MY FAVOURITE OVERSEAS PRE-WEDDING SHOOT DESTINATIONS
More and more of my pre-wedding shoots are now in overseas locations, if a couple wants something different from their experience, or has a special connection with a place. It creates some truly amazing moments – and photos – and I’ve always found that any last-minute doubts about whether it’s worth it vanish as soon as you’re on the road. It’s like a honeymoon, only better, since you’re not so tired and all the excitement is still to come!
Deciding to embark on a once in a lifetime trip is the easy bit. Picking where is far harder. Every destination offers such a unique experience, and unique images at the end, and you may need to be conservative with your budget if you’ve already committed most of it to other things.
So with that in mind I’ve created my own list of favourite places to conduct pre-wedding shoots abroad. Each one has the potential to provide you with stunning memories and the most incredible build up to your big day. The question is: which one feels right for you?
If you’re dreaming of a glorious sunset on an idyllic beach for your pre-wedding shoot, they don’t come dreamier than Bali. In fact there’s a wealth of photogenic landscapes to choose from, such as rice paddies, spectacular cliffs and volcanic mountains. It doesn’t get more romantic than this, or better value for money.
Romance and Italy are inseparable and as pre-wedding destinations go it takes a lot to beat. For a start you can find picturesque locations almost anywhere. The bustling streets of Rome, the historic wonder of Florence and the utterly unique atmosphere of Vatican City are just the start. Not only that, there’s so much art and culture to inspire you, not to mention food to fuel your journey. It’s a country to fall in love with in and of itself.
And if that’s not romantic enough for you, just take a little peak at Venice online. Undoubtedly the most beautiful city in the world, it is of course one of the most
Rugged beauty doesn’t come more rugged or beautiful than Iceland, where breath-taking backdrops are waiting for you around every corner. It’s a personal favourite of mine with so much potential any time of year. You can explore glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and hot springs, and even capture the Northern Lights if you time it right. Plus it’s only three hours from London. photogenic too, with canals offering peaceful perfection for lovers’ strolls and more private nooks to snap a stolen kiss than you can shake a stick at.
Venice may be the most beautiful city in the world, but New York is one of the most iconic (I say ‘one of’ because London will always hold that particular title for me!) From the world-recognised landmarks such as Central Park to the unmistakeable atmosphere in areas like Brooklyn and Manhattan, it is fun, frantic and looks seriously good on camera. You could stay and take photos together for a month and still not do it justice. Is there anywhere cooler for a pre-wedding shoot outside the UK? I don’t think so.
When you think of Morocco you probably don’t immediately think of a relaxing pre-wedding experience, more a dizzying sensory overload of food, music, markets, spices and people. But that’s exactly why it’s the perfect choice! Whether you’re picking your way through its many unpredictable alleyways or making a desert trek with heart-stopping mountain backdrops, you’ll both be put into a whole new frame of mind, which is great for photos that capture the unexpected too. And you’ll be treated to the very best hospitality North Africa has to offer.
I love travelling, an especially passionate about destination weddings and pre-wedding shoots. If you love what you see on my website, then i’d love to hear from you and here about your exciting wedding or pre-wedding shoot plans. I want to photograph weddings all over the world including some of the one’s I’ve listed below.
Norway is simply magnificent, especially in the winter. If you want a moodier kind of magic in your pre-wedding photoshoot, this could be the destination for you. The fjords offer endless potential for exploration and photographic moments, or if you want city culture Oslo has an amazing amount of cool, quirky spots to hunt out. This is epic Scandinavia at its best. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you then you probably won’t ever want to leave.
Do I need to explain why Paris is a fabulous location for lovers who want beautiful pre-wedding shots? Of course not. But here goes…
Paris is not called the City of Love by chance. Locations such as the Eiffel Tower, Versailles Palace, Notre-Dame, and the countless exquisite cafés that line the labyrinthine city streets – not to mention the bridges that line the Seine – are the very definition of romantic. There’s nowhere you can go and not find picture perfect scenes for your portraits. It’s a wedding photographer’s dream, (not that I’m biased).
Spain is undoubtedly a country of passion, and the landscape and cities are brimming with potential for couples wanting something different and atmospheric from their pre-wedding photos.
The Pyrenees alone are a wonder for any photographer, but with two of Europe’s most iconic cities – namely Madrid and Barcelona – not to mention beaches galore, and plenty of picture-perfect villages to explore – it’s a country that has so many layers to explore, and capture on film.
Croatia is one of my favourite Eastern European countries, with more islands than you could even begin to choose from and beaches that give Bali a serious run for its money. The natural choice for nature lovers, it also has the Dinaric Alps for some epic mountainous backdrops. If you haven’t been and have always fancied it, this could be the perfect way to explore and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Love mountains? Then you want Switzerland for your pre-wedding shoot.
It’s a cliché that the country’s majestic snow-capped Alps are like a chocolate box – especially when you take into account the medieval villages, crumbling chapels and ancient clocktowers – but there will be nothing overly sweet about your photos. It’s a stunning place to just hang out and be in love, and one of the best kept secrets on this list.
If you can’t decide between the romance of Paris and the quirkiness of Norway, Belgium might be your perfect compromise. It’s unique blend of medieval architecture, contemporary museums, unbeatable beer and legendary chocolatiers makes for a great combination. Bruges is for many the obvious choice, but Ghent and Antwerp both offer magnificent and highly unusual backdrops for your photos.
Destinations don’t get more welcoming than Portugal. With its culture, exceptional food scene, breath-taking cliff coastline and medieval treasures, it has pretty much everything you could want from any trip, and Lisbon offers a top-notch European capital city experience – complete with historic landmarks, edgy arts quarters, fabulous architecture and vintage funicular rail cars – at a fraction of the price of some of the others. And if that hasn’t convinced you, I just have three words for you: Portuguese. Custard. Tarts.
Paris may be the City of Love, but Santorini is the only ‘Island of love’, famous the world over for its gloriously clear Aegean waters, distinctive blue domes, and perfect white walls. The quality of light here is like nowhere else on earth, and pre-wedding shoots tend to end up with an ethereal quality that couples adore.
It’s also very relaxed – unlike many of the other cities I’ve mentioned – so you won’t wear yourselves out too much before your big day.