Industrial Chic Pre-Wedding Shoot

Simmi & Chika


Over a four-part series, our Founder and The ‘Original’ Crimson Bride, Simmi shares the details of her wedding story that started it all! After a fun-filled, rustic-chic rooftop engagement party, Simmi and Chika took on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, both of which have played an important part in their love story, and painted the town ‘crimson’ for their pre-wedding photoshoot. The industrial-chic themed Melbourne shoot captured the essence of the city with its iconic laneways, cafes and heritage buildings serving as a backdrop for the photos. This quintessential setting, paired with exceptional photography by Shevan J Photography resulted in a fun and natural shoot as if Simmi and Chika were on a real date. We absolutely loved Simmi’s elegant and vibrant look for the shoot, with a floral Ridhi Mehra crop top and a white 1960’s style midi skirt that popped against the glittering city lights.

The Sydney shoot had softer tones and also encompassed some iconic landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Simmi went with a light pink modern Indian outfit with a tulle skirt, giving the shoot a more soft, romantic feel.

Simmi describes her thought process behind the concept, theme of the shoots and shares her top tips for brides-to-be.

About The Couple

I talked about our story in more detail in my engagement post here.

The Details

Photoshoot Planning

PLANNING: With all the wedding planning, we almost forgot about the pre-wedding shoot until our wedding photographer, Shev of Shevan J Photography reminded us! We quickly scheduled a date for the shoot a couple of months before the wedding. Since the wedding was to be held in Melbourne and our photographer was based there, the pre-wedding shoot was by default in Melbourne.

I didn’t think too much about it until I started planning for the concept and look for the shoot. I realized (a rather last minute) that it would be great to do a small shoot in Sydney as well. After all, we wanted our wedding celebrations to tell our story as a couple and whilst Melbourne is where we both spent most of our lives and where we first met, Sydney is where we started dating, where we currently live and have a lot of lovely memories as a couple. A pre-wedding shoot in Sydney would be a wonderful way to incorporate our history there as a couple.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Shev of Shevan J Photography photographed our Melbourne shoot as it was part of our wedding photography package. This worked out well as it allowed us to get to know him better and get comfortable with his style. He was a true professional – really patient with our ideas and didn’t make us feel uncomfortable with our silly attempts at posing. For the Sydney shoot, my good friend, Ritika of Ritika Mathur Photography offered to help out! She was great fun and also really patient.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Whilst planning for the pre-wedding shoot, I was also in discussions with my wedding hair and makeup artist in Melbourne, Aimmey of Miss Aimmey. She suggested using the pre-wedding shoot as an opportunity to do a makeup trial for the wedding. This was the best piece of advice, as I am completely lost when it comes to makeup.

On the day of the pre-wedding shoot, Aimmey came over and we had a chance to discuss my preferences for how heavy/light I preferred the makeup to be, trial out different foundations that would be suitable to my skin color, as well as discuss different looks for each wedding event. At the end of the trial, Aimmey left the base foundation and styled my look for the pre-wedding shoot. Since Shevan J Photography was also our wedding photographer, the pre-wedding shoot would also a great opportunity to see how the makeup would turn out in professional photos. If you don’t wear makeup often, I highly recommend you use the pre-wedding shoot as an opportunity to try out your make up artist!

Melbourne Photo Shoot

CONCEPT & THEME: Since our wedding was going to be more rustic themed, I wanted our Melbourne shoot to capture the industrial-chic side of Melbourne as well as the bustling alleyways that we love about the city. I researched some locations and also asked Shev, our photographer to suggest some spots that he thought might be suitable.

On the day, we started our shoot at GPO on Bourke Street in Melbourne CBD along with some iconic laneways of Melbourne such as Degraves Street. We then headed to South Melbourne for a more industrial backdrop. The buildings surrounding the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Docklands area provided the perfect landscape for some lovely photos.

SIMMI’S OUTFIT: To contrast the Melbourne industrial theme, I chose to go for an outfit with a more classic/romantic feel to it. With my recent discovery of some amazing Indian fashion designers, I had been eying the Ridhi Mehra crop tops on Pernia’s Pop-up Shop for some time. I chose a pink and white one that would add a bit of a ‘crimson’ accent to the overall look. The top had a floral print and embroidery, which added a lovely romantic touch. To accompany the crop top, I scoured the internet for skirts of various lengths. After a lot of research and liaising with my friends, I finally decided on lovely white, 1960s style pleated midi-skirt from Asos. The white skirt turned out to be perfect as it stood out against the industrial locations around Melbourne.

JEWELRY: Since the crop top had a high neck and plenty of embroideries, I didn’t think a necklace was necessary. Instead, I opted for some gold statement earrings. I found a lovely delicate pair from Mrinalini Chandra on Pernia’s Popup Shop that matched the gold threads on the crop top. The rest I kept pretty minimal – my favorite Cartier watch, some gold bangles from Tory Burch and a Maison Margiela ring.

SHOES: Neutral nude heels from Wittner Shoes.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Miss Aimmey did the hair and makeup for the Melbourne shoot – she was lovely. I went for a more casual, fun look with some soft curls. The makeup was kept natural with bold pink lips as an accent to match the top.

OUTFIT: Nudie jeans, Massimo Dutti white shirt, Country Road blazer, and Zegna shoes.

Sydney Photo Shoot

CONCEPT & THEME: With our Sydney shoot we wanted to capture iconic Sydney locations, including some rustic locations. We partnered with my talented friend and photographer Ritika Mathur who took us to The Rocks, Bradley’s Head and around Circular Quay for a shoot.

SIMMI’S OUTFIT: I continued with the pink theme but went for a soft Indian outfit for the shoot. I wore a custom outfit purchased from a local online shop.

JEWELRY: I wore pearl jewellery and accessories, including a hand chain from Lovisa.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Myura of Black Diamond Studio helped with my hair and makeup look for the day. For hair, we went for hair down in curls. The makeup was once again kept natural with darker eyes and soft lip color.

CHIKA’S OUTFIT: Chinos and shirts from Country Road.


The highlight was just having fun with the shoot and laughing at the awkward and hilarious moments posing for the camera. We are not usually all lovey-dovey in public, so it was funny being asked to ‘look longingly into each other’s eyes’. The whole process helped us get familiar with our photographer for our wedding and get comfortable with how it would work on the day.

We later used the pre-wedding shoot images to create two guestbook albums for the Reception. It was a fun and memorable way to incorporate the shoot and our Melbourne-Sydney story with our wedding guests. They all signed the pseudo-album with their good wishes for us so it’s something we will keep for a long time.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

1. Plan ahead. I only started thinking about my pre-wedding shoot a few months before the wedding and had to rush the planning and conceptualize part of it – especially for the Sydney shoot. Although I didn’t mind keeping it simple, I can see pre-wedding shoots as a great opportunity to plan for some pretty creative ideas through props, locations, styling.

2. Tell your story and incorporate the images as part of the wedding celebrations. Pre-wedding shoots are a great way to tell your story as a couple in a creative but genuine way that might not be possible as part of your wedding celebrations. It’s a chance to share personality and history as a couple through a choice of styling, location, props, etc. For instance, I have since seen couples do amazing pre-wedding shoots underwater or in countryside India (when they were visiting for wedding shopping) to capture their heritage and culture. Incorporate the photos at your wedding through a save the date card, canvas or guestbook at the Reception so they form part of the celebrations in a meaningful way.

3. Use it to trial your key wedding professionals. As I mentioned above, I found the pre-wedding shoot a great way to trial what makeup works for my face/skin and how they turn out in photos. The shoot also allowed us to get comfortable with our wedding photographer before the big day.

Featured Pros

About The Author


Founder & CEO at The Crimson Bride. As I planned my own wedding not long ago, I really enjoyed the creative process of putting together a wedding that would be true to who I am and our story. I loved discovering amazing designers and wedding professionals and found myself spending countless hours being inspired by their incredible work. I began sharing my musings on a humble blog titled called The Crimson Bride, and the rest is history. Well, actually you can read more about it here. The Crimson Bride is also my creative outlet and an opportunity for me to share my love and admiration for all things Indian - art, craft, culture, film and fashion. I am also a bit of a film geek and may have a mild crush on Ryan Gosling. I love travelling, spending quality time with family and friends.