I wanted to do a short series of posts called “For Brides” to help people during the wedding planning process. During the planning of your wedding, I’m sure you will have questions and want some advice. I have been there and I know it can be the most exciting season of your life, as well as the most overwhelming! Enjoy and feel free to ask me questions. :)
Other Posts from the "For Brides" series:
- Wedding Day Details
- Should you hire a videographer?
- Should you hire a wedding planner?
- For Grooms: How I proposed
- Who to invite to your wedding
- What to wear for your engagement session
- First Look vs. Traditional Aisle Reveal
Of all the sessions that I enjoy doing, bridal portraits are not only one of my favorites, but they are also the most rewarding because I get to see girls gain confidence in themselves in the process. I get to photograph so many different, beautiful dresses, but also get to be creative and incorporate some of the bride’s personality with the pictures. If you have asked yourself the question "should I have bridal portraits done?", this is for you!
The History of Bridal Portraits
The idea of bridal portraits started somewhere in Europe a very long time ago. Originally, the pictures were oil paintings with the bride and groom in their wedding outfits. Obviously, when they were paintings, the process took a lot longer (don’t worry – I don’t take nearly that long with my sessions). All of the pictures were painted in a study and were very formal.
Sometime before World War II, brides in the south began taking bridal portraits before their wedding day. Back then, no one had photographers capture their actual wedding day. The idea of formal bridal pictures continued for a long time after that. At this point, brides were still going to studios to take stiff, proper photos.
In the last decade, brides have become more adventurous with their shoots. These days brides travel around town in their gowns for bridal portraits everywhere from a woodsy field filled with lavender to places with beautiful architecture. Personally, I’m glad we’ve finally moved away from stuffy studio settings.
Why You Should do a Bridal Session
Honestly, I could list about several reasons why you should have bridal portraits taken, but I’ll stick with some of the main ones.
It’s a good test drive for your dress and your photographer.
I was so glad that I personally had bridal portraits done before my own wedding. One of the things that I didn’t realize in my own dress (even though I had pranced around in it multiple times in my home) was how heavy it was. During my bridal portraits with my photographer, for the first time, I realized how heavy my veil was. You wouldn’t think that a veil would be heavy, until it gets stuck into your hair and the wind catches it.
You also don’t know what small hiccups that you might run into when you’re in the dress, but having a bridal portrait session can iron out some of those problems. Having bridal portraits done prior to the wedding allows you to be more comfortable in your dress and in front of the camera.
Added Decoration at the Reception
Who says you have to pick just one bridal portrait to display at your wedding reception? The traditional way to display the bridal portrait is to have one large photo framed or printed on canvas and featured when guests walk in.
I picked one of my favorites and had it on an easle when guests walked into the reception hall - it was a huge hit! Nearly everyone commented on how pretty it was! I also made a special photo book for my groom that I gave him after our wedding, on the plane to our honeymoon. He cried, and it was very special.
If you have bridals done, there are dozens of different ways that you can display them at your reception, but regardless, it can be a unique and personal touch for your wedding day.
They’re just plain fun!
Bridals are some of the most fun pictures that you’ll ever take! Not only is it an excuse to put on that stunning dress and get all dolled up, but you get to go out to one of your favorite spots and capture all of it on camera. Of all the times that I’ve been in front of the camera, my bridal portrait session was the most fun and the most memorable, and the photos are Mitchel’s favorite pictures as well!