Having bridal portraits taken prior to the wedding is a long-standing tradition, that is particularly popular in the south. Some of my clients are having destination weddings and live all over the country, and I've noticed that some of my clients from the north and west have no clue what bridal portraits are. So in case you're unfamiliar, bridal portraits are taken of the bride prior to the wedding day in the wedding dress, and are often displayed at the reception. I think it's very important for many reasons, so here they are:
1. You've likely paid a lot of money for your wedding dress. For many brides, it'll be the most expensive outfit they'll ever wear! And most brides will only wear their dress one time! Bridal portraits give you another chance to wear the dress, therefore getting more value from your investment.
2. Other than trying the dress on in the store, and maybe a second fitting, you've never even really worn the dress! Bridal portraits give you an opportunity prior to the wedding day to get comfortable with wearing and moving in your dress. You'll also get practice putting it on, which we all know can often be quite the production! You'll be more familiar with how to walk, comfortable ways to sit, and how to keep your dress clean.
3. You also get practice and become more comfortable having your photo taken! Unless you're famous, you're probably not used to someone following you around with a camera like your own personal paparazzi. This is just one more chance to become more comfortable in front of the camera.
4. I usually only meet clients a few times prior to the wedding, so we have limited time to become familiar and comfortable around each other. The more time you can spend with your photographer prior to the wedding, the better. Almost everyone is self-conscious about having their photo taken, so there's an unspoken bond and trust between a photographer and a subject. Bridal portraits give us more time to spend together, to learn about each other, and find our rhythm for taking great photos.
5. Tradition. Not everyone cares about tradition, but I think it's pretty cool that people have been taking bridal portraits almost as long as there's been photography. It's almost a rite of passage for a woman, to celebrate her biggest moment. The style of bridals has evolved over the years, and will continue to do so, but I imagine this tradition will continue for many more generations to come!
Thanks for reading! I'm Trevor Mercer, a wedding photographer from Columbia, SC. I've been photographing weddings for over 10 years, and as a second-generation wedding photographer, I literally grew up in the business. I'm now providing wedding photography and videography for weddings in my state and well beyond, and I'm a 2016 winner in the Knot's Best of Weddings. I decided to start a blog and share everything I've learned about weddings through the years, and I hope it helps make your wedding planning a little easier. Learn more about me at www.TrevorMercer.com. Please subscribe, share, and comment with your input or questions!