September 9, 2021

Do You Need a Bridal Portrait Session?


Bridal portraits at Dover Hall Estate by Virginia Photographers
Bridal portrait session at Dover Hall

Disclaimer: Not all weddings have a bride, and some weddings have two brides. This blog post is for brides who might be thinking about a bridal portrait session where we take additional portraits prior to the wedding.

I receive so many questions asking – Do I need a bridal portrait session? The answer varies for every person, since all brides have different priorities. But what even is it? Basically, a bridal portrait session is a 1-2 hour photo session where the bride gets all dressed up before the wedding and we take some photos with just her. Many times, the bride will have her hair and makeup trial right before and bring a bouquet with her. So, again, do you need a bridal session? Here are my top 5 reasons why a separate bridal portrait session might be a good idea.

1. More Time

The best part about separate bridal portraits is having more time! This is especially important for brides who have a really strict timeline. These sessions can capture all of the getting ready portion as well as portraits of the bride in her dress, so it gives us a bit of breathing room on the big day.

Bridal portrait session at Tranquility Farms

2. Better Space

Lots of times, getting ready rooms on the actual wedding day are cramped and dark. Some venues don’t have a great space with great light to really capture those stunning “getting ready” portraits. For this separate session, we could choose a location that is complimentary to your wedding vision, but gives you more space to get ready in. We are happy to send over a list of favorites!

3. More Details

Most often, brides will bring their personal details with them to the bridal shoot. We LOVE this! It gives us extra time to get some of those detail shots that can get rushed on the wedding day. Also, it shows us what we are working with so that we can better plan what shots we still need to capture on the day of.

4. Trial Run for Hair and Makeup

90% of brides opt to have their hair and makeup trail the same day we do bridal portraits. This is such a good option! If you are doing your hair and makeup yourself, it gives you time to practice and perfect your look. If you are having a hair and makeup artist do this for you, it gives you time to make sure you are happy with how everything looks. It also gives both of us time to see how the look photographs and we can adjust if need be!

5. Friend Time!

Our last, and arguably most important, reason to take bridal portraits is that we have even more time to get to know  one another! It allows you to get more comfortable in front of the camera. It also allows me time to learn all about you and what you like so that we are good friends by the time your wedding day comes around. 

Bridal portrait session at Dover Hall
Bridal portrait session at Dover Hall

Still not convinced? Shoot us an email and we will let you know if we think a bridal portrait session would be a good fit for you based on your timeline and needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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On a cold fall wedding day in late 2016, Anthony came with Hannah to carry her bags at a wedding she was photographing. During some down time, he picked up one of her cameras to take some artistic shots. The rest is history! Today, we are the husband-and-wife photography team dedicated to telling the story - be it of your wedding day or of your small business.

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