As a wedding photographer -- one who offers a variety of wedding-related photo services -- I am frequently asked "Why do bridals?"
Bridal photos used to be fairly common. My mother has a beautiful one displayed in her parents' home, right alongside those of her two sisters. But somewhere along the line, this idea got a bit lost. It's beginning to see a resurgence in popularity, which makes me happy, and there are definitely some reasons for that.
So let me tell you some of the most beneficial reasons (in my opinion) to take bridal portraits.
Get To Know Your Photographer
More than any other vendor you work with on your wedding, your photographer works very intimately with you on the most important day of your life. You put a lot of trust in your photographer, and it helps enormously to have a rapport with them. Not to mention, it can take time for photographers and their models to find the right "groove." Each person has their own rhythm in life, and you want to make sure you know how the other works. Getting a head-start on this can make your wedding day go much smoother. Doing a bridal session beforehand can help start the ball rolling and allow photographer and bride to get used to each other and learn about each other before the Big Day.
Wear Your Dress
Let's face it, you spend TONS of money on the perfect dress! And you only get to wear it once?! How fair is that, really? Trying a bridal session before the wedding gives you the perfect opportunity to get wear your gorgeous gown -- and come on, you look incredible in it! Show it off!
(Note: This is also a really good way of getting used to the dress, how it moves, what you can and can't do in it, etc. So as a great added bonus, if you're already used to the dress, you are more likely to avoid any embarrassing mishaps caused by an unaccounted-for train or bustle or veil.)
A Different Look
Sometimes it's nice to explore different aspects of a bride's personality. You have decided on a particular theme for your wedding, but what if it doesn't offer every single thing you would want? For example, you are having a casual beach wedding...but you also really love a little touch of luxury every now and then. Use your bridal session to explore a different side of your personality. Or, what if you were torn between two different venues for your wedding? You have to pick one, but why not use your bridals to show off your other favorite venue? Who says you can't have your wedding cake and eat it, too?
Limit the Stress of Your Wedding Day
There's no point in denying it, a wedding day is a pretty stressful experience. There are nerves involved, things rarely go as smoothly as we imagine, and there are a thousand things going on at once. Most brides will at least try to schedule some time exclusively for special portraits...but when push comes to shove, as things start falling behind and scheduling gets pushed back, it is usually the portrait time that gets cut into. You often have to speed through the process (of course, here's where it helps to already know how to work with your photographer! You're much more likely to get through that process more efficiently) and sometimes you barely get to it at all. This is one of the things I most hear brides regretting, that they didn't have time for the pictures they wanted. If you had a bridal session, you know that at least you've gotten some great shots already and you won't be quite so stressed. By all means, keep those special portraits in your wedding day as well! You rarely hear people complain about having even MORE gorgeous bride pictures. And it's your wedding day, it should be captured. But in the end, it will relieve your nerves if you aren't too stressed about losing some of the time you originally planned.
I love doing bridals, they're probably my favorite thing to photograph. They really have a more relaxed feel to them, given that you aren't contending with the rest of a wedding, and you can take your time with them and make sure they're just right. They're a great idea, and I have never had a bride who regretted taking them. In fact, most brides find that some of their favorite shots are the ones from their bridal sessions.
Come and take a look at these beautiful brides and book your own session today!