Is a day-before coverage (also called a pre-wedding session) different from an engagement session?

YES! Before we dive into the pros of day-before coverage, let's get clear on this question. An engagement session usually happens months (or even a year) before a wedding. Couples often use photos from an engagement session for their save-the-dates and wedding websites. A pre-wedding session or day-before coverage happens the day or night before the wedding/elopement. For the purposes of this post, I'll be using "wedding" and "elopement" interchangeably.

So, what are the benefits of a pre-wedding session?

  1. Builds trust with your photographer. Chances are that you haven't gotten to spend a whole ton of time with your photographer aside from an engagement session and planning phone calls. This is a great chance to build more familiarity, ease, and trust. When you trust the photographer, your photos turn out next-level awesome.
  2. Gets you comfortable being in front of the camera. Even if you did engagement photos, months have likely passed since then and you might be feeling nervous about being in the spotlight. Getting in front of a camera makes many people feel vulnerable! Day-before coverage helps you work out those nerves and discomfort ahead of the big day.
  3. Fights the wedding jitters. Even though my husband and I eloped, I was still extremely nervous the day before our ceremony. Society puts a lot of pressure on us to have the "most perfect day ever." I so badly wish I'd had a fun activity like a pre-wedding session the night before to distract me and help me to block out the feelings of anxiety.
  4. Gets you more casual photos. You know you're going to have tons of pictures in your wedding finery. But what about something more casual? Sometimes these are even more special to couples because it's closer to their everyday reality. And our everyday realities are usually not professionally documented.
  5. Gets you photos in a second location. Maybe my favorite reason to do day-before coverage, ESPECIALLY if you're coming to a place like Death Valley for your nuptials. The variety of scenery here is incredible. More coverage lets you take advantage of this and gets you photos in a location that was maybe your second choice or just not realistic for the day-of.
  6. Removes the pressure and lets you CHILL. Makeup, hair, guests, timelines, food, music. So many things to think about on a wedding day! A pre-wedding session has none of those external pressures or extra eyes on you. It's just you and your love, soaking up some alone time together before the whirlwind of your wedding day.
  7. Allows for more creativity because there isn't a timeline. I love a good timeline as much as the next person. But they are inherently limiting in order to fit in all the components of a wedding day. Day-before coverage lets us slow down, think outside the box, experiment, and co-create some magical photographs.

At the end of the day, no one ever regrets having more photographs from such a special time in their lives. Check out a few of my favorite shots from Cassandra and Seth's pre-wedding session below or read about their full elopement experience here.

I offer discounted pre-wedding sessions to all of my wedding and elopement clients. Inquire about hiring me for your own wedding or session here. I can't wait to work with you!