The Pre-Wedding Session

The why, whens, wheres and whats of your pre-wedding session

What are pre-wedding sessions?

Pre-wedding sessions are essentially practice for your wedding day that will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. However, it is also a chance for me to capture your relationship as you are. Depending on where we go for the shoot, I will provide you with some beautiful and epic photographs. It also gives me a chance to get to know you and to understand your personalities.

Why should I have one?

On your pre-wedding session we will have a chance to get to know one another and this means that I won't just be a stranger on your wedding day. In addition, it will help you to feel much more comfortable about being in front of the camera. If I just showed up on the wedding day, I don't think I'd really be able to understand how you are as a couple. Pre-wedding sessions give me that insight so I can give you the best photographs possible

Tailoring your wedding photos

After the session, you will have the chance to choose your favourite images and provide me with feedback. Based on your input, I will make changes to the planned portraits for your wedding day. Your love is unlike anyone else's. So I want to make sure that your wedding photographs are tailored to you.

Booking Your Pre-Wedding Session

The time of day really matters
As I only photograph around 25 weddings a year, I have the flexibility to photograph your pre-wedding session on a weekend although there is some limitation on dates. However, during the week I have a lot more availability both on an evening and during the day too. The best light is at sunrise or 2 hours before the sun sets, so ideally I like to shoot pre-wedding sessions during this time.

Early mornings are amazing, because it's so quiet and the light is perfect and with a bit of mist or fog too, it adds to the atmosphere of the shoot. If mornings aren't your thing then we can schedule in for a sunset, either way shooting in golden hour is the best possible time of day.

I appreciate that during summer, the sunrise and sunset are very early/late, however the location we choose will be extremely quiet. Also it will allow us the privacy to get some amazing photos. Planning pre-wedding sessions in advance is a must!
Choosing your location

The location you choose for your pre-wedding session is entirely up to you. We can go anywhere in the UK and I am even happy to go to Europe if you would like. The most important thing is that we go somewhere that has some special meaning to you. If you just want to go down the road from your home, then that's where we will go. There is no pressure to climb a mountain if you don't want to, however you have my time and it would be a shame not to go on an adventure together!

One thing you will understand as you get to know me, is that I really love what I do. If there's a chance for me to give you beautiful photographs then it gives me a real sense of satisfaction. So if you want to go to the Isle of Skye or hiking in the Lake District or walking along the beach in Cornwall or rambling on the Yorkshire Moors, let do it!! If you need any help deciding, just let me know and I would be happy to plan this for you.

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SKIP

Pre-Wedding Sessions Style

(aka WTF do I wear??)


Just be yourself (with some extra colour)

Keep the location in mind when you’re planning for what to wear at your pre-wedding session. Reds and yellows work well for autumn and winter for example, blues and yellows for summer and spring. But no matter the season, I can’t emphasise enough how good primary colours look in photographs.

If you’re more comfortable wearing black, even having a scarf or top in a green or burgundy can work well too, something to help the images ‘pop’ . I generally discourage clients from wearing all black each as it will be harder to see you in the photographs, especially against a darker background.

I personally don’t need an excuse for shopping, but if you do then pre-wedding sessions are a perfect chance for you to get that new dress or pair of shoes you’ve been wanting to buy for ages.

 

A quick note on shoes – if we’re walking in the countryside, flats are best or walking boots are even better. Another example of why you need to consider your location when planning your outfit. 

 

 


Accessories are super cool

Hats, sunglasses, braces, belts, scarfs and ties. Oh me, oh my.

This is a photoshoot, so if you wouldn’t dare wearing one of those black hats with the brim ‘in real life’, be brave and try it out in your pre-wedding session. I promise it will look really cool. But if you’re not feeling ‘hipster’ enough to pull something like that off (the struggle is real!), having your hair done or even combining a make-up trial with your pre-wedding session is a great way of building your confidence for shots in front of the camera.

If you’re both looking to wear accessories, try coordinating your look. Sunglasses for example can be a really cool addition to a shoot especially if you’re both wearing them. We can do some of the shoot with them and some without.

pre-wedding sessions

 


 

Pre-Wedding Sessions Don’ts (preferably)

Avoid really baggy clothes, tops with writing on them and trainers (think running shoes not converse) where possible. Baggy clothes make you look bigger than you are and tops with logos are an unnecessary distraction in the photographs and can look too informal. Those who wear them, if you don’t like to see your bra or bra straps, then double check you’re wearing an outfit that covers these items of clothing.

Think of it as though you are dressing for a date together in the day time. “Smart casual”.

smart casual, adjective
(of clothes) neat, conventional, yet relatively informal in style, especially as worn to conform to a particular dress code.

I would also recommend you bring as few items with you as possible to the shoot. Stopping to hide handbags or rucksacks before we can continue can interrupt the flow of the shoot. If you can’t do without your phone or purse, I would be happy to carry them for you – just ask.

 

 


 

Bring your own style

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. So absolutely be brave with your choices, but don’t dress to look like someone that you are not. You want to showcase your features and your individuality and your amazing-ness. And depending on where we are going, you may also need to be able to walk and move easily.

For those who like to wear make-up, if you manage to co-ordinate the shoot with your make-up trial then great. If not, I would recommend you keep it simple. Bold lip colours and smokey eye make-up are my favourite for photographs. Same for your nails. If you want to have them done, it can really help with your confidence in front of the camera, but it’s absolutely your call. None of these things need to be done if it’s really not your thing.

 

I need to add a really important caveat here. When you meet me you will see that I currently rock a mum style that consists of whatever is clean and I only do my makeup if I made it out of the house in time (because kids). I’m hardly a fashionista; but I do know what looks good in photographs and what doesn’t. As such, I want to make sure that you have the do’s and don’ts to hand so you can get the best look for your pre-wedding session.

If you still aren’t sure and I know that some of you still won’t be, I’ve got some Pinterest links for you below. I am also always available to give a second opinion, all you need to do is ask.

 

Pinterest Inspiration

Still no idea what to wear for your pre-wedding session?

Pinterest is brilliant for inspiration for just about anything, but especially for weddings and pre-wedding sessions. Typing in some search terms such as 'what to wear engagement' will bring you up with lots of different options. You can also type in the season too so you can match your outfits to the time of year.

If that still seems too overwhelming, I've added a board for client inspiration. It doesn't mean you have to wear those exact same outfits, but they should give you an idea of how to layer textures and include colour as part of your look. The main thing is that you be yourself. but there's no reason why you can't go out and buy a new outfit if you want to.

Photo credits for the pre-wedding session images above go to:

On A Bicycle Built For Two, M2 Photography, Phil Chester

“Sometimes I can’t see myself when I’m with you. I can only just see you.” – Tiger Lily,  Jodi Lynn Anderson