A while back, I got asked by my dear friend Kati at Kati Hewitt Photography to send her a little blurb for her amazing bridal guide about why I think it’s important for all Brides to get bridal portraits done before their wedding day. But, it got me thinking.
Why would anyone not take bridal portraits?
It just seemed like something that every one did. It seemed just like one of the to-dos to cross off your The Knot app. The thought of not doing them seemed so foreign to me. There are so many reasons for why brides should take bridal portraits. Dressing like a princess and getting to wear your dress twice is only one of them! (And, only the icing on the cake!)
You get to wear your gown twice.
Wedding dresses can take up a pretty big chunk of wedding budgets now-a-days. Why would you need any other reason to take bridal portraits other than getting to wear that expensive white dress twice? You may be like Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel from Friends who just sit around and drink in wedding gowns. But, chances are you’re not going to get to wear that dress again after your big day. There’s nothing more fun than getting to dress up like a princess and get your picture taken. There’s a reason why we all dressed up as a bride when we were little.
I loved my bridal portraits!
I couldn’t be more glad that I did them. The best way I know how to put it is like this. You know how you usually do an engagement session to get comfortable in front of the camera doing couples portraits so you’ll be more comfortable and relaxed for them on your wedding day? I feel like doing bridal portraits was kind of the same concept. It was an opportunity for me to get comfortable in front of the camera in my wedding dress, make up, and hair so that I was more comfortable taking photos on my wedding day.
You learn a lot at your session.
I feel like I learned a lot wearing that gown before the big day. I learned how to fake laugh (Kati made me a pro!), hold my bouquet (which I kept trying to hold way too high at first!), WALK IN MY DRESS at my outside venue (oh boy, that was a big one), fluff and carry my dress (talk about an awkward arm full), play with my veil (another awkward thing to maneuver), and really just pose in general without passing out when you likely can hardly breathe in your dress.
I’d like to think I’m a pretty good model when it came to regular clothes. However, I found my wedding dress to be a whole other beast. Taking bridal portraits really made me feel beautiful, confident, and ready to take on my wedding day!
It’s a great hair and make-up trial run.
Taking bridal portraits was a really good opportunity to give my hair and makeup a good, realistic test run. I am lucky enough to have a hair stylist for a mother, so she was able to travel down to do another hair trial. My bridal portraits were set at the same time as my wedding ceremony. So, we treated the day of my bridal portraits as a mock wedding day. Treating my bridal portraits as such was a really good way to get an idea about how long the getting ready process would take on the actual day of the wedding.
Spoiler alert: I should have known it would take way longer on the actual day.
It took me longer to get ready on my wedding day for natural reasons. However, I do believe it really helped the process to at least go smoother. With all the anxiety of your wedding day, your make up and hair are bound to take longer. (Especially if you are doing either of them yourself!) But, you’ll be confident and more able to recreate your bridal look better since you’ve taken the time to practice before with your bridal portraits.
It’s a sneak peak of what’s to come.
Another good reason to take bridal portraits is one you may have not thought of: it allows you the opportunity to see how you will look in photographs in your dress, jewelry, hair, and makeup. From this you can adjust your look to look even more perfect on your wedding day! (Although it’s not often!)
I was one of those girls in the small percentage. I actually decided to change my look slightly after my own bridal portraits. In my bridal portraits I wore pearl studs thinking that anything else would look too much with my heavily jeweled gown. However, when I got my photos back, I kept thinking there was something missing. I looked beautiful and almost perfect the way I was, but I didn’t feel complete. I decided to order custom Kendra Scott Earrings, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it elegantly completed my look. And, I would have never known had I not taken bridal portraits!
There are no do-overs on your wedding day.
Your big wedding day is a once and a life time opportunity. There are no do-overs. You’re going to look back on this day with your loved one for years and years to come. You don’t want to look back after all those years and wish you would have done them. Having bridal portraits done will give you the opportunity to get excited for your wedding day, feel like the beautiful bride that you are, and really cherish those sweet moments in your wedding gown. (since the actual day goes by in such a blur!)
Display a canvas at the reception.
It’s also custom for the bride to display her bridal portraits at the reception on a canvas. It’s instant wedding decor, a beautiful keep sake to have in your future home, and the perfect excuse to swoon over yourself in print. Having your favorite portraits blown up on a canvas at the reception will also give your guests one more thing to ooh and ahh over! I displayed two large canvases at my reception, and my mother and I each kept one for ourselves after the wedding. It was perfect!