What is Pre Wedding Photography?

Pre-wedding photography is a growing trend where engaged couples decide to have professional photos taken in a special location before their wedding day. In this article we explore the differences between pre wedding and engagement photos, as well as the most popular photo shoot settings.

walking through the streets — Photo by elle pupa

Walking through the streets — Photo by elle pupa 


What is Pre Wedding Photography?

Pre wedding photography is a fairly new trend originating from Asia. You may be familiar with engagement photography, where couples wear more casual clothes and have a cute photo session. However, in pre wedding photography the shoot is usually done a few months before the wedding and the couples wear their wedding outfits. The actual day of the wedding has couples rushing all over the place and most of the photos are taken with friends and relatives. However, pre wedding photography allows couples to wear their beautiful wedding outfits, and pick their favorite poses and locations to save forever through photos.

Some couples will have the same pre wedding photographer as their wedding day photographer. This helps you to build rapport with the photographer and you will feel more at ease on your wedding day. Your photographer will also have the opportunity to learn about you and your partner, and how to work with you to produce the best possible photos.

Pre Wedding vs Engagement Photography

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference between pre wedding and engagement photography. While both photo sessions are taken prior to the actual wedding day, pre wedding photography sees the couples wearing their full wedding outfits. Engagement photography, on the other hand, has the couples wearing clothes they would not wear on their wedding day, usually casual outfits.

Pre Wedding Photography

Couple in wedding dress and tuxedo, posing with a field of flowers in front of a bridge. Taken by Photoimagic. Many couples like to use props and accessories to add to their photo — Photo by photoimagic

Engagement Photography

Couple in matching casual clothing in a field of pink and white flowers. Taken by mutenkashashindou.

An engagement photo in the park, note the casual dress — Photo by mutenkashashindou

Popular Locations 

Every couple is different and will have their own idea of what they want for their photos, but here are some popular options we've seen over the years.


Many people dream of a beach photo shoot, the blue skies and clear waters make for a perfect background in any photo.

A beautiful couple together under a blue sky. Photo by Jason Tanega Photography

Tropical paradise! — Photo by Jayson Tanega Photography

Beach in Wedding Gown taken by Photo by SUNBLOOM (KIKU)

Popular beach spots include Okinawa and Hawai'i — Photo by SUNBLOOM (KIKU)

Couple in wedding dress walking down a beach barefoot. Taken by Yuki Ogawa

Shoes always optional! — Photo by Yuki Ogawa

Parks and Gardens

Many couples choose to take their pre wedding photos in spring when the blossoming flowers create a beautiful colorful backdrop. Spring is also one of the more comfortable seasons for wearing a wedding dress outside.

Pre wedding photo in white bridal dress in field of shibazakura flowers.

This photo was taken in Hokkaido — Photo by B'point photo

Wedding dress and tuxedo couple walking down mysterious beautiful tree path. Taken by Studio Howl

A princess and her prince in the park — Photo by Wedding Howl

Couple in kimono posing with a kiss in front of the sakura trees. Taken by Studio Giroux.

Among the sakura — Photo by STUDIO GIROUX


Buildings and Hotels 

Historical buildings and hotels with strong architectural design give photos a classic feel. Hotel foyers, ballrooms, and grand staircases also make a stunning setting for pre wedding photos.

Many couples choose to take their pre wedding photos in spring when the blossoming flowers create a beautiful colorful backdrop. Spring is also one of the more comfortable seasons for wearing a wedding dress outside.

Matching white dress and tuxedo with western architecture. Photo by Truphotos

Elegance and grace — Photo by Truphotos

Bride in front of chapel taken by Photo by Earth Colors.

Smile! — Photo by EARTH COLORS

Couple in wedding clothes posing in elegant grand room. Taken by Murata Photo Works.

Classic and traditional — Photo by Murata Photo Works


Pre weddings photos on city streets appear like scenes from your very own movie. It's a super cute, casual and fun location for a shoot!

Coffee break at Starbucks while wearing bridal wear. Photo by elle pupa

Recognize this Starbucks photo? — Photo by elle pupa

Bridal dress and tuxedo with white bouquet, posing in Omotesando. Photo by banana monkey pictures.

Out and about — Photo by banana monkey pictures

A couple running in the streets in their wedding attire. Taken by Yuki Ogawa

A runaway bride! — Photo by Yuki Ogawa


Tourist Hot Spots

Historical locations and tourist hot spots are popular settings for the many couples who decide to go overseas and do a destination photo shoot for their pre wedding photos.

Gardens at the bay photoshoot with couple in wedding attire. Photo by Truphotos.

A spectacular garden and popular tourist attraction! — Photo by Truphotos

Bride and groom in matching white wedding attire at Shibuya Crossing by Photo by An'Z Photo

The famous Shibuya Crossing! — Photo by An'z Photo

Couple at hotel that says Hawaii in front of it. Taken by Jayson Tanega

Downtown Honolulu is popular for locals and tourists alike — Photo by Jayson Tanega Photography


If you met through, or enjoy doing, a certain hobby together, why not capture it in your pre wedding pictures?

Backpackers. The bride is in her wedding dress with her backpack in a field with the groom. Photo by Panda Studio Japan

 A great way to show personality — Photo by PANDA STUDIO JAPAN

Couple in wedding attire showing snow together in a field. Photo by E-Deta Factory

Snow fun! — Photo by E-DETA FACTORY

Couple playing baseball in their wedding attire. Taken by Studio Lucuss

Take me out to the ball game — Photo by studio LUCUSS 

At the Wedding Venue

Wedding days are very hectic and have the bride and groom running all over the place. Pre wedding photography allows the couple to not only get to know their photographer better, but to also get some nice photos at the venue - almost like a practice round!  

Couple outdoors in quiet, quaint nature. Photo by Elle Pupa

elle pupa

Wedding couple in the middle of a circular room. taken by Photo by KISA Photography

Just the two of us — Photo by KISA photography

Flowing bridal dress. Bride and groom on a platform. Taken by Lee Bridal

So cute! — Photo by Lee bridal



Did you meet your honey through work or school? Taking photos at your old school or office makes for a beautiful picture — and story! 

Couple in wedding clothing sitting in their desks at their old school Photo by MuskatDue

Love at first sight — Photo by Wedding MuskatDue

Clever use of chalkboard and the school they grew up in. Photo by Hayashi Photo Works


Bride and Groom in their wedding clothes sitting in the classroom they met in. Taken by Elle Pupa

Pssst! — Photo by elle pupa

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