What are bridal portraits? Over the past year, we’ve found this to be one of the more common questions we’ve received. Usually it’s something like “Are those pictures of the bride with the bridesmaids?” “Are those pictures of the entire bridal party?” “Are bridal sessions done on the wedding day?” These are all valid questions and sometimes we tend to forget that not everyone is a wedding photographer so they won’t always know these little things. Since this is the time of year that more couples are getting engaged and starting the search for a wedding photographer, this question tends to be a bit more prevalent as people will see this as a service offered or as a part of a wedding package, so we decided we wanted to answer this question for you with the what, why, where, and when for bridal portrait sessions!
What are bridal portraits?
Why get bridal portraits?
Because, they…are…awesome! Bridal sessions are fun for a number of reasons but we think a couple of the biggest reasons to get bridal portraits would be as follows:
More time - Odds are you likely spent the better part of an entire day (or more in some cases) looking for that perfect dress! You took your mom and you closest friends to help you decide and after hours of searching, trying them on, looking in the mirror, asking “what do you think?” you finally found the perfect one! We think something this important deserves it’s own session. It’s not that you can’t do bridal portraits on the day of the wedding, but often times you will find that due to timelines, lighting, etc. you may not have that much actual time to squeeze in bridal portraits on your big day. Think about it, you likely took all day to find the perfect dress that you look amazing in, shouldn’t you dedicate more than 5-10 minutes of time in front of the camera towards rocking it? We think so too! A bridal session allows you to take your time moving around to different locations, so you won’t feel rushed or pressured to hurry like you can on a wedding day.
Hair & Make up Trial - Bridal sessions are also great opportunities to do your hair and make up trial to see how everything comes together with your dress.
More quality time - One of the reasons we love bridal sessions so much besides the look of them is it ultimately spares you from that time that you would spend doing them on your wedding day, allowing you to spend more time having fun with you groom, family, and friends!
Build more rapport - It is also a good opportunity to build more rapport with your wedding photographer! We love this because our ultimate goal is for you to have fun in front of the camera and look your best! Bridal sessions offer one more opportunity to get you feeling even more comfortable with your photographer, how they communicate, and their overall approach. We also find that our brides tend to love this too because unlike a wedding day where we may have 5-10 minutes to squeeze in bridal portraits, having an entire session solely dedicated to you really allows us to focus on every beautiful detail and bring out the absolute best qualities of your personality.
Where do you do bridal portraits?
Another one of the fun aspects of doing a bridal session is it allows you a bit more variety with your location. Maybe you are having a downtown wedding so you want a more nature feel to your bridal session or vice versa? Maybe you want to be on a mountain top with your hair blowing and the sunset behind you? Or maybe you even want to do them at your venue so you don’t necessarily have to on the day of so you can make more time for friends, family, and partying at the reception. Depending on the look and feel you are going for, you can totally switch it up and make your bridal session location something totally unique to you!
When do you do your bridal portraits?
First things, first. Get your dress, find your hair and make up artist and once you have your photographer, get it scheduled. Often times brides want a large canvas print in the entry way to their venue where guests sign in. If this is the case, especially if you need to get a custom frame, give yourself at least 6-8 weeks before your big day (depending on your photographers editing time). If they edit fast and you are using a local professional printer, you could probably get away with 4-6 weeks. Beyond pictures, we also suggest a good amount of time because just in case your dress happens to get a little dirty on your bridal session or damaged, it gives you time to get it professionally cleaned and fixed. Also, after an hour session of moving around in your dress, you’ll also have a better idea of if you need any more alterations made before the big day.
We hope this has helped shed some light on bridal portraits! If you are on the fence at all about getting them, talk to your wedding photographer and see if you think this would be a good option for you! If you are totally doing a bridal session, remember to have fun, smile big, and be you!
Jenny & Joe