The Bridal Session

If you’re a bride-to-be you may be asking, what is a bridal session and why do I need one? I also often get asked, “why can’t I just do them at the wedding?” I’m here to tell all brides-to-be what a bridal session is and the reasons to have one! Let’s get started!

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Bridal portraits are a tradition most commonly found in the south. Originating in Europe, bridal portraits were historically oil paintings of royalty in their bridal regalia and were traditionally commissioned by the bride’s family to commemorate such a special occasion. It’s a little unclear how this tradition made its way to the south, but before World War II, it was rare to have a photographer at your wedding, so bridal portraits were taken in the photographer’s studio before or after the couple’s wedding. Not that long ago, bridals were a rite of passage for southern brides. The bridal portraits were a family keepsake that was typically displayed on an easel near the guest book at the wedding and then hung in the bride’s parents home for years to come. They were also commonly used for wedding announcements in the local newspaper!

Newspapers may be a thing of the past, but the bridal portrait tradition lives on. Bridal sessions are one of the most fun sessions I get to do as a wedding photographer.

The traditional bridal portraits have now segued into its own indoor/outdoor session and have acquired a totally different meaning. The bride typically takes bridal portraits 1-2 months before the wedding day in her full wedding day attire – hair, makeup, jewelry, veil, shoes, bouquet, and of course her dress! These portraits are kept secret until after the wedding ceremony. Still today, brides opt in to displaying a large portrait or two near the wedding cake or guestbook. Interestingly, the reason for initially booking a bridal session has changed from its original traditional meaning.


You are getting ready for one of the most exciting days of your life, so why would you wait until your wedding day to have the perfect bridal look? Here are my top reasons on why every bride should have a bridal session!

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Most brides schedule a trial run with their hair and makeup artists before the wedding to see their final look and make any necessary last minute changes to their bridal look before the big day.  Scheduling your bridal session on the same day gives you the opportunity to see your whole look come together! This can definitely reduce any stress you may be having concerning your final look, and it gives you an opportunity to see yourself as you would be on your wedding day.

This is also the perfect time to get together with your florist and talk about your bouquet to see if your design or colors need to be changed for the actual wedding day.

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Ohhhh, this is such an exciting moment! I mean, what bride doesn’t want to be in her dress for a second time? As a bride, you’ve picked out your dress, had alterations done, and everything looks perfect. But, does it feel perfect? Bridal portraits are the best way to find out if any minor changes need to be addressed or if any other alternations need to be made before the wedding. Also, bridal portraits are typically 60 minute sessions, so that timeframe will definitely help provide an idea of how comfortable you’re going to be on your wedding day.

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Those Jimmy Choo’s might need some breaking in before the big day! You definitely don’t want your feet killing you all day on your wedding day, so a bridal session helps to loosen your wedding shoes up a bit.

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This is probably my favorite reason for having a bridal session. We have fun! You’ll feel beautiful and comfortable. With all of the stress that goes into planning and preparing for your wedding day, bridal portraits are a way to decompress and to just enjoy being a bride!

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I love having a girls day out with my brides! It’s such a nice way to spend a little time getting to know my bride – hearing the excitement in her voice for her wedding day is just the icing on the cake. It’s such a relaxing day. Make it a day to remember. Enjoy it! All of the things leading up to your wedding day should be memorable.


I LOVE doing bridal sessions at the venue whenever possible. It’s so much easier to be able to use the bridal suite to change into your dress, and we’re able to scope out beautiful portrait spots for the wedding day! I always leave it up to my brides to decide on a location for their bridal portraits, but I always vote for the venue.

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As mentioned above, traditionally, bridal portrait images would typically be displayed by the guestbook or the wedding cake following the ceremony. If you would like to have a little southern tradition at your wedding, having bridals done plenty of time before the wedding allows ample time to have prints and canvases ordered.


Having images from a bridal session is the perfect way give a gift to parents, or grandparents. You are creating an heirloom. How cool is that! Something that will likely be passed down from generation to generation, and you can’t say no to that!

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That’s it, ladies! Brides-to be, don’t miss out on such a beautiful session because having bridal portraits is definitely worth it! I hope you have a better understanding about what bridal portraits are and why the heck you need one! Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post and if you schedule one, I hope you enjoy that too!!

It doesn’t have to end here…check out more of this Dallas Wedding Photographer’s work by clicking over to our portfolio. You’ve seen it all and want to reach out to contact us for your own portrait session, wedding or event? You can do that by contacting us through our contact form!

We cannot wait to hear from you!

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