Photo advice, memories and more from brides, photographers and planners

If you're gearing up for your wedding photos, there's a lot to consider: Location, weather, the first look-even who you'll choose as your photographer at the beginning of the process. Columbus Weddings shares some advice on how to make the most of your wedding snapshots, plus some memorable moments from real brides.

Photo prep

"The most important thing I think a bride should spend their money on is a photographer. Your wedding day unfortunately only lasts one day. With a great photographer, you can make those memories last a lifetime. We are very happy being able to relive our big day whenever we please thanks to our photographer." -Breanne Boeke, recent bride

"I do think it is important to have an engagement session. All of my offerings come with a complimentary engagement session. It's a great time for the couple to get to know their photographer and be more comfortable for the wedding day. That way there are no surprises." -Nicole Dixon, Nicole Dixon Photographic

"For the wedding day, it's a lot about the pre-wedding meeting. About a week before the wedding, we require that [couples] come in and sit down and go over the whole day one more time. Then it's fresh in our minds. It's nice to have that meeting with the client and that's all you're focused on for the week. The pre-wedding meeting really helps to go into the wedding with a fresh mind on their day." -Bryce Koechlin, AddVision

"You have to trust your photographer. I call it the trust cycle. Think: 'If I trust the photographer, I'm more likely to be in the moment. If I'm in the moment, I'm more likely to enjoy myself … I trust my photographer, so I'm not worried about the pictures and I'm more freed up to be myself.' If you're filling your head with questions like what to do, you're not being yourself. If I tell them what to do, it frees them up to be themselves." –Benjamin Derkin, Derk's Works Photography

Don't let the weather get you down

"I was initially really disappointed that it was raining during our pictures, because there were places I wanted to get shots that we didn't have the opportunity to. My photographer [Hillary Ferguson] then had a crazy idea to try a double-flash technique that she hadn't tried before that would capture the rain falling behind us. It turned out absolutely stunning. The picture looks so magical; like it is out of a fairy tale. It made dealing with the rain completely worth it, and now we have a beautiful and unique photograph." -Michelle Witte, recent bride

"Have contingencies for things like weather, especially if you'll think you'll sneak outside for pictures. If your ceremony, reception and photos are all at the same place and it's pouring rain, what's your plan B for pictures if you don't want your guests in the background?" -Emilie Duncan, Emilie Duncan Event Planning

Snap photos in a spot that means something to you

"I loved all of our Ohio State campus pictures. We met while we were both at school at Ohio State. We lived in the same dorm. We graduated from there. We both love the university and cherished our time there." -Megan Laughlin, recent bride

Perfect moments

"Some of the best photos are when you're laughing and kind of silly, because it's real emotion. It's not you faking it." -Hillary Ferguson, Hillary Ferguson Photography

"At the very end of our ceremony, before the recessional, I grabbed John's hand and kissed it. Our amazing photographer (Kimberly Potterf) captured this really sweet and impulsive moment between us. It's one of my favorite pictures." -Jill Haberkern, recent bride

"I really enjoyed the first look. It was very sweet, especially after we sent everyone away and just had a few quiet minutes alone. That was really special." -Emma Frankart Henterly, recent bride

"We loved all the photos that captured the love and energy we had that day. We are not huge fans of posed photos and tend to like all the action shots. Two of our favorites were outside our house with our GoldenRetrieverBailey, and the other is our cake tasting-you can truly feel the happiness and love between the two of us throughout the day."-Katie Hootman, recent bride

"Our pictures are phenomenal. I could have lived with cold food, bad music, etc., but the pictures are something you have forever." -Shannon Smith, recent bride