Planning for that perfect pre wedding shoot is as easy as following a checklist. Trust us, as newlyweds, we have gone through the same process with the help of many helpful fellow brides to be and professionals. Here’s a compilation of the important things you need to plan ahead the shoot and also look out for on the day of the shoot itself:
Before the shoot:
Book Your Photographer:
This person will make or break the pre wedding shoot - so choose wisely. Key things to look out for when you pick your photographer match: 1) Their photography style (easily seen through their past works & portfolio) ; 2) Their budget (most of them have readily available rate cards); 3) The reviews (how other couples have found their service)
Confirm your Location & Timing
Once you’ve found the perfect photographer, the next critical element would be the location - be it local or overseas. Talk to your photographer and share with him/her your vision for the shoot, with their experience, they should be able to help you narrow down a few locations and propose timings for the shoot that would maximize natural light at these locations.
Back Up Plans
Sounds like you have a plan? Time to come up with Plan B too. Always make back up plans, in case wet weather or other unfortunate circumstances cause plans to change on the day of shoot.
Coordinate Outfits & Props
You and your partner are the most important element to the pre wedding shoot, so deciding your outfits for the day is most critical. Decide on your theme, and outfits accordingly. If it’s a formal shoot, you need to rent bridal gowns, evening gowns and suits ahead of the shoot. If it’s a more casual shoot, you need to prepare your outfits ahead of time. Check in with your photographer on your outfits for a third opinion - they can potentially advise if the colors might clash with the locations you picked, or even your partner’s outfit colors.
If you are looking out for a more styled photoshoot, then you definitely need to buy your props (here are some prop inspirations) ahead of time. If you are DIY-ing, then get your props months in advance (especially if it’s from TaoBao or the likes) or check out if other brides are selling off their props. If you are engaging a professional wedding photoshoot stylist, you should also probably give them a few months heads up depending on the complexity of the shoot.
Book your Makeup Artist (MUA)
Most popular makeup artists are booked out 6 months to 1 year in advance. So try to book them in advance. It is highly recommended to do a trial session with the MUA ahead of your actual shoot to make sure it’s a look you really like. Try to look for inspirations of makeup looks and hairstyles to share with your MUA ahead of the trial sessions to help them along.
Book an appointment with your Hair Salon (optional)
Depending on the hairstyle you are going for, your MUA might ask you to make certain changes to your hair prior to the shoot - for instance, dying it a different color to help highlight the braids etc. So make sure you book your appointment with your salon ahead of the shoot.
Book your Manicure/Pedicure
Minimally, your nails should look nice and neat for the photoshoot. Lots of pre-wedding photos include upclose shots of couples holding hands and the ring, so it would be awkward if your nails were the only imperfect part of the shot.
Prepare Your Poses
You have a limited amount of time for the shoot, so it’s a good idea to prepare ahead for poses that you find less cheesy or awkward for you and your partner. This is extremely helpful if you are camera-shy. Practicing before the shoot, can help you get used to it ahead of the actual day. To further help you along - here’s 10 Romantic Couple Pose Inspirations for your pre wedding photoshoot that might help you along.
Ask a friend or family member along to help
Last but not least, it’s always great to have a helping hand on the day itself. If your MUA is not tagging along for the shoot, then it’s probably essential that you ask a friend or family member to follow you on the shoot - particularly if you have a few outfit changes or prop set up. The photographer usually can help to a small extent, but they typically have heavy equipment on them, and are trying their best to focus on capturing your best moments - so an extra hand who’s not the photographer or groom is still the best option.
On the day of the shoot:
Do your Makeup, Bring Outfits & Props
If you have done the prep work ahead of time, the actual day of the shoot will be a breeze! Just turn up at your makeup artist’s or have them come to you ( at least 2 hours prior to the shoot +/- travelling time to the shoot location ). Make sure you bring along ALL your outfit changes and props along when you move to the shoot location.
Slippers / Blister Plasters
Heels hurt. Bring along comfy slippers and blister plasters so you still can put on a smile instead of a grimace hours into shooting.
Trust me when I say you do not want to be itching whilst trying to look glamorous at the same time. This is critical if you are doing your photoshoot in the great outdoors. Use the stick on mosquito repellent patches, put on at least four!
Facial Blotter & Wet Tissue You will perspire. Make sure you have facial blotters and wet tissues for some relief.
Mini Makeup Pouch (includes hair spray)
Optional if your MUA is tagging along. If not, bring along some extra lipstick, foundation, blush and hairspray to make sure you can touch up if the perspiration is slowly causing the makeup to run.
Umbrella / Portable fans / Heat Packs
If you have an extra friend/ family member to help out, they can help relieve some of the crazy side effects from the weather - be it crazy heat or intense cold (if you are doing your shoot overseas) - with these useful items.
Safety pins & Hair Pins
Always have safety pins and hair pins. Crazy stuff happens at times and you want to be able to salvage things on the spot.
Easy to eat Snacks & Straws
Last but not least, if your shoot is scheduled for more than 3 hours, definitely bring snacks along with the absolutely necessary water. Be sensible and bring only easy to eat snacks that won’t ruin your lipstick or leave crumbs all over your outfit; and ALWAYS use straws when drinking water.
Have more amazing tips for pre-wedding or actual day photography? Share them with us here!