I’m back this week with more wedding prep advice for all the brides out there! Here in Texas (and in the south in general!) it’s very common for brides to schedule a bridal portrait session 1-2 months before the wedding. During this portrait session the bride will wear her dress for the first time and the photographer will take portraits for anywhere from 1-2 hours! These sessions are most commonly at the wedding venue and a few favorites will usually be printed before the wedding day to display at the ceremony!
While bridal portraits are fun and give you beautiful portraits in your wedding dress, many brides are conflicted over whether to take them. There is definitely a cost investment involved with taking bridal portraits. You have to pay for the photographer (usually these cost the same as an engagement session), the bouquet, and hair and makeup. These costs can add up and if you don’t understand the value of bridal portraits then you may opt out without much thought. Today, I want to share a few reasons why I think taking bridal portraits is a valuable investment. You may read these and still feel like you don’t need bridal portraits – and that is totally okay! It is completely a personally decision and when it comes to weddings, you have to determine your priorities. I hope that these tips help you decide whether bridal portraits will be a priority for you!
1. Practice Round
As I mentioned, many brides will purchase a bouquet and have professional hair and makeup done for their bridal sessions. This is an excellent opportunity to do a practice round and make sure everything looks how you want it to. It can be difficult to communicate exactly what you want through pictures, and when you see everything come together you can better articulate any adjustments you’d like to be made. Maybe you want a few more/less flowers in the bouquet or a bit more greenery. Perhaps the hairstyle you envisioned doesn’t look quite how you thought it would from the pictures. Schedule plenty of extra time with your HMUA so they can make adjustments and know exactly how to style you for your actual wedding day. That way you can be confident that everything will go smoothly on the big day! Many people do a practice hair and makeup run through anyways so why not schedule your bridal portraits at the same time!
2. Wedding Day Crunch Time
I hear many brides say things like – I’ll just have my photographer take a few photos of me on the wedding day in my dress. While photographers like myself always try to get a few bridal portraits on the wedding day, it is definitely not the same experience as a full session. Wedding days are always crazy and timelines often get delayed for any number of reasons. I do everything I can to get a few photos of just the bride on wedding days but it’s often rushed and we end up only having time for a few. On your wedding day the main focus is getting beautiful portraits of you and your new husband! To be honest, you may not even remember you wanted bridal portraits taken at all! There is so much excitement on that day and trying to add one more detail can be tough. Taking your bridal portraits in advance gives you plenty of time to get a variety of poses and locations in a relaxed setting. At bridal sessions, I have plenty of time to take the close ups, the full body photos, and even some fun veil shots!
3. Reception details/Gifts
When you take bridal portraits before your actual wedding day, you will receive your gallery back with enough time to get the photos printed! Picking a favorite portrait for a canvas print to display at the reception gives you a beautiful piece of decoration that you get to cherish afterwards! When I go to weddings, I always see the guests loving the bridal portraits. You spend so much time planning out your reception details and usually the bridal portraits are a favorite! It also gives them a chance to take a better look at your beautiful dress which they may have only seen in passing at the ceremony. Brides – your grandmothers will stand by your bridal portrait and brag about how beautiful you are all night long! And they LOVE it! Speaking of grandmothers – why not take your wedding day as an opportunity to gift them with a beautiful print from your bridal session? They will likely cherish the sweet thought and display it somewhere that they can be reminded of this joyful day often! Bridal portraits also make a wonderful gift for your parents as well! They are so proud of you and will probably not stop talking about there amazing daughter and her beautiful wedding for months to come. Give them a gift that will remind them that while their little girl is married now, she is still their little girl and loves them so!
I hope these 3 quick tips help you with your decision regarding bridal portraits! I personally would highly recommend them and not taking bridal portraits is one of my only regrets from my wedding planning. I had the most amazing photographer but didn’t understand the true value of bridals until after my wedding day! So, regardless of what your final decision is, just make sure you think it through and decide whether you, or someone close to you (like mom!), would regret it later if you didn’t do it. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, I’m currently booking 2018 and 2019 weddings and would LOVE to chat with you about your big day!
A few of my recent bridal portraits are below for some inspiration! Enjoy 🙂