What is a bridal session anyways?
That is one of the most asked when chatting with brides about my photography packages. While bridal sessions are a typical southern tradition (according to my research), I feel they are very important and beneficial if time allows for you to have a bridal session. Here are a few reasons why!
One of the top reasons why I feel bridal sessions are overall a good idea is because it is basically a run through of your wedding day look.
You have spent hours and months planning the perfect wedding and this will give you a chance to see how all the little puzzle pieces fit together. From your dress to shoes to jewelry and hair—you get a first-hand glimpse of how you will look on your wedding day.
This also gives you a chance to make adjustments if something is not right or doesn’t come together how you pictured in your mind like last minute alterations on your dress or deciding a lighter lip color would look better.
I always suggest a makeup and hair run through prior to the wedding anyways and if planned enough in advance you could combine the run through and the bridal session on the same day. This is the perfect opportunity to try everything on together from head to toe (well, maybe you don’t try on the garters, but that is totally your call.)
A bridal session is also a good time to get to know your photographer and for them to get to know you. I try (as most photographers do) to make you feel as comfortable as possible in front of the camera, but this really gives you a chance to get to know each other, your style, likes and dislikes. As a photographer it gives me a chance to play around with angles and a chance to learn your style. I always want to make my brides feel beautiful on their wedding day and being able to show you a few different photos from different angles and hear your reaction on each one is beneficial for me to capture you in a way that makes you feel 100% confident.
This kind of brings me to the next reason why I feel they are important—timing.
On your actual wedding day, there probably won’t be time for me to show you what I am capturing on the back of my camera. Your day goes by so quickly and by doing a bridal session prior to your day we can make sure we get all facets and views of your dress and beauty captured.
Not all wedding days run behind schedule, but if we have done a bridal session prior then we can use the time that would be normally allotted to your bridal photos on other things—like family photos or photos with your bridesmaids. Disclaimer—I always take a few photos of just the bride on her actual wedding day, but we typically don’t spend a ton of time in this area if we did a bridal session. There is just something about the glow of a bride on her wedding day that needs to be captured!
I said earlier that a bridal session gives you a chance to see your completed wedding day look. However, it also gives you the opportunity to bring in different props, etc. that you wouldn’t do on your wedding day.
One easy example that comes to mind is your dog! Unless you are getting married at home or have someone to care for your dog during your wedding, then you probably won’t have them at your wedding. However, you could easily bring them to a bridal session! Other options include different jewelry, flower crowns, non-flower bouquets, vintage vehicles, etc.
You really have the opportunity to be creative and make them as unique and personal to you as you want.
Some venues offer bridal session time to their package and some industry pros suggest always doing bridals at your venue. However, I really say do what makes you happy. If doing your bridal session at the farm where you grew up—go for it. Do what is going to make them special for you.
As I mentioned earlier, bridal sessions are tradition in southern weddings. It is also traditional to have a large portrait of the bride in her gown on display during the reception. And, obviously a bridal session prior to your wedding day gives you that chance do be a good southern bride (if you are one that think Oklahoma is southern.)
So, there you have it. The top reasons why I think bridal sessions are overall a good idea.
Be sure to talk to your photographer about bridal session options, wedding day timelines and all other logistics related to your wedding!
Check out a few of my favorite bridal photos below!