Best Locations for Memorable Wedding Photos

"One of the most important elements to creating the perfect wedding photo is location." Best Locations for Memorable Wedding Photography

I haven’t met a happy couple yet that doesn’t want their wedding photographs to show off their personalities. There are lots of elements that are brought together to create the perfect wedding photo and one of the most important is location.

As a bride or groom, you have chosen your wedding venue to suit you. While this is a good enough reason to take photographs of your now special place, you may decide that your venue isn’t as picturesque as you would like. I find that many couples are now opting to have some wedding photographs taken at an alternative location to complement those taken at the official venue. This is also a good excuse to slope off in peace for an hour or so and enjoy some time away from your guests together as a newly married couple.

If you would like to have photos taken somewhere other than your venue, I’ve found the following locations to be popular right now for memorable wedding photos:

Best Locations for Memorable Wedding Photography | Photo by Yakir Zur |
Photo by Yakir Zur
  1. Woods. Trees make a fabulous, natural backdrop and provide interesting lighting. Woods are associated with nature and intimacy – perfect for weddings! It is better to take photos during the summer when the trees are lusher and greener and the ground not so muddy, but your wedding photography can also look good covered in snow.
  2. The Park. Like the woods, parks are green and natural but also tend to be more formal and neater. If you like manicured lawns and flowers, then a formal gardens area of the park is best.
  3. A beach. If you’re lucky enough to live on the coast or by a large river, then the beach is a good option. Pebbled beaches work as well visually as sandy shores. If the skies are not as blue and sunny as you would like, beach shots also work in black and white, allowing beach photography to be a good option all year round.
  4. Old buildings. Your wedding venue might be thoroughly modern but you can add character to your photos by seeking out old buildings as a backdrop. Castle or abbey ruins are perfect, but I have also taken photos by working cathedrals – you don’t have to have been married somewhere to use it as a photo background. For more edgy photos, abandoned warehouses and factories make interesting photos full of urban decay chic. Also, shots in retro American diners are fast growing in popularity.
  5. Memorable locations. Special places don’t have to be scenic. Your photos can be taken at a place that means something to you. Maybe this is somewhere where you met, or your favourite restaurant, or your local football grounds. Photos can be taken almost anywhere. Be inventive – you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing!
Best Locations for Memorable Wedding Photography | Photo by Yakir Zur |
Photo by Yakir Zur

Just remember – wherever you plan to take your photos you must first of all discuss it with your photographer. The photographer will need to bring the right equipment to make the most of the light and color and may want to do some practice shots in advance of your wedding day.

You should also check out the location at the time of day you will be having your photos. It’s no good planning a beach wedding shoot if the tide will be in, or in a park if there will be too many people around. You also might want to do a visit to the location the day before to check for debris or other unsightly items you won’t want to be moving once you are wearing a suit or a white dress. Preparation is everything. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best, and your photographer will do the rest!

Yakir Zur started his career as an apprentice photographer many years ago in Israel. After spending some years in journalism, he returned to his first love of photography and has now been capturing life’s special experiences on film for over 20 years. These days he specializes in wedding, Bar Mitzvah and corporate photography. You can view Mr. Zur’s work here:

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3 thoughts on “Best Locations for Memorable Wedding Photos

  1. I love taking couples off-site for wedding photos, especially if the venue doesn’t have a great place for pictures. Things to think about – It takes twice as long to move around with a large group (people are late, people wander off, cars get separated in traffic), so pad your timeline to allow for this. Consider hiring a limo or small bus to transport everyone around (that way you know everyone shows up at once!)

    1. Oh my goodness, yes! People do wander off so easily at weddings. There’s food. And hey, look! There’s Uncle Larry, who we haven’t seen in years. Ha!

      Mass transport is a great idea. We’ve seen the small bus used to great effect. One couple we know hired a trolley (San Francisco) and it made for the best pictures.

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