3 Real Couples Share Their Pre-Wedding Photo Schedules

So you've decided to take pre-wedding photos in Japan — but where to start!? We interviewed some real couples who were kind enough to share with us their schedules, and included some of our own planning tips!

Pre wedding photography has been gaining popularity over the past few years. There are many reasons couples decide to take pre-wedding photos, we have an article about it here, and today we're here to help demystify the planning process. Keep reading to find out how to plan your photo shoot and how long you can expect it to take. 

Taking a look at our couple stories, on average, couples looking to do a photo shoot in Japan start planning their photo shoot about 2 months ahead of time. While planning your pre wedding photo shoot the main things to consider are the photographer, the location, the timing and the outfits. 

The Photographer

Couple in Sydney with their photographer — Photo by Sydney Creative Photography

A couple in Sydney with their photographer — Photo by Sydney Creative Photography

Probably the most important decision of the photo shoot — who will take your photos? Are they a local photographer or do they need to travel to your photo shoot location? Decisions decisions! Choosing a photographer will most likely be the most time-consuming process of planning your photo shoot. Not only do you have to worry about where your photographer is located, but you also need to consider their booking schedule. For especially popular photographers, they are booked months to years in advance so you need to put this into consideration while planning your photo shoot. You also need to consider things like budget and photography style, we have an article here about how to choose a pre wedding photographer. 

The Location

Dramatic sunset photo taken in Ehime — Photo by photoimagic

Dramatic sunset photo taken in Ehime — Photo by photoimagic

Where will your photo shoot be? Will it be a destination pre wedding photo shoot? Will it be a local photo shoot? Many couples usually have a location already planned but something you need to consider is your travel budget when looking through locations. Especially for those with multiple photo shoot locations, you should consider the budget for each location and the travel costs between each location

The Timing

Coming to Japan for your pre wedding photo shoot? We recommend the spring time! — Photo by SORAIRO

Coming to Japan for your pre wedding photo shoot? We recommend spring time! — Photo by SORAIRO

Each season brings something different all over the world so if you are planning to take destination pre wedding photos this is something to take into consideration. Make sure to research average temperatures, rain, and humidity, or ask your photographer about their experience shooting at your selected time of year. Although summer in a country like Australia usually brings a dry heat, you may find yourself sweltering in the sticky humidity of countries such as Japan or Singapore - not ideal for wearing a big heavy dress! Be wary also of public holidays and tourist season as it may push up the costs of your flights, accommodation, and possibly your photographer. 

The Outfits

Pre wedding photography means wedding dress and all ;)— Photo by by L'équipe de Yoyo

Pre wedding photography means wedding dress and all ;)— Photo by L'équipe de Yoyo

You may be more familiar with engagement photography where couples dress in their favorite casual ensembles, but pre wedding photography is all about the wedding outfits! Some couples bring their own wedding attire whereas others choose to rent. Rental kimono is also a very popular option for couples visiting Japan and usually comes with hair, makeup, and an assistant to help you move about. Make sure to let your photographer know what you are planning on wearing, particularly in the case of a large wedding dress, so they can make sure they have the right equipment for your photo shoot.

Sample Schedules by Real Couples

A wintry photo shoot in Tokyo — Photo by by Ayako

A wintry photo shoot in Tokyo — Photo by Ayako

Mayu and her partner spent two months planning their photo shoot in the Tokyo area. Read their story here.

Late July

  Marriage ceremony in Kansai

Mid September

  Applied for Famarry's special competition

  Won the competition and decided on an after wedding shoot in Tokyo.
  Decided to shoot around Tokyo Station in Marunouchi.
  Browsed Famarry for photographers that were in the area.
  Loved Ayako Photography so sent a request.
End of October

  Started looking for a dress and hair & makeup stylists.
  Found a beautiful dress via THE DRESS ROOM and made a reservation.

Early November

  Ordered a bouquet from a florist.
  Hoping for a more mature look, chose a simple ponytail hairstyle at bottoms Shibuya.

November 22
  The day of the photo shoot.
  It was a weekday at night and there was great weather.
  The photo shoot was from 4:30pm ~ 6:30 pm.

aken at her very own shop! — Photo by trickster photography

Taken at her very own shop! — Photo by trickster photography

Flower shop owner Sayuri and her husband admitted planning their photo shoot only 3 weeks in advance! It was exhausting, but they made it work. Read their story here.

3 weeks before the shoot

  Sayuri spotted one of Famarry's campaigns via Instagram and contacted us for a photo shoot

2 weeks before the shoot

  Looked through our photographers and decided to work with trickster photography

1.5 weeks before the shoot

  Sayuri started searching for dresses.
  Found 2 dress shops in her area and checked them out.
  Chose a cute casual dress from an antique dress store in Nakameguro.

1 week before the shoot

  Sayuri made all the accessories such as her hair piece and bouquet.
  She also arranged her husband's outfit for the photo shoot.

Day of the shoot
  Met trickster photography (Atsuki Umeda) for the first time.
  About 1.5 hours was spent shooting in the flower shop studio, and 1 hour outside.

In the trendy Marunouchi area of Tokyo — Photo by trickster photography

In the trendy Marunouchi area of Tokyo — Photo by trickster photography

Newlyweds Atsuko and Yuya explain their 2-month plan in great detail. Read their story here.

2 months before the shoot

  Sent a request to the photographer and started discussing the stye and type of photo shoot

1 month before the shoot

  Tried on rental dresses and made a reservation

10 days before the shoot
  Did the final fitting for the rental dress and chose accessories

7 days before the shoot

  Booked the hair salon (Atsuko decided to do her own makeup)

2-3 days before the shoot

  Confirmed the photo shoot schedule with the photographer and decided where to meet

The day before the shoot
  Collected the dress and made sure everything was ready for the next day

These schedules are for pre-wedding photo shoots in Japan and may seem quite last-minute compared the schedules of couples in other countries. It's always better to be safe than sorry and we recommend booking as early as possible, especially if you have a particular photographer, salon, florist etc that you wish to use. However, even if your trip is just weeks away, don't think that you can't make it work! Send us an inquiry and we'll do our best to make your dream photo shoot a reality. 

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