4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Bridal Portraits Before Your Wedding Day || Nashville Wedding Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Bridal Portraits Before Your Wedding Day

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Having Bridal Portraits Before Your Wedding Day

If you are looking to help save time on your actual wedding day timeline, one of the best ways to ensure that your timeline is even more efficient is by setting a day aside with your wedding photographer to specifically take your bridal portraits. This helps you in several big ways.

First, many brides do not realize this, but bridal portraits can take up to 45 minutes and cut into the timeline of events. If you take care of the bridal portraits early on, it can ease a lot of unnecessary stress. Plus, with the added layers of bridesmaids, families, and people popping in and out of the bridal suite on the actual wedding day, brides tend to react to the beginning of their wedding day in one of several ways: they get overly excited, nervous, stressed, anxious about the timeline, very quiet and clam up, and the very rare bride is actually fully aware and fully present. So with a lot of pent up emotions, it sometimes is very difficult to take the bridal portraits because there are so many layers that can create some tension for the bride and it truly shows in her portraits.

Bridal Portraits taken on a cold January Day and the bride is wearing a fur wrap and is smiling at the camera

Secondly, there’s a big difference between looking at yourself in the mirror at a hair and makeup trial and actually seeing how that hair holds up in the elements and how that makeup photographs. When it comes to being confident in your choices on your wedding day, bridal portraits before your wedding day help give you valuable time and headspace to best prepare for what the actual day will look like. If you’re considering a Bridal Portrait Session, I recommend a full trial run of hair, nails, makeup, and your bouquet. I typically spend 2-3 hours shooting at bridal sessions and it’s nice to have something to hold (your bouquet) to make your hands feel a little less awkward! Also, this is a good excuse for you to work with your hair and makeup team and for them to let you know how long it is really going to take for you to get ready (so that you can plug that into your wedding timeline).

Black Bride is wearing a floral crown and is holding her wedding dress with one hand and is looking down and smiling for her bridal portraits

Third, when it comes to choosing a location for your bridal portrait session, I recommend using locations that are well-manicured, clean, and have great variety in indoor and outdoor locations. Wedding venues are usually a wonderful place to start – especially historic homes and resorts that have well-manicured areas. I want to keep your dress as clean as possible and still, get a lot of amazing images inside and outside. If you decide to do bridal portraits at your wedding venue, this gives you an opportunity to get prints of your portraits ahead of time and these make PERFECT Mother-of-the-Bride gifts.

A bride is taking her bridal portraits in October to feature the gorgeous foliage and she is looking off of her shoulder

Fourth, when it comes to selecting a date for your bridal portrait session, another great thing to keep in mind is the weather. In order to avoid being too hot during the summer months or too cold during the winter months, I highly recommend Spring and Fall. However, if you are on a time crunch, then I am confident you can work something out with your photographer because I try my best to accommodate with my clients (aka I once shot a bridal portrait session 8.5 months pregnant!) Let’s say your wedding is in the dead of winter, there is a high chance that you will not like taking bridal portraits outside because of the inclement weather, so plan ahead!

More things to note

Many venues charge a fee for portrait sessions. Although inconvenient, the fee is often worth it in order to have use of their getting ready room and other venue services. I typically have to work with the venues on times, but I love to shoot bridal portraits in the afternoon as late as we can to get that softer afternoon light. However, if your venue has strict hours, I would say work with your wedding photographer to find the best shooting time which would accommodate the venue hours and to your schedule.

I even created a free checklist for you to use as a resource of what to pack for your bridal portrait session. You can check it out HERE as a free download Packing List for Bridal Portraits

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4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Having Bridal Portraits Before Your Wedding Day


As always, thank you so much for keeping up with my wedding photography adventures! I love serving you all through photography and I especially love working with couples who are joyful and excited about getting married! If you are newly engaged and are looking to work with an intimate wedding photographer or elopement photographer who would best capture and illustrate your love story with radiant and joyful portraits, please feel free to reach out to me! Plus, to jumpstart your wedding planning process, click here for my top secrets to rocking your wedding timeline! 

Meet your friendly Nashville Elopement Photographer

woman wearing a lace top with a polka dot blue dress is smiling at the camera for her branding session

Dolly DeLong is wife to a super cute computer nerd, mama to a little drool machine, and a destination wedding and family photographer based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Even though she loves all things social media,  Dolly was born in the mid-80s, so she likes to stress to people she is not a cool Millennial, and she remembers dial-up internet from when she was in high school. Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), eating way too many sweets, and listening to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at thedollydelong@gmail.com or fill out her contact form here.



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