Wedding Tips

What Is a Bridal Session and Why Should You Have One?

Bridal Session Fort Worth

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A Bridal Session is a very popular addition to wedding photography, especially here in the South where they have been a longtime cherished tradition. These sessions usually take place before the wedding (between 1-2 months prior) and focus entirely on the bride! This is an opportunity for the bride to get dressed up in her full wedding attire and have beautiful images taken of her by her wedding photographer at the location of her choice. Bridal portraits are usually kept secret until the wedding and are often showcased at the wedding reception (along with engagement images).

Bridal Session with flower bouquet

Why do a Bridal Session?

Have you been considering a Bridal Session, but just aren’t quite convinced yet? Maybe we can help you decide! Below we’re sharing the 10 biggest reasons why we love them!

1. Wedding-Day Hair and Makeup Trial

Coordinating your hair and makeup trials with your bridal session gives you the unique opportunity to see your finished wedding look on camera before the big day! This ensures you are 100% happy with and confident in your wedding day glam before you walk down the aisle (or it gives you plenty of time to make any adjustments if you’d like to tweak anything).

2. Wedding Dress Trial Run

Since your bridal session will be scheduled after your final fitting, this lets you get comfortable with what the dress will feel like and how to maneuver in it before your wedding day! But, it also allows you to see how it will look on camera. Things often look very different in photographs, so this is invaluable! Even if you don’t do a bridal session, we always recommend taking lots of pictures in your dress and at your hair/makeup trial to be sure you love it all as much in-camera as you do in the mirror!

* Insider Tip: We can’t tell you how many weddings we’ve experienced where the bride goes to put on her dress and something as simple as the undergarments she brought doesn’t work with it or they can’t remember how to tie up the dress properly – and then it’s all hands on deck to figure it out and come up with solutions. This causes so much last-minute stress and anxiety and takes precious time away from your wedding photography. Don’t let this happen to you! A bridal session is the perfect way to confirm you have all the right accessories and that everything is fitting and laying properly together. However, if you do choose to opt-out of one, please be sure to put everything on at home and make sure you’re ready to go BEFORE your wedding day! You will thank us later, I promise.

Bridal Session details

3. Fun with Florals

A bridal session is a great way to see how well your bouquet coordinates with your dress and wedding glam. Many florists will give you the option of adding on a smaller version of your wedding day bouquet for you to use at your bridal session. Or, if you have been debating between two different styles – this gives you the opportunity to incorporate an entirely different style and/or colored bouquet!

4. Pick Your Favorite Location

Of course, you can always have your bridal session at your wedding venue (this also ensures that your images fit seamlessly into your final wedding album if that’s important to you). BUT, you also have the freedom to choose an entirely different location – a flower field, a forest, a lake or someplace modern or industrial – the possibilities are endless. This photo session is all about you and there are no rules!

* For photo location inspiration, head over to our blog where we share the Top 8 Photo Locations in Dallas + Fort Worth!

Bride posing during Bridal session

5. Take Advantage of the Best Time of Day

Photo sessions during golden hour (which is the first hour after sunrise and the hour leading up to sunset) typically offer the softest and most flattering natural light which makes for some pretty amazing images. Not to mention how epic it can be to shoot at sunrise or sunset. Your wedding day schedule may not allow for you to have bridal photos taken during this time, so a bridal session is a fantastic solution!

6. Relieves Stress from Wedding Day

Weddings can be stressful and even the best-planned weddings are unpredictable. By doing a bridal session in advance, you free up time in your wedding-day timeline and are able to focus on creating more memories with your groom, other loved ones or simply getting to your party quicker! And that, in our opinion, is priceless.

* Insider Guide: The Ultimate Wedding Photography Timeline

Montclair bridal session

7. Get Comfortable in Front of the Camera

For some people, being in front of a camera may come naturally. But for the rest of us, it might take a little more easing into before we really start to feel comfortable: and that’s okay! We’ve found that the more relaxed environment of a bridal session (or even an engagement session) is the perfect way to do it! And establishing this confidence before your wedding day is invaluable!

8. Built Trust with your Photographer

Spending more time with your wedding photographer drastically increases your level of familiarity and comfort with them, which in turn, allows you to feel more confident and relaxed on your wedding day. This connection always yields the most genuine and authentic imagery and greatly improves your overall wedding day experience!

*Remember, your photographer is the one person who will be by your side every step of the day – it’s important that you connect with and like them!

Winter bridal session in snow

9. Creating Heirlooms

Needless to say, your bridal portraits will become incredible heirlooms that you’ll cherish for a lifetime!

They can also make great gifts for your parents, grandparents and additional loved ones!

10. Have some FUN!

You have invested so much time and energy into planning your wedding: choosing a venue, dress, hair, makeup, florals and all the little details – it’s time to blow off some steam and have a little fun! And what better way than during a photo session that focuses on and celebrates YOU!? Invite your mom, sister or maid-of-honor, pop a bottle of champagne and make it a girls’ day out even!

Bride in flowing wedding gown

The bottom line is that there really is no downside to doing a bridal session. These sessions are a beloved tradition for a reason! They are a great extension of your wedding story and the perfect addition to your wedding photography.

Group of brides on the beach

Have any questions about bridal sessions, engagement portraits or wedding photography? Reach out to us today! We’d love to chat!

Logo of Stefani Ciotti Photography, a Fort Worth Wedding Photographer

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