The Origins of Bridal Portraits

Bridal portraits are a favorite tradition of Southern brides and their families. A chance to dress up in full bridal regalia, brides pose a couple months before the wedding for a solo session with their photographer. While a common practice in the south, bridal portraits originated in Europe.

Originally oil paintings done for royalty and wealthy families, bridal portraits were a way for the bride’s family to remember the special day. These were often framed and prominently displayed in the home for family and future generations to see.

Cameras eventually shifted and changed how bridal portraits were done. In the early days of cameras, brides would go to a studio to pose for their pictures before or after the wedding. This was largely due to the equipment not being portable. Families would also frame and display these pictures in their homes. Today some of these pictures are also displayed at the ceremony and reception.

After WWII and camera developments had improved, wedding photography grew in popularity and transitioned into what we know it today. However, there is some uncertainty about how this European tradition made its way to the South.

While this tradition is most commonly found in the South, it isn’t limited to that region. Any bride can choose to have bridal portraits done before her wedding. No matter what part of the country you find yourself in, there are several benefits to having such a photography session done.


Reasons to Have Bridal Portraits Taken

Get to know your photographer. This is a great opportunity to really see how you and your photographer work together. After all, he/she will be taking a lot of pictures on your big day. Getting to know each other will help the process run more smoothly. Bridal portraits are also a great opportunity to make sure your photographer understands your vision. Likewise, you can also get a better sense of their photography style, what works and what doesn’t.

Think of it as a test run for your dress/makeup/hair. How will your makeup look on your wedding day? Your hair? Will what you’ve been envisioning in theory work in reality? Not to mention how comfortable you may or may not be moving in your wedding dress. A bridal portrait session can answer all of these questions. Think of this time as a dress rehearsal to your wedding where you can test out what you’ve been planning.

It’s stress-free! Bridal portraits give you the chance to get some great pictures without having to worry about time constraints, questions and any issues that may arise on your special day. By taking pictures in advance, you can use any location, you can wait for the weather you want and you can take your time.

A special moment for you that you’ll always remember. Having your bridal portraits taken gives you a special memento to frame and commemorate this moment in your life. You will also always remember the experience you will have.

It’s fun! How often do you get to dress up in a beautiful gown and have your picture taken? Use your bridal portrait session to have fun and let your personality shine through. Do you have a special location in mind? Have your pictures taken there! Thinking about a particular theme? Go for it! This session is about you and you should enjoy every minute of it!