I recently blogged images from Alyson & Eric’s wedding day (which you should check out!), and now I’m excited to share some of Alyson’s bridal portraits! We took these photos a few weeks before her wedding, and waiting to share them with the world was SO difficult! I just love them so much!
It’s pretty common that my brides choose to do a “bridal session” where they get into their dress before their wedding day. However, people probably have no idea just how many bridal sessions I photograph because most of them never hit the blog. Unlike my other shoots, I can’t immediately share photos from bridal sessions since the dress is a secret before the wedding. And after the wedding, I get so excited about sharing the wedding photos that sometimes I forget to blog the bridal session!
Reasons I love bridal sessions:
1) Hair & Makeup Trial Run!
It’s a great idea to do a trial run with your hair stylist & makeup artist prior to your wedding day. You will learn how long your hair and makeup will likely take on your wedding day and how exactly you like it done (often times you make changes once you see it on you!). You will also be more confident going into your wedding day if you have already successfully achieved the look you are in love with. In fact, the “trial run” mentality doesn’t only apply to your hair & makeup… this is also a great way for you to make sure ALL of the moving pieces work well before the big day. Can you walk in your wedding-day shoes or do you need to break them in first? Will your veil comfortably stay in your hair or do you need to adjust your hair style to accommodate it? Does your sash/belt stay positioned correctly on your dress or do you need to consider pinning it into place? Are your curls going to fall out quickly? Etc. etc. I’ve seen brides make BIG changes after they learn what works and doesn’t work during their bridal sessions. Doing a trial run ultimately results in a smoother & happier wedding day. :)
2) Wear it Twice!
Why buy an expensive dress that you love and feel like a princess in… and only wear it once?! If your hair and makeup are already done, let’s throw that dress on and take some photos! You’ll love having these relaxed and beautiful portraits of yourself in your gown. And if you’re on a tight schedule on the day of the wedding, it’ll provide peace of mind knowing that some wonderful bridal portraits are already checked off the “shot list.”
3) Switch it Up!
Alyson chose to do her bridal session at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia where her wedding ceremony would be held. We chose this for a couple reasons: 1) We wanted to scope out the lighting situation at the gardens prior to the wedding day. And 2) We weren’t sure if I’d logistically be able to take a photo of her dress hanging on the gorgeous wooden doors of the Chapel on the wedding day (just due to timeline restrictions at the venue).
While there are definitely some “pros” to taking your bridal portraits at your wedding venue (consistency in the photos, doing a walk-through with your photographer, gaining inspiration for the wedding day), you also have the ability to switch it up! If you’re getting married in the winter but have always dreamed of being photographed in a field of wildflowers in the spring, you can do that! If you’re getting married in your hometown but want exotic photos on the cliffs of Ireland, you can do that too! :)
4) Details, details, details!
When my brides choose to do a bridal session, I tell them that they’re allowed to bring any “details” they want to the session. With Alyson’s bridal session being so close to her wedding date, she had almost all of her wedding day details ready to go. Therefore, I was able to use the first 10-15 minutes of the session to stage her rings, invitations, shoes, jewelry, etc. Anyone who follows my work knows that I LOVE detail shots, and I could actually spend HOURS just shooting details. By getting some time with your details before your wedding day, we’re able to cross off some important shots & have less to worry about when creating your wedding day timeline.
I hope you enjoy some of Alyson’s portraits below. I’ve never before seen the botanical gardens with so many flowers in bloom — it was magical! And I adore Alyson’s Stella York dress paired with her cathedral-length veil. Shout out to JennySue Makeup & Republic Salon for getting Alyson all glammed up!