Finding The Perfect Wedding Day Portrait Location » Joel and Amber Photography Blog

Finding The Perfect Wedding Day Portrait Location


Jan 31, 2019

bride and groom portrait

Wedding Tips and Advice // Wedding Photographers Huntsville Alabama

Are you dreaming of gorgeous outdoor wedding day portraits, but…you’re getting married in a church that’s surrounded by parking lots instead of trees? Maybe you chose your venue for specific reasons, but you aren’t loving the outdoor portrait options.

What’s a bride to do? 

We sometimes get this question from brides who really want to get married at their church – yet still really want pictures with a background a little more dreamy than parking lots and red brick.

If you find yourself in this dilemma, read on! We have two questions to get you on the right track for the pictures you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Does your reception venue have some outdoor places that you love?

If so, you can definitely take advantage of that! Work with your photographer to create a timeline that will allow 15-20 minutes of bride and groom portraits once you arrive at your reception venue. Provide a simple cocktail hour for your guests to enjoy while you’re taking these portraits. After your bride and groom portraits, you can head straight into the reception or private meal!

We also always recommend creating a place in your timeline for sunset portraits. {Click here for 2 easy ways to make that happen!} Here in the south, this usually falls during the reception. If your timeline works out perfectly, you might even be taking those bride and groom portraits right during the golden hour!

Even if you choose to put some special reception venue bride and groom portraits into your timeline, we definitely recommend taking that you still take a few portraits at your ceremony venue! Every part of the wedding day has unique emotions and memories. You’ll definitely want to capture those moments of being together before the ceremony, even if there are more parking lots than trees. Your photographer will find the best possible place and make it look good!

bride and groom burritt on the mountain

2. Is there a park or green area within a 5-10 minute drive from your church/venue?

This option takes a little bit more time and planning, but it’s so worth the pictures you’ll be cherishing forever.

Because you’re adding in 10-20 minutes of driving time, plus the time it takes to get in and out of the car (not to mention walking in and around the park), this will probably require a little extra room in your timeline. Most of the time, you can add on an extra hour a la carte or choose a package that has enough coverage time to give you everything you need.

But that budget…

We totally understand that this might mean stretching your budget just a little more to add that extra time. But in the end, money comes and goes. But these pictures you’ve always dreamed of? You’ll have them for the rest of your lives – and there’s no going back for a re-do. If your heart would love pictures with a style different than what your venue offers, it’s so worth it!

The bigger the park, the more options your photographer will have with light during the middle of the day. They’ll typically be looking for areas with shade – under trees, next to buildings, and places like that. Just ask your photographer where they’d recommend you go! Every photographer has a different style, so he or she will know best how to make it happen for you.

bride and groom dancing the ledges

3. A park isn’t what you’re looking for?

The same concepts apply for whatever your style is! Our couples (and our style) tend to gravitate toward gardens, parks, and historic neighborhoods. If your style falls into a totally different category, just find the dreamy location that’s right for you!

The best advice we can always give is to talk to your photographer about what you really want. They’ll be able to find you the options that best match your styles and wedding day timeline.

Did you decide to go off-site for any of your wedding day portraits? Share your experience below with other readers!



Looking for more wedding day tips? Discover 2 easy ways to schedule romantic portraits into your timeline or learn 5 tips for knocking “thank you notes” off your to-do list easily and painlessly.

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