Why you should add bridal portraits to your package

A bride poses with Los Angeles Wedding photographer Photos By Victoria Smith at a destination wedding in East Tennessee. The bride stands during a bridal portrait under a willow tree.
Bridal portraits during an East Tennessee wedding.

Are you trying to decide if you need to book a bridal portrait session? Today’s post is designed to tell you everything you need to know about bridal portraits and help you decide if you want to add them to your wedding session.

a bride poses on the porch of mountain willow mannor during a bridal portrait session with Los Angeles photographer Photos By Victoria Smith
A bride poses during a bridal portrait session.

What are bridal portraits?

Bridal portraits are portraits taken prior to your wedding day during a solo photography session. Bridal portraits usually occur several months prior to the wedding. Some brides want to gift these images to their family or partner on the day of the wedding. Some brides will use these images as reception decor.

The focus of this session is simply on the bride. This is a time for you to put on your full bridal look and take time to create artistic images that show off every detail of your look.

A bride poses on the porch of Mountain Willow Manor during a bridal session with Los Angeles wedding photographer Photos by victoria smith
Bridal Portraits

Why should I book a bridal portrait session?

Think of how your engagement session made it easier to be in front of the camera. Bridal portrait sessions work the same way. Think of your session as a way to wear your entire bridal look and get comfortable posing in your gown before your wedding day comes. You will feel more comfortable on your wedding day after having this as a test run.

Most brides schedule their portrait session following their hair and makeup trial. So now not only are you more comfortable in front of the lens, you are building a deeper relationship with your other vendors too!

There is no rush or stress involved with your bridal session. Your wedding day timeline is going to be full of activities. If you are only able to set aside 20 minutes for portraits, you may not get as many poses or background options as you would with a bridal portrait session.

A former bride shared with me that she loved how a bridal session allowed her to wear her dress more than once. So much time and energy goes into picking the perfect dress. Let’s make sure we have time to give her her moment!

When do I need to book my session?

I suggest booking bridal portraits anywhere between 4-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. This will ensure your dress alterations are finished. Make sure you get with you photographer on how long they will need to edit your gallery to make sure you order any print materials in time.

When you’re scheduling your session, don’t forget to check in with your florist and your hair and makeup artist to confirm their availability! My suggestion is to book with your vendor team you will use for the wedding. Ask your vendor team how far out they need you to secure your date.

What do I bring to bridal portrait session?

Bring your dress, veil, shoes, undergarments, makeup touch up kits, and any jewelry or hair pieces that you will be wearing on your wedding day.

Don’t forget to bring a bouquet also. Ask your florist if they can provide you with a bouquet that matches the one on your wedding day for your portrait session. Some vendors include a bridal portrait bouquet in their pricing for your wedding, so check with your florist when you’re booking. They will also advise you on how to keep your blooms fresh and vibrant leading to your shoot.

I also recommend bringing along your mom or a bridesmaid. They’ll be helpful in fluffing your dress, carrying your bouquet, and making sure that your veil and hair remain in place and picture-perfect throughout your session! Make sure whoever you bring is someone who you feel relaxed around. Some brides want to keep the look a secret and come alone, and that is okay too!

Make a list:

  • Dress
  • Veil
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Hair Accessories
  • Touch-up Makeup and Hair products if needed
  • Florals
  • Comfortable shoes for walking from location to location
  • A friend, family member, or bridesmaid to help out!

Any other questions?

I hope this post helped you learn more about if a bridal portrait session is for you. If you have any questions, leave a comment below! If you are ready to book your bridal session, fill out my contact form here.

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