Pre-Wedding Sessions – All Your Questions Answered
If you’re soon-to-be-married, you’re probably wondering what a bridal / pre-wedding session is? Why do I need one? The biggest question of all, why can’t I just do them on the elopement day? A pre-wedding session has quickly become one of my favorites – you’ll feel confident and beautiful while you strut your stuff in your elopement attire. There are many wonderful reasons for getting all dressed up before the elopement, and I’m here to tell you my thoughts.
During my client consultations when I talk about my collections and what I offer, I am often asked when we get to the words “bridal session,” what is it? In hopes of answering your questions, I have created this blog to optimistically convey the importance of bridals, or less archaically, pre-wedding sessions. I believe they should be for everyone – not just the traditional “bride.”
Said to have originated in Europe, the bridal portraits were historically oil paintings of royalty in the bridal regalia. The bride’s family would commission the paintings to commemorate such a special occasion. Before World War II, it was rare to have a photographer at your wedding, so bridals were taken in the photographer’s studio before or after the couple’s wedding. Not long ago, bridals were a rite of passage for Southern debutantes and a family keepsake that was displayed on an easel near the guest book and then hung in the bride’s parents home for years to come.
In modern times, brides now opt for outdoor or indoor sessions. It’s also a little archaic to call them a bridal session, because shouldn’t everyone have access to such a confidence boosting experience? The photos take place between 1-2 months before the elopement day in full wedding attire – hair, makeup, jewelry, veil, shoes, bouquet, and of course, the gown or suit. These portraits are always kept in hiding until after the ceremony. On many occasions, a large bridal print or two is displayed at the reception near the wedding cake or guestbook. In many cases, the large photo is given as a gift to the Mother of the Bride, with smaller prints being given to the Groom and Father of the Bride.
Why have a Pre-Wedding Session?
This is the time when you schedule hair/makeup & orders a floral bouquet for the session. In short, pre-wedding photos are a trial run before the actual elopement! Without further ado, here are my top reasons why everyone should schedule pre-wedding session.
1. Flowers, Hair and Makeup trial
Most of the time, you will schedule a trial run with your hair and makeup artists prior to the elopement to make final changes to your elopement look. Planning your pre-wedding session for the same day gives you the opportunity to see your whole look pulled together, in a gown or suit, with veil or no veil, before the big day. This can reduce stress and give you an opportunity to make changes or decide if you want to do airbrush or traditional makeup.
This is also the perfect time to join forces with your florist and discuss the bouquet to see if any changes or colors should be adjusted for the actual elopement day.
2. Try Your Dress On
By this time, you’ve had your alterations made. The gown or suit looks perfect, but does it feel perfect?? Pre-Wedding portraits are the best way to find out if any minor changes or alterations need to be addressed. Plus, it’s going to let you know if you are going to be comfortable and the best way to walk in your attire on the wedding day!
3. Break in Your Shoes
The girls might just need some breaking in before the big day comes. What if the shoes you already ordered get caught in your dress or suit every time you walk? This would be the best time to find out.
There is a reason why pre-wedding sessions are my favorite! We will have FUN! Just seeing yourself in your elopement hair, makeup, and gown will make you more and more excited as the wedding day approaches. You’ll feel confident, comfortable, and basically like an icon. You’ll be glad you did it, trust me. As a Washington Elopement Photographer, I sometimes schedule more pre-wedding sessions than I do engagements. So if you choose to skip the engagements AND bridals, you are more likely to feel stressed on the elopement day, as you don’t know quite what to expect.
5. Friends Day Out
Make it a day to remember. All the moments leading up to your elopement should be memorable! You can bring mom, sibling, best friend, or whomever you loves!! Trial run for your pre-wedding party? Yes, please!
6. Have Photos to Display Your Reception
Having pre-wedding photos done before and not on the elopement day will allow ample time to have prints or canvases ordered for the reception.
7. Great Gifts for Your Mom/Dad/Grandparents
What a beautiful gift for your parents or grandparents! You are creating a heirloom – something that will likely be passed down to your kids and grandkids.
now, you may be asking:
Why have my Pre-Wedding Session in a Studio?
There is no rule that says you have to have your pre-wedding portraits at the elopement spot, unless you want to! Having a pre-wedding session gives you the freedom to do exactly what you want. You can even have a destination pre-wedding session, among beautiful scenery. BUT there are many pros to choosing to have your pre-wedding session in a studio. Lucky for you, I studied studio photography in school and now work out of a studio space frequently!
1. Customizable with Colors & Props
A studio session is EXTREMELY customizable, and with my large collection of backdrop colors, you can make the scene what you want it. Yellow, Orange, Red, White, Pink, Green, Grey. And on top of that, I have many props and pieces of furniture to add to your photos. We can be bold, creative, and modern. Planning is just as fun as the session itself!
2. Keep Your Attire clean
A studio is much more comfortable than frolicking through fields of ticks and stickers. I know that the flower field sounds beautiful – and it is! But is it worth needing to dry-clean the dress before the elopement? The floors are dirt free in the studio – you can go barefoot and even sit down for some photos, something you may not be able to do elsewhere!
3. Weather won’t be a problem
The studio is indoors! You know what that means? No need to reschedule your session if it rains. The session can take place – rain or shine – in the comfort of A/C or heat. It’s the magic of the modern world.
4. Bathroom On-Sight
Instead of risking wrinkles during the drive to the pre-wedding session, there is a bathroom on-sight to ensure your elopement attire is in its best condition. Rest knowing that you can get dressed in private and at your own pace. Plus, if makeup touch-ups are needed, the mirror will be of great assistance.
Whatever your vision may be, a studio pre-wedding session will push the boundaries, just like how your elopement is already untraditional. Not only will we include some beautiful, classic photos during the session, but in a comfortable environment such as a studio, we have the opportunity to bring out a unique and creative side to your images.