MK
Expert September 2021

How important are bridal portraits?

MK, on May 10, 2021 at 8:48 AM Posted in Planning 0 22
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I know it's old school, but I assumed I needed to have my bridal portraits framed and set up for our reception to display. My photographer is out of state and about 6 hours away -- I would either need to travel to her and get a hotel room, plus find a HMU artist in her state, or have to pay for her to travel to me for these bridals. Bridal portraits are included in my wedding package with my photographer, but the travel is not.

Did ya'll have bridals done prior to the wedding day? Is it okay to just have my photographer take "bridals" the day of the wedding when she is already in town?

22 Comments

Latest activity by Donnaly, on May 17, 2021 at 3:44 PM
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    It's completely up to you. Anything goes. When I got my pictures done, I didn't wear any makeup.
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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    I actually have literally never heard of bridal portraits done prior to the wedding day until I came on WeddingWire. No wedding that I have ever been to had had framed photos of the bride in her dress at the wedding. You can skip them if you want.
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted June 2021
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    They're definitely a "thing" where I live, but I honestly never really understood the rationale behind having a framed pic of the bride at the reception...I just thought that if I wanted to see the bride in her wedding dress and veil and all that, I would just think back 1-2 hours to how she looked at the ceremony. And for how she looks/looked in the wedding dress itself (sans veil), I can just look over to wherever she currently is at the venue. Chances are she's within 100 feet of me at the venue!

    If I were you, I think I would do the bridal portraits the same day as the wedding! I do think they would be nice to include in the photo album of the wedding, but (as a guest) I've never once noticed if someone *doesn't* have bridal portraits out at the reception. I have always noticed when they *do* have them....but that's just because I find it kind of off-putting, personally.

    I think this, as with everything, is just a do-what-works-for-you thing!

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  • MK
    Expert September 2021
    MK ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I didn't realize they were real a thing either until my photographer asked when I wanted to schedule them! LOL

    My fiancé and I talked about them not long ago and we were both kind of confused about the idea of having just the bride on display. If it weren't so hard to schedule them because of the need for a full trip to do so, I may do them just to have them! But I think I will skip for the reception. Thank you!

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  • C
    Devoted April 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    I had never heard of them before WW. It is definitely not my taste, I also feel like it takes some of the excitement out of getting ready the day of. I don’t feel it’s necessary at all...
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  • Sharonda
    Rockstar January 2021
    Sharonda ·
    • Flag
    I didn’t have a bridal portrait at my wedding. Instead, my photographer took bridal portraits immediately after I got ready and later on in the day. I don’t think it’s worth an extra trip/expense to have them done prior to the wedding.
    • Reply
  • Stacey
    Super May 2021
    Stacey Online ·
    • Flag

    I have literally never seen bridal portraits at a reception. I actually assumed this was a more recent trend or a regional a thing vs. old school because like others, I had never even heard of them before reading on WW. Our photographers took some individual portraits of us after all our couples pictures were done. For whatever it’s worth, I personally wouldn’t recommend putting on your dress before the big day; the bottom of my dress got very dirty during photos so definitely consider that if you decide to do them outside ahead of the big day.

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  • Nicole
    Devoted August 2022
    Nicole Online ·
    • Flag
    I've never heard of this! Personally I don't see a need to have portraits of you as a bride displayed at the reception, because you, the bride, will be there in person at the reception - lol!
    • Reply
  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
    • Flag

    Like many PPs, I had never heard of this and it definitely isn't a thing in my area or with my social circles. It's definitely not a necessary thing. I had a few shots of just me taken on the wedding day and those will go in the wedding scrapbook I'm making.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag
    They’re really only common in the South. And are done instead of engagement pictures because some people see the groom as an afterthought. Ask people in your area what is expected.
    • Reply
  • Jay
    Devoted September 2021
    Jay ·
    • Flag

    If this isn't common in your family or geographical area, and isn't something you actually are interested in, then skip it. If you're going to get a lot of comments about it then maybe it's worth doing to avoid the headache. From my understanding, it's exclusively a Southern US thing.

    • Reply
  • Grace
    Rockstar February 2022
    Grace ·
    • Flag
    I didn't realize that people ever got them taken before the wedding day until this thread. My photographer will be taking mine just before the ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Natalie
    Devoted January 2022
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    I've never seen that at a reception and don't personally see the point. Is this session included in your package, or would it be an extra cost? If the latter I would just skip, if the former I would ask about swapping it out for a engagement shoot or something else.

    • Reply
  • MK
    Expert September 2021
    MK ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Unfortunately, it is included in the package! So was an engagement shoot, but we ended up not needing it -- we booked our wedding photographer after having an engagement session. We may just have to cut our losses and do without!

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  • Nicole
    VIP September 2020
    Nicole ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Can you ask your photographer to do something else for you I’m lieu of the engagement and bridal sessions? Maybe an album or canvases that add up to the amount of the sessions? That way, you’re still getting what you paid for, but just in a format that works for you as a couple.
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted June 2021
    Allie ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I second this!

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  • Natalie
    Devoted January 2022
    Natalie ·
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    Is there any other kind of photography you might want? It's a little risque but some ladies do a boudoir shoot as a surprise (these run 500 - 800 dollars around me, so having it free would be a big plus). Or maybe you could photograph the bridal shower, or add the time they would have used for the extra shoot to your wedding package (so if it was an 8 hour day, maybe they'd be willing to do a 10 hour day).

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Just because it’s included doesn’t mean it’s mandatory. Vendors are used to clients negotiating. Meaning you don’t need or want what is in a package so you ask them what your options are for substitutions.
    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari Online ·
    • Flag

    I don't know of anyone who has done bridal portraits ahead of time, including our parents (who are more traditional than our generation is), and I have never been to a wedding with bridal portraits on display. Maybe If an engagement session and/or bridal portraits are included in your package and you don't use them, you can ask your photographer to provide a different service/option in lieu of those sessions, such as a print credit, parent albums, or future anniversary/maternity shoot.

    • Reply
  • devotedlydavis
    Devoted March 2022
    devotedlydavis ·
    • Flag

    I was on the fence on this as well. It's included in my photography package, so I am going to do them. BUT I will not be displaying a framed picture at the wedding because I feel like it's weird to only spotlight the bride and not my FH. Now that I've decided to do them, I do like the idea because it will give me a day to do the hair & makeup trial and decide if there is anything that I want to change before the big day. My photographer said she has had brides change their hairstyle after bridals because they're able to see what it will look like at the venue (e.g. wispy hairs may not work at an outdoor venue). I also think it will help cut down on the picture time post ceremony; we aren't doing a first look so all our couple pictures will be done during the cocktail hour.

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