Dumbo, a cobbled stone neighborhood in Brooklyn with spectacular views of Manhattan skyline and picturesque backgrounds. It is no wonder that Dumbo is one of the most popular destinations in NYC for wedding photoshoot. But don’t forget that large crowds are part of the city and having lots of strangers in the background of your pictures is probably not what you want. So make sure you continue reading so you can plan the picture perfect pre-wedding photoshoot at Dumbo!
1. Plan ahead
While Dumbo is not a large neighborhood, it has so many trendy places great for photos. To get the best out of your photoshoot, you might want to decide which spots you want to take pictures to avoid rushing through your session. Not familiar with NYC? That’s ok! We have some suggestions for you:
- Brooklyn Bridge Park: imagine the park where you can capture the iconic Manhattan skyline along with Brooklyn Bridge. If you have time, walk around the park and you will get different backgrounds that add variety to your photos
- Intersection of Washington Street and Water Street: one of the most Instagram-worthy hot spot of Dumbo. The cobbled street and old fashioned red brick buildings with the iconic Manhattan Bridge in the back. This location is a must especially if you travel to NYC for your pre-wedding photoshoot
- Jane’s Carousel: located in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The carousel is super romantic and colorful- perfect for your pre-wedding photoshoot! Be sure to check the hours of operation. You definitely will want the pictures taken when the carousel is lit up. If you are heading in to the carousel to take pictures, make sure to check the policy guideline and make reservations as needed
- St. Ann’s Warehouse: a performing arts institution that makes the perfect pre-wedding photoshoot. The red brick building and outdoor park makes the perfect background for your romantic photos. If you are an arts person, maybe catch a show after your photoshoot!
- Dumbo Walls: brightly colored murals with different artistic styles. It is easy to imagine how great these walls are for your pre-wedding photoshoot background. Our favorite is MOMO and Stefan Sagmeister that has the word “YES!”
- Brooklyn Bridge: if you have time, make sure you stroll through the bridge. This location is perfect for sunrise/sunset photos. Make sure that you go super early in the morning or late at night to avoid overcrowding- because it will definitely get crowded no matter which day you go. The bridge is long but you don’t need to cross the whole bridge to take perfect pre-wedding photos. Just walk to the middle and you got the pictures with iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Check out Kala and Eli’s engagement photoshoot at Brooklyn Bridge.
There are simply so many tiny spots around Dumbo for your pre-wedding shoot. So make sure you do your research before the session. Or if you have extra time, walk around the neighborhood and maybe you will catch a hidden gem!
2. Get up early
To avoid crowds, make sure you get up early and arrive at Dumbo early. The best bet would be the hours before stores open. If you can, try to have the photoshoot on a weekday rather than weekend. As you can imagine, weekends get very busy with tourists and locals alike. It is a great idea to take the pre-wedding pictures at Brooklyn Bridge first, then walk across the bridge to Dumbo. Brooklyn Bridge is perfect location to catch sunrise or sunset. But we recommend sunrise as there will be less crowds early in the morning. So make sure you check the sunrise times the day before you head over!
3. Stay at a hotel or Airbnb in Dumbo
Because you will have to get to Dumbo early in the morning, we strongly recommend that you stay at a hotel or Airbnb either in Dumbo or somewhere close by. Sometimes NYC subway is unpredictable, and you also want to avoid the notorious NYC traffic. Being stuck on the subway simply adds a layer of stress. If you are not familiar with the city, we recommend these hotels that are convenient for your photoshoot so you can quickly get to your photo location:
- 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
- The Tillary
- NU Hotel
- The Williamsburg Hotel
- The Box House Hotel
- McCarren Hotel and Pool
4. Prepare your styling
While some couples choose to wear their wedding dress and suits for the pre-wedding photoshoot, you might want to dress however you and your partner prefer. No matter what you decide, we recommend that the couple match in terms of style and/or color. If you wish, bring 2-3 different outfits so you can add variety: one that is more formal and one casual. For brides who plan to wear high heels for photoshoot, we suggest that you bring a pair of walking shoes to change. If you plan to commit further, partner with a stylist to do your hair and makeup for the photoshoot. If you are not local, make sure you ask your photographer to see if they have any recommendations on stylists. Check out Sylvia and Wentao’s pre-wedding photoshoot here!
5. Communicate with your photographer
Make sure you and your photographer agree on the location and time where you will meet for your photoshoot. Finding the intersections and navigating through the streets can be confusing for some, so if you are unsure, find a bigger landmark where you can find your photographer.
Looking for a professional photographer for your pre-wedding photoshoot? We can help!