When I book a wedding client and I meet with them in-person, I ask all the necessary questions for me to get all the important info for the day. But secretly the most important questions are “What does the dress look like?” and “What’s the venue?” The reason for this is because even though there are many essential shots to get throughout the day, the ones that get us all out of bed in the morning are the gorgeous bride and groom portraits we are planning in our heads! Honestly, if photographers could take the time they really WANTED with the bride and groom, the couple portraits would be a huge Hollywood-style production, at least mine would be. The reality is, if we are lucky we might get 15-20 minutes after the family photos to spend focusing on the bride and groom.
Some couples are opting for what is called a “first look” session where they get ready a little earlier in the day and then have a photo shoot where the groom sees the bride for the first time before the ceremony. This can be a great option that results in some genuinely moving and emotional photos, but sometimes it can also look a little forced.
So what are your other options if you really want to get an amazing photography session with just your new husband or wife? Think outside of your wedding day! If you are a non-traditional couple and don’t have any superstitions about seeing each other before the ceremony, consider scheduling a pre-wedding portrait shoot. Hair and make up artists usually include a trial run with their services so you may even be able to get away with doing your trial and your pre-wedding shoot the same day. This way you will get a full photo session of just you and your honey without the pressure of your wedding timeline getting in the way. It will leave you with more time to enjoy your guests and the appetizers you paid for as well! And as an added bonus, you will have your images ahead of time so you can have them displayed at your party.
If you absolutely do not want to see each other before the ceremony, you can book your photo shoot for a day or two after the wedding as well. You may need to book another hair and make up session to do it this way, or you can go for a more natural “after party” relaxed look which can be beautiful as well. By booking your photos after the wedding, you are less likely to worry about getting your dress dirty, which can make for some amazing shots if you are up for getting a little messy.
These great shots of Bao and Jovani were taken a few weeks before their wedding day. We chose the location where they went on their first date, Coronado Tidelands Park. We got to choose the perfect time of day and take our time getting some great images, which were then displayed at their reception. So on the day of their wedding, of course we took a few shots of them at their venue, but we knew we only needed a few and they could quickly return to their friends and family!