What is a Bridal Session?

June 14, 2020

What is a Bridal Session?

As a Dallas wedding photographer company, we’ve seen our fair share of bridal sessions. In this post, I will answer the question as to what is 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? 



The Bridal Session Backstory

A bridal session is essentially a photoshoot 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 their 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 common rite of passage for young debutantes of the South. The portrait made for a treasured family keepsake that would often be put on display 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 all her wedding glory, complete with the dress, hair, and makeup. The portraits are often kept a secret right up until the ceremony. Some like to use these photos to decorate the reception room, and very often they are presented as gifts to the parents of the bride.


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.  When searching for a Dallas wedding venue, this location is tough to beat.  Other locations include many luxury Dallas hotels and indoor locations.  Remember, you want to keep the wedding dress as clean and like new as possible before the event!  As wedding photographers, you can assume that location is a vital piece of the process.  Many times, your wedding venue is a great option or many other beautiful outdoor locations.  Many indoor and outdoor locations can be truly stunning for bridal photos.  Depending upon your dress type, you want to remember to choose locations that are safe for your dress as a lot of walking can potentially be required.  Some locations require fees and often times your wedding venue allows a session as part of your booked package.

Reasons to have a session

It’s time to take the next step as a newly engaged bride.  From the hair to the shoes, there is a lot that goes into getting the final look. Having a bridal session, however, is a great way to put your vision to the test with additional photos.  

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 to really get a feel of what it is going to be like on the final day. Walk around in it, pose, get comfortable and figure out 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

Beauty Queen 

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 tend to have a day dedicated to finalizing their hair and makeup.  Be sure to contact your hair and makeup artist well ahead of the shoot to book your makeup trial.  With your bridal session, you can make the most of your hair and makeup trial run.  With your dress and shoes on as well, 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 times 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 is going to 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 smaller details.  Maybe 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.

Brighton abbey wedding photos

Fun and Free

Weddings are obviously beautiful. But they are also super stressful. With a ton of guests to cater to and another hundred fires to put out as the day gets closer, it’s no wonder the beautiful bride can sometimes feel like a bridezilla. So, use your bridal session as another hoorah in addition to your bachelorette party to kick back and relax.

It is the perfect opportunity to get some fabulous portraits at an exotic location, that isn’t your wedding venue.  Some beautiful Dallas wedding venues, for instance, like Knotting Hill Place or Dallas Arboretum could make for gorgeous locations for a bridal session.  From sunset at the beach to your own backyard, you can get as creative as you’d like 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 absolutely stunning and bask in the attention from your Dallas wedding photographer and friends.


And the photographs were taken by Scott Aleman Photography is an award winning Dallas wedding photographer.  Be sure to check out more wedding photographs and bridal portraits here