What To Know About Bridal Sessions

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March 2, 2020

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I remember playing in my grandma’s home as a kid running up and down the hallways and being stopped in my tracks. There in the hallway is was a gorgeous photo of my stunning mother in her wedding dress from 1986. When I was older I found out that she went to a studio a few days before her wedding and had photos taken of just her in her wedding dress and I thought that was so cool of her. She looked confident, beautiful, and like a true rock star. Not only did she look amazing, I loved the fact that she did something for herself. As my mom and someone who has sacrificed so much, I loved seeing that she celebrated that season in her life and did something just for her! Go, Mom!

As a photographer, I LOVE doing bridals. I get to connect with my brides, be there personal cheerleader, and am always so inspired by them!

I get asked a-lot of questions about bridals too, so I thought I would answer a few of the most asked questions I hear. Below are photos of our real bride Ariana from her bridal session in Houston, Texas.

What are Bridals?

Said to have first originated in Europe, Bridals are now a southern tradition in which the bride takes photos alone in her wedding dress a few weeks before the wedding day.


Why Bridals?

  • Just like my mother’s bridal photos, these too will be some of your family’s first heirlooms! These will be the photos your children, nieces and nephews, grandkids, parents, and YOU will all look back on through the years.

  • This season in your life only happens once! Why not celebrate it with a photo shoot!? This period in your life is crazy, you’re planning a wedding, imagine just taking a second to embrace it and do something for yourself. And lets be honest, this will probably be one of the only times you get to wear your dress out of the house other than the wedding day and you spent a lot of money on it!

  • We will get to focus on you a little more with a little more leisure. On your wedding day we will be sure to take some photos of you, but depending on your timeline, it may only be a few. Your bridal session will allow you plenty of time to take some relaxed photos of just you to have forever!

  • The opportunity to test out your wedding day look! Bridals are when you really get to see your wedding day look come to life! It is a great way to see if there are any last minute changes (hair/makeup, bouquet, accessories, alterations, etc.) that need to be made. You get to see how everything will look, feel and how it photographs!

  • Has your mom attempted getting you into your wedding dress yet? If not, the bridal session is the time to do it! Have her practice buttoning you up!


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When should you do your bridal session?

  • If you are planning to print and display your bridal photos at your wedding I would suggest planning to do your bridal session no later than 3-4 weeks before the wedding day. This will comfortably give you plenty of time to choose and print which images you’d like to display.

  • Now that you know when you want to do your bridals, keep this in mind early on when communicating with your bridal boutique and tailor to ensure your dress is ready in time. Now, what if your dress isn’t ready in time? Don’t fret! I’ve done bridal sessions the week of a wedding as well as a month after a bride’s wedding. This is your journey-do it how ever makes you happy!

  • Try to schedule your hair and makeup trial on the same day of your bridals. Take advantage of having your hair and makeup done by your professionals and lets do your bridals after! Two birds…one day!

  • Extra Tip! If you LOVE your hair and makeup trial, request having the same exact person(s) who did your hair and makeup do it on your wedding day as well!


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What (& who) should I bring to my bridal session?

  • All Bridal Accessories: All Jewelry, Veil, Shoes, Belts, Capes, Hair Pieces, etc.

  • A Bridal Bouquet! I recommend having your florist do it. Some florists offer a mock bouquet or will do them at a discount for your bridal session. Get used to posing with your bouquet and get an idea of what it will look like in person!

  • Anything you want a photo of! Have a small keepsake handed down from your mom? Bring it along.

  • Most importantly! Uplifting Humans Allowed ONLY! Trust me on this. If you want, bring 1-2 people to help you out (fluff your dress, touch up your hair, be your “hype-man”). They need to check the following boxes: Be energetic, Be uplifting, Be 150% in your court. If not, don’t bring them along.


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Where Should I Take My Bridal Photos?

  • Ideally somewhere with an outdoor and indoor option with plenty of light and not a ton of people.

  • Your Wedding Venue – A lot of venues allow their couples a free shoot at their venue.

  • Other Wedding Venues – This gives you the option for a different look, feel, and more variety when it comes to backgrounds. Some locations do charge a fee but having a clean, relaxing, private, indoor/outdoor space is definitely worth it if you can swing it.

  • Ask your photographer for their suggestions! I have lots of favorite places and ideas for bridal session locations.


If you found this at all helpful, please let us know in the comment section below!

Hair and Makeup: Adorne Artistry Houston

Venue: Creative Chateau

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I'm Kelly & I'm so happy you're here. This blog is where you can find more of our work, tips, & travels to browse. Stay a while!

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