What is a Pre Wedding Shoot?

A pre wedding shoot means a planned photoshoot for a couple that is about to be married in the near future. It typically takes place a few weeks to a year ahead of the wedding. The concept has gained popularity because there is a lot of creative freedom in these shoots when compared to classic wedding photography. Couples typically have their pre wedding photography done by the same photographer who they hire to shoot their wedding.

Pre wedding shoots are phenomenon fuelled no doubt by the explosion of social media on mobile, and our growing exposure to styled shoots from around the world. Everyone wants a slice of glam in their lives and these shoots give them just that!

A good time to have this shoot is soon after your engagement, so you can use the pictures as a part of your wedding announcement. Which is why these sessions are popularly known as ‘engagement shoots’ internationally.

An engagement shoot will highlight details such as your ring

Why should you have a pre wedding shoot?

Although it isn’t necessary to have one at all, the importance of a pre wedding shoot is far-reaching. For the bride and groom, a pre-wedding shoot is a good time to get comfortable in front of the camera. The photographer can offer them tips on how to look good in pictures during the course of the shoot. This experience can put you at ease on the day of the wedding. Moreover, it is an opportunity to take a breather from the hustle bustle of planning the wedding and spending some quality time together. These pictures make your wedding announcement a lot more special.

Images like these are social-media ready for announcing your engagement

The actual day of the wedding may see you running around between ceremonies and attending to your guests. This may mean that you might not end up with lovey-dovey pictures of yourself and your better half because your photographer has no control over what you are doing. Too many brides are tired enough to not be able to smile on their wedding day. Couples don’t want to leave things to chance anymore.

Guidebooks will say that the shoot will help you foster a friendship with the photographer that will, in turn, result in better pictures from the wedding day, but we think that is a bit of a stretch. A professional will do their best in any situation, regardless of your relationship with them.

If you wanted a shoot before your wedding but could not fit one into your schedule, you could consider a post-wedding shoot. A unique advantage this has over a pre wedding shoot is that you can wear your wedding attire again. An excellent way to get some dramatic couple portraits in that dress you spent a mini fortune on.

Tips for having a great shoot

Planning is vital to get the most out of the process. Your photographer will most likely begin by putting together a plan of action that is unique to you. You must discuss what vibe/impression you want the images to convey. You will be offered suggestions on how to dress for the shoot in a way that is the most flattering for you. We almost always shoot very early in the morning if we are shooting at locations inside cities as it would get uncomfortably crowded otherwise.

Brainstorming with each other to pick a suitable location is a good idea. If you have a special attachment to a specific location in your love story, the photographer should try to weave it into the concept of the shoot. Locations with visuals that add an element of interest to the images also work well. You must offer your suggestions to the photographer but it is their job is to envision what framing will look best.

You can add a lot of drama with the right location

On the day of the shoot, the photographer will navigate you through the plan by helping with posing.

If you are shooting indoors or at a studio, you could bring in props that you think can make the pictures look more fun. Don’t get carried away though and remember – less is more.

A shoot like this is generally wrapped up in a day, but if you want to travel to a special destination consider the extra days and cost involved. The addons will be travel and accommodation for the photographer’s team. They may need to bring assistants and will have some equipment with them.

After the shoot is over the photographer will get to work on the editing. This can take considerable time depending on what the vision for the pictures is and how far that is from what is in the camera. Good editing is one that does not ‘show’. Your excitement is understandable but please do not try to rush the photographer!

Don’t be shy, share!

Once you receive your pictures, share them. Post on social media, or maybe get a wedding website. Do tag your photographer. The best way you can thank them is by giving them credit.


Do’s and Dont’s of a pre wedding shoot


  • wear colors and silhouettes that you know look good on you
  • consider professional hairstyling and makeup
  • get a good night’s rest before your shoot
  • stay hydrated and eat well on the day of the shoot
  • consider your partner’s wishes too
  • follow your photographer’s advice!


  • crash diet
  • dramatically change your looks – such as a drastic hair color or cut
  • wear uncomfortable clothing or shoes
  • try to cover too many locations in a day
  • waste time changing too many clothes/looks
  • bring too many friends and family on the shoot

Just show up for your pre wedding shoot and have fun!

Wrapping Up

Photoshoots get tiring really fast, even for those who do it every day. Make sure you are spending your time wisely on the day of the shoot. Your photographer will guide you on what is best, trust their experience! The results of a pre-wedding shoot greatly depend on the couple themselves, how completely comfortable they are with each other, and with being photographed.

Couples say that experience of shoot alone made it worth it for them, and that is clear when we see them gushing through the day reliving their courtship. Think of it as a date, one where you brought a photographer along. All you need is a great attitude!