Bridal portraits are such fun for the bride and the photographer! This is the first time you will have likely been in your dress for a large amount of time (besides the times you have tried it on just because you want to at home). This is your time to try out wearing your dress and to begin feeling confident in it. It is also your chance to have a hair and make up trial as well as a trial of your bouquet in order to make any slight adjustments before your big day! The bridal session is your chance to relax, slow down, and get to know your photographer, me! :)
I typically like to do bridal portraits about 1.5-2 months before your wedding date to allow time for retouching, making prints, and framing a portrait (or several) to display at your reception. Here are some tips and ideas of what you may want to bring to your bridal portrait session.
1. Come hydrated!
I can not stress this one enough! Make sure you drink lots of water the day before your bridal session and in the hours before your session. Wedding dresses are heavy and can be hot. If you're doing an outdoor bridal session in the Summer/Spring/early Fall months, it's probably going to be warm outside. A typical bridal session will last anywhere between 1 hour and 2 hours, so quite a bit of walking/standing is involved. If you are not properly hydrated, your session will be miserable and I don't want you passing out on me!
Make sure to stop drinking about an hour before your session (small sips are okay-but don't chug a whole bottle an hour before the session), so that you don't have to run to the bathroom in your big dress while we are in the middle of a field or out at a location with no restroom.
2. Hair and Makeup
You will want to have your hair and makeup done by the person who will be doing it on the wedding day. This is a great time to try out your look so that you can make any changes or tweaks for the wedding day. Don't be like me and try to do it yourself and end up having a slight mental breakdown so that your mom has to call your friend to come help because you're struggling so hard. Haha.
Yes, bring a bouquet! Alot of florists will make you a trial bouquet for your bridal portraits. They will either include it in your floral package or you can ask them if you can pay extra to have one made. It totally ties together the bridal look and gives your portraits a little extra pop! Plus, it gives you a chance to make any tweaks to the bouquet before the wedding after seeing the bouquet in person.
If its not possible to have the florist make you a bouquet for the bridal portrait session, have your mom or a friend buy some nice flowers from a grocery store or market and tie them together with a pretty ribbon.
Bring your jewelry and veil. If you’re still undecided about the jewelry you want to wear on your wedding day, this is a great time to bring all of your options to see what photographs best. I will be glad to offer my opinion if you would like it, too! :)
If your wedding day shoes are heels, bring them, but also bring a pair of flats or flip flops to walk around in while taking portraits. You don't want to be uncomfortable during your session!
6. Touch-up items
- Bobby Pins
- Water bottle
- Non-messy snack like a granola bar or fruit snacks just in case you need some extra energy
7. Friend or Family Member, but not an entire posse
Bring one or two people who know you well and will be there to look out for the tiniest details for you. Your mom and/or sister, but not every single one of your bridesmaids, please! This should be a fun, relaxed time for you and you don't want lots of opinions and stress. While they totally mean well, you might be overwhelmed if you bring a whole group!
My most important recommendation for bridals - DON'T STRESS! And please have fun! I look back on my bridal session with such fondness (even after having my hair catastrophe) and I want that for you too! If you have questions shoot me an email!