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Image by Amanda VanVels Photography via Alissa and Joe’s Backyard Circus Wedding

Meeting up with your soon-to-be spouse for some pre-ceremony photos is becoming more and more popular. Sure, there are many couples who would prefer to stick with tradition, but if you’re thinking twice about that option, here’s my list of pros and cons:

The great things about pre-ceremony photos:

1. If you decide on a pre-ceremony photo session, you get to spend so much more of your wedding day with the love of your life! Savour the kisses, hugs, hand-holding, smiles and laughter – they’ll make for some very special memories. This is a chance for the two of you to relax and just enjoy hanging out together on your day!

2. The “first look” is done and you’re feeling beautiful, confident and (hopefully) less nervous for the walk down the aisle. But don’t go thinking just because you’ve already seen each other it will be any less magical. I’ve stood beside many grooms who’ve had a pre-ceremony photo shoot, and they’re still just as overjoyed/awestruck/emotional when the bride makes her entrance!

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Image by Chloe Jones of White Images via Kahli and Shane’s Intimate Marquee Wedding

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Image by Nicolle Versteeg Photography via Liz and John’s Stylish Outdoor Wedding

3. There won’t be a mad rush to make the most of the daylight after your ceremony. That means you have extra time to celebrate with your guests and enjoy those yummy canapés you spent hours choosing.

4. Have a chat with your photographer and plan the “reveal”– this can be a beautiful moment between the two of you!

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Images by Van Middleton via Briana and Jono’s Deux Belettes Wedding

5. Pre-ceremony happy snaps will mean your hair and makeup will be looking their best earlier in the day and that’s handy to remember, especially if you’re marrying in summer.

The not so good things about pre-ceremony photos:

1. If you’re a big believer in superstition and have always dreamt of seeing your love for the first time as you walk down the aisle then don’t feel pressured to do otherwise. Remember – your wedding day is all about what you both want and there’s something romantic about following tradition.

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Image by Chris Allsop Photography via Lauren and Brendon’s Delightful Daylesford Wedding


Image by Natural Family Photography

2. All the very important people in your life will be witness to that very special moment when you and your soon-to-be spouse see each other for the first time on your wedding day. That’s such a privilege for your loved ones to be a part of.

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Image by Zoe McMahon via Beatrice & Steve’s Autumn Butterland Wedding



Image by White Rabbit Productions

3. In all the pre-ceremony pics, you’re not actually husband and wife yet. When you look at your wedding portraits in years to come, is that going to bother you? You may decide it’s best to go for the ‘just married’, deliriously happy look.

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Image by David Henry via Jessica and James’ Waterside Relaxed Sydney Wedding


Image by Tori and Sal

4.  A pre-ceremony photo shoot may mean there’s a chance your dress may get dirty (if you’re dragging it around sand or grass) and if it’s very windy or humid, your hair can get messy. Don’t forget you’ll need to re-apply the lipstick too!

5. And finally, you’ll get more beauty sleep! If you skip the earlier photo session you’ll have a little more rest and relax time on one of the most important days of your lives.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Great advice Melissa, thanks! Whether your photos are taken pre or post ceremony, the special “first look” photograph is always a heart melter!

About Melissa Polimeni Marriage Celebrant: I love weddings and I love what I do. As a celebrant, my job is getting to know couples and crafting memorable marriage ceremonies – and that’s always such a pleasure and privilege.