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10 Wedding-Day Secrets From Industry Experts

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Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES


BRIDES magazine has rounded up some of our favorite wedding pros and asked them to give our readers their best pointers for the party of a lifetime.

1. To diffuse any makeup stains, blot your dress with white talcum.
Francesca Pitera, Jim Hjelm

2. Bring two pairs of shoes: one for the ceremony, the other to put in the reception site's freezer. When your feet start hurting, slip on the second pair to feel instantly refreshed--trust me!
Nancy Williams, Carolina Herrera

3. On the day of the wedding, apply a skin primer to make sure your makeup stays on all day long.
Trish McEvoy

4. To look instantly refreshed, use an eye cream with caffeine to minimize dark circles.
Dr. Fredric Brandt, Dr. Brandt Skincare

5. To make the most of your cake budget, order a small, custom tiered cake and supplement it with decorated sheet cakes that can be plated behind closed doors.
Ellen Baumwoll, Bijoux Doux Specialty Cakes

6. Make a list of guests' names, assign each a number, then write the corresponding number on the back of each reply card. Guests often forget to put their names on their cards.
Melinda Morris, Lion in the Sun

7. Try to have at least a few photographs shot at sunset, when the light is perfect. That is often the time when I take the most beautiful and intimate images of the day.
Lisa Lefkowitz, Lisa Lefkowitz Fine Arts Photography

8. Wear diamond bracelets or statement cuffs to bring attention to your left hand, which is where everyone is looking.
Paul Tacorian, Tacori

9. Ask one of your bridesmaids to carry travel-size hairspray for you. It will come in handy for touch-ups (even for the groom), especially if you're taking outdoor photographs on a windy day.
Frederic Fekkai

10. If things don't go exactly as planned, go with the flow—if you relax, your guests will, too.
Alison Hotchkiss, Alison Events

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How to Make Your Engagement Shoot Fun!

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Courtesy of: WireImage/Copyright 2010 Mario Testino

For decades, a bride's engagement portrait was a demure, solo shot. These days, the groom is in the picture. And couples aren't settling for basic studio snapshots—not in the least, as they head outdoors (beaches, piers, and parks are big) or think high-concept.

Some use a theme, a polished look, or a time period as a starting point, then work in props and clothes that best convey their personalities. Others go for action shots—at the dog run, on roaring rapids, or atop the Ferris wheel at the state fairground. And some nod to their personal history, like the couple who posed with laptops in homage to their e-mail love notes.

While power couple Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton didn't pose with ice cream cones or pooches—at least not that we know of—they did take a more relaxed photo (by royal standards) that was released to the world in addition to their formal one. Surely if even they can have a bit of (Buckingham Palace-approved) fun, you can, too.

Since you may not have booked a celebrity photographer like Mario Testino to capture your engagement shoot, here are some things to remember:

PICK THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER. Browse a pro's sample books to make sure she's a good match for you. If you're quirky and her style is formal, keep looking.

MAKE THE PHOTOS ABOUT THE TWO OF YOU. Did you go for ice cream on your first date? Then head to the nearest scoop shop. Holding props (cones) will make you look relaxed.

BE FLEXIBLE. Trust your pro to find the best locations for shooting. If she says the lighting is poor at a place you love, go with her judgment and look for an alternative.

FLIRT! Pretend that you're on a date—that flirty energy is camera-friendly. Your photos will benefit greatly from your ability to let loose and have fun.

—Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES magazine

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