It's no surprise that planning a wedding can be stressful. Whether you’ve planned one yourself or just watched them be planned on television, this multi-billion euro industry can take some once loving couples to the wrestling ring during the planning stages. Blissful and beautiful in their own right, weddings have a long-running history of increasing the stress on pretty much everyone involved.It

"Your wedding is one of the biggest parties that you'll ever plan. With tasks such as finding the right vendors, creating your event design, and planning the timeline and logistics of the day, the stress quickly builds up. On your wedding day, you should be able to relax and enjoy being the guest of honor.

The key to a stress-free wedding day, of course, is knowing what to do to make things go as smoothly as possible both before and on your big day.


Something that wedding photographers often take for granted is that brides and grooms don’t know all the ins and outs of wedding tradition! For example, when I began meeting with couples for their wedding photography consults, I would start by getting to know them and would ask what services they most wanted. As I would walk them through the various services I usually offer, almost every time we’d stop at the words “bridal session.” And then I’d be met with either an enthusiastic nod, or a totally blank stare! I assumed everyone knew about bridal sessions, but I’ve since learned that’s definitely not the case! So today I want to answer just that: “What is a bridal session, and why should I schedule one?”

Tradition of Bridal portrait session

A bridal portrait session is a fairly old and specifically Southern tradition that began in Europe. The bride schedules a portrait session focusing solely on herself which takes place well before the wedding day. She is photographed dressed in her wedding dress and She might also have her hair and makeup done by the same person she is planning on using for her wedding day. The resulting bridal photos are kept secret, and in many cases a large print from the session is later displayed at the wedding reception

why should i schedule a bridal portrait session?

Deciding whether or not you want to have your “bridals” done (that’s industry speak) is purely a matter of personal choice! But I do think it’s important to learn about the reasons why a bridal session can be very beneficial. Then, you can decide for yourself whether it makes sense for you! So, what are some great reasons as to why you should schedule a bridal portrait session?

Decide wheter you want to change anything about your final look.

One of the best parts about a bridal session is that you have the opportunity to see all of the elements put together. It’s not only exciting to see how gorgeous your hair and makeup look with your dress, but it also gives you the opportunity to tweak anything that doesn’t look the way you imagined. For example, if you schedule your hair and makeup trial run for the same day as your bridal portraits, you will be able to see how your beauty look translates in photos. Maybe it’s darker than you imagined, and you’d like to swap that Kim Kardashian glamour look for something more natural. Or maybe you realize that you need a little bit of extra tailoring on your dress. This is the perfect opportunity for a “dress rehearsal”!

Bridal portraits give you a bit more posing practice.

Much like your engagement session, your bridal session will give you more one-on-one time with your photographer. You also get the chance to practice moving AND posing in your wedding dress. When the big day arrives, you’ll be a pro!

Capture beautiful,stres free bridal portraits

As a ireland wedding photographer, you had to know I was going to say this! Scheduling a bridal session is the perfect time to capture photos of you all glammed up. You’ll still have photos taken of just you on your wedding day, but this is a chance to get extra special photos without being worried about your timeline. You just get to focus on looking amazing! You’re going to spend so much time planning out your bridal “look.” It makes sense to dedicate 1-2 hours of bridal photography to capture all of your hard work! Plus, I personally think it’s a lot of fun!

By now you should have a better understanding of just what is a bridal session as well as some reasons why you might choose to have them done. Or, maybe you’re a little less confused about this old Southern tradition – if that’s the case, great! Either way, bridal portraits are just another way to capture memories of an absolutely beautiful season of life, so have fun and enjoy yourself!


Bridal Session

If you’ve chosen to have your bridal portraits taken as part of your wedding photography package – get excited, because it’s a blast spending an hour feeling like a model! You get the chance to “try out” your bridal hair and makeup, florals, and see your entire wedding day look all put together! It is truly a special experience, and you end up with gorgeous photos that focus all on YOU!

Since this is most likely the first time you’ve had bridal portraits taken, you may be looking for a few tips on how to prepare for your session. Having shot many, many bridal portraits, I am happy to share some insight and bridal session tips!

Schedule Accordingly

You will probably have a handful of fittings that you will need to schedule around. Make sure your bridal shop (or whomever is taking care of the alterations) knows that you are planning bridal portraits. We will need to schedule at least 3-4 weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for editing and print ordering.


Location is a crucial part of scheduling and planning your bridal session. Here in the Dallas area, there are many beautiful outdoor locations for portraits! However, you will need to consider your overall look as well as the limitations of your dress. For example, if you are wearing a long cathedral-style train, it doesn’t make sense to take your bridal portraits outside in a field somewhere.

Both outdoor and indoor locations can be stunning for bridal portraits. It is important to remember that many places require permits or rental fees to take photos on their property. With that being said, many wedding venues will allow you to schedule your bridal session there at no extra cost as part of your booking package.

Hair and Make up

Use this opportunity to schedule a trial for your hair and makeup. You will want to be sure to contact your artist(s) in advance to get on the books, as they fill up quickly. Keep in mind that your makeup may look a bit darker than expected, but the color and contrast will look great on camera. Once you see your final images, you can discuss any changes that need to be made (if any!) with your hair/makeup team.


It’s a great idea to bring any accessories and jewelry you plan on wearing for your wedding day. That way, you can ensure that everything looks cohesive and just the way you want it! Try to keep it all in one bag for easy transport.


Contact your wedding day florist and let them know you are taking bridal portraits. They will be able to provide a bouquet that matches the one you will carry down the aisle! Be sure to keep the bouquet in water until you arrive to your portrait location.

Bring a companion

I recommend that you bring 1-2 people with you to your bridal session. This can be a family member (like your mom or sister) or even a bridesmaid. I usually enlist their help holding and fluffing your dress or carrying your flowers/bag. Whatever you do, be sure that the person you bring is someone who is uplifting and energetic so that you actually enjoy yourself!

Stay energized and refreshed

I always suggest that brides bring a snack or two and plenty of water. It is easy to underestimate how much energy it takes posing and staying focused with all of the attention on you! Staying hydrated and keeping hunger pangs away will help you feel (and therefore look) your best!

Relax and have fun

Most of all, try your best to relax and have fun! It is a blast having an hour all to yourself while feeling like a model! Remember, you don’t need to know how to pose – your photographer will walk you through positioning and posing so that you look your absolute best! All you need to do is smile and be yourself!