Bridal Portraits: What are They and Should Schedule Bridal Pictures Before Your Wedding?

Bridal portraits are an optional add on with many photographers, but what are bridal portraits?

I always tell my couples – for most, this is probably the first and last wedding you’ll ever have! There are so many traditions and customs involved in getting married, so I would never expect you to know them all. One tradition that I find myself explaining a lot is bridal portraits, by far one of my favorite sessions. What are bridal portraits? Bridal portraits are pretty much what they sound like, traditionally a photo session of just the bride in all of her bridal attire taken prior to the actual wedding day. Many times, one of the bridal portraits will be printed and displayed at the reception. Typically, I schedule bridal portraits a couple months out from the wedding.

Where do bridal portraits take place?

This is completely up to you! Many times your wedding venue will allow you to have them done on site prior to the wedding day. If this is what you’re interested in, speak with your wedding venue’s manager to see what the options are.

Your bridal portraits could also be done at an entirely separate public location! This is a popular option for many brides who want to add a little variety to their wedding photos or maybe you have a dream location that you would love to shoot at, but it isn’t exactly ideal to leave the venue for photos on the wedding day. This is the perfect option for these brides!

I’m also a complete sucker for a classic, timeless studio session with a bride. There are several natural light studios that we can use for a small fee.

Can I include my partner in the bridal portraits?

YES! Nowadays, it is more popular to include your partner in the bridal portraits. This is a common option for LGBTQ+ couples that aren’t having a heteronormative wedding! Basically, the “bridal” session can include anyone who is getting married, one or both of you. I’ll talk about this below as well, but this particular option could actually eliminate the need for a lot of couples photos on the day of the wedding, giving you loads more time to celebrate with your loved ones!

Trial Your Wedding Day Look At Your Bridal Session

The process of preparing you for your bridal portraits will benefit you enormously on the wedding day! Would you wear a wedding dress without trying it on first? Absolutely not! Just as important as your wedding dress is your bouquet, veil, jewelry, shoes, hair, and makeup. All of these elements come together to create your once in a lifetime bridal look. Don’t leave it up to chance as to whether or not all of these things will work all together or not.

I would say 100% of the time at a bridal session, a bride makes a decision to improve or streamline her bridal look in some way. It may be that walking around for an hour in your dress makes you realize it truly does need to be hemmed more. It could be that you want to do something different with your hair or makeup. Maybe you decide to buy an extra pair of more comfortable shoes for the reception after you discover that you won’t last all night in those heels. The possibilities are endless. In general, it will bring an added level of comfort on your wedding day since you’ll be used to actively wearing and moving in your dress after a bridal session.

Furthermore, certain poses are better suited for some wedding dresses than others. Your photographer will work with you on poses that suit your style of dress.

Trial Your Bouquet

The general gist of this entire post is that your wedding is once in a lifetime. You’re going to trial your makeup, taste your cake, and get fitted for clothes. Why wouldn’t you want to also see, feel, and hold your bouquet? You may also discover that their bouquet is especially heavy at your bridal session. This may not be something you want to change, but it is good to know ahead of time! And believe it or not, there is an art to holding a bouquet in photos. Your wedding photographer will probably ask you to hold it lower, tilt it this way, hold it that way, etc. Learning how to hold it and what is comfortable for you can speed things along on the wedding day.

Parents and Grandparents love To Have These

You may have dreamed of your wedding day your entire life. What you may have forgotten is that your parents and grandparents have dreamed of this day as well. Solo portraits make wonderful family heirlooms, and parents and grandparents will always cherish that classic portrait of their baby.

Save time on the wedding day by Scheduling Your Portraits in Advance

Most couples that book me as their photographer have one thing in common – they see their wedding day as a time to celebrate with family and loved ones, NOT a photoshoot. Nevertheless, documentation of your wedding day isn’t something anyone wants to skimp on! What we can do is minimize the time we take photos so that you can be present with your party. Having this solo session before the wedding day is one way we can save loads of time on the wedding day.

Hello  there!

I'm a wedding photographer. Welcome to my blog, where I share wedding planning tips, wedding and engagement photos, and my recent inspirations. If you'd like to work together, please get in touch!

I'm Georgia

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Thank you so much for your interest in having me as your wedding photographer! Once you submit this form, I'll be able to let you know if I am available for your wedding date. I limit the number of weddings I take on per year in order to give my clients the experience they deserve.

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