March 25, 2024


Choosing a historic wedding venue offers a unique blend of romance, charm, and timelessness that can make your special day truly unforgettable. As a lover of stories and the beauty that comes from layers of history, I find historic wedding venue photography not just a task but a journey through time, capturing love stories amidst the backdrop of places rich with tales of their own. Here are some meticulously curated tips to ensure your historic wedding venue photography resonates with the depth, elegance, and timeless beauty that such spaces embody.

1. Embrace the Venue’s Character

Each historic venue carries its own unique character, from Gothic arches and Victorian detailing to Art Deco glamor and rustic barn beams. Embracing this character in your photography means more than just capturing it as a backdrop; it’s about weaving your story into the very fabric of the venue’s history. Look for architectural details, vintage textures, and period decor that can serve as meaningful elements in your photos. This approach not only honors the venue’s heritage but also adds a rich layer of depth to your images.

2. Natural Light is Your Best Friend

Historic venues often feature elements like grand windows, stained glass, and open courtyards, offering beautiful natural light sources. Use this light to your advantage to create soft, romantic images that feel as timeless as the venue itself. The golden hour, just after sunrise or before sunset, provides a particularly beautiful quality of light for both portraits and atmospheric shots, highlighting the venue’s details with a warm, golden glow.

3. Incorporate the Surroundings

Many historic venues are nestled within stunning landscapes or feature beautifully manicured gardens and courtyards. Take the time to explore the surroundings and incorporate these elements into your photography. Whether it’s a serene garden, a majestic tree-lined driveway, or the intricate exterior facades, these elements can add a breathtaking sense of place and time to your wedding photos.

4. Capture the Intimacy

While the grandeur of historic venues is undeniably impressive, some of the most touching and memorable photographs are those that capture intimate moments within these grand spaces. Look for cozy nooks, dramatic staircases, and quiet corners where you can capture the closeness and personal moments of the couple against the backdrop of the venue’s splendor. These contrasts between the intimate and the majestic can create profoundly moving and beautiful images.

5. Be Mindful of Lighting Challenges

The charm of historic venues often comes with the challenge of mixed lighting conditions, especially in interiors with limited natural light or in spaces illuminated by vintage lamps and chandeliers. Working with a photographer who is skilled in handling such conditions (oh, hey!), using the right equipment, and knowing when to employ additional lighting sources or techniques can ensure that the warmth and ambiance of the venue are preserved in your photos.

6. Tell a Story

Ultimately, historic wedding venue photography is about telling a story—not just the story of your wedding day, but also the story of a place that has stood the test of time. Strive to capture images that speak to the continuity of love and tradition, weaving together the past and present into a narrative that will be cherished for generations to come.

Photographing a wedding in a historic venue offers a unique opportunity to capture the essence of love set against a backdrop of history and beauty. With a thoughtful approach that respects and highlights the venue’s character, your wedding photos can transcend time, becoming a part of the venue’s ongoing story as much as it becomes a part of yours.

Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer (and handcrafter and designer on the side). She serves elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullestSee more about the KLP Wedding Experience!

On Mondays we educate! Check out the blog every Monday for a new post to help you plan your wedding your way! Find past posts here!

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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