As a young girl that grew up in South Alabama where traditions are strong and the tea is sweeter than our accents, I dreamed of one day taking bridal portraits to display at my wedding. Every wedding we attended had a large portrait of the bride displayed in an elegant gold frame at the reception. This was one of my favorite wedding traditions and I assumed every bride planned to do a bridal session.
It wasn’t until I became a photographer that I realized every bride was not aware of this tradition. During the booking process, I had a significant number of brides ask, “What is a bridal session?” I was shocked the first time someone asked me. Even now, seven years later, I’m slightly surprised when I get this question. Without further ado, let me explain bridal sessions.
Bridal sessions are a special time to take portraits before your wedding day, usually on the same day you do your hair and makeup trials. It is the perfect opportunity to get a sneak peek of the results of months of planning and see your look come together before the big day. Think of it as a dress rehearsal 😉
One of the benefits of doing a bridal session is that you can practice posing in your perfectly tailored gown. You will be sitting and standing throughout your wedding day, so why not make sure that you can comfortably sit and move around in your gown? If your dress has a lot of buttons or tiny elements, it helps to see how long it takes to put your dress on so that you can plan ahead and make sure you are not rushed on your wedding day.
If you feel awkward in front of the camera, you should really consider doing a bridal session! You will be all dolled up and you will have an hour or two with your photographer to get comfortable with them and comfortable in your gown. Then when your wedding day comes, you’ll be a pro!
You will still take individual portraits on your wedding day, but a bridal session gives you the opportunity to take stunning portraits without worrying about a timeline or trying to hide from guests before the ceremony. You can also take them at any location, which means you can get photos in your wedding gown at your historic family home, your alma mater, or a fun place downtown that may be too far from your wedding venue.
I also love to get the most I can for my money and if I’m spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a gown, I want as many photos as possible in it!
I hope this helped you understand more about bridal sessions and why we love them! Really it was just an excuse for me to show off my bridal sessions from this year because these ladies are gorgeous and I love their portraits!
Did you do a bridal session or do you plan to do one before your wedding?