One of the most frequently asked questions I get by Brides-to-Be is if they should have a bridal portrait session done.
Here are my top 6 reasons for having a separate Bridal Portrait Session:
1. Less Formal Picture Time on your Wedding Day
One of the biggest stressors that can happen on your wedding day is the schedule. There's so many things to do and so many people see and to take pictures with that it might not seem like there's enough time in the day for it all! Removing portraits of the bride by herself from the day lends more time to pictures with the groom, with the bridal party, with family, or even just more time to take the day slow and soak it all in.
2. Different Locations
Are you getting married out in the woods but would really love pictures of you in your dress on the beach? Well then here you go. Doing the session on a separate day gives you the opportunity to continue with the creativity of where you have your pictures taken. Even if you want to do them at your venue you'll at least have the opportunity to wander farther than you might get to day of.
3. Larger Variety
Having the bridal portraits on their own day means having so much more time for them and more time means more pictures! Instead of the normal far away shot, close up shot, with bouquet, without bouquet, looking away, etc., your options are almost endless. Extra time for your session means extra time for creativity.
4. Prints at the Wedding
Apparently up until recently this has just been a thing in the south, but it's quickly spreading. Portraits of the bride in her dress at the reception is in many families a tradition, and it's quite the talking piece.
5. Test Run of Hair and Dress
Having a separate session means that you get a test run of your hair and makeup and you get to practice moving around in the dress. Knowing how your hair and makeup is going to react to this Texas heat and humidity is a must. Maybe you want to have your hair up the day of your wedding, but you would love to have more natural pictures of yourself with it down. Also, I'm sure that it's an incredible dress; there's no reason why you can't wear it more than once.
6. More Time to Become Besties with Your Photographer
Now come on, I feel like this one is a given. Who doesn't want to be friends with a photographer? We're pretty awesome people! Engagement sessions are a great opportunity to not only get to know your photographer, but to get comfortable being in front of their camera and become familiar with how they do their thing. A bridal session is another opportunity to become friends with your photographer and let them get to know you a little bit more before the hustle and bustle of the big day.
And an Extra Reason:
Typically bridal portrait sessions are done within a month of the wedding, but nobody said that you have to be a typical bride. Shake things up and do them after your wedding. Waiting until after the day can alleviate stress and allow you to focus more on making it exactly how you want it to be or give you more time to enjoy the ride. Waiting until after your wedding also gives you the chance to get the dress a little dirty; anything from standing in the tall grass to an all out "Trash the Dress" session. You can even invite the groom!
All in all, bridal portraits aren't for everyone. You might not want a bunch of pictures of yourself or you might be able to allot enough time for it day of. It's ok! That's one of the best parts of getting married.
It's your day. Do what you want to do.