Mumbai, the third most dense metropolis in the world, can be a challenging place to find any space at all, let alone space to shoot. As photographers based here, we know first-hand how difficult it can be to find pre-wedding shoot locations in Mumbai. On the other hand, Mumbai is abundant with sceneries – hills and lakes, creeks and bays, islands and rivers – contrasted with man-made heritage and modern architecture, which means residents do not need to look far to find that perfect spot for a pre-wedding shoot.
We have put together a list of the most sought-after spaces, as well as 2 locations that can easily be covered in a day-trip from Mumbai.
1. The Gateway of India
This Victorian relic has a grand presence that can be felt from a distance. It looks imposing against a vast expanse of sea and sky. Being situated at the harbor front means there will always be many fishing boats anchored around it, that lend the scene a certain charm.
2. Asiatic Library Steps
This grand town-hall with its Doric columns heavily inspired by Roman and Greek architecture is one of its kind in Mumbai, which makes it such a popular choice for photography. While on the inside it houses several artifacts, the steps leading up to it is what inspires photographers. They form a cascade that is beautiful to photograph from various angles.
3. Marine Drive
This long stretch running along the coast is usually dotted with lovers and seems to always have room for more! The best time to shoot here would be early in the morning or after dark, when the perfect arc is all lit up, earning it the name ‘The Queen’s Necklace‘.
4. The Beaches of Mumbai
While it can be hard to find a clean spot, the many beaches of Mumbai cannot be missed from this list as there will always be one conveniently close to you, making them the perfect pre-wedding shoot location in Mumbai. Moving further away from the heart of the city usually means cleaner shores and thinner crowds.
5. City Gardens
Mumbai’s few gardens are cherished for being an easy access to greenery in the middle of a bustling city, but they are overlooked as shoot locations. If utilized correctly, they can make for amazing backdrops.
6. Horniman Circle
This building complex from the British Colonial period, restored to perfection, is another interesting architectural marvel. Housing premier banks and some high-end retailers, it looks particularly beautiful when lit up at night.
7. Ballard Estate
The old-Bombay spirit is profuse here, and there is perhaps a no better place for the Art Deco lover. Being primarily a commercial area, it gets deserted post office-hours, making it perfect for photographers! Be warned though, you will have about seconds to get your shot and get moving!
8. In the middle of the chaos!
We think there is some beauty in the madness that can be this city. Let the photographer try their best to make sense out of it in one frame!
9. Hotel Properties
Hotel properties can be a very convenient spot if you are short on time but would still like some special pictures if you are hosting there. Try to secure a time that is not too busy. If your activities do not disturb other guests, hotels will usually be very accommodating. We have gone as far as jumping into the pool in dinner formals.
10. Gated Residentials
If you have access to open landscaped spaces and prefer privacy this can be a great option.
11. [Day Trip] Korigad Fort
This fort is located about 20 km south of Lonavla. Although getting there involves a brief trek, the effort is rewarded with an (almost) empty flat expanse, lush with (season dependent) vegetation and surrounded by hills. (How to get there.)
12. [Day Trip] Matheran
Panoramic views of the Western Ghats, and a valley shrouded with clouds (if you arrive in the monsoons), within a 4-hour drive back and forth from Mumbai, are reasons alone to shoot here. (How to get there.)
We end this list here, acknowledging that we have only scratched the surface, and there are SO many more beautiful locations to choose from! Although this is a tried and tested list, note that individual success would depend heavily on planning for your pre-wedding shoot.