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Why a Bridal Session Isn’t Just a Southern Tradition



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When I talk to my brides from New York or DC, they almost always ask me about the “bridal session” option in my wedding packages – being from the South, I tend to forget that a lot of Northern brides don’t even know what a bridal session is. However, by the time we finish talking, they’re usually incredibly excited and on board with wanting a bridal session as a part of their wedding photography experience! So what exactly is a bridal session? It’s a photo session that typically takes place a month or two before a wedding day, and is entirely devoted to photographing the future bride in her wedding dress. In traditional Southern weddings, these photos were printed out and put on display at the wedding reception. Although the tradition of having a framed bridal portrait at your reception is slowly starting to fade, even in the South, I still think that bridal portraits are a fun and special part of the wedding photography experience – keep reading to find out why! 



Romantic and modern DC wedding portraits with creative florals by Sweet Root Village at the chic DC wedding venue La Vie Restaurant. Styled by East Made and photographed by DC film wedding photographer Lindley Battle.


It’s the Perfect Trial Run

One of my favorite reasons to give brides for why they should consider a bridal session is that it’s the perfect trial run for your entire wedding look, and a great way to see how everything will look on film! From the obvious things, like your hair and makeup, to the smaller details like the colors in your bouquet or the fit of your dress, a bridal session is a great way to see how every part of your wedding day look photographs, from all angles! At least half of the time that I do a bridal session with one of my future brides, they end up changing something about their ultimate wedding look because of a detail that they noticed from the bridal portraits. If you find yourself tending to be a little Type A (guilty myself), then adding a bridal session to your wedding photography package would be a very smart idea.






Bonding Time with Your Wedding Photographer

Speaking from a lot of experience, your wedding photographer will likely be the person that you’re around most on your wedding day. Although there’s plenty of communication between you two leading up to the big day, and you likely have an engagement session to get to know each other, a bridal session is a much more intimate way to connect. This gives you time with your wedding photographer to talk about the type of posing and angles you prefer, any elements you want to highlight or avoid, and also it’s a great time to bond. Your wedding photographer is basically your Maid of Honor with a camera on your wedding day, so the more time you two can spend together, the better!




DC film wedding photographer photographs an elegant and floral wedding designed by Pamela Barefoot Events at The Anderson House in Washington.



Gorgeous, Pinterest-Worthy Photos of You in Your Wedding Dress

 Even the most well-planned weddings are bound to feel a little chaotic, and no matter how strategically you work with your wedding photographer to create the perfect timeline, there simply will never be enough time to get the creative bridal portraits that you see on Pinterest. By booking a bridal portrait session, you ensure that you’ll have plenty of gorgeous, romantic, dreamy photos of you in your wedding dress. Bridal sessions are also the perfect time to get creative with photographing the details you’ve worked so hard to pick out – that gorgeous pearl veil that you are so excited about can really shine with some creative photography, but you need the time to make that happen! 




Focus on the Details

You spend so much time before your wedding day carefully picking out every single tiny detail to do with your wedding, and especially with your bridal look. From your earrings to your veil, everything that you show up to your wedding wearing was a carefully planned detail. Although in a perfect wedding world, there’s plenty of time before the ceremony to capture every single one of these gorgeous elements, that’s not always realistic with wedding timelines. For that reason, a bridal session is incredibly special because it doesn’t have the time constraints that a wedding day was – the entire session is devoted to capturing these details, both big and small, so that you have them to look back on and remember forever.




Romantic and modern DC wedding portraits with creative florals by Sweet Root Village at the chic DC wedding venue La Vie Restaurant. Styled by East Made and photographed by DC film wedding photographer Lindley Battle.



Overall, I am truly such a fan of bridal sessions as a part of any wedding photography package, and think they’re definitely worth considering, even if you’ve never heard of one before! To see a few of my recent favorite bridal session, head to my portfolio.


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  1. […] few beautiful bridal session moments. If you need a refresher on what exactly a bridal session is, head over to this blog post! If you’re just here for the pretty, keep on scrolling to see some of my bridal session […]

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