Bridal portraits are a common wedding tradition in the South but lots of brides ask me, do I need to take bridal portraits?  For those of you who aren’t familiar with bridal portraits, here’s a little explanation on what they are- usually scheduled about two months before the wedding, bridal portraits are a special day for the bride where she tries out her wedding hair and makeup, gets into the dress and goes to a location to take some elegant photos in her bridal gown!  A large portrait is usually ordered to be displayed at the reception after the ceremony for guests to admire.

USC Horseshoe bridal portrait with sunflowers

Some of the greatest benefits I see for the bridal portraits (besides getting to spend a fun “me-day” of pampering and photos) is that you get to test out your wedding hair and makeup.  You can see how long everything will take, whether you like the hairstyle you had in mind, how the makeup looks in photos, etc.  How your makeup looks can be an important one because generally makeup artists are a little bolder in color selections for the wedding day because it stands out better in photos.  In the mirror, it’s hard to get a feel for the final look, so a bridal portrait really helps you decide if you want to tone down the lipstick or go for longer lashes!  

Bridal portrait close up

You also get to break in the shoes and find out important details like, can I sit down in my dress?

Governor's mansion bridal portrait

To keep the dress clean during a bridal portrait, I always bring along a white sheet to lay under the dress to keep it all pristine for the wedding!   It’s not a bad idea to schedule a steaming before the wedding, which most dress vendors offer anyways, and that tends to remove any surface dust that might get on your dress during the session as well as any wrinkles it might get from being in a dress back for a few weeks.

Another tip once you schedule your bridal portrait session is to check with your florist to see if they can make you a sample bouquet for your portrait.  This adds more of your personal details to the photos and also helps you have a trial run to see if there’s any changes you want to make on your final bouquet!  

Bridal portrait bouquet Flowers

I hope this gives you a better idea of what bridal portraits are and what some of the benefits are of having a bridal session.  Coming up soon, I’ll be publishing a blog post about the best bridal portrait locations in and around Columbia and how to choose yours!  

Bridal portrait with lace dress