Why Bridal Portraits Aren't Just for Southern Brides
August 3, 2017
Bridal portraits have long been a special tradition in the South, but there's a reason they're so beloved by Southern Brides! From acting as the perfect trial run for your hair and makeup to providing you with a gorgeous keepsake and present for your Groom, the benefits of scheduling a bridal portrait session are many! Nancy Aidee Photography counts bridal portrait sessions among her favorite things to photograph and has quickly become known for her expertise in this area. Here she shares why every Bride should consider scheduling a portrait session, and once you do, how to make the most of it!

Why You Should Book a Bridal Portrait Session

It is the perfect opportunity to do a run-through with your hair and makeup team and make modifications before the big day. It also allows you to move a bit in your wedding dress and make sure it fits perfectly, still giving you the opportunity to make additional alterations. You get to try out your accessories, brake in your shoes, and make adjustments to your overall look – it's not too late to swap out that hair accessory with a veil or exchange a delicate necklace for statement earrings!

The bridal portrait session is another opportunity for you and your photographer to get to know each other more and feel comfortable working together. This comfort will translate to your wedding day photos!

Lastly, and also my favorite benefit of all, it makes for a perfect pre-wedding gift for parents or your soon-to-be husband. It's about preserving the beauty and joy of this chapter in your life! I recommend scheduling this session about 3-4 weeks before the wedding.

While I recommend Brides having their portraits taken before their wedding, some prefer to take their bridal portraits on their actual wedding day for a variety of reasons. If you're unable to schedule a separate session, it is always best to set aside at least 10-20 minutes – or longer! – in your wedding timeline for your photographer to capture these photos on the wedding day. This should be prior to any other photos (i.e. first look, family, pre-ceremony, bridal party, etc.).

Make the Most of Your Portrait Session

When you are choosing your photographer for your wedding, seek out a photographer that you feel comfortable with, that will give you great direction and steer you – they will also be the ones taking your bridal portraits! You want someone who will guide you in the placement of your hands, which direction to position you in, and how to make you feel beautiful during the session. Make sure to communicate with your photographer as much as possible and learn in advance their photography style and preferred use of light.

Beautiful lighting is essential, and personally, I prefer to work mostly with natural light. So choose a location and time of day for your portrait session that will maximize natural light! Some other factors to consider when choosing a location for your bridal portrait session are comfort, availability, and meaning. My advice would be to choose a somewhat private location where you can feel more at ease. This could be your wedding venue, church, home, or even a private garden or park. There are also venues that constantly rent their spaces for bridal portraits. Ultimately, the location should also be an absolute reflection of your style and personality and should tie in the overall aesthetic of your upcoming wedding day. If you are planning on having your bridal portraits taken outdoors, make sure you have a backup venue or location in case the weather is not in your favor.

Complete the look with your accessories. A veil is such a simple and beautiful detail, and having photos with and without the veil will give you a variety of images. You should also bring your wedding day jewelry and shoes. These can make a big impact and provide interesting, details shots during your portrait session. Don't forget the bouquet, either! This will not only help you with posing, but it will also complete the overall bridal look and allow you to talk about any last minute tweaks with your florist.

Finally, bring some company to the shoot! Having your mom, sister, or a friend to help out throughout the session is always helpful for a smooth and more enjoyable shoot. Have a great time throughout your session, and don’t forget to toast to the occasion! Completing your bridal portraits is definitely cause to break out the bubbly!
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