What is a Bridal Session and the top 4 reasons why they matter

June 14, 2020

What is a Bridal Session and the top 4 reasons why they matter

As Dallas wedding photographers, we’ve seen our fair share of bridal sessions. In this post, I will answer the question as to what a bridal session is and why you should have one.  Your wedding day – the biggest day of your entire life. A milestone memory and incredible story that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Wouldn’t it be amazing, though, if you could fit a total run-through into your busy bridal schedule, complete with a gorgeous keepsake from a day that you are never going to want to forget? 

Many brides have wrestled with the idea of where should I have a Bridal session or not, but let me be clear.  There are tremendous benefits to doing so.  So, read on and I will pull back the curtains and answer your questions so that you gain the clarity you need leading up to your wedding day.


The Bridal Session Backstory

A bridal session is essentially a photo shoot that is centered around the bride and bride alone before the actual wedding day. Decked up in the full wedding glam, the bride gets to go all out vogue, either at the location for the wedding venue itself or at another location.  

These bridal sessions have origins in the oil painting traditionally commissioned by royals to commemorate their special day. Over the years, with the development of the camera, these bridal sessions also adapted and became a rite of passage for young debutantes of the South. The portrait was made for a treasured family keepsake that would be displayed in the homes of the brides’ parents.  Today, bridals take place a month or two before the wedding day. The sessions are often outdoor shoots in addition to the usual indoor ones. They feature the bride in her beautiful wedding dress, complete with the dress, hair, and makeup. The portraits are often kept a secret right up until the ceremony. Most brides are encouraged to display the bridal photo at the entrance of their wedding reception. 

Cinematic portrait taken of bride in downtown fort worth at a catholic church. The rustic burgundy doors to the church made for a perfect backdrop.

Bridal Session Location ideas

The Dallas Arboretum is a popular photography location.  As a Dallas, Texas, wedding photographer, the beautiful grounds and seasonal flowers make for pretty backdrops.  This location is tough to beat, when searching for a Dallas wedding venue.  Other locations include many luxury Dallas hotels and indoor locations.  Remember, you want to keep the wedding dress as clean and as new as possible before the event!  As wedding photographers, the location selection is a vital piece of the process.  Your wedding venue is a great option or many other beautiful outdoor locations.  Many indoor and outdoor locations can be genuinely stunning for bridal photos.  Depending upon your dress type, you should remember to choose locations that are safe for your dress as a lot of walking can potentially be required.  Some locations require fees, however, your wedding venue allows a session as part of your booked package.

Reasons to have a session

With only a few months to go, your dress has probably undergone a fair number of alterations and adjustments to get it to fit perfectly. A bridal session by your Dallas wedding photographer is the perfect setting for you to try on your dress and get a feel of what it will be like on the final day.

Walk around in it, pose, get comfortable and figure out if it needs any last-minute fittings so that you can look your absolute best when the time comes.


Bridal dramatic portrait standing by trees at stone crest venue

It’s all about YOUR details! 

Now is also the time to break out the Pradas and the Jimmy Choos. Practice your walk and first dance in these wedding shoes. Most brides also have a day dedicated to finalizing their hair and makeup. Contact your hair and makeup artist well before the shoot to book your makeup trial. You can make the most of your hair and makeup trial run with your bridal session. With your dress and shoes on, why not get some great photos out of it along the way?

Finishing Touches and Final Details

Veil or no veil? Peony or white rose bouquets? Bracelets and studs? With your hair done and the dress on, you’re still nowhere near done. When it comes to a bridal outfit, there are always a million little details that often need revisions. Use the bridal session to answer all of the little questions. It is the perfect time to get together with your florist to check out what the bouquet will look like with your outfit. Or to try out the jewelry and make those last-minute additions to the final look. 

A bridal session is also a way to see how everything looks in photographs and to make adjustments to the more minor details. The humidity makes your hair frizzier than you predicted, or the makeup looks patchier on camera than in the mirror. As a result of the bridal session, you can safely plan and map out the exact desired look of your hair and makeup for the wedding of your dreams.

Fun and Free

Weddings are beautiful and full of lavish details. It is the perfect opportunity to get some fabulous portraits at an alternate location that isn’t your wedding venue. Some beautiful Dallas wedding venues, for instance, Knotting Hill Place or Dallas Arboretum could make for gorgeous backdrops for a bridal session. From sunset at the beach to your backyard, you can get as creative as possible with your session. You could even make it a girls’ day out with your bridesmaids and turn your bridal session into a full-on photoshoot for you and your gal pals. So, get rid of those wedding blues and enjoy the moments that lead up to the big day. Take the time to enjoy being stunning and bask in the attention of your Dallas wedding photographer and friends.


the olana wedding venue where a bride is standing in a doorway

And the photographs were taken by Scott Aleman Photography  Be sure to check out more wedding photographs and bridal portraits here