Tips for an Amazing Bridal Session!

What is a Bridal Session?

Bridal sessions are a fun way to capture this incredible time of being engaged and getting married. The bride has a chance to slow down a little – enjoy being in that beautiful wedding dress a little – and capture some fantastic images that document all the beaming excitement that comes with marriage!

One big reason many like having a bridal session is they get test out their wedding day look. For this reason, I strongly urge brides to NOT do your own hair, makeup, or flowers yourself unless you also plan to do that for your wedding. Many of the brides who shoot with me end up changing something about their look after their bridal session. Maybe the realized the dress was too big, or the shoes gave her blisters, or the eye makeup was too intense, or the hair kept falling in her eyes. In every case the bride was able to make adjustments BEFORE the wedding day leading to a lot less stress! 

How does it work?

After booking your wedding you can sit down with your photographer to figure out a good date, time, and location for the bridal portraits. I’m sure your photographer will want either shoot early in the morning or later in the evening in what we like to call “golden hour” – the absolute best time of the day for gorgeous light. The entire session will last between 1 to 2 hours.

What should I bring?

In general, here are a few things you want to bring with you:

  1. Your dress (of course 🙂 veil, balero/wrap, shoes, engagement ring and other jewelry, hair accessories, etc.
  2. 1 or 2 people to help carry your stuff and help with your dress. They are also super helpful for things like touching up lip color or blotting away shine. Be sure to pick people you know you’ll have a great time with and who are positive and uplifting! 
  3. If it’s hot, bring some tissues for the sweat… cold water is also great! 
  4. Bring your bouquet if you have it. It’s not necessary, but it can give you something to do with your hands if you’re a little nervous. It also adds a pop of color which is always nice.
  5. Extra bobby pins (there’s never enough bobby pins)
  6. Mirror for makeup touching ups

5 tips to rock the session

1. Create a mood board! 

So here is a little homework for you. (Don’t worry – it’s not graded) Spend a little time with Pinterest and send me 10 bridal photos you really love along with one sentence about why you like it. This will help me structure the session to what you’re looking for. It will also help us decide the location and give you a visualization of some poses you may want to try.

2. Be on time!

Having the best light goes a long way towards making beautiful portraits! Your photographer will want to spend as much time with you as possible getting all the best shots before the sun goes down or gets too harsh. If you’re late, that’s possibly less photo opportunities you’ll have! Some things that often makes brides late are:

  1. Hair and Makeup (plan to have it done an hour before you need to have it done)
  2. The Dress (Probably the only other time you’ve really put on the dress was when the bridal salon pros helped you into the gown. Some dresses are easy, but some take a bit longer to figure out. Its great practice for the wedding day!
  3. Traffic – Allow extra time for traffic!

3. If the location allows – bring some of your favorite music! 

It’s always a lot of fun to have music playing in the background during the session. I’m a musician myself – so It’s cool to see what kind of music my brides are into! (I’m a Dave Matthews fan!)

4. Don’t try to “tough it out” if something feels wrong during a session. 

If you feel like your veil is off, or you start to feel lightheaded, or the poses just aren’t “you” please say something! This is your session and you make the rules. Just let me know how you’re feeling and what you want, because the most important thing to me is making sure you enjoy the experience as well as the end result. I want you to feel confident because that will come through in the photos! Seriously, enjoy yourself! 

5. Drink plenty of water before your session.

Wedding gowns tend to be heavy, and you’ll most likely be on your feet for at least 2 hours. Staying hydrated and eating snacks is very imporant! 

Final thoughts

Expect to have a lot of fun during the bridal session! I absolutely love getting to see what gown the bride has picked and its always a huge joy to get to work with someone during such a happy time in their life. I also want to encourage brides who are interested in using props during photos to bring those too. This is the perfect time to capture something unique you might not typically use on your actual wedding day.