Have you noticed a trend that started decades ago, where the bride does portraits before the wedding? Well, an even better trend started at least 10 years ago where couples did their wedding portraits ahead of time. I love this trend, and in fact I participated in it myself. It doesn’t work for every wedding, and isn’t even necessary for every wedding, but I encourage them for a few reasons. Timeline planning for your wedding day is easier. You can use pictures from your session in your wedding decor or favors. And it’s a great time to practice with your beauty and photo teams. When the couple takes photos before the wedding day together, we call these sessions “Formals”. So let’s dig in on more reasons you might consider having a formal or bridal photo session!
When it comes to planning your wedding day, you may realize that there isn’t a lot of time for just the two of you. This is my number one reason for encouraging a Bridal Photo Session. Even in an 8 hour wedding day, we often spend less than 1 hour documenting the wedding couple alone. Yet, wedding portraits are my favorite part of the day. And, the most likely to be printed out and hung on the walls of your home. They are so important for your posterity to enjoy also!
When planning allows, doing a bridal or formals photography session prior to your wedding day frees up time. It also gives you more flexibility to go to a different location for photos if desired. I have photographed couples whose weddings take place in East Idaho, but they have their bridals or formals taken in Jackson Hole. This is because they want to choose an epic location for their most important photos! Some wedding venues will also allow you to come onsite for your portraits in advance. Simply ask what their policies are and if there is an additional fee.
After you’ve had your Bridal Photo Session, you can use those photos for a variety of things. I’ve seen albums created and used as sign in books for wedding guests. Large prints decorating the venue where your reception is taking place. Bridal session portraits can also be used for thank you cards or other stationary needs before your wedding photos are complete.
If you want to have the traditional first look down the aisle, you can do a separate bridal session after the wedding too. They are perhaps even more fun! We’re free from time restrictions. We don’t have to worry about your dress getting dirty before your big day. And, maybe best of all – you can take your bridals at a cool destination like Jackson Hole!
This is a great time to also do a trial run of your day-of vendors. While I also highly recommend doing this for engagement photos as well, that’s not always a possibility. But, having hair and makeup done for your bridals or formals session will be a great opportunity to fine tune your look for the wedding day also. And if you didn’t do an engagement session with your photographer, this is a perfect time to get more comfortable with them before spending hours together on your wedding day.
Whether you choose to do a bridal photo session before your big day, afterwards, or not at all is up to you! And if you’re still not sure what to do, let’s discuss your personal wedding day timeline and ideas to see if it’s a good match. Contact us today about wedding and bridal photography!