Well hey there you gorgeous queen!

So it's time to start prepping for your bridal session. WOO HOO!! Bridals are one of my faaaavorite pre-wedding sessions. It is the perfect time for us to get to know each other more, practice posing versus prompting and really figuring out how to communicate with each other on your big day even better. For our brides, this session is literally a practice run before your "I do." From hair and makeup styling to making sure your dress sits on your body comfortably to making sure your bridal bouquet is exactly what you envisioned, bridals are THE TIME to make sure everything is good to go before the biggest day of your life. Preparing for bridals can often feel daunting but here are a couple pro-tips to make sure you're all ready and good to go for your pre-wedding pampering and styling "practice round."

1. Venue or Location

Picking your location is definitely step one. Our brides often like to have their portraits done at their venue and I'm always down for that. It is important to remember that most of the time your venue (and vendors) will have events on the weekends which means your session would have to be during the week and often before the venue closes around 5 or 6pm. If a weekend session is absolutely necessary, this would definitely be something to keep in mind and I would generally recommend checking out our Location List instead of having your bridals at your venue. If you do choose to have your session on location rather than at your venue, I would of course help you sift through some of the options from the Location List ^^^ to pick the spot that fits your bridal style. Wanting something more rustic, in a field or garden, by the water, or downtown with the city skyline in the background? I can walk you through the options and find the perfect place. If you do choose to have your session on location rather than at your venue, I always always always recommend having your session start about an hour and a half before sunset. This is typically because we have less options for shade or inside shots and would want to utilize the most soft and "romantic" natural light for your session- GOLDEN HOUR. Personally though, bridals at your venue are almost always my favorite. Check out a few of my favorite venue bridal photos at the bottom of this post from a recent bridal session out at The Springs Venue in Weatherford, Texas.

2. Photographer

Once you know if you're doing your session at your venue or on location, I am then able to go through my calendar and send over a list of available dates I have that you can then pass along to your hair and makeup artist as well as your florist. A few things I always suggest bringing for photos is:

  • your proper shoes
  • your jewelry (necklace, bracelet, cleaned engagement ring)
  • your veil if you are choosing to wear one
  • any hair accessories
  • any custom jacket, fur throw, etc

Basically, if you're going to wear it on your big day, it should also be on your body in your photos. I bring a pop up dressing room to help you get dressed privately if we do go on location as well as a battery powered fan to keep you as cool and as sweat free as possible.

3. Hair and Makeup

This is such an important day for you and your stylists. I reached out to my friend Sarah Donaldson from Simply Sarah Jane to get her expert knowledge and here are a few pro tips that she shared with me:

Coming to salon prepped is very important. Sarah recommends her brides wear a button down shirt and come with clean dry hair. She personally prefers to "dirty it up" if needed in person but to definitely double check with your stylist to make sure they approach styling prep the same way. If your hair is colored at all, Sarah recommended that you do a color touch up about a week before your trial and bridal session. Avoid any major facials or waxing for about a week before your trial and definitely ask your makeup artist if they provide touch up lipstick or if they can recommend products for you to bring to your bridals in case touch ups are needed. Don't forget to have your stylist to show you how to put your veil in for your hairstyle before leaving the salon so that we avoid messing up up your hair and make sure to have it as secure in your hair as much as possible.

When picking a time for your trial, don't forget to factor in how far the drive from your stylists salon to your venue or bridal session location. If you're still looking for an awesome HMUA, definitely check out Sarah's website- www.simplysarahjanerockwall.com

4. Florals

Most of the time your florist and you have already discussed a bridal bouquet by this point. Your florist should have photos of what you like and has provided you of a rough idea of what you can expect. This is the opportunity to make sure your vision and theirs are coming together as planned and that you love what is being ordered. Make note of what you love and don't so that you can communicate that with your florist after. I asked my friends Danielle Hasting with One Fine Day and Catherine Daniels with CD Designs Floral and Decor to get their expert advise for you guys. Here are their words of wisdom:

"Make your bridal portrait bouquet even more dramatic than your actual bouquet. Because it's a private session and it's not one that will be carried down the aisle, this is the time to have a very artsy and dramatic styling of your bouquet. If you wanted to get a flower crown, get a flower crown." Be over the top and really have fun playing at your session. They also told me that "depending on the type of flowers the bride is using for the bouquet, it may not be something the florist keeps in stock on hand." Make sure to place your bridal session bouquet order in plenty of time to allow your florist to order all of those special pieces to make your arrangement extra jaw dropping and to also have a firm plan in place on when and where you will be picking up your bouquet.

If you're looking for an incredible wedding planner and florist, hands down you HAVE TO CHECK OUT One Fine Day and CD Designs Floral!

www.onefinedaytx.com and www.cddesignsflorist.com

5. Alterations

During your session you may notice that your bodice feels a little loose, a cup shows when you move in your dress or maybe the hip fabric bunches. This is the perfect opportunity to notice those things and then circle back around to your seamstress to see what they recommend to keep you as comfortable as possible on your big day. Many of our brides have bridals and notice that their dress is absolutely perfect in every way and are able to find comfort in knowing everything is good to go and will be wonderful as is going forward. Either way, this session brings peace of mind and helps our brides go into their wedding day knowing everything is going ahead as the envisioned.

Needing an incredible seamstress and custom gown designer?! Kaitlyn Stram with Kaitlyn Coufal Couture is a freaking goddess who's gowns and work are ALL THE RAGE in North Texas. If I could redo my wedding style, there's no way I'd go to anyone but Kaitlyn.