Couples come to us all the time looking for answers about their wedding photography. Here are a few questions that we hear a lot:
“We want to get married at our church, but it’s not very pretty and we’re afraid we’re going to miss out on having great photos.”
“We want awesome shots of us as a couple, but we also don’t want to miss out on spending time with our family and friends on our wedding day.”
“We are on a tight budget so we’re having a friend take photos on our wedding day, but we really want to have a professional take the most important shots – the ones of us as a couple.”
The answer: A Bridal Session!
A bridal session is a portrait session of a couple in their bridal attire on a day other than their wedding day. These types of sessions can take place before or after the wedding. The concept may be a little untraditional, but it can also be the perfect solution for couples struggling with how photography will play a role in their big day. In addition to that, we LOVE to shoot them! We decided that rather than have us tell you how awesome bridal sessions are, we’d have some of our past clients do it for us! We sent a little survey to three of our awesome couples and here’s what they had to say about their experience . . .
Why did you choose a bridal session?
Meghan & Matt: We choose the bridal session for two reasons: we wanted to get some great photos of Matt and I in our wedding attire and secondly, we wanted our wedding day to just be about our love and sharing that love with friends and family. The bridal session enabled us to get amazing wedding photos with many different poses and backdrops without worrying about taking time away from the activities on our actual wedding day. On our wedding day we had no idea when photos were being taken, we were simply in the moment. I think that’s the way it should be!
Julie & Jimmy: We decided to do a bridal session to eliminate stress and pressure from the day of our wedding. I wanted our photo session to be a personal, intimate time as a couple that did not have the pressure of time and schedule. We also had the chance to use a unique location for our bridal session other than our actual wedding venue. In addition, taking photos on the day of the wedding keeps your guests waiting around and getting impatient so we wanted to minimize that too.
Katie & Justin: We chose a bridal session for many reasons, but primarily to allow us to have a variety of backdrops for our wedding photos. We knew our backyard would be a great ceremony site, but did not offer many photo backdrops. By choosing a bridal session we could choose a location that reflected our personalities and taste. On top of that, by shooting our photos before the wedding we were able to spend more time taking our photos and enjoying our wedding day with our family and friends. After all, you pay for the wedding you should be there to enjoy it, right?
How did you choose the location for your session?
Meghan & Matt: We choose Sedona for our bridal session because that’s where we were getting married. We originally choose Sedona because that’s where Matt proposed while we were in college :)
Julie & Jimmy: We were blessed to have someone volunteer their amazing old fashion 1920′s car and their beautiful home and landscape for our photo session. The scenery and old car totally fit the classical big band theme of our wedding. Our second location was a suggestion from Ryan and Denise. The resort had a great variety of backgrounds and was very clean so I we wouldn’t have to worry about getting my dress too dirty.
Katie & Justin: We were very conflicted on what type of location we wanted for our bridal session. Justin wanted an intimate location well known to us. I wanted a picturesque location with a lot of background options. Ryan & Denise listened to our needs and came up with the perfect place – Jerome, AZ. With the small town Arizona feel that we love, we were able to have the best of both worlds.
Tell us about your “first look”. What was it like? What kind of emotions did you experience?
Meghan & Matt: The “first look” was AMAZING! I was filled with excitement to see my handsome soon to be husband in his tux. I have to admit, I did get a little teary eyed. It’s a magical moment meant just for the bride and groom (I will remember the look on Matts face forever).
Julie & Jimmy: (Jimmy) I was anixous to see her and when I did she looked so beautiful. She was breath taking. (Julie) The thing I liked about the first look was that I had the freedom to react and have personal moments with Jimmy. Our first look was filled with tears, hugs and some sass ;-) I have such amazing photos capturing a progression of emotions that I would not have been able to express while walking down the aisle. Our first look photos captured our personality and approach to each other; they are some of my favorite ones.
Katie & Justin: When we were deciding whether to do a bridal session, I had been worried about our “first look” not being at the ceremony. Would the ceremony still be as special? Absolutely yes. Seeing my husband waiting for me at the top of the aisle was an exciting moment that our “first look” could have never changed. Our first look was in a park in the heart of Jerome, AZ, just a few days before our wedding. Ryan & Denise scouted the location before the “first look” in order to find a gorgeous and intimate backdrop. They thought of every detail in choosing the location – from the ivy enveloped staircase straight from a fairy tale to the perfect lighting. When I arrived at the top of the staircase, Justin was faced away from me. Justin and I were both giddy with excitement about this moment. We had looked forward to it almost as much as our wedding day. When it was time for me to call Justin’s name to turn around, I couldn’t stop giggling. Knowing I was there, Justin turned and smiled. We kissed and we laughed. It was the perfect start to our wedding weekend.
What was the most memorable part of the experience?
Meghan & Matt: We loved hanging out with Ryan and Denise and coming up with all kinds of different photo ideas. The most memorable for me was getting in the water with our wedding attire on . . . burr! I love the pictures and it was so fun! Ryan and Denise were troopers, and they even got partially into the water too!
Julie & Jimmy: The most memorable part was probably our first look. Also, there are so many fun moments we had with the old fashion car. One of my favorite moments I did not even know was being captured till I saw the photos. There is a great shot of me resting in Jimmy’s arms during a break when we didn’t even know they were shooting!
Katie & Justin: Because of our location, we were able to walk around and explore on foot. We found stairways, courtyards, benches, windows, and nooks that we felt were our very own; each one was a special memory. We remember the bench that seemed sculpted from ivy and twinkle lights, the jungle gym where we played (yes, in our suit & dress!), the baby blue VW bug behind the “No Trespassing” sign, and the inconspicuous parking lot with the amazing view. Our bridal session became a memory in itself, apart from our wedding day.
Would you recommend this type of session to another couple and why?
Meghan & Matt: I would highly recommend a bridal session to other couples. Actually, my advice would be that it’s mandatory. The bridal session decreases stress and increases happiness on your big day!
Julie & Jimmy: Absolutely! By doing a bridal session, we were able to have multiple locations outside of our wedding location. We were also able to have personal intimate time on a relaxed schedule taking away the pressure of our wedding day. We have photos of intimate moments and photos that capture how we interact over just posed shots.
Katie & Justin: In talking to my married friends, many regret that they rushed their photos in order to get to their reception. They were often disappointed by the number of photos or the lack of variety. By choosing a bridal session we didn’t have to sacrifice the number or quality of the photos. The bridal session allowed us snuggle and kiss for an entire day AND experience our entire wedding reception. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
For more information about bridal sessions, feel free to email us at email@example.com.