The Bridal Session | 5 Reasons To Have One

August 23, 2017

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five reasons to have a bridal portrait sessionBridal Portraits | A Southern Tradition

Engagement Sessions are universally understood. I’ve never had a couple ask me “what is an engagement session?” But bridal sessions? They are definitely a regional tradition, and I still have about 25% of couples who initially don’t know what they are or if they should have one! So, I’m here to explain what they are and why they’re important, too!

Bridal Sessions started as a southern tradition, but it is still very popular to this day! I actually photograph as many bridal sessions (or MORE) as I do engagement sessions. A bridal sessions where the bride gets dressed up in her wedding attire any time other than on the wedding day (it’s usually 1-2 months before, but I’ve had brides do them after their wedding, too!).  This guarantees that she will have her photos back in time to display at the wedding reception! Some brides choose to display one grand photo, while others display small photos around the reception area. There are no rules when it comes to these sessions or how you display your images. The only rule is to have FUN! Here are 5 reasons why every bride needs a bridal session.

1. Take The Dress For a Test Drive

Every bride usually tries their dress on while standing up in front of multiple mirrors. When you have a bridal session you get to walk around, sit, and even twirl in your dress before the wedding! It’s like a test drive. I’ve had many brides who have realized that their dress needed a specific alteration that would have driven them crazy on their wedding day had they not fixed it beforehand.A Bridal Session at Landa Library Wedding Photos by Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography San Antonio Wedding Photographer 0030

2. Flowers, Hair, and Makeup Trial

Bridal sessions are also a PERFECT time to schedule your Hair and Makeup trial run as well as a sample bouquet! Almost every bride I’ve photographed has changed one of those things after doing her bridal session. Some have changed them all. It’s nice to know that you have that kind of insurance for your wedding day look.Garden Party Wedding Inspiration at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio Texas by Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0044

3. Girls Night Out

A bridal session isn’t JUST for the bride. She can bring her mom, sisters, best friends, dog…whatever she fancies. It’s kind of like a pre bachelorette party, and we always have THE BEST time! I’ll often put her squad to work on makeup patrol, fluffing the veil, holding a reflector, or making her laugh. It’s nothing short of entertaining :)Bridal session at CW Hill Country Ranch Boerne Texas 0030

4. Get Comfy

Bridal sessions, like engagement sessions, get you more comfortable in front of the camera. Especially in a dress that you probably can’t breathe in. Read on for Tess’s testimonial.A Spring Bridal Session at Eagle Dancer Ranch Venue in Boerne Texas by Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0006

5. Location, Location, Location!

On your wedding day, you’ll likely have a few portraits of yourself snapped in a beautiful location at your venue, but for your bridal session, the sky is the limit! You can even have a destination bridal session! We can also plan them around blooming times for bluebonnets, peach blossoms, and other wildflowers. I love finding just the right scenery. Here are a few examples of some bridal portraits that would not have happened on the wedding day!

allisonjeffersphotography ox ranch 1 2 A spring bridal session at King River Ranch in Johnson City Texas by Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0024Das Peach Haus Bridal Session in Fredericksburg Texas by Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0014jade 37 A spring bridal session at King River Ranch in Johnson City Texas by Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0030Das Peach Haus Bridal Session in Fredericksburg Texas by Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography 0009


Jade ~ “When we first started looking at photography packages, I did not want a bridal session. I was adamant; I felt like they were silly. But every package we looked at included a bridal session. I even tried negotiating it out of my contract in exchange for all the digital copies of our engagement photos! In the end, Allison stuck to her guns and convinced me to give it a shot. I’m so glad she did! We had an absolute blast at my bridal session. My mom and mother-in-law came with me, so that was special. I also got to use it as a trial run for my hair, makeup, and bouquet. That led to some valuable insights that I may not have thought of without my session. On top of having a fantastic time, I felt gorgeous. Then when I got the photos back I couldn’t believe how well they turned out. Allison made me look like a dang supermodel! Those photos have also become cherished gifts for my husband and father that they may not otherwise have gotten, because we only got two pictures of just me in my gown on my wedding day. Even though I resisted, I am so glad that I had bridal portraits taken!”

Tess ~ “Doing a bridal session was one of the best decisions I made during the planning process because it allowed me to become comfortable in my dress, and also figure out how to smile and be prepared for the wedding day photos and know what to expect. As I was going through the process, it was intimidating exploring every option from vendors to small details, and the bridal session allowed me to enjoy one aspect of the chaos and relax and feel what it would be like on the day I thought about since I was a little girl and had been pulling my hair out planning for the entire year before. If I wouldn’t have done the session it would have taken me longer to become comfortable and likely I would have ended up with some first awkward photos and wasted time trying to figure out how to pose and stand. As well Allison’s expertise about the best lighting spots and how to properly place myself helped me feel comfortable to have some fun with it; Allison would give me sneak peeks throughout the session, and they were so perfect and I trusted her 100%.  She were meant to be our photographer and I didn’t want the day to end because I was having so much fun! It was such a relief to work with Allison and know what to look forward to come wedding day. She made me feel super comfortable, was so easy to work with,  directed with kindness, and, most importantly, made me laugh through almost the entire session and made me feel so beautiful. I would have regretted not doing the session and now I have beautiful pictures to look back on that focused on all the details and all the time I put into picking the right dress, accessories, and designing my hair and makeup. It was also a great trial run for my dress and lead me to make some adjustments I wouldn’t have done that made my dress 100% more comfortable on wedding day. The session was worth every penny and I would push anyone who is debating on a bridal session to do it because it made my wedding day so much less stressful and the pictures from it are beyond anything I could have hoped for!”

Taryn ~ “Bridal Portraits have many benefits brides may not think about:

  1. It gets you used to walking in your dress. Think about, how often are you going to be wearing your dress before the wedding? Sure, you may wear it during fittings, but actually walking around? You do not do too much of that. For some brides, it may not be that important to learn how to walk in their dress, as they might have something that is lite weight. However, if you have a dress that is heavy, has a huge train, is poofy, takes up life!, you’ll need to get used to walking around, and having bridal portraits will do that.
  2. It allows you to try out your make-up and hair. If I did not have portraits taken, the first day I would have tried out my hair and make-up would have been my wedding, and I would not have been happy. Sometimes, your vision, and the vision of your hair stylist/make-up artist is different. So, having a trail run allows you both to decide the best style for you!
  3. Finally, you will have beautiful photos to hang up around the house! From my sessions, I received 160 photos I could choose from! Many of these, I put around the reception area, and a few made their way home.

Overall, getting your Bridal Portraits is definitely worth it!”

Callie ~ “I am sooo glad I took bridal portraits! I know some girls don’t take them, and I am telling you, you’re missing out! My portraits were stunning and I displayed them at my wedding: on the guest sign in table and above our sweetheart table. Allison made the session fun and had me try different poses that I would have never thought of, that I lOVED once I saw them!
Also, it’s a great way to see how your hair and makeup are going to look before your wedding day! You may decide you need extra makeup, want to make changes to your hair, or things like that.”

Kristen~ “I’m so glad I was able to do a bridal session! Allison captured all the beautiful details of my dress and I got to spend time with my mom and grandma. I displayed a few photos at my reception, but small ones. I mixed them in with engagement photos displayed around the wedding.”

Click here to see real bridal sessions on our blog! 




xoxo, Allison

 Allison Jeffers is a photographer and educator serving sweet couples and helping other creative entrepreneurs reach their goals. She specializes in wedding photography, elopements, and proposals as well as Bridal and Engagement portraits in Texas. She is available for travel worldwide and has her passport ready!

  1. […] Wondering what a bridal session is? Truth be told, I didn’t know either because it’s not a tradition where I grew up (New England). Check out this amazing article that highlights all things bridal session. It’s worth the quick read! (Click Here!). […]

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