Salman Rahat

Location Scouting for Wedding Photography: How to Choose the Perfect Backdrop for Wedding Shoots

wedding photography

We know how important it is to capture the happy couple in all their newlywed glory. However, choosing the perfect location as a backdrop can be overwhelmingly difficult when there are so many potential venues to consider. Taking the time to thoughtfully scout and select wedding photo shoot locations results in those effortlessly romantic, joy-filled images that the bride and groom will cherish forever.

By keeping venue style, lighting, and personal meaning in mind and exploring beyond just the ceremony and reception sites, you’ll be able to provide your clients with stunning photographs of their special day.

Looking Beyond the Church

Of course, photographers love shooting in churches; the stained glass windows and high ceilings make for such dramatic ceremony photos. However, we highly suggest considering unique, non-traditional venues like barns, botanical gardens, vineyards, museums, or historic buildings. Getting married somewhere meaningful to the couple allows their personalities to really shine through in the wedding photos. These venues offer rare photo opportunities you simply can’t get in a traditional church setting.

  • Barns can provide a rustic, country-chic vibe with lots of natural wood and string lights.
  • Lush gardens are ideal for capturing romantic floral arrangements and greenery backdrops.
  • Vineyards give an elegant, sophisticated mood with rows of vines and rolling hills.
  • Museums and historic sites offer the chance to highlight local culture and architecture in images.

Taking photos outside the norm imparts a cool, distinctive flair. The lighting is also often better than in dark churches. And details like stone walls, chandeliers, and antique furniture provide gorgeous textures. Always scout potential non-traditional venues in advance to envision how best to utilize the spaces for stunning photos the couple will cherish. And platforms like Wezoree will allow you to easily showcase your portfolio of wedding images, attract potential new clients, and grow your business!

Vibing with the Reception

The reception space really sets the visual tone for all the party photos, so put care into choosing a location that aligns with the couple’s overall wedding style and vision. Look at important details like the formality of the bride and groom’s attire, the style of decor they’ve selected, and the vibe of the event they hope to create.

While picturesque scenery steals the spotlight in wedding photos, don’t underestimate the power of the reception venue. It should seamlessly blend with the wedding’s overall aesthetic so as to be an extension of the couple’s love story. Imagine a rustic barn wedding basking in the warm glow of string lights that perfectly complements the tones of the couple’s attire and the crafted bands from mens wedding

A glitzy ballroom with chandeliers, glossy floors, and draped fabric complements that black-tie affair, with the bride dressed in a dazzling sequined gown and the groom sporting an ultra-sleek tuxedo. Or if it’s a laid-back barn wedding with the bride in cowboy boots and the groom in jeans, make sure to search for rustic farm or orchard venues nearby that really channel that casual, country vibe they’re going for.

Cohesively matching the reception space to the couple’s attire and decor choices results in stylish, purposeful photos that feel completely pulled together. Check that the lighting at the venue will be optimal during the reception timeline as well. Dark, uneven lighting can kill the mood, so ample natural light streaming through windows or string lights is ideal.

Finding a reception venue that brings all the details together into one complementary, vibrant space is key for fantastic party photos they’ll love.

Lighting Is Everything

This one is absolutely key—you have to meticulously evaluate the lighting at all potential venues, inside and out. Choosing a space with ample, flattering natural light available during the planned shoot times is ideal. Aim to avoid venues with only dark, moody, artificial lighting if you can. Bonus points if the location offers large windows streaming in sunshine or beautiful outdoor spots where you can move around following the light during the Golden Hour.

We know how incredibly important lighting is for gorgeous, professional-looking images. Something we especially admire about wedding photographers in NYC is their mastery of using light, whether it’s finding pockets of natural light along shaded city streets or knowing exactly how to set up reflectors and artificial lighting in urban loft venues.

Carefully assessing and maximizing available lighting ensures your clients have well-lit, vibrant photos where details sparkle. Check the lighting at all times of day to determine how the venue will look during the actual event. Come prepared with reflectors and extra lighting if needed to compensate for any lighting challenges a space may have. Take the time to guarantee excellent illumination results in bright, balanced images the couple will adore.

Exploring the Neighborhood

Don’t limit yourselves to just the ceremony and reception venues when scouting; the surrounding neighborhoods offer amazing backdrops too! Here are some of the go-to spots to complement the couple’s big day:

  • Old bridges: capture romantic shots of the couple embracing on an aged stone bridge over a stream or river. Moss and vines add organic texture.
  • Quaint downtowns: find bright murals, coffee shops, boutiques, and empty alleyways to use as cool urban backdrops.
  • Public parks: lush gardens, fountain sculptures, gazebos, and fields of wildflowers provide natural beauty.
  • Waterfronts: lakes, beaches, marinas, and harbors offer serene waterside locations. Look for piers, boats, and boardwalks too.
  • Architecture: shoot in front of striking churches, ornate theaters, modern skyscrapers, or old brick warehouses.
  • Street art: vibrant murals by local artists liven up urban spaces with color and culture.
  • Signage: Photograph the couple in front of a meaningful restaurant name or vintage neon motel sign.

The surrounding neighborhood offers an abundance of photo possibilities beyond the venues if you take the time to walk and explore it yourself. Discovering hidden scenic spots allows you to provide the couples with even more unique, artistic wedding photos they’ll treasure forever. It pays to scout beyond the sites!


With the perfect mix of venues, thoughtful lighting checks, and neighborhood exploration, you can ensure stunning wedding photos. Most importantly, finding meaningful locations for the couple adds heart and depth to the images. Capturing their love story in a special place is what it’s all about!

Leave a Comment