I LOVE bridal portraits. They’re probably my all-time favorite type of session to photograph! My brides from the south typically know what bridal portraits are, and already have a plan to have them taken and to display their favorite image at their wedding reception. But some of my brides who are new to Dallas haven’t even heard of bridal portraits before – so I want to answer a few questions today: What is a bridal portrait session? Why should I take bridal portraits? How should I prepare for my bridal portraits? What I should I bring to my bridal session?
The concept of bridal portrait sessions originated in Europe. The bride schedules a session that is focused on just her – she gets in her wedding dress with her hair & makeup done, her bouquet in hand, and her full bridal look is put together for the first time! The photos from the session are kept secret until the reception, where a favorite image is displayed on a large canvas or frame.
Bridal portraits give you the chance to try out your complete bridal look without the pressure of the wedding – it’s like a dress rehearsal before the big day! You’ll also get a little more practice posing in front of the camera and moving around in your wedding dress. Once you receive your bridal portrait gallery, you can decide on anything you’d like to change for your final wedding day look.
A bridal session is a wonderful chance to capture beautiful portraits that you’ll have forever. The special part of wedding photography is that the images will preserve the legacy of your marriage and will be passed on to future generations. Bridal portraits become a beautiful heirloom that celebrate your time as a bride and your future as a wife!
Bring your dress, veil, shoes, undergarments, touch-up makeup, and any jewelry or hair piece that you’re going to wear on your wedding day. If you’re still undecided about your wedding day look (like which earrings you’ll wear or which veil length you prefer), bridal portraits are a great time to bring multiple options to see what completes your look best and what photographs most beautifully!
Bring a bouquet, as well. Your florist will be able to make one that matches what you’ll have at your wedding. Many florists will include a bridal portrait bouquet in their pricing for your wedding, so check with your florist when you’re booking. Be sure to keep the bouquet in water prior to your session!
I also recommend bringing one or two people with you, like your mom or a bridesmaid. They’ll be helpful in fluffing your dress, carrying your bouquet, and making sure that your veil and hair remain in place and picture-perfect throughout your session!
Bridal portraits are so much fun! It’s such a wonderful time to enjoy being in your dress and soaking up every moment of bridal bliss without the stress of the wedding day. I often find that bridal portraits are the time when it becomes real to my brides that they’re getting married – and that is such a sweet moment to get to celebrate!
Remember that you don’t need to know exactly how to pose or model – your photographer will be there to guide you and make sure that you look and feel your absolute best. Gather all of your attire and schedule each element of your bridal portraits well in advance so that on the day of, you can just relax and enjoy!
I recommend scheduling bridal portraits for 4-6 weeks prior to your wedding date so that your dress alterations are finished, your photographer has enough time to edit your photos, and you can have a canvas or print made to display at your reception.
When you’re scheduling your bridal session with your photographer, don’t forget to check in with your florist and your hair and makeup artist to confirm their availability! It’s best to do a trial run with the same team who is doing your wedding day hair and makeup so that you can test out the exact look you’d like for your big day.
Many brides opt to do their bridal portraits in a studio space (such as the Lumen Room) or at their wedding venue (many venues will allow you to have your bridal portraits taken on-site as a part of your package), so be sure to confirm location availability as well.
Not sure where to take your bridal portraits? Check out my favorite session locations here.
Interested in seeing examples of bridal portrait sessions? Check out the blog posts below!