Pre-wedding photos help you tell the story of your day, here are some tips to get it right.

The story of your wedding day doesn’t start when you get to the ceremony location. In fact, some of the most tender and profound moments of the day often happen before the walk down the aisle.

For this reason, wedding photos should include the hours and even days leading up to the actual ceremony. These wedding portrait pictures are known as pre-wedding pictures, and they should be a part of every wedding album.


Capturing The Moments Of A DIY Wedding

Pre-wedding photos are generally offered as an add-on to standard wedding packages. Many photographers charge by the hour, with 4 hours being their basic offer. Four hours is barely enough time to fully capture the wedding and reception, so shooting pre-wedding photos is out of the question. Not only that, but it gets logistically difficult to capture both the bride and groom getting ready if they are in separate locations. A photographer will often send an assistant to the groom’s location to shoot while he or she focuses on the bridal party.

If you aren’t hiring a professional photographer, or your photographer is only shooting the wedding ceremony and reception, it’s okay! You can take a DIY approach to these photos and come away with memorable shots.


Telling The Story Of Your Wedding

Most pre-wedding photos are taken in a journalistic style. This means that instead of posed, formal portraits, the photos are candid, capturing small, everyday moments.

Pre-wedding photos can be a group effort. It’s important, though, to be sure to capture specific photos that will help tell the story of the day and to take the time to capture some special moments and to infuse the photos with personality and highlight what makes the bride and groom unique.


Shots You Need To Nail

The people that are with the bride and groom are often some of the most important people in their lives. These people include siblings, parents, and best friends. If you are the one taking photos, it’s important to find out who these people are. Some moments you’ll want to capture include; moments between the parents of the bride and groom, moments between siblings, and interactions between adults and the children who might be present.

Is Sis helping the bride arrange her headpiece? Shoot it. Is Mom dabbing her eye with a tissue as she watches her daughter survey her reflection in the mirror one final time before heading to the ceremony? Shoot it. Are the parents of the bride or groom embracing or holding hands? Capture these moments.
Keep your focus on the bride and groom throughout the shoot, but don’t forget moments between friends, etc. For example, if you can get some shots of the groomsmen or bridesmaids goofing around, definitely do so!


Time, Place And Detail

The following tips are to help you capture the mood, time, place and details of the day. There will be some “standard” shots listed here. They are found in most wedding albums for a reason: The bride and groom want them!


Getting Ready Shots

Capture some shots of the bride before she gets dressed. If she is having her hair, makeup or nails done, take some shots of that. Some fun shots include the bridesmaids toasting the bride and shots of the flower girl trying on the bride’s shoes. These types of shots are fun and lend a playful element to the album. Get creative, use shadow, reflection, and small details to create interesting, beautiful and unique photos.


Time And Place

The wedding is at 3:00 pm. It’s now 2:00 and everyone is in a flurry of last-minute touch-ups and preparation. Find a way to incorporate time into your shot. If there’s a clock hanging on a wall see if you can get a family member, the bride or groom to look at it (they can also look at their watch). Shoot that!. Photograph anything with a date on it, and incorporate the rings into these photos if possible.



The shot of the dress hanging up is a must-do. Shoes, jewelry, and flowers are also a good thing to shoot. Arrange some accessories and play with the shots. Incorporate things like invitations, gifts or letters, jewelry and other wedding paraphernalia.

If there are any interactions between bride and groom, or if there are any special moments that highlight their relationship, be sure to capture it. For example, if the groom calls the bride for a pre-wedding chat then make sure you get a photo of the bride and groom talking on the phone. These little moments are fun to capture and create touching memories that will be treasured in the future.

Give equal attention to the groom’s photo shoot. Don’t miss the many moments between the guys as they get ready. There are often plenty of shots of the bride getting ready and moments between her and her parents, but don’t forget about the groom’s family. See if you can find a moment between father and son or mother and son. Get plenty of shots of the guys being goofy, but see if you can capture some more touching moments. You might have to be a little more patient waiting for these shots — but they’ll present themselves.


First Look Photos

Some couples prefer to do a first look photo shoot. For couples looking for unique wedding ideas, first look photos are a popular choice. These couples choose to not observe the tradition of waiting till the ceremony to see each other. These first look photos offer the opportunity to capture photos of the bride and groom while they are fresh and before all the excitement. They also offer beautiful, tender and fun photos in an unhurried fashion. Be absolutely sure that you have a person assigned to both the bride and groom, as you’ll want to capture their facial expressions when seeing each other for the first time.

Don’t worry about taking too many pictures, ever! You can weed through them to find the cream of the crop later. Be sure to get photos of both the bride and groom arriving at the ceremony location. Again, it’s important to create a timeline that shows the progression of the day. These photos can be turned into a slideshow or movie that tells the complete story of the day. Pre-wedding photos are a big part of this.

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