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Popular Wedding Photography Locations


Written by Emma R. 

Emma is a freelance writer and blogger in weddings, marriage advice, food blog, fashion and more...

Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life, so it makes sense that you’d want to commemorate it properly with plenty of photos. Clothing, decorations, food, and music choices all contribute to the overall success of the wedding; however, only the photos will be there for you to revisit year after year. A photogenic location is essential if you want your photos to be truly special. With the average couple spending over $10,000 on the wedding venue and over $2,400 on the photographer, these aren’t decisions that are made lightly.


Why the Location Matters

A venue or location will heavily influence the theme and styling of a wedding. The lighting, backdrop, scenery, decor and layout are just some of the features that will impact your photographs. How your wedding is themed will need to align with the location and photography style. For example, if you’re going for a hippy wedding look, a natural setting like woodland or the beach would be most appropriate for beautiful photos.

There is no one-size-fits all location. We at Madani have compiled a list of some of the best wedding photography locations, so you’ll be able to remember your special day for decades. 



Neo-Gothic Churches and Cathedrals

An estimated 25% of all couples regard their faith as a fundamental aspect of their relationship, which is why churches and other places of worship will likely always be a popular wedding location. Look for intricate architectural details like stained glass, tall ceilings, and carved wooden decorations. Traditional cathedrals modeled in the neo-Gothic style are especially beautiful and make for dramatic photographs. A particularly photogenic feature are the carved wooden arches that lead into long stone hallways. Royal weddings are almost always held in grand cathedrals. If you like the idea of being King for the day, check out some of these stunning royal decor and setting ideas published by British Vogue. Because these historic churches are older, the lighting can be tricky for photography. If possible, visit the venue at different times during the day with your photographer to plan around the lighting and discover when the stunning details are illuminated best. Gothic settings can look fantastic in black and white, so if you are wearing a black tuxedo with an all-in-white bride, photographs in this setting can be particularly amazing. If you are an alternative couple or follow a niche fashion style, gothic settings can also help to enhance your individuality and bring out your inner character.



Waterfront Areas

Most couples are familiar with the classic beachside wedding, but the beach isn’t the only waterfront property that photographs beautifully. Any kind of water can add an extra dash of personality into your wedding. A babbling brook creates an enchanted forest atmosphere, a pond with fountains can be elegant both during the day and night, and a rushing river offers rustic charm. Beach weddings will always be a popular choice, with over 21% of all couples choosing a coastal location, but they can lack the personal, unique touches many couples seek. A nearby lake, river, brook, or pond can still provide the natural light and sparkling water the beach offers, but in a more inimitable way. If your photographer is particularly skilled, they can use reflection techniques to create mirror imaging. Even a puddle can be used to create a gorgeous reflection photograph of the bride in her attire. Check out these reflection techniques for inspiration.



Museums are becoming increasingly popular as wedding and reception venues. While country clubs and hotels were once one of the top contenders for wedding venues, they are dropping rapidly in popularity and non-traditional venues are taking their place. Museums and art galleries top the list of non-traditional wedding venues for good reason. The common spaces lend themselves well to large gatherings and many of the architectural details and displays make for lovely backdrops, not to mention your guests will never feel bored because an entire museum is available for them to enjoy. Even sparsely decorated or industrial museums and art galleries can easily be made into a soft, intimate spaces with the addition of fairy lights or flowers.

Additionally, a museum or art gallery will reflect your personalities and interests. A self-proclaimed dinosaur lover or history professor will likely feel more at home in a natural science museum than in a country club. And let’s not rule out large libraries either. Those huge stacks of books can provide the ultimate photo backdrop. Whatever you’re into, we bet you can find a gallery, museum or similar venue that reflects your passions.



Aquariums are another fantastic non-traditional wedding photography location. Many aquariums, like the Georgia Aquarium, even offer dedicated event spaces you can rent out for the evening. The photos can be jaw dropping with the right lighting, and it offers a chance for the couple to get some unique pictures with their favorite sea creatures. Because of the stunning backdrop, decorations can be minimal without losing any of the elegant impact. Anyone with passion for the water and wildlife is sure to love being surrounded by life under the sea with a wedding at an aquarium. If there isn’t a dedicated team of photographers provided at your aquarium, visit the venue with your photographer so they can perfect the lighting without the use of harsh flashes.


Town Plaza or Historical Building

Cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and manicured gardens are all easily found in town plazas or outside historical buildings. While it might be more difficult to arrange the event with the city, it’s worth the effort and there’s nothing more romantic than taking a stroll down a tree-lined street in the city where you met your significant other or your favorite library. Even small areas like charming alleys can be refined with market lights and the right decorations.

12% of all couples choose to be married at a historical building, many of which are often adjacent to the town square. This is a marked increase for good reason. The chance to incorporate history, whether that be the town’s history or your own personal history, is appealing and ensures your wedding will be unique. The historic architecture, statues, clocktowers, or other landmarks often create backdrops for photos that are both beautiful and unique. Additionally, you’ll always be able to revisit your special place without bothering to book a room or buy a ticket!




If you love nature and want to spend a minimal amount on decorations, gardens are the ideal wedding photography venue. Gardens naturally grow beautiful flora and fauna, which not only reduces the budget for decorations, but also provides gorgeous photo opportunities. Natural light, romantic benches, and lush greenery all contribute to the dreamy atmosphere. A wedding during the day will result in colorful photos teeming with wildlife and natural elegance, while a nighttime event will be especially romantic with market lights and flower-lined paths. A wedding at a garden offers the natural landscape and atmosphere a barn or forest promises but with an elegant twist. Manicured hedges and landscaped trees will please even the most nature-averse while the sunshine and florae will appeal to a lover of the outdoors.


Covid19 Wedding Photography Locations

It is currently impossible to know where will and won’t be open during your wedding month. What’s available now may be closed when it comes to your big day. Covid-19 is unpredictable and therefore you must make sure you either select somewhere that’s likely to be available during a lockdown, or have a backup plan. A garden or beach, for example, may be the safest options because they are outdoors and therefore less likely to be closed to the public if the pandemic rages in that area. But if you do have an indoor location in mind, check with the owner in advance. Ask them what their plan is if there is a need to shut or restrict services. Ask them if they have any creative Plan Bs that you can utilize in a worst-case-scenario. Finally, ask your photographer about their Covid-19 practises and policies. Depending which state (or country) you’re in, photographers may be taking precautions or offering a limited service. Preparation is key, and there is no need to cancel your big day due to a wedding photography fail. As long as you’re proactive, you can enjoy beautiful wedding photos for the rest of your life

Keep in mind that while the memories of the day fade, photographs will be around to remind you of your special day. For this reason, it’s important that the venue photographs well. Lighting, backdrops, and even negative space should all be considered, because even if you think you found your ideal venue, bad lighting will cast a shadow on your precious memories.

Want your wedding photographs to feature stunning wedding rings? Of course you do! Check out our huge selection of wedding rings to really enhance your wedding photos.


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