Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Candace & Jonathan PART 1: A Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot at the Irish War Memorial Gardens


More and more couples are going for a new trend on the wedding scene: pre-wedding photos.

With all the hussle and bussle of the wedding day, many brides and grooms are opting for a lower key, less intense, day-before (or even week or month before!) pre-wedding photo shoot. There are lots of reasons to consider this for your upcoming wedding.


Getting good photos out of your wedding day is like composing the perfect cocktail: it’s one part the couple’s energy, one part the photographer’s ability to read the couple and surroundings, one part weather and atmosphere, 1/2 tsp of hair and makeup, and two parts chemistry between the couple and photographer. If you and your photographer don’t mesh well or aren’t on the same page, it will read in the photos as clear as Waterford crystal. We do an excellent job at Waterlily Weddings matching you up to the right photographer, but some couples still have reservations or are unsure of their own choice (outside of our suggested vendors). Having a pre-wedding photo shoot helps you get to know each other before the big day, working out any nerves and making sure you’re all on the same page for the big day.

On another hand, some couples can’t decide between two photographers they love. Why choose when you can have both? Get the best of both worlds and schedule two independent photographers for two separate days!


A Dress Rehearsal

Some couples fret about the look of their wedding day: is the dress right? is the hair going to be perfect? the make up? Especially with destination weddings where it can get a little trickier about having those trial-run appointments. If this is something you’re concerned about, consider booking these vendors a day or two before your wedding day, then getting a photographer to take the shots. This lets you practice a bit with the styling and accessories before the big day.


Taking the Pressure Off

Some couples really get psyched out with the nerves, and having the wedding day itself really puts pressure on them. Add to that friends and family, wanting to spend time with them and actually enjoying your wedding day with them can be a little overwhelming for some couples. If you want those couple pictures, or single shots without the distraction of nosy and opinionated family members, consider having a pre-wedding photo shoot. This is a great time for you to be laid back, really be in the moment and space with your dress and each other, just you and the photographer having a large time allotment to work with the space, venue, and what Ireland has to offer. This way on your wedding day you can feel more relaxed that you got the important shots of the two of you and you can just enjoy the wedding day.


Candace & Jonathan

Everyone has their reasons to do a pre-wedding photo shoot. Some couples want to feature the pictures at their wedding.  Others wanted extended photos getting ready, boudoir shots, alone-time shots where its more bride or groom focused. Still others want the chance to explore beyond their venue location for their wedding day, and it’s just not feasible within the wedding day schedule to venture out too far. Whatever the reason, it’s worth thinking about if having a pre-wedding shoot might be the right fit for your dream destination wedding in Ireland.

For Candace and Jonathan, it very much was.


Their May wedding earlier this year began actually with a pre-wedding photo shoot at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin. These gardens are dedicated to the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died fighting in World War I. There is a memorial plaque inscribed with each of their names that can be viewed. Besides being a moving war memorial, the gardens themselves are quite exquisite. Designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Irish War Memorial Gardens are considered one of the most famous and beautiful memorial gardens of all Europe, and by looking through the pictures it’s obvious why.


We love that Candace and Jonathan decided to take their pictures here. It showcases yet another face of multi-faceted Ireland, and her gardens in beautiful spring glory. Candace is radiant in her dress, and Jonathan the picture of handsome groom. Check out the slideshow below. We know you’ll enjoy these gorgeous pictures by the very talented Studio Brown as much as we do.

Stay tuned for a full post on their epic dream destination elopement to Ireland coming very soon in Part 2!

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