Why you should do a bridal portrait session

bride poses on wood bridge surrounded by green and purple foliage

If you are planning a wedding in the South, you will definitely have someone ask you if you’re going to do a bridal portrait session.  If you’re like me, you honestly hadn’t considered it.  I mean, you’ll surely get some photos of just you on your wedding day, right?  Is it really worth the hassle of adding on another session?

In a word… YES!

Let’s chat about this, shall we?  Here’s a quick rundown of why I think you should do a bridal portrait session.

bride in bay window looks back over shoulder towards camera

Bridal Portrait Origins

A bridal portrait session is a session scheduled with your wedding photographer when portraits are taken of just you, without your hubby-to-be, all done up in your bridal attire.  If you’re not from the South, that may have been the most helpful sentence in the whole post! You may have been scratching your head, wondering what in the world I’m going on about! While it’s quite popular here, it’s less common the further north you go.

bride in green area looks over shoulder

Bridal portraits originated in Europe, and were initially completed as oil paintings!  Oh so fancy, eh?  When the camera was invented and photography became more accessible, it eventually morphed into what we know it as today.

So, what’re the benefits of a bridal portrait session? Let’s dive in!

bride smiles and looks off to side in front of blooming trees

You’ll have your bridal portrait to display at your wedding

bridal portrait displayed on fireplace mantle

A hold-over from its history, many people do a bridal session with the intent of displaying an image prominently at the wedding reception.  Instead of an oil painting, many people opt for a large canvas, often displayed somewhere that it will be visible to and appreciated by all guests.  If tradition is important to you, this is one excellent way of displaying that.

Bridal portraits are trial run for your hair, makeup, and bouquet

bride closes eyes and holds dress out closeup of bride's earrings and curled hair

You scoured Pinterest, and you think you’ve found the perfect hair and makeup styles for your wedding day (and even an awesome stylist to do it!), but wouldn’t you feel better if you had a chance to give it a try before the big day?  Many stylists offer a trial run for that very reason!  If you follow up that trial run with a bridal session, it’ll give you some time to see how your hair feels after an hour or two, even with your veil in.

bride looks out in the distance as sun sets behind her

Your florist likely does not include a “trial” bouquet, but gosh, wouldn’t it be nice to see ahead of time, too?  I personally LOVE flowers, and would jump at the chance! It might even provide you with a chance to give feedback to your florist (“this type of bloom actually made me sneeze a lot… is there an alternative that would give a similar effect?”).

bouquet of red roses

If you are particularly detail-oriented, doing a bridal portrait session will provide you with a lot of comfort.  Wouldn’t you love seeing it all come together?

Your bridal portrait session can help your timeline

Y’all know I’m big on making your wedding day timeline smoooooth like butter!  I want you to spend as much time possible celebrating with your family and friends without compromising your photos.

bride smiles off in distance in front of white blooming tree

I always try to squeeze in some bridal portraits on the day of your wedding, but if we get to do some portraits during a designated session then we don’t have to worry about it! In a sense, this speeds up so that you’re able to return to the party sooner.

Not only so, but having a bridal portrait session means we can take our time and get all the shots we want.  There’s no pressure to hurry through, so you end up with a variety of images. It’s a win-win!

bride holds veil as she looks at herself in a mirror

My takeaways

Many of my brides now opt for a bridal session since moving to North Carolina, and now I’m hooked.  Maybe it’s just because I love spending extra time with my brides, but I think bridal portraits are a great opportunity for a myriad of reasons.  I wish I’d done a bridal portrait session, and I don’t want you to look back and regret it, too!

If you’re still on the fence about it, I’m happy to chat with you about it!  If you’re also on the fence about doing a first look, check out my blog post about it here, and feel free to reach out!

bridal portrait in front of blue wall

As always, I’m here to support you.  Let’s grab coffee soon!



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