I absolutely adored this session and this couple. Megan contacted me to see if I would be willing to shoot just a formal session for them since a friend was going to take pictures on the wedding day. I LOVE engagement sessions and formal sessions, and am definitely always willing to do them, even without shooting the wedding. This session went so perfectly. Here’s my top five tips to making sure your formal sessions goes great, too!
Top Five Reasons to Do a Bridal Session
- Plan for the perfect day. The number one reason to do a formal or bridal session is to ensure we get great light, great weather, and have time to take the best pictures.
- Variety. We can get so much variety for your shoot because we get to choose where to go! Because of time constraints on the wedding day, we usually can’t go to multiple locations. And even if we can, it’s usually not during the golden hour or best light. I’ve shot in various places like Tony Grove, Antelope Island, Bear Lake, and other beautiful spots around Utah for images. Unless that’s where your wedding takes place, we usually can’t get to places like that on your wedding day. During a formal session, we can literally go wherever you want!
- Trial run. I love that brides get a chance to test out their hair and makeup during their formals. It’s an extra chance to wear the dress, put the look all together with the groom, and make sure everything is how you want it on the wedding day. A lot of us girls dream about being a bride from the time we’re little – it’s pretty fun to put on the dress more than once!
- Time. Doing formals really opens up possibilities on your wedding day. Instead of taking an hour or more on the portraits of just the two of you, you can use that time in other ways. I always recommend still leaving time on the wedding day to get at least a few portraits of the two of you though. For LDS brides who opt to not do formals at the temple, we still will want up to an hour on your wedding day to go around the temple grounds for portraits.
- Images for the reception. Even if we do your formals just a couple days before the wedding, I can do fast turn around edits in time for you to print images for the reception. A lot of couples opt big prints as decor, and it’s really fun to have not just your engagement pictures to choose from. Added bonus for me – I love seeing in real life how you print your pictures and which ones are your favorites!
I do want to address the biggest question I receive about doing a formal session. “What about him seeing me in my dress for the first time on the wedding day?!” I have a couple thoughts on that.
First, a lot of couples opt for a “first look” at the beginning of the formal session. We literally set you up so we can capture his reaction to seeing you in your wedding gown. The best part is, it’s up close and intimate, so I can move around to get a lot of different angles and shots. If your videographer comes along on the session, that’s also a great video opportunity!
Second – for traditional brides who will be walking down the aisle. In my experience, the groom’s emotions and reactions are not solely based around the gown you’re wearing. You’re walking down the aisle towards him – TO GET MARRIED!! The excitement, emotions, nervousness, love – it’s all going to be there even if he’s already seen you in your gown. I promise!
Reach out if you have any questions about bridal or formal sessions!