. So it never occurred to me that the natural way to stand--elbows pressed against my sides--would actually DOUBLE the size of my upper arms. Granted, this isn't the biggest deal in the world; I know in real life my arms don't actually resemble tree trunks. But do I wish someone had advised me to keep my elbows slightly pointed out? Of course.
Here's some wisdom I've learned since then, from other brides:
1. Choose matte makeup over glossy. Products with shine can make you look gorgeously dewy in person, but you'll look oily in your photos.
2. No matter how much you trust your photographer and how great his reputation is, don't assume he'll get shots of everyone important to you. Give him a typed list of the photos you want (all the combinations of the two of you with friends and relatives), and appoint someone to help the photographer round up the people needed. My husband's cousin actually sent a schedule to everyone she wanted in photos, so they knew what time to gather during the wedding, and where. You may look a little Bridezilla-ish doing these things, but at least you'll get all your pictures.
3. Ask your photographer before the wedding to give you a run-down of her schedule during the event. My friend's was missing during the cocktail hour (turns out, she was taking a dinner break in the kitchen) and now there's a chunk of the party missing from her album.
4. Ask a friend (or, better yet, your mom) to check on your and your groom's appearance a few times during the wedding. Another MB editor told me her groom's calla lily boutonniere snapped off early in their party, and they kind of forgot about it right after it happened. Now their photos show him wearing a stem on his tux jacket.
Editor's Note: Chances are, your photos will turn out perfectly. But if you do end up with a photo slip-up like mine, check out the genius retouching service PicWash
, which can get rid of acne, whiten teeth, reduce wrinkles, slim body parts and more.—Betsy Goldberg, deputy editor, Modern Bride