7 Things to Know Before Taking Your Bridal Portraits
Written by: Callie
I recently had my bridal portraits taken for my wedding coming up in May! I think I took these photos a bit earlier than most people do but I like getting things done early. That being said, I was not completely prepared to have these photos taken. There were quite a few things that were done last minute or even completely forgotten about. So, here are a few things that I wish I would have known before getting into my dress and posing around.
1. Have all your accessories.
I picked up my dress a few weeks ago and thought about chopping the train off (though the seamstress wants to convince me otherwise so we'll see what happens). But I wanted photos of my dress unaltered because it was so pretty as is too! So I scheduled my bridals early, before taking it to the seamstress. Because I scheduled it so early, I had no idea what accessories I wanted to have day of.
Four days before my photos my mom, Kenzie, and Brenna loaded up in the van and went to Harwin Street in Houston to find a veil, which is kind of a thing that is needed for a wedding. There was no way I was going to pay $500 for a veil and Harwin is known for their good deals so we found one for $250, then Brenna noticed a small hole and haggled it down another $100!
2. Decide where you want to take the photos.
Most venues offer a set amount of hours for you to use the venue property for photos, whether that's for engagements or bridals. Since I work at the venue where I am getting married, I wanted to do something a little different too. So we also took some photos at Liberty Bell Antiques, where my mom used to work. Brenna, Kenzie, and I basically grew up in that store. Mom would bring us there on her work days and we would run up and down the long aisle making up ridiculous games. Those were the days.
3. Use your hair and make-up trial for bridals.
Most hair and make up companies offer a trial run for you to see if you like the style or not. Some companies offer this service for free when you book with them, others don't, so if this is important to you, make sure you know what their trial policies are before booking with them!
When you go for your trial, even if your bridals are not on the same day, I suggest putting your dress on because it's so much fun to see everything come together and have an idea of what you'll look like on your big day!
4. Get your nails done.
I woke up the morning of my bridals and thought to myself, "Huh, I bet a lot of photos will be taken of my ring, maybe my nails should be painted?" So I dug out some nail polish and went to work. Which was fine, but I wish I would have thought about it beforehand and went to a professional. (Side note: I also did this exact thing for my engagement photos. I just can not seem to remember to ever get my nails done!)
5. Have a bouquet.
Again, the morning of the bridal shoot while I was painting my nails I thought, "I bet I should have a bouquet too." Luckily my photos were February 15th so we had some flowers on the kitchen table from Valentine's Day. My mom made a bouquet while I painted my nails before having to head out the door to go to the hair and makeup trial. In the end I had a small bouquet of reds and pinks, nothing like what I envision my wedding bouquet will look like, but at least I had flowers!
6. Take breaks.
You guys, I nearly passed out! Now because my dress has yet to be altered it's a little tight, and Texas is warm and I was in a closed, glass building with no AC, standing in heels for 10 minutes while we tried to get the light just right. So there were other factors, but I started to feel very light headed, and started to sweat a lot. So make sure you drink some water every now and then while taking photos and sit for a bit if needed.
7. Bring someone with you.
Again, not something I really would have thought about. My mom was always going to go with me just because she also had the day off and wanted to. While trying to convince Kenzie to go with us too she said, "Why? It's not like I'd be doing anything. Plus I'd have to shower..." but we could have used her! I'm so glad my mom came with me! While Jess (photographer) was taking photos Mom was holding veils, flowers, phone lights, moving things around, etc. It would have been much slower going and we probably would not have gotten half of the awesome photos that we did if she hadn't been there! So bring someone to help do the things you can't while in a dress.
So there you have it, my list of things to not forget when you start to plan your bridal photos. It's funny that I work in the wedding industry and I still forget so many things when it comes to my own wedding. I can't wait to get my photos back and have my dress altered to make it everything that I want it to be!
Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do with these photos after I get them. I know most people display one or two at the ceremony but I want other ideas too! How did you/do you plan to display and use your bridal photos?