Before you go rolling your eyes at the photographer who’s writing a blog post about booking yet another kind of photography session, humor me for a moment. You see, I am writing this blog post, not as a photographer, but as a recent bride. I got married to my incredible husband on January 11th, 2020. On February 20th, 2020, I met the lovely Kate Panza at Adriatica Village in Mckinney Texas for a bridal portrait session. While it was not my original plan (or traditional) to have a bridal portrait session after the wedding, it’s just the way it worked out for me with the craziness that was my life leading up to the wedding.
Despite the odd timing, I am so glad I had these portraits done. While another photography session may not be in the budget for you, my hope is that you, and all brides, be shown the beauty of a bridal session and make an informed decision about booking one, or not.
What is a Bridal Portrait Session anyway?
I moved to the South 5 years ago and prior to that, had never heard of a bridal portrait session. Much of the Northern United States does not practice this wedding tradition. For those of you who fit into that category, a bridal session is a portrait photoshoot that traditionally occurs 6-8 weeks before the wedding. The bride dresses in her complete bridal look including hair, makeup, florals and accessories, and is photographed at either her wedding venue or another venue, studio or outdoor location. Often a formal bridal portrait is displayed at the wedding reception and hung in the bride & groom’s home after the wedding. When I discovered this tradition, it occurred to me that I have a bridal portrait of my Grandmother that I cherish. These portraits so easily become heirlooms for generations to come.
Why I am so glad I booked a bridal session and think you should, too
Spending more time as a Bride (and in your dress!)
Being a bride is like nothing else we experience as women. Not every bride has the same feelings, of course, but I think we can all agree that being a bride brings joy, anticipation and peace in knowing we are loved so fiercely that the man we love wants to spend the rest of his life with us. The traditions involved in being a bride — dressing in a white gown, carrying a fresh bouquet of flowers, wearing a beautiful veil — are all so nostalgic and romantic. All of these beautiful traditions and the very act of vowing your life to another ties us to something transcendent and universal. We have a sense of this when we become brides and it’s really something special.
One of my favorite parts of being a bride was choosing and wearing my gown. I absolutely loved my wedding gown. I am sure you love yours, too. We spend a lot of time and money searching for, purchasing and altering the perfect gown. Do you really only want to wear it for one day? I know I didn’t. In fact, I booked my bridal portraits after the wedding mainly for this reason. I felt so beautiful in my wedding gown that I just wanted to live in it! So why not revel in this season as much as you can? I didn’t regret it and I promise you won’t either.
“Being a bride is like nothing else we experience as women.”
Trial Run for your Bridal Look
Another, much more practical reason for considering a bridal session is to test out your full bridal look. Most of my brides will book their bridal session on the same day they have a hair and makeup trial with the artist they chose for their wedding day. This is the perfect way to see how your hair and makeup will hold up and how it will photograph. Another common practice is to have your bridal bouquet made for the session. Be sure to wear your veil, shoes, jewelry and any other accessories you have planned to see how everything looks together. If there’s anything that doesn’t look exactly like you planned, you can make the necessary changes for the big day!
Get comfortable in front of the camera
I love being a photographer, but I’m not always a fan of being photographed. Maybe you can relate? For most of us, getting our photos taken feels awkward and often, that awkwardness shows through in the images. The last thing you want is to get your wedding photos back and see that you look stiff or uncomfortable in them. It takes time to feel comfortable in front of a camera and a bridal session gives you that time. Not only will you be a pro after your bridal session, but you’ll have images of yourself as a stress-free, glowing bride without the pressure of your wedding day.
“Not only will you be a pro after your bridal session, but you’ll have images of yourself as a stress-free, glowing bride without the pressure of your wedding day.”
Take some pressure off your wedding day timeline
Wedding days are busy, friends. The timeline can quickly get off schedule and time crunched. When this happens, some time for photos will inevitably be missed. While I always capture the bride by herself on her wedding day, having a bridal session relieves some of the pressure on the timeline of the day when we’ve already taken a collection of beautiful photographs of you in your full wedding look. You can rest assured that you have plenty of photos of you, so that gives us more time for Husband and Wife portraits!
Your wedding venue is almost certainly gorgeous and likely has plenty of locations for photos. But another perk of having a bridal session is that you can take photos at a different location that you wouldn’t be able to get to on your wedding day.
Have you always loved the grand staircase at the Public Library? Or the vineyard in the country? Or how about a meaningful location like your family’s multi-generational home? There are tons of gorgeous locations that are either free or available to rent for photography. The options are endless. You’ll have a gallery of images with so much variety when you book a bridal session paired with your wedding photos.
“The options are endless.”
Here’s the proof
As you can see, there are so many good reasons to have a bridal portrait session. But if all of that wasn’t convincing enough, take a look at my bridal portraits below. The talented Kate Panza made me feel so beautiful and captured exactly how I felt on my wedding day. I promise these will be photos you’ll absolutely love.
So, had you heard of a bridal session before this post? Does this help you in making a more informed decision?
If you’re interested in booking a bridal session with me (they’re my absolute favorite thing to photograph) fill in the Contact form! Let’s make some beautiful images together that you and your family will cherish for generations to come.
“I promise these will be photos you’ll absolutely love.”
Photographer: Kate Panza Photography
Dress: Mikaella Bridal
Bridal Boutique: Lulu’s Bridal
Makeup: JM Glamour
Venue: Adriatica Village
5 Reasons Every Bride Should Have a Bridal Session
March 30, 2020