Is it worth having a pre-wedding photoshoot?

Whether a pre-wedding photoshoot is worth it depends on your preferences and priorities. But from my perspective as a wedding photographer and based on what previous clients have told me when having a pre-wedding photoshoot, here are some factors to consider.

The photos will become a memorable keepsake.

A pre-wedding photoshoot is a tangible and cherished keepsake, encapsulating the unique emotions and excitement leading up to the wedding day. My professional photographs taken during this session become a visual narrative, offering a glimpse into your journey as a couple before the formalities of the wedding take centre stage.

My images often go beyond the posed shots, capturing candid moments and authentic expressions that convey genuine joy and anticipation ahead of the wedding. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to wear something more fitting to what you guys would usually wear when you’re together, rather than your Sunday best, which you’ll wear on your wedding day!

Treat it like a practice session.

Beyond capturing moments, the pre-wedding photoshoot is a valuable practice session for couples who might feel camera-shy or uneasy about being in the spotlight. It allows you to familiarise yourselves with my style, direction, and the overall process of being photographed.

This practice helps alleviate any anxiety you might have and contributes to more relaxed and natural poses on the wedding day. Because you get to see the result from working with me on a pre-wedding shoot, you know what you can expect back on the wedding day. The overall familiarity of this session will make you feel more comfortable and confident in having your portrait session since the pre-wedding replicates that small but valuable part of the day.

Generate a more personal connection with me as your photographer.

Building a solid rapport with your photographer (ideally me if you’re reading this) is fundamental to achieving intimate and genuine photographs. The pre-wedding shoot establishes a foundation for communication and understanding between the couple and the photographer.

You and I can develop a better connection by spending this additional time together. I often learn so much more about my couples during the pre-wedding photoshoot because of the natural way in which the session runs. It’s a great chance to laugh, chat, share common interests, and discover what motivates and makes each other tick. This connection fosters a better understanding of your preferences, personalities, and vision for your wedding photos, ultimately translating into a more personalised and satisfying experience.

Communication of your preferences with your photographer.

The pre-wedding photoshoot lets you communicate your preferences and expectations directly to me. Whether it’s specific angles, lighting preferences, or particular poses, this session provides an opportunity for open dialogue, ensuring that your vision aligns with my approach.

Save-the-Date and invitations.

The images from the pre-wedding shoot offer a wealth of creative possibilities for incorporating a personal touch into wedding communications that you might send out. You can use these photos for save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, or even feature them at the wedding reception for all your guests to see. This adds a unique and personal element to what you send to your friends and family and allows guests to share in the excitement and anticipation leading up to the wedding day through the professional photos you’ll have.

Test hair and makeup.

The pre-wedding photoshoot is a practical test run for your chosen wedding day hair and makeup style. Seeing how these elements appear in professional photographs provides valuable feedback and ensures you’re happy with the look you might want on the day. I wouldn’t say this is super important since not everyone will go and have hair and makeup done before a pre-wedding shoot, but if you do decide to, it could be pretty helpful.

Location scouting.

Opting for a different location for the pre-wedding photoshoot allows you to explore diverse and visually appealing backdrops – especially those in The Peak District, where I am based. I do many of my pre-wedding photoshoots in the Hope Valley area. If the chosen wedding venue lacks the specific scenery you want for photographs, the pre-wedding session becomes a chance to discover alternative settings that align with your vision. You could also use the location on the wedding day for your couple’s portraits.

Time together.

Amidst the whirlwind of wedding planning, the pre-wedding photoshoot carves dedicated time for you guys to focus on each other. It provides a respite from the logistical and organisational aspects of wedding preparation, allowing you to celebrate your relationship in a more intimate and personal setting without the distractions of day-to-day life that often creep in when you’re together. Plus, you’ll get some photos as evidence you aren’t always sitting next to each other on the sofa on your phones all the time!

Create a signing frame or use it as your decor.

The photos from the pre-wedding shoot can be creatively incorporated into the wedding decor. Couples often use these images for signing frames, table centrepieces, or even as a backdrop during the ceremony or reception. It adds a personal touch and serves as a beautiful and meaningful element in the overall wedding design. A signing frame is also a fantastic way to get all your guests to leave you guys some lovely messages which you can hang on the wall at home with your favourite photo. Why not find out more about the signing frames?

Bring your pets or something special along with you.

For couples with pets or significant items you might want to include in your wedding photos, the pre-wedding shoot provides a more relaxed environment to incorporate these elements. It can be challenging to coordinate such details on the actual wedding day sometimes, making the pre-wedding session an ideal opportunity to feature beloved pets or sentimental items. I’ve also had plenty of couples have their dogs on their wedding day for a few photos.


While a pre-wedding photoshoot may be an additional investment, the comprehensive benefits it offers – both tangible in photographs and intangible in terms of emotional connection – often make it a valuable and rewarding component of the overall wedding experience. I have never had a wedding client regret having a pre-wedding photoshoot done, but I have had couples wishing that they did take the opportunity to have one. But as with everything, it is entirely down to personal preference and often a balancing act of budgeting. I understand that it is an additional cost at what can already be a costly life event, but much as it is with your wedding photography, it is beyond anything an investment. These photos and your wedding photos will last you a lifetime and become treasured keepsakes amongst a family legacy.

Ready to talk?