All You Need to Know about Bridal Sessions | Raleigh Wedding Photographer

Can you believe that you are going to be a bride? A beautiful wedding-dress wearing about-to-get-married bride? Pretty crazy and exciting!

Right now, you are likely in the midst of planning your wedding and chances are you have at least heard about Bridal Sessions at this point. But are you wondering if you should do one? And what in the world could you possibly need all these pictures of yourself for?

This blogpost will answer all your questions about this special kind of portrait session and will hopefully get you excited to schedule your very own Bridal Session!

What is a Bridal Session?

A Bridal Session is a session that’s all about you – the bride-to-be! Put on your wedding dress, get your hair and makeup done and have your florist create a beautiful bouquet for you. Bring your mom or best friend and let’s meet at your venue (or anywhere else!) and spend a few hours laughing, popping champagne and dreaming about your wedding day together. I will make sure that you feel comfortable and beautiful and that you leave your session with gorgeous portraits and an even more excited heart for your big day to come!

Why should I consider doing a Bridal Session?

1. Bridal sessions are basically a trial run for your wedding day!

Wedding Dress

You get to put on your wedding dress and find out how it feels to walk, sit, walk up stairs, hug, dance and sip champagne wearing it. Anything poking you? Are the straps a little too loose? Thanks to your bridal session, you will have time to request alterations before your wedding day and make sure that your dress fits, feels and looks absolutely perfect.

Hair and Makeup

Schedule your hair and makeup trial and your Bridal Session on the same day! You get to see your bridal look come to life and truly get a glimpse of what being a bride will feel like. Seeing your hair and makeup photographed will help you feel confident going into your wedding day and will also give you an opportunity to tweak little details if needed.


Have your florist create a a beautiful bouquet for you. It can be similar to the one you’re planning to have for your wedding day or something completely different. Flowers add a beautiful element to photographs and are a great way to tie in your wedding colors. They also give your hands something to do and to hold onto!


Bridal Sessions are a great way to explore your venue together. We can choose favorite spots for your couple portraits, you can show me where your ceremony will be taking place and we can decide on the perfect spot for your first look while daydreaming about wedding day ahead.

2. Have a girls day out!

Pop the Bubbly

Feeling a little stressed from all the wedding planning and all the anticipation in the air? Bridal Sessions are fun, relaxing and will ease your mind in so many ways. If you want to, ask your mom or bestie to tag along, enjoy a fun girls days out and make some special memories together!

3. Walk home with beautiful portraits of yourself!

Shine beautiful!

Bridal portraits are so much more than just pictures of what you look like as a bride. You will feel empowered, confidant and beautiful. Have a favorite portrait? Print it big, baby, and display it at your wedding! Or in your home, should you ever need a reminder of the beauty and light that you are!

How do I prepare for my Bridal Session?

Here are a few things to consider when preparing for your bridal session:

1. Timing and Date:

Schedule your bridal session between 2-5 months prior to your wedding date to give yourself and the vendors involved enough time to make stress-free adjustments (if needed). If you’re planing to do your bridal session at your venue, consider a weekday for your session. Most venues have weekends blocked off for weddings.

2. Jewelry & Accessories

Can’t decide which earrings to wear? Not quite sure about your veil? Are you in love with two pairs of shoes? Bring all your options to try and play with. Wearing them and seeing things photographed will make it a lot easier to finalize your look.

3. Bring Your Bestie

Ask your mom or your bestie (or both) to join us! The will make sure you feel comfortable and keep you laughing, fed and hydrated, can help you into your dress, tuck away unruly strands of hair and will happily do some mid-day champagne drinking. Cheers!

4. Eat and Drink (not just Champagne)

You’ll be surprised how heavy a bouquet can become and how different it is walking in a wedding dress than in jeans and a t-shirt. You’ll be on your feet a lot. No need to carb load like Michael Scott but make sure you drink plenty of water and bring some snacks.

What do I need to schedule for my bridal session?

Wedding Dress

Make sure you already had at least one fitting before your session and your dress overall fits great. Give your bridal shop or whoever is taking care of alterations plenty of notice that you will need your dress. Doing your session no later than 2 months before your wedding will give them also enough time for a cleaning and any additional alternations if necessary.


Many venues will allow you to use their space for 1-2 hours for your bridal session as part of your wedding package (make sure to double check in advance of course). Reach out to your venue at least 2 months prior to your session to choose a date and time.

Hair and Makeup

Try to schedule your hair and makeup trial and your bridal session on the same day! If you already know what you want your hair and makeup to look like – great! If not, try to find some inspiration pictures to show your hair/makeup artist and talk to them to create a look that makes you feel beautiful and most importantly, like yourself. They got you!


Make sure to give your florist plenty of notice before your bridal session (several weeks). Coming up with a beautiful vision for your bouquet, ordering flowers and handcrafting a bouquet takes time. On the day of your session, make sure to transport your bouquet in a water-filled container so it can stay fresh until it’s time to take pictures.

I hope I was able to answer all your questions about Bridal Sessions and you have a much better idea now about what to expect! Should you have any other questions that weren’t answered, please drop them in the comments below.

If this blog post got you excited and you would like to schedule your own Bridal Session, message me here!

© Simone McAdams Photography