As a wedding photographer, I love a good bridal session! What exactly is a bridal session and why should I schedule one you may ask? It’s the perfect opportunity to take some bridal photos of yourself all dolled up before your wedding day. Honestly, it’s also a great excuse to wear your wedding dress more than once. Many brides schedule their hair and makeup trial and have their florist create a fresh mock bouquet during their bridal portraits as well. This gives you a chance to see your wedding day look come together beforehand and tweak your details if needed. In addition, you get a whole gallery of extra photos of yourself looking fine AF! I created this blog to share the 5 most important tips for your bridal session.
Okay, I want to do a bridal session in Dallas. How do I get started?
There are so many gorgeous locations for bridal portraits in Dallas, ranging from Dallas-Fort Worth wedding venues to botanical gardens to modern studio spaces. If you’d like to get really adventurous, you could do your bridals in a destination location such as the mountains or the beach. Whatever your vision is, I’ll do my best to make it happen.
Bridal portrait sessions are also a great way to get to know your wedding photographer beforehand and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. My bridal sessions are meant to be fun! I’m a professional hype girl, dress fluffer, veil tosser, and we may or may not spontaneously have a dance party to some Beyoncé during your session. The most difficult part of your bridals? Keeping those beautiful images under wraps until your wedding day!
Bridal sessions should be scheduled 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. You’ll have plenty of time to print and frame any images you want to display at your reception. Pro tip: Make sure to tell your coordinator to keep the photos face down until after your ceremony so your partner and wedding guests don’t accidentally see them.
Thinking of doing a bridal portrait session in Dallas? Keep scrolling for 5 tips to help you prepare for your bridal session and see some examples of bridal pictures from previous Opal & Onyx brides.
Location & Timing
When planning your bridal session, location and timing are everything. Here are a few questions that will help you decide on your vision for your photos:
- Do you want your photos to be indoors, outdoors, or both?
- Do you want to take photos at your venue? Or would you like to step out of the box with a different location?
- What time of year are you planning to do your bridal session?
For brides who are highly concerned about their dress getting dirty, I recommend doing your bridal photos at an indoors location such as a wedding venue with plenty of natural light or a modern natural light studio. If you’re a little more laid back and don’t mind a shaking out a few pieces of grass from your dress, an outdoor location such as the Dallas Arboretum or White Rock Lake might be the perfect fit. For a location with indoor and outdoor options, I personally love the Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House. If you want to do your bridals at your venue, reach out and see what dates are available. Many venues allow sessions on limited weekdays only due to weddings on weekends.
Also, be sure to consider seasonal weather and time of day when planning your bridal session. Most outdoor bridal portraits are scheduled at sunrise or golden hour at sunset for the best lighting. Texas weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to have a Plan B just in case! There are so many gorgeous locations in Dallas and your photographer should be able to suggest some for you to choose from and guide you when it comes to timing so don’t hesitate to ask! We as wedding professionals are here to serve you.
Makeup and Hair
This 2nd tip out of my 5 tips for your bridal session is a super important one! Your bridal session is the perfect time to schedule your hair and makeup trials so you can see your complete wedding day look and make changes if you need to. From fresh and natural to bold and edgy, there are so many options when it comes to bridal style.
I always recommend hiring a professional hair and makeup team for your wedding day. Your face is the one thing that will be in most of your photos and obviously you want to look your best! Professional wedding hair and makeup makes a huge difference in photos and will stay put throughout the tears, hugs, kisses and *spicy* dance floor moves versus normal hair styling and makeup application. Pro tip: Send your makeup artist your photographer’s information beforehand! Many artists will tweak your makeup based on what will look best with your photographer’s editing style.
When scheduling your hair and makeup trial, make sure you have plenty of time so you aren’t rushed or late for your bridal session. Take this time to pamper yourself and enjoy the process! Consider getting your nails done and any other beauty services you regularly get (lashes, botox, fillers, etc) prior to your bridal session as well. I promise you’ll love your photos that much more if you’re feeling extra beautiful!
Florals & Other Details
If you would like a bouquet for your bridal session, ask your florist about a mock bridal session bouquet. Most florists will make you a test run version of your wedding day bouquet so you can see how it looks with your dress, hair and makeup. This is a great time to let your florist know if you’d like to make any changes or if it’s perfection. Now you can just sit back and enjoy your beautiful flowers! Have some extra funds in your budget? Talk to your florist about building a floral installation for your bridals to create an ultra luxury vibe.
Here is a list of details to bring with you for your bridal session:
- Your engagement ring
- Wedding shoes (bring an extra comfy pair for walking between locations)
- Your veil and/or jewelry and accessories
- A mock bouquet
- Extra lipstick for touch ups
- Bobby pins and hair spray
- Any meaningful details you would like photographed before your wedding day
Bring a friend
Sometimes it’s nice to have some extra support. Consider bringing your maid of honor or a close friend to help you with your dress and any other items. I often like to get them involved by having them fluff the dress or toss the veil and we always have a great time! Plus, I love meeting my bride’s friends and family prior to their wedding day.
Relax and enjoy
This is the most important of all 5 tips for your bridal session! If you are not relaxed and having a good time, it will translate in your photos. Take deep breaths, schedule enough time for hair and makeup, and gather and pack everything the night before. Make sure you steam your dress and veil, eat a small meal before your session, and trust your photographer! Posing is always uncomfortable at first, but as a professional I pride myself in the ability to bring out your true self. I promise to make you look and feel like a million bucks. With that said, you are now a bridal session expert, congratulations! I hope you found these tips helpful and if you are looking for a Dallas wedding photographer for your bridal session, I would love to chat with you. Please fill out the contact form at the bottom of this post.
Looking forward to hearing from you and happy planning!
Opal & Onyx Photography is a Dallas Wedding Photographer specializing in weddings, elopements, destination weddings and engagement and bridal photography for kindhearted, modern couples who value love, connection and intimacy. If you would like to see more of my work, you can view my Dallas engagement session and Dallas weddings on my website.