Should You Have a Post-Wedding Photoshoot? Photographers Tell All.

Learn the pros and cons of getting your smize on after the "I dos."
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
by
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated Sep 28, 2023

There are typically lots of photoshoots involved when it comes to a wedding, starting with proposal photos and an engagement photoshoot, all the way to your wedding-day photos. Another photo session to add to your plans? A post-wedding photoshoot to shoot day after wedding photos, whether it's a couple post-wedding photoshoot or bridal portraits after the wedding. (Pro tip: The Knot Vendor Marketplace is the resource for finding the best wedding and post-wedding photographers.)

Keep reading to learn the benefits and drawbacks of having after-wedding photos taken to help you decide if it's the right option for you.

In this article:

What Is a Post-Wedding Photoshoot?

A post-wedding photoshoot is exactly as it sounds: a photo session that takes place after a couple's wedding. There's no exact timing for when a post-wedding photoshoot should take place. Catherine Taylor, owner of Woodland Fields Photography, says it can be done anytime, whether it's the day after the wedding, shortly after the couple's honeymoon or even a year after.

The magic of the post-wedding photoshoot lies in being able to capture couples portraits that you otherwise couldn't have on your wedding day. "This session is an opportunity for the couple to wear their wedding day attire again and have photos taken at a location of their choice without the stress of a timeline and guests," explains Tracy Autem, owner of Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography.

What Is the After Wedding Photoshoot Called?

"A post-wedding shoot has gone by many names over the years," Autem says. "Some will remember when trash-the-dress sessions were all the rage, but now that has transformed into what many call a romantic session or couples wedding portrait." Or, Taylor says, people simply refer to it as a post-wedding photoshoot, an after-the-wedding photoshoot or an "after session" for short.

Benefits of a Post-Wedding Photoshoot

You've already had your photos taken on your actual wedding day, so why go through all the trouble of having a post-wedding photoshoot? Learn the benefits of having one below.

You can opt for better locations.

One of the biggest reasons why couples opt to have a post-wedding photoshoot is that they have more control over the outcome of the photos than they would on their actual wedding day, particularly when it comes to timing and selecting their dream photoshoot location. "If there's a location that doesn't make sense on the wedding day to have photos done, or it doesn't work with timing, this is a great time to be able to use a location that might be important or more picturesque for the couple, instead of a parking lot of a church or venue," Taylor says.

In other words, the creative possibilities are endless, and a post-wedding photoshoot is an opportunity to get all the dream photos you wanted but couldn't get on your actual wedding day. "There is no limit to your imagination when it comes to location for this shoot, and you could even redo your vows for an extra special moment," Autem adds.

It's a chance for a redo.

Everything won't go exactly as planned on your wedding day. For instance, Autem says, the weather may not have been ideal, and you weren't able to get the couples portraits you really wanted in your wedding attire, or you didn't like how your hair looked on the day of. No matter the reason, a post-wedding photoshoot is an opportunity to quite literally have a redo so you can still have the couple's photos of your dreams and perhaps even try out different wedding photography poses. Remember, these photos are meant to last a lifetime. It's important that you get exactly what you envisioned.

You get more time to enjoy your wedding day.

A wedding timeline is typically jam-packed, so another added perk of booking a post-wedding photoshoot is that you don't have to stress about trying to squeeze in time for couples portraits on your wedding day which takes you away from enjoying the reception and celebrating with friends and family members. "An after-session is more laid back than the wedding day because the stress of the day has passed," Taylor says. "The focus of the couple is on photos and not FOMO on being with friends and family."

Post-Wedding Photoshoot Considerations

Before saying yes to a post-wedding photoshoot, here are the top things to consider to ensure it's the right option for you and your partner.

It will cost more.

Getting all dressed up again in your wedding attire, hiring a photographer, and possibly having your hair and makeup redone for the post-wedding photoshoot will all come with an added cost that must be factored into your total wedding budget. The post-wedding photoshoot cost alone will vary on the photographer and location but typically starts at $750 and up, Taylor says. Plus, Taylor says, depending on your vision for the post-wedding photoshoot, there may be other added costs, such as dry cleaning your wedding outfits and ordering a duplicate bouquet and/or boutonniere. It can quickly add up.

It takes more time.

In addition to the monetary cost, scheduling a post-wedding photoshoot will also cost you time and energy. For some couples, that's not a big deal, especially if they have their heart set on getting the perfect wedding photos. However, other couples, Taylor says, may be ready to close that chapter of their lives once their wedding day is over, so that's something to keep in mind.

The details may not be exactly the same.

Since you're not taking these photos on your wedding day, the details may not be exactly as they were on the day of. For example, Taylor says your dress might have gotten dirty, you may not fit into your wedding attire anymore, or your hair may be different from how you wore it on your wedding day. For these reasons, Taylor and Autem recommend not waiting too long after the wedding for an after-session. "Time is of the essence if you want the photos to closely match your wedding images," Autem says.

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