What are your options if your wedding photos are just not quite what you were expecting?  There are many creative ways you can remedy this, but first you should come to terms with the fact that you can’t recreate your actual wedding day.  (Tip: Brides-to-be, spend ample time researching photographers.  Browse their blogs, look at their style, consider their pricing.  Remember, you get what you pay for!  For my wedding, I decided photography was one of the most important things we would budget, and I absolutely adore my wedding day images.)

Here’s what you should do:

First, contact your photographer.  Did he or she live up to your expectations?  What were their shortfalls?  Constructive criticism and feedback can help a future bride avoid disappointment.  Compare the quality of your images to those the photographer advertised on their website and blog – are they similar quality?  If so, you don’t have much of a case against your photographer – you knew what you were getting into from the beginning (if you did your research!).  However, if your images differ substantially from the photographer’s examples, you could request an additional session at a discounted rate.

If you failed to do your photography research and the slip-up is on you, don’t fret!  Spend plenty of time shopping around for another photographer.  Set up a session and get creative!  There are many styles of sessions you can set up after your wedding is over to obtain even more images of you and your man.  Here are a few of my wedding session favorites:

Day After Sessions.  Slip your wedding dress back on while your new husband puts on a suit he already owns, and head out to a location with pretty scenery to capture more images.  A romantic wheat field in the middle of nowhere, a farm that has been in the family for 100 years, a vineyard in the mountains – the options are endless!  The Wedding Chicks recently featured a unique Day After session on their website.

Trash the Dress.  Not sure what to do with your wedding gown now that the wedding is over?  Daring, spunky brides have opted for a Trash the Dress session, in which you do just that – trash your dress!  Floating around in the ocean and rolling around in the sand are popular choices, but you can really get creative with this.  Does hubby love paintball?  You know where I’m going with that one.  Do you love horses?  Go horseback riding with your dress on!  Get down and dirty.  You’ll be surprised how awesome the resulting photographs can be.  Check out this site for fun ideas!  (Tip: Have your husband wear a cheap pair of slacks and button-up for this type of session.  Do NOT use a rented tuxedo!)

Just Because or First Anniversary Shoots.  You don’t need a reason to have quality pictures taken of you and your husband.  Plan a First Anniversary or “Just Because” portrait session at the location of your choosing.  You could even make it an annual tradition to do a session on your wedding anniversary each year!

Even though my wedding photographs turned out just as I imagined, I still think it would be fun to do all of these different types of sessions.  Would you consider trashing your wedding dress for the sake of a few good pictures?

-Alison Ford, contributing editor

Check out Alison’s next post coming soon: My Bridesmaids Are Ruining My Wedding, Part I  and also 5 Things I Cut From My Wedding Budget