It has almost been 2 years since our wedding (gasp!) and I absolutely loved sharing all the details of our special day with you guys. I went through a slew of “wedding Wednesday” posts and today I wanted to share a related post since wedding season is upon us. I’m talking all about bridal portraits and why I decided to skip them.
Bridal portraits are a wedding tradition where the bride gets all dressed up in her wedding attire and has portraits made on a day before the wedding. It is somewhat of a “trial run” before the actual wedding. I believe it is more common in the south than some other parts of the country and at some weddings, a large framed portrait of the bride is displayed at the reception.
I thought about getting bridals but as much as I love photos (hello, I’m a blogger!) I couldn’t justify shelling out the cash for these and then found myself wondering what I would do with 100 photos of myself in a wedding gown. By the time you factor the photographer fees, sitting fees at venues, hair, makeup, spray tan, manicure, bouquet, dry cleaning, and the actual canvas/print that you will display and have framed- we’re talking over $1,000, people. Phew!
You still want to have a hair & makeup trial run, of course, so instead of using mine for bridal portraits I used it for my engagement photos instead. All in all, I can barely think of anyone who has a giant bridal portrait hanging in their home (maybe the parents if anyone). My advice- take a few minutes during the wedding day to get some solo shots. At the end of the day, I would rather have photos of Ryan & I or our friends & family hanging up on our walls than a photo of just me.
If budget is no issue for you I think portraits are a great idea- it’s also a time where photographers can get creative, which I love. But if you are on the fence or really want a certain vendor and trying to make aq compromise, think about cutting the bridals. I honestly don’t regret it one bit and am happy with my few “portraits” from the day.
I’m curious to hear, do any of y’all regret not getting portraits or are you happy you didn’t spend the time and money on them? Leave me a comment down below!
Honestly never even thought about skipping this but 100% agree! Using the “trial run” for your engagement photos is a wonderful idea!! Saving this post to look back to when I’m wedding planning one day!
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I didn’t want to do bridal portraits either, but my mom insisted (and thus, paid). She’s very traditional and wanted the portrait on display at the reception (uh…why? I’m there…in my dress…they can see me…I’m confused…? haha). Ultimately, it was a miserably cold and overcast March day on the day of the shoot, and I hate every single photo. But eh…whatcha gonna do? My mom got her canvas, so I guess that’s all that matters.
I had traditional bridal portraits done, and it is, of course hanging at my parents’ house. We have a few smaller ones at home scattered around (especially the ones of me and the pup), but I just don’t think I’ll ever order a full-sized option for our house. Though I loved having them and still enjoy looking at them, I love the ones that our photographer snapped on the day of just as much.
Great post.. Thanks for sharing your story!
I didn’t do bridal portraits & I never regretted it!
Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels says
I loved that you used your trial hair/makeup for your engagement photos! I’ve seen so many brides do that and it’s so much better! I wouldn’t want to spend all of that money on photos that only would be seen by a few people. I love these photos of you!
I didn’t do this either but then again I had a small wedding. Never a day did I regret that. 🙂 You look stunning girl!
Belle | http://www.OneAwesomeMomma.com
Anna English says
Your dress is beautiful!
I had traditional bridal portraits done, but only because it was part of a collaboration with a local photographer. For Kirsten, we used our bridal session as our engagement session!
I didn’t do them either – so glad I’m not alone! You look gorgeous!!
I did them, and I’m glad I did because it’s how I realized how long it was going to take the girl to do my hair. LOL… She did a great job, but she worked SLOW. I don’t even think she got to my mom of the day of. We definitely wouldn’t have been prepared for that. It was also good to do a trial run. All that being said, I wish that I had used my engagement and bridal sessions to really take stock and fire my photographer. Biggest regret of my wedding tbh. We actually reshot our engagement pictures because the first round was so disappointing… My mom was upset that he missed all the details, so she went to my bridal session… and she was still frustrated because if she hadn’t been there, they wouldn’t have turned out as well as they did (but they still aren’t great)… .so I should have used those trials to fire my photographer. Sigh.
Ruthie Ridley says
Using the “trial run” for your engagement photos is a great idea!! I really should have done this 10 years ago!!!
Annette Dattilo says
I totally agree with you. I had them done and the “giant picture of me” is on the floor in the back of a closet.
Sort of on/off topic – did you do a wedding album (and would you be willing to post a flip-through?)? We’re starting ours now and it’s so hard deciding which layouts to use – Pinterest isn’t very helpful!
PS Love your photos – you’re gorgeous!
i definitely won’t have a budget for this either girl! i will probably do a trail run of makeup and hair though, just no profesh photos!!
Megan Balot says
I have always thought about skipping bridal portraits for all the same reasons you listed! That’s smart to do the trial make-up and hair for engagement photos.