Wedding season is in full swing…have you scheduled a bridal portrait session yet? Or, perhaps you are not familiar with bridal portraits? Originating in Europe, bridal portraits are a distinctly southern wedding tradition where a bride participates in a photo shoot in full wedding attire. These photo shoots typically occur before the wedding and should not be confused with pictures taken by a photographer on the big day.


Bridal portraits are meant to be keepsakes for the bride and her family, which is one reason brides seek out a professional photographer like Michael Broyles Photography for these portraits. However, it is not uncommon for a bridal portrait to be used for wedding announcements or for decoration at the wedding reception’s guestbook table. Regardless, scheduling a bridal portrait session is a good idea for all brides, southern or not. Here are some reasons why.


More Time with Your Photographer

Wedding days are a whirlwind of activity and require everyone to stick to a strict timeline, from ceremony to reception. As a bride, you may or may not be aware of the photographer capturing shots of you on your big day. Plus, a wedding photographer often has a list of specific shots he or she must take and has little room for spontaneity. With a bridal portrait shoot, you have more time to work with your photographer to capture a wide range of photos. Plus, the slower pace allows you to relax, be creative, and try out different poses.


More Options for Location(s)

Many brides choose to have their bridal portraits taken at their wedding venue, and why not? The place usually holds sentimental value for the bride. However, one of the benefits of scheduling your bridal portrait ahead of the wedding is the flexibility it affords you and the photographer. You are not limited to just one spot at your wedding venue, and you may choose to travel to additional locations that hold special meaning for you and your groom. Just be sure the locations you do choose are places that you are comfortable being photographed at (you cannot control car and pedestrian traffic if this location is a public space). Some brides even choose to incorporate an object of sentimental value in their bridal portraits, such as a family heirloom that has been passed down and used for a mother’s or grandmother’s bridal portrait.


A Test Run for the Big Day

Perhaps one of the most important reasons for having a bridal portrait session is that the shoot functions as a test run for your wedding day. Photographers typically advise brides to have their bridal portrait sessions scheduled at least 3 – 4 weeks in advance of the wedding. This gives you an opportunity to try on your full bridal ensemble, see how it looks once the photos develop, and make adjustments as needed to your dress, shoes, makeup, hairstyle, and accessories. Some brides even choose to have a florist create a mock wedding bouquet for their portraits to determine if their choice of flowers is what they truly want.


You can be Fully Present on Your Wedding Day

By having your bridal portrait taken before your wedding, you can go into the event knowing what to expect from the photographer, especially if he or she is the designated wedding photographer. You can build a rapport with him or her, allowing you to feel more comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. Plus, you will have a pretty good idea which poses are most flattering for your figure. Regardless, taking your bridal portrait before your wedding allows you to relax, enjoy the festivities, and not worry about the photographer capturing the perfect picture of you in your dress. You can be yourself and enjoy this special moment.


If you have a bride-to-be in your life, Michael Broyles Photography is more than happy to sit down with her for a consultation. And, if you refer a family member or friend to us for a photo session, we will reward you with a $100 credit. Call Michael Broyles Photography to learn more about our Referral Program and special packages for the month of June.