No pressure, but your great-great-great-grand children are probably going to be looking at your wedding pictures someday, so it’s probably a good idea not to screw them up. But if, like us, you freeze and make weird faces at the most relaxed of times, we thought it was worthwhile asking a seasoned wedding photog Barbora Simkova (who does AMAZING work as an associate photographer Tara McMullen Photography) for her top tips and tricks for getting the kind of pictures you’d happily see flash up on an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” in 2099.

Tip #1: Make a “rain plan”
“It is best to do your research and narrow down at least two “rain options” well in advance of your wedding, and then make a final call as the forecast becomes more reliable. Many places that offer indoor space for portraits will require you to pay a permit—this may seem like a needless cost, but it is well worth having a beautiful space with great light in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.”

Tip #2: Look for the light
“The most important ingredient for great photos is lots of great light. Keep this in mind when deciding on your location for prep and portraits. If you are getting ready in a hotel always ask for the brightest suite available and plan your portraits in a space that has lots of bright natural light.”

Tip #3: Think details
“Set aside all any special details in one spot for your photographer. This includes your dress, shoes, jewels, rings and any special momentos you may have. It’s great to also bring and provide your photographer with a copy of your invitations to include in detail shots.

Tip #4: Keep it clean
“Bridesmaids are wonderful, but they come with a lot of stuff. Allocate a single area for all of their belongings to go and assign your most OCD bestie the duty of keeping your prep area clean and tidy.”

Tip #5: But don’t be afraid to get dirty
“Some of the most beautiful portraits happen in the most unexpected of places: an open field, standing by the water, walking through a textured alleyway or deep in a forest. To get these images, your dress will get dirty. There simply is no way around it, and the more you can be peaceful about this the more you will enjoy making these images and the more time your photographer will have to create something truly breathtaking for you.”

Tip #6: Flats are your friend
“A true fashion girl doesn’t dream of her dress without dreaming of the perfect pair of bridal Jimmy Choos, and while a pair of stylish stilettos are an ideal look, they aren’t the best for outdoor portraits. Plan a pair of stylish flats to get you through the day so that you can dance in your heels all night long.”

Tip #7: Don’t fear the family photo
“Logistically, family photos can be the most stressful part of the day but there are some great ways to expedite the process. Provide your photographer with a detailed list of all of the family photo combinations you’d like with everyone’s names included. Inform everyone in family photos of the time and location well in advance. Assign one family member the job of assisting your photography team with wrangling stragglers who run off to the bathroom.”

Tip #8: Don’t eat (during the speeches, that is)
“Nothing is worse than a beautiful image of a bride tearing up during a speech from Dad while her groom chews on steak in the background. Avoid this by asking your partner and the people sitting immediately next to you to refrain from eating and drinking during reception speeches.”

Tip #9: Dance floor do’s
“Once the party gets rolling, the guests will go where the bride and groom goes. To create the best dance-floor (and the best dance-floor images,) simply make a point of being on or nearby the dance-floor and have your bridal party bring you drinks instead of heading to the bar yourself. If you need to say goodbye to guests leaving early, do so at a location that is close to the action to keep the party going.”

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