A roundup of advice from local photographers

Here at Columbus Bride, we chat frequently with wedding photographers. They tell us their favorite aspects of the gig, the shots they really want to try, their favorite places to shoot, advice for bad weather … the list goes on. And, they tell us what they wish they could tell you-the bride and groom-without fear of crossing a line. So, we thought we'd give them a little assistance. Listen up, soon-to-wed Columbus couples! Here are 20 things your photographer wants you to know before your big day. Heed their advice for gorgeous, once-in-a-lifetime photos.

Do your homework.

If you want documentary-style wedding photography, find a photographer who specializes in that. Don't expect the "portraits and portraits only" crowd to want to head off the beaten path with you, and don't squander the creativity of an adventurous photographer by keeping photos simple. Find a photographer with whom you're comfortable while also ensuring they shoot the kind of images you have in mind.

Prep with your engagement session.

Odds are, you haven't spent a ton of time (formally, at least) in front of a camera since those senior pictures were taken (hand-tucked-under-chin pose, anyone?). Use an engagement session-also great for save-the-date card images-as the big-day warm-up and an opportunity to get comfortable with your photographer. Go ahead, be silly. But, above all else, be yourself. "We love helping clients get ready for their engagement session and wedding photos," says Sarah Williamson of Together We Click. "In our collections, we include an engagement session, as we feel it's important to get to know our clients a little better. And having a few photos helps them look forward to the wedding day itself-almost like a preview. We want to know who our clients are, how they fell in love, what their hobbies are and, as we learn about them, we become more comfortable and the session and wedding day become more relaxed."

Show your best side.

This one's simple and straightforward: If you have a good side, tell your photographer. Most people do, and letting everyone in on the secret doesn't make you a diva. It makes you photogenic. Not sure? Just ask. They'll be honest.

Dress appropriately for the engagement session.

The trendiest dress and a pair of swanky sneaks are awesome. The tough-love tip, however, is that these styles may make your photos look dated faster than you can say "the bandage dress is so 2013." Choose your outfits wisely, thinking about the colors and fits that complement both of you, and consider keeping your clothing a bit more classic than your day-to-day look. With that said, if you're the city's reigning fashionista known for out-there style, just go for it. Not sure what to wear? Just ask. "We'll often advise on clothing choice, even having our clients text us a photo of outfits," Williamson says.

Talk to your photographers. Really.

Your photographer needs to know what you like-and what you don't. Keeping tight-lipped about a setting or a pose you're not feeling won't win you a "world's most polite bride" award. Instead, it will lead to photos neither you nor your photographer really love.

Calm your nerves.

Chad DiBlasio of DiBlasio Photography encourages his couples to relax with a cocktail if necessary. "A glass of wine or good beer beforehand never hurts," he laughs. It's also a good idea to let your photographer in on the fun. "Getting people to relax comes pretty naturally to me, because I goof off with them … it's not about 'look here' or 'put your chin up' all the time," he adds. "It's more like 'hold his hand and tell him what you thought when you first remember seeing him.' "

Be a little adventurous.

Post-ceremony portraits are a must, but also remember to have a little fun with your photos. Take time to explore the venue or make a few stops en route to the reception spot to find unique settings not pre-planned. Keep in mind timing, of course, but trust your photographer if he or she spies a location they deem worth trying.

Think about the details.

If your shot list includes images of your pre-ceremony prep, make sure the space is clean. Makeup tools are fine, of course, but a discarded coffee cup, changes of clothes and so on shouldn't make it into pictures. The same goes for shooting at home-clean your space like Architectural Digest is sending over photographers.

Let your photographer in on family gossip.

If your grandma didn't make it into enough photos at your cousin's wedding, let your photographer know. If your mom isn't super comfortable in front of the camera, tell them that, too. Anything that could make or break the day of-as well as the days following your wedding-should be shared with the team documenting everything.

Make sure your photographer can see the ceremony.

Often, the photographer and videographer get booted to the back of the room during the ceremony. So long as they're not obstructing the views of your guests, help hammer out the details necessary to get them up near the action.

For the love of great wedding photography, tell your guests to put away their phones.

Leave it to your professionals to document the ceremony and encourage saving the iPhone-picture free-for-all for the reception. (Don't forget to promote your hashtag!)

Craft a realistic schedule.

Many couples want to document every second of the day, from every angle, in color and in black and white. Not possible, unfortunately, but a talented team of photographers can get nearly all of it. Work together to craft a detailed, realistic schedule for the day, noting when and where you'd like the big sessions to take place, and marking any "have to get" and "OK if we skip" photos.

Get your makeup done.

You are gorgeous but, sometimes, stress shows. On a hectic day like this, book a professional makeup artist to craft your look so you're dewy and fresh-faced. One caveat: You should still look like yourself-just the best version.

Gain an appreciation for good light.

Great light, whether natural or from a flash, is the difference between an OK photo and the best image you've ever seen. Schedule your photography around the day so that you're taking advantage of sunsets and the swoon-worthy golden hour.

Think about your history.

Says DiBlasio: "I love to ask potential clients a couple questions: 'Where are the pictures from your grandparents wedding?' or 'Do you have photos-like real, printed ones-from your birthday parties when you were younger than 5?' The reason I ask this-and the reason I have prints of my grandparents in my office where we do consults-is because what we do on that one day is not temporary like many things we do day-to-day. The things we put into that day, and similar celebrations like births and birthday parties, are meant to be part of our big story. They are meant to go on. The photos from the wedding day deserve to be printed big and displayed. This isn't not meant to make it all heavy, just honest and real."