A lot of brides are torn about doing Bridal Portraits in the beginning, but I always answer the same way- Bridal Portraits are MY FAV!! There is something just so special about them. This is a chance for you to slow down, let it all sink in, and spend some precious moments with you and whoever you bring along with you!

raleigh wedding photographer
raleigh wedding photographer
raleigh wedding photographer

-Why are they important?

*You get some extra time in your dress! I don’t know about you, but I was obsessed with my dress and any extra chance I got to wear it, I wanted to make that happen! Sounds silly, but it’s the truth. You spend all that money on a dress and only get to wear it one day?! No thank you!

*“Girls day” with your mom, your sister, or your best friend: This is the real reason I love them. When I was getting married, I never really thought I’d be the girl who wanted bridal portraits, but my mom thought it would be fun so I gave in, and I’m so glad I did. That was such a special afternoon with me and my mom. She cried at “how beautiful” I was, and I cried back. We also laughed a lot at my mom trying to do the famous “veil toss.” Don’t worry, you’ll know what that is when we do yours!

*Trial Run for your look of the day: Perhaps the most practical reason to have Bridals done is because you can schedule your trial runs for your hair and makeup! This means you can have a trial run for your entire outfit and wedding day look. This is HUGE because you’ll get to see if you actually like your hair and makeup that way in photos, if your dress actually needs to be taken in more, if a button is loose on your dress, and it helps mom practice buttoning you up! (Those pesky little buttons are hard sometimes!!) You basically get a chance to see if you’ll be comfortable in your planned look for wedding day, and you have time to change your look before your big day if you decide you want to!

*Framed Photo at Reception: lots of brides like the southern tradition of having a framed bridal portrait displayed at reception. But if this isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of reasons you can enjoy having your Bridals done!

-Tips for Preparing for your Bridal Portraits:

Come with hair and makeup already done.
*Bridal Portraits are a great chance to test out your wedding day look. Most brides choose to do a trial-run with their hair stylist and/or makeup artist before Bridals, and I highly recommend it! That way, you know if you want to tweak anything for the real day.
*However, please please please give yourself more time than you think so you can arrive on time without being rushed! Trust me, you’ll feel much more relaxed this way.

Bring a bouquet with you.
*Reach out to your florist and see if they offer any discounts on smaller-sized bouquets for Bridal Portraits. You may be surprised to hear that most do!
*Another great option is heading to Trader Joe’s the day before, putting together your own and sticking it in the fridge overnight. Wrap a pretty ribbon around the stems for a romantic final touch!
*If you’re questioning whether or not you “need” a bouquet, I would definitely recommend it. It makes brides feel much more comfortable in front of the camera having something to hold onto to avoid the awkward “What do I do with my hands?” It also helps you feel way more like a bride!

Bring your “real day” shoes, but know you can honestly where whatever ones you want during your session.
*No worries if you don’t want to mess up your “real day” shoes. Wear whatever you want to feel comfortable! Chances are, you won’t be able to see them in photos!
*But I do suggest bringing the real ones with you. I can take some pretty detail shots while you’re getting into your dress if there’s time!

“But what if I mess up my dress?”
*Trust me, I won’t be putting you in any situations where you could potentially ruin your dress! However, that’s why it is helpful to have someone tag along for this so they can help carry your train as we move from location to location!

Remember all of your jewelry, hair accessories, under garments, etc.

If your venue will allow, try and show up 5-10 minutes early so you can start getting into your dress.Most venues have time restrictions on how long you can be there, so we don’t want to waste any time!

Suggestions for Bridal Portrait Venues:
The Merrimon Wynne House – Raleigh, NC
Leslie Alford-Mims House – Holly Springs, NC
The Bradford – New Hill, NC
The Matthews House – Cary, NC
The Oaks at Salem – Apex, NC
Wrightsville Manor – Wilmington, NC