Preparing for Your Bridal Portraits -

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May 29, 2019

Preparing for Your Bridal Portraits

One of my favorite types of sessions are bridal portraits! I just love this Southern tradition and think it’s such a fun thing to incorporate into your wedding photography experience. Your wedding day will go by so quickly, and sometimes the timeline doesn’t allow us a ton of portrait time! That’s why I love having an opportunity to work with you one-on-one to take some gorgeous images of you in a stress-free environment!

To help you make the most of your bridal session, here are some tips below to help you prepare!


Since many brides choose to display images from their bridal session on the wedding day (usually at the reception), we need to make sure there will be enough time to edit the images and order any prints and canvases you may want! I have a two-week turnaround time for edits, and you should allow a minimum of two weeks for any print orders as well.

You’ll also need to coordinate this with your seamstress if you are having any alterations done on your dress! Let them know you plan to take bridal portraits, and they can give you a timeline for your alterations schedule.


This is one of the most important aspects of planning your bridal portraits! We have a few options when it comes to choosing a location for your session. Most venues allow brides who are having their wedding at that venue to schedule a bridal session during the week at no additional cost. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of photography coverage time on the wedding day and want a lot of portraits at your venue! However, if you have full-day photography coverage, we’ll have plenty of time to take portraits at the venue, so it may be more fun to choose a different location!

If you choose to find a location other than your wedding venue, you should decide if you want to be outdoors or indoors. You’ll want to keep in mind the time of year and how mobile you are in your dress! If it’s really hard for you to move around in your dress, hiking through a vineyard or a field of grass may not be the best option. I love discussing specific options for locations with my brides, so feel free to reach out if you need suggestions!


Holding a beautiful bouquet gives your session that extra bridal feel! Many florists offer a discount on a bouquet for your bridal photos, so be sure to ask about that! You could get one that will look exactly like the one you’ll hold on your wedding day, or try something different! For example, peonies are my favorite flower, but they aren’t in season when Hudson and I get married in November! Since I’ve scheduled my bridal session in June, my florist is making me a simple bouquet of peonies so I can have some photos with those!

Or, if you’re feeling really brave, you can make your own simple bouquet for your session! While I highly recommend purchasing one from your florist, if you have some experience with floral design, this can be a fun alternative! Jaclyn and I made the bouquet used in all these images ourselves with flowers from a local wholesale flower store!

Hair and Makeup

If at all possible, you should try to schedule a trial run with the hair and makeup artist you’ll be working with on your wedding day. This is a great way to test out your look and determine if there’s anything you want to change before the big day. What’s even better is that you can schedule the trial on the day you plan to take your bridal photos so that you have flawless hair and makeup for your photos! Be sure to contact your hair and makeup artists as soon as we have our session scheduled since they book up very quickly!

Jewelry, Shoes, & Accessories

If you already have your jewelry and shoes picked out, I recommend you wear them for your photos! It’s a great opportunity to see yourself completely dressed up in your wedding attire. Plus, it’s a great chance to break your shoes in a little more!

The only time I would suggest leaving your wedding shoes at home is if you’re concerned about moving around on location in them. For example, if we’re walking through a field and you’re wearing stilettos, you may struggle a bit! If you’re nervous about that, I recommend either wearing different shoes with a thicker heel or bringing another pair along that you can change into when we’re walking.

I also get asked a lot about whether or not you should bring the veil with you for your session. Honestly, it’s totally up to you! Some brides want to see their look complete and choose to bring the veil with them. This also gives us a little more variety in the photos since we can take some with your veil both on and off! Other brides like to save that one piece for the wedding day which is so special! Either way, we will get incredible photos!

Bring a Friend

No matter what your dress is like, I promise you’ll want to have a friend with you to help you move around! This is especially important if you have a long train because those things make it really hard to walk! Having a friend or two come along with you will also help with making sure the bottom of your dress doesn’t get dirty, and they can hold your flowers and other items whenever we don’t need them. Plus, I love having an extra hand or two to help me get some of those dreamy veil shots!

Other Items to Bring

Here are just a few more things you may want to consider bringing with you for your bridal portraits!

  • Water and snacks: You may not know it yet, but photo sessions can be exhausting! Keeping a few snacks on hand and a bottle of water will help you stay refreshed throughout your session.
  • Wipes: I know this sounds random, but let me explain! Sometimes brides will touch their makeup-covered face with their hands and later discover they got tan-colored smudges on their white dress! It’s a good idea to keep some baby wipes with you to wipe off your hands throughout the session just to be safe.
  • A clean engagement ring: Don’t forget to clean your ring before your session! I love incorporating the ring into some of your bridal photos, so you’ll want to make sure it’s sparkling!

It may sound cheesy, but the most important thing about your bridal session is that you have fun! You get a whole hour to spin around in the most beautiful dress with your flawless hair and makeup and celebrate the fact that you’re about to marry the love of your life!! ♡

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