Whenever I mention pre-wedding photoshoots to my couples – there’s usually only one of two ways they react. Half of them are excited! That’s because they’ve probably already seen my Instagram feed and are immediately thinking of an incredibly scenic location in Snowdonia to hang out at for a proper pre-wedding mini-adventure. The other half……not so much. They instantly start worrying about how awkward they’re going to look on camera. And what the heck would they wear?? If that’s you – fear not! Here are my 5 top tips for preparing for your pre-wedding photoshoot.
What to expect | Pre-wedding Photo Session
This is such an exciting time for you and honestly, the last thing I want is for you to stress out over something that’ll be SO much fun!!
But Babs…. “we’re both so dang stiff!”, “you’ll have your work cut out hiding my [insert as you wish –> double chin/wrinkles/fat arms/big nose/wonky teeth!]”, “we’re just not lovey-dovey touchy-feely at all”, “we’re no models” (usually followed by fits of giggles), “oh gosh, what should we wear??” (with the fear of tight dresses cutting in at unflattering angles written ALL over their faces)*, and also *you can photoshop that out, right??*.
Honestly. No need to worry!
On the day I’ll talk you through what to do to help you both get comfortable in front of the camera and what will result in the best photos.
First up: no need for awkwardness!! You’re in love!! You’ve decided to share your lives together and that’s proper exciting and NOTHING kicks off wedding prep like your pre-wedding photo session! In fact, most couples say they found that things were starting to get a little bit more exciting once they’d been on their pre-wedding photoshoot and how having a pre-shoot meant they’d felt much more relaxed and confident on their wedding day because they knew what to expect.
Soooooo. What exactly are my 5 top tips for preparing for your pre-wedding photoshoot?
It’s pretty simple, really. You just gotta be you and trust me :) That’s it. None of the pre-wedding photoshoots I’ve ever done were the same so I don’t think I have a magical formula as in such (if that’s what you were hoping I’d say – sorry!!). To me – what makes a great picture is connection and that’s what we’ll be aiming for on your photoshoot. Now. That does not mean you have to be all over each other if you’re not particularly tactile. Closeness can be a cheeky little look. Sharing an *in-joke*. Or chasing each other up & down a snow-covered track, just being silly. If you’re relaxed, having fun, and not worrying about how you look then the pictures will show exactly that.
My Top Tip 1 would be: just be you!
Facial expressions matter. Laughter is always a good thing but anything contrived, unnatural, or forced just looks exactly that. Fake. I like to guide my couples a little and mix relaxed posing and prompts in my sessions. Trust me, we will make some unforgettable memories, all you gotta do is have fun! You’ll be married before you know it so let’s capture your love on camera during this super exciting pre-wedding stage – embrace it and enjoy this time!
Top Tip No. 2: look happy, smile often, laugh openly & passionately
We’ve already set a date for your pre-wedding photoshoot and I’ll be aiming to start the session around the best light, usually around sunset (as I’m not an early riser haha). We’ll either be heading into Snowdonia or hanging out around Llangollen and if you like to be super organised, here’s what you could do before your pre-wedding photoshoot:
For pre-wedding photoshoot inspiration – head to Pinterest! It has TONS of beautiful pins and you should easily spot outfit choices you love, often with links to where to buy (totally optional, not mandatory – of course!). Once you’ve found your outfits – try them on at home and take a selfie – always good to know what you’ll look like in pictures! And if you don’t like what you see – there’ll be plenty of time left to change it so, relax! Going for a new hairstyle/different make-up? Again – try it out at home so that you’re happy with how you both look. If you want to see what some of my other couples wore for their pre-wedding photoshoots – head to my own Pinterest page and have a good look around.
Top Tip No. 3: get inspired & excited!!
What to wear. First and foremost – wear something that makes you feel GOOD about yourself and RELAXED! Something that truly reflects your personality. I want you to treasure these pictures for years to come and not make you want to cringe when you look back on them! So if you’re adventurous souls and dressing up is not for you – put on your favourite outdoor clothes and accessorise with your favourite backpack. If you like dressing up – invest in a showstopping floaty dress for super romantic windblown pictures. Or if you’re more the casual types – dress as if you’re meeting friends for a pint down the local on a Saturday night. Just be you!
Colourwise – natural earthy colours work best with my style of photography such as warm shades of browns, greys, yellows & reds. Combine them with jeans, corduroys or linen-type materials for a warm, nature-friendly look.
Try and avoid loud/neon colours or colours that don’t go well with your skin type. Not sure what skin type you are? There are tons of helpful articles online, similar to this one. If you’re coordinating your outfits – try to compliment colours/materials rather than 100 % matching them; the days of couples wearing his & hers are pretty much over. Unless, of course, that’s your thing in which case – let me know beforehand and I’ll work that into my plan for your session. I also recommend staying away from hoodies or tops with HUGE logos on the front. As for patterns – try to avoid anything too *out there*. Not sure if the colours/materials/patterns you chose will work? I’m only an email or WhatsApp away so if you’re not sure if your choice of outfit will look good in photos – message me!
Top Tip No. 4: dress to feel good & relaxed
On the day. Turn it into date night! All dressed up – nowhere to go? Make it a fun & memorable occasion – head out for a couple of drinks after your pre-wedding photoshoot or book a table at your favourite restaurant (or try a new one if you’ve never been to the area I’m taking you to, always happy to recommend some local gems!). A lot of my couples also add an overnight stay in a cosy log cabin – perfect for celebrating the start of your wedding journey!
What to bring. Here’s what I suggest you pack to cover every eventuality and make sure the whole experience remains super positive & fun, even if there’s rain (and yes. Reality check. *Sometimes* it rains in Wales ;))
In the car:
- Have a full set of dry comfy clothes and shoes you can change into afterwards. You might not need them but if you do – there’s something super smug about knowing you’re gonna come out of whatever the weather throws at us warm & dry and comfy. And if you’re planning on going for dinner afterwards – also bring clothes you want to go to dinner in.
- A couple of towels. Again, you might not need them but if you do – thank me later :)
In a backpack:
- Comfortable walking boots for both of you. If you’ve signed up for a bit of walk/hike – I always recommend wearing safe & comfortable walking boots (for the mountains) or trainers or similar (for the beach) and putting your *good* shoes in the backpack – we’ll get them out for a couple of pics once we’ve arrived at our destination.
- Sunglasses. (There’s always hope haha).
- Bottled water and a couple of snacks. There aren’t always shops or amenities nearby and not everything is open 24/7…. If you’re fully prepared for worst case scenario I promise things can be totally stress-free!
- Car keys & mobile phones. They look SO much better hidden in backpacks than visible in trouser pockets…..
Other things you could consider (if you wanted to):
- Bring your favourite playlist and play your favourite songs if you fancy a bit of a jamming session to get you in the mood or loosen you up! Or send me a list of your favourites tuuuunes – I’ll add them to my own pre-wedding playlist and always keep a speaker in my car!
- Want fun champagne spraying pictures? Pack a couple of cheap Prosecco bottles (Tesco has a cheap range which starts from around a fiver). If you want all the pics but none of the alcohol – I have tried & tested alcohol-free ones and they work just as well. Same goes for sparklers (Amazon does a good range of the long ones) and smoke bombs if you wanted to go all out (get the Enola Gaye ones or look for smoke pellets in your local plumbing store).
Top Tip No. 5: it pays to be prepared
So there we have it, my 5 top tips for preparing for your pre-wedding photoshoot – can’t wait to meet you both!!
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