A guide to pre-wedding photography

The engagement period is a beautiful time for couples to celebrate their new found-commitment to each other. A pre-wedding shoot continues to be a popular option with couples as it can really help them feel relaxed and accustomed to having their photograph professionally taken before their wedding day. 

This guide will tell you what a pre-wedding shoot is and how to get the best out of it.

What is a pre-wedding shoot?

A pre-wedding shoot (some call it an engagement shoot) is simply a one-to-two hour photoshoot held with your wedding photographer prior to your big day. The session is normally held in a relaxed and informal environment and is a great way to get used to your photographer taking photographs of you and to help them understand what makes you comfortable. You also get some additional photographs of you both so it’s definitely worth considering booking one.

Choosing a suitable location

The first thing to discuss with your photographer is a suitable location. Some couples opt for the shoot to be done at their home, a park, woodland, beach or even an urban setting. Choosing a location unique to you, such as the place where you had your first date, or where you got engaged, may make the photographs even more meaningful.



Clearly the time of day is an important factor when scheduling your pre-wedding shoot, with late afternoon generally being the best time of day to provide soft natural lighting. However, the time of year is also a factor. Spring and Autumn can provide wonderfully subtle backdrops if you’re going for a more rural setting such as woodland.

What to wear

Whilst most couples will stick with a smart-casual look, there is nothing stopping you from using the opportunity to really dress-up. Either way, make sure your outfits and colours complement each other and consider that you’ll want your photos to look timeless in many years to come.


There is nothing to stop you bringing accessories with you but bear in mind you’ll need to carry these around during the session so it’s recommended to leave any handbags or phones in the car. Some couples love to include their dog in their photographs which brings a fun dynamic. Think about the things that make your relationship unique and find ways to incorporate them into your photos.


Relax and have fun

The most important thing to remember during your pre-wedding photoshoot is to relax and have fun. Unlike a wedding, a pre-wedding shoot may feel a bit staged, but it’s a time to enjoy, will help you bond with your photographer and make them realise your preferences around style and what you’re comfortable with so it’s easier on your big day. Don’t worry too much about posing or trying to look perfect. The best photos are often the ones that capture natural moments and genuine emotions. Trust your photographer to guide you through the shoot and don’t be afraid to let loose and be yourselves.


Pre-wedding photography doesn’t have to be cheesy. It can be a beautiful and fun way to capture the love and commitment between you and your partner. It is part of your wedding story and will allow you to have some wonderful images to look back on. Some couples also use a photograph from their pre-wedding shoot as part of their signing board which is a great way of incorporating the shoot into your wedding day.

Looking for a wedding photographer in Hertfordshire? Meachen & Shorey Photography offer natural and documentary-style wedding photography. Please feel free to get in contact if you would like to learn more about what we offer.

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meachen & shorey photography

natural & modern documentary-style

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