What is Pre-Wedding Photography?

Until just a few years ago, I had no idea what a pre-wedding session was! Then, a wonderful couple from Hong Kong said they were visiting San Francisco and were searching for a Bay Area photographer who could capture their vision. Are you kidding? This is what I live for! I learned that many couples in Asia have elaborate pre-wedding portraits with several wardrobe changes, professional hair and make-up, and a full day of wonderful locations.

Artistic San Francisco pre-wedding session photos by Nightingale Photography
Wedding couple in dramatic light at City Hall in San Francisco
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com

Modern pre-wedding photos in the San Francisco Bay Area

A pre-wedding session is often referred as engagement session but with the wedding dress. Like the name suggests, it is a photoshoot done 4~6 months prior to the wedding day. Nowadays a modern day pre-wedding is outdoor and the style varies from fashion, film, studio, outdoor, candid, and dreamy. Most people would choose 3-5 locations in a day. A huge benefit of this kind of photography is that the pressure is off on your actual wedding day. Couples often feel stressed on their big day to leave the guests for photos, so this is a wonderful solution.

pre-wedding photos in San Francisco
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com
Modern wedding couple eat ice cream in San Francisco
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com
Modern wedding couple walk through urban city streets with ice cream
Bride eats ice cream in front of grafitti city walls

Bride’s make-up and hair would also be slightly more adventurous/heavier comparing to the wedding day make up & hair which would be more natural & beauty focused.

Destination wedding

Another reason couples come to me for their pre-wedding portraits is that they’re going to have a destination wedding but want the San Francisco Bay Area for their couple’s portraits. I agree! This gives us unlimited time to capture moments with the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco City Hall, Golden Gate Park, the Palace of Fine Arts, to name a few.

Wedding portraits sit in window in City Hall San Francisco

I’ve even had couples take time to travel with me to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur, Napa, Sonoma, Yountville and beyond. The options are unlimited and the experience is truly unique. You certainly don’t only have to wear the wedding gown and tux. Couples will bring gorgeous formal wear and more casual outfits as well. Brides would usually be presented with plenty of different dress selections ranging from white to color to black. It is highly recommended to choose a different style than the one bride would be wearing on the actual wedding day.

A successful pre-wedding session

One of my biggest tips for having beautiful portraits…smile. Relax and have fin. You are getting married to your best friend and you get to spend the rest of your life with him. This is your moment to feel beautiful and not have to worry about a thing before the wedding day. This is your time to show off your beauty. Relaxed, happy brides create the best pictures!

Groom spins bride during dance in San Francisci
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com
Bride and groom kiss at the Botanical Gardens in San Francisco
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com

Bride’s make up & hair would also be slightly more adventurous/heavier comparing to the wedding day make up & hair which would be more natural & beauty focused.

Bridal portraits with beautiful light in Golden Gate Park
Nightingale Photography nightingalephotos.com
Wedding portraits with beautiful light in Golden Gate Park botanical gardens

How to book a San Francisco Bay Area pre-wedding session

I love helping my couples decide on the best locations for them during their photoshoot. We create an itinerary, hire hair and make-up, organize the wardrobe and get the date booked on my calendar. Interested in booking yours? I look forward to being your photographer. Contact me HERE

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