Our Top Picks For The Best Pre-Nup Shoot Destinations In The Philippines
Going local for your big day can give you some of the most breathtaking results you can't capture anywhere else in the world
We know how much of a headache it can be to plan for a wedding! There's so much going on and so many options to choose from that it's an almost impossible feat to do on your own without help or insider's information.
Well, to help you get through the process—which you should still enjoy, no matter how dizzying it might get!—we've covered some rather important ground for such a big day: scouting for the perfection location for your pre-nup shoot that won't only be beautiful, but meaningful to you and your spouse, too.
Where to go: Basco, Batanes
Why we're in love with it: Its landscape made up of craggy cliff faces, rugged mountain tops, misty waves, and omnipresent clouds transport you to a totally different world. These surroundings make it so easy to imagine that you and your significant other are exploring the unfamiliar together (much like the rest of your life after marriage), albeit confidently, side by side. We also can't talk about Basco without mentioning its landmark lighthouse that could also anchor a naval-themed shoot!
Who it's best for: The couple who wants to showcase another side of Philippine beauty
Where to go: Balesin Island, Polilio, Quezon
Why we're in love with it: Here's a classic, reliable destination. If you and your spouse-to-be are the type to show off the best that the Philippines can offer tropical scenery-wise, this place is for you. It's a stunning balance between the seaside property's natural beauty and manmade developments that fit in seamlessly with the environment. During the shoot, you get to enjoy all the perks of having one of the Philippines' most popular island destinations in your backyard while also having the conveniences of luxury accommodation at your fingertips—the best of both worlds. Be inspired by Tessa Prieto-Valdes' fashion editorial-like shoot at the Italian-inspired "Toscana" village in Balesin, complete with a Ferrari Portofino to complement the exclusivity of the island. The Italian luxury sports car was transported to Balesin specifically for the photo shoot done to celebrate Tessa and her husband Dennis' silver wedding anniversary. Her solo shoot was just one of the several shoots the couple did during their four-day photo shoot session there.
Who it's best for: The couple who loves luxe resort living
Where to go: Bon Bon and Tiamban beaches, Romblon
Why we're in love with them: Not everyone is lucky enough to get their photos taken on these beaches, let alone stage an all-out pre-wedding photo shoot. That's because these beaches (which are actually large sandbars), although truly breathtaking, disappear into their watery homes at high tide and only become large enough to enjoy during low tide. However, that's not to say they're only picture-worthy when fully exposed; at each stage of submersion, their shapes and colors morph and shift, lending a kaleidoscope, tie-dye-like appearance to them. Whether you want to catch the sunset or sunrise, these beaches won't fail you. (Extra tip: Locals love these beaches and are glad to help visitors find their way to them and make their visits memorable and hassle-free. They'll be happy to assist you during your shoot).
Who they're best for: The couple who have an appetite for adventure and a passion for exploring the outdoors
Where to go: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan
Why we're in love with it: Las Casas is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive historical, cultural, and artistic endeavors ever accomplished in our country's recent history. If you don't already know, it's literally a compound made up of heritage homes and buildings transported from different parts of the Philippines and made beautiful again. Restored to exceed their former glory, they make gorgeous backdrops to any photo and highlight the uniqueness of Spanish-Filipino aesthetics. While wide-angle photos will certainly turn out great (the many views here deserve to play a starring role in your pre-nup), go crazy with close-up shots, too, because they redefine what it means to play close attention to detail.
Who it's best for: The couple interested in paying homage to Filipino culture and the beauty of colonial design
Where to go: Samal Island, Davao del Norte
Why we're in love with it: Here's an option for those looking down the road less traveled. Though admittedly not as top of mind as other beaches and islands, Samal Island is very much deserving of attention and can live up to expectant brides' vision of a perfect pre-nup with ease for one very simple but deal-breaking reason: it showcases the exact features that beach lovers go gaga for—think gem blue waves, postcard-ready shorelines, palm trees that even Rodeo Drive's could never beat—but without the tourists and crowds. Need we say more?
Who it's best for: The couple whose idea of a romantic time together is being alone on an untouched, undisturbed beach
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Where to go: The Ruins in Talisay, Negros Occidental
Why we're in love with it: There's a reason why plays, concerts, weddings, and important events are held here; The Ruins exudes an otherworldly charm that borderlines on fantastical; it's easy to think that fairies and other friendly magical creatures exist within its premises. There's no other place like it and once you immerse yourself within its beauty, it'll seriously feel like you've stumbled into another world, one where time stands still and its secrets are known only to you and the love of your life. (As an extra, Negros also has some of the yummiest regional culinary delights in the Philippines, so why not sneak in a food trip, too!).
Who it's best for: The couple who wants their pre-nup to be an experience, and not just a shoot
Where to go: Fernbrook Gardens, Bacoor
Why we're in love with it: You don't have to travel via plane to find a pre-nup venue you'll fall head over heels for—at least, for the fairy tale-loving bride. This nearby venue exploded in the events scene because of its ability to make brides (and brides-to-be) feel like absolute princesses who have found their perfect match. There's very little need to decorate, thanks to how its glass walls, dome ceilings, indoor foliage, romantic lighting, sprawling gardens, and picturesque facade do it all for you; simply show up, take your love with you, and smile for the camera. Don't be afraid to waltz the way Cinderella did at the ball when you're here; in fact, it would be blasphemy not to.
Who it's best for: The couple who feels like their love story is a true to life happily ever after
Where to go: Fortune Island, Batangas
Why we're in love with it: With its dramatic white pillars aged by salt and sand arranged in a line overlooking the ocean, this place looks like a literal home of the gods. It's mysterious and intriguing, very easy to work around because every angle is photogenic, and the varying depths that its rocky, multi-level beachfront can—no, will—do wonders for the lighting in your shoot's final products. And don't limit yourself to the pillars' area, either; the beach is accessible to visitors too, and makes a lovely venue for in-water shots.
Who it's best for: The couple who loves originality in all that they do and telling a story behind their most special moments
Where to go: Casa Salome in Mabalacat, Pampanga
Why we're in love with it: There's something about old Filipino style, with capiz windows and dark narra wood dominating interiors, that just feels dreamy. Maybe it's the nostalgia or just the wonder of seeing what the past looked and felt like, but we can all agree that stepping inside a venue that exhibits these and more makes up an unforgettable experience. Enter Casa Salome, a gem in Pampanga that preserved a time gone by so well and feels almost as if Amorsolo paintings had come to life.
Who it's best for: The couple who finds beauty in traditional Filipino style
Where to go: Coron and El Nido in Palawan, Boracay Island, and Siargao
Why we're in love with them: Arguably, they're the places that started it all. These islands were the first to capture the hearts of Filipinos and introduce them to the natural wonders of the Philippines, popularizing local tourism and paving the way for many destinations to become bucket list-worthy. But even with newcomers entering local travel itineraries, these destinations have all managed to stand the test of time and remain to be some of the best beaches to visit because of their unbeatable views, developed hospitality, and accessibility. You can't go wrong with a pre-nup shoot in any of these places!
Who they're best for: The couple who won't settle for anything but the best
Photos from Marty Ilagan, @lascasasfilipinasdeacuzar, and Fernwood Gardens Tagaytay