What Are Bridal Portraits & Why You Should Do Them!

What is a Bridal Session?

If you didn’t grow up in the South you may be asking yourself that question right about now. Meanwhile, my brides from the South already have a plan in mind to have them taken and hang their favorite image at their wedding reception. At its core, a bridal portraits (or “bridals” as they are sometimes called) is a dedicated photoshoot to showcase you and your beautiful wedding dress. The photos are kept secret until the reception and a favorite image is displayed on a large canvas or frame. It’s also so much more than that though! It’s a way to preserve the memory of how that dress (THE DRESS) makes you look and feel.

There are a few things you’ll want to know before stepping into your dress and starting the session though. As with most wedding related things, preparation is key! So here I plan to answer exactly why you should have a bridal session and how to prepare.

Why You Should Have a Bridal Session

Bridal Portraits are the perfect time to make sure every facet of your look is exactly as you imagined. Luxury wedding dress shops will have altered your dress to fit you perfectly, but think of this as an opportunity to pull all the pieces together without the pressure of the actual wedding. Then, once you receive your bridal portrait gallery, you can decide to make any changes to your final wedding day look before the big day. You also get to practice moving in your dress and learning how to pose and look your best in front of the camera. Finally, by doing a bridal session you’re freeing up time on your wedding day to actually experience your day!

The most important part of being a wedding photographer is to capture special moments in your life and to preserve them to be passed on to future generations. Bridal portraits become timeless family keepsakes to celebrate your time as a bride that your family will cherish.

How to Prepare for Your Bridal Portraits Session

  • Bring EVERYTHING. Your dress, shoes, veil, jewelry, engagement ring, etc. If you are undecided on a specific piece of your wedding day look, bring options! It’s a great time to try out different looks and find what fits best your vision.
  • Schedule your hair and makeup trial for the same day as your bridal portrait session. Many professional wedding hair and makeup artists offer a trial as part of their pricing.
  • Bring a bouquet. Your florist can make one that matches your wedding florals. Many florists actually include a bridal portrait bouquet in their pricing, so be sure to check with your florist when you’re booking.
  • Bring a friend or two to help you get into/out of the dress and move around freely. They also act as a second set of eyes to make sure your hair stays perfect, your dress is immaculately fluffed, and you always have someone to hand the bouquet off to.

Dont Forget To Bring These!

  • Dress
  • Shoes (Bring a comfortable backup pair as well and you can thank me later!)
  • Veil
  • Jewelry
  • Undergarments
  • Bouquet
  • Hair Accessories
  • A Jacket or Sweater (in case it’s cold out)
  • Skin Tape
  • Oil Absorbing Sheets
  • Makeup for Touchups
  • Hairspray
  • Any Sentimental Items
Edinburgh West bridal portraits

When Should You Schedule Your Bridal Portraits?

I recommend scheduling your bridal portraits 4-8 weeks before your wedding. There are a lot of moving parts to consider here. By scheduling in this time frame your dress alterations should completed, your photographer will have enough time to edit your images, and you’ll have time to have a framed print or canvas made for your wedding reception.

Many of my brides choose to do their bridal portraits at their wedding venue but you can schedule them at any venue you’d like such as many listed on my Venue Guide. While scheduling, be sure to check with your floral designer and makeup artist to ensure their availability!

Still trying to find your perfect dress? Check out these Luxury Wedding Dress Shops in Greenville, SC.