Well first, what is a bridal session?
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 the bridal session, by far one of my favorites. A bridal session is pretty much what it sounds 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 portraits will be printed and displayed at the reception. Typically, I schedule bridal sessions a couple months out from the wedding.
Where do bridal sessions 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 session?
YES! Nowadays, it is more popular to include your partner in the bridal session. 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 Bridal Look
The process of preparing you for your bridal session 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.
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 them
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. Bridal photos make wonderful family heirlooms, and parents and grandparents will always cherish that classic bridal portrait of their baby.
Save time on the wedding day
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. A bridal session is one way we can save loads of time on the wedding day.