Occasionally I get asked by a bride “what are bridal portraits?” since they are listed on my website as something I photograph. If you aren’t from the south, you probably have no idea what they are. In the south (Think Richmond, VA to GA) it is very common for brides to get all dressed up in their wedding dress BEFORE the wedding and have portraits done. Then they normally have the photos on display at their wedding. Since I was raised in the north, I have no idea how this practice started or why it still happens today. I like to assume that photos are really important to the bride and sometimes in the crazy of the wedding day there just isn’t enough time to get the portraits she wants, so she made time on another day. The way I schedule photos I always make time to take a portrait of the bride alone on her wedding day. So I don’t always see the need to schedule bridal portraits. I also don’t really understand why you need a photo of the bride at the wedding (in her wedding gown) when she is standing right there (in her wedding gown.)
However, I love to do bridal portraits when it is involved and detailed and something that we just couldn’t do on a wedding day! If there is a location that you really want photos at that we don’t have time to go to, or a story you want to tell, or you just want to have photos in a fairytale setting. If they are something magical and unusual I think it is a ton of fun to do and completely worth having at your reception! Think Big! After all you have the prettiest dress of your life, it’s ok to want to do a fairy tale photo shoot to go with it!
Last year I attended a workshop with Three Nails Photography and we spent a lot of time putting together and working on styled shoots. Here are some photos of one, and this is exactly the sort of thing I think bridal portraits should be today. So romantic and lovely. These photos would be worth displaying at your wedding. 🙂