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10 Reasons to Add a Bridal Prep Session

Some photographers include bridal (or Groom) prep in their packages as standard. Personally I mostly keep it an optional element as not everyone likes to have their photo taken whilst getting ready. That said, I also think it's one of those sessions you look back and wish you'd booked. I find that it's mostly the Bride who wants to capture this fun chaos before the ceremony, but if you've got two photographers or the couple are getting ready in the same place, you can often catch both bride and groom.

If you've never heard of a Bridal Prep, it is the time you're getting hair and makeup done and having a crafty glass of champagne with your bridesmaids. It's the time before you head off to the ceremony and before you're busy meeting all your guests and distant family. For some it's also the first time they have the Photographer start taking photos, or even the first time they meet the Photographer face to face. But why have the photographer there at all? Well, here's 10 reasons I think you should plan one into your day:

  • Forgetting That Moment Of course, you'll remember that you prepped for your wedding, and your bridal party probably took some snaps on their phones. But what about when you needed a hug and no one was holding a camera? What about when you shared that final cuddle with your mother and your bridesmaids weren't there? There's so many happy moments and stories during that time that having someone there as a fly on the wall means you'll always be able to look back and remember it.

  • The Details The rings, shoes, dress, flowers, jewellery, perfume and everything else will be pristine and in one place. It's the best time to capture those small elements, but also one of my favourite shots too. I tell my couples to have the rings in one place to at least get the rings photographed, but adding all the extra details can create a lovely memory of wheat you wore, what perfume you put on and the flowers too. I'd probably add a note that your dress will get dirty throughout the day, it's just one of those things they don't tell you, so the best time to photograph it is hanging up :)

  • The Reveal Quite often, your mother or father will be present at the place you're getting ready. Whether it's in a hotel or the family home, they'll be downstairs or in their room getting ready too, waiting to see you in all your finery. When you come to the top of the stairs, or open the door and they see you for the first time will be a moment you'll never be able to recreate or fake for a photo later. It's one of the more special moments that as a photographer you're lucky to capture, and one you'll look back on for a long time.

  • Bored of the Camera Even if you had an Engagement Shoot, you might still not be used to having a camera pointed at you for the whole day. When you're trying to get candid, natural and reportage photos, this can make some of the shots look uncomfortable. By having the photographer hang around you and a lens pointed at you, you start to ignore them and eventually don't really notice them any more. This leads to much better photos with real emotions, unposed looks and more photos to choose from later.

  • Genuine Moments Unless you've had many photography sessions, very comfortable in front of a camera or know your photographer well, there's a chance photos later can look a little 'faked'. I wouldn't say that's always the case, but when I look back through a day's wedding shoot, it's the shots when everyone is just being themselves that tell the best stories or look the most 'real'.

  • Bonding Time Bridal prep is a special time to bond with your bridesmaids and close family members. These photos can reflect the support and love you receive on your wedding day.

  • Nervous Excitement Capture the moments of nervous excitement as you prepare to walk down the aisle. These photos can tell a beautiful story of anticipation.

  • Beautiful Lighting Morning light often provides soft and flattering illumination, making it an ideal time for photography.

  • Private Moments It's a chance for some quiet, private moments with your thoughts before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

  • Complete Wedding Story Including bridal prep photos in your wedding album allows for a more comprehensive storytelling of your special day, from start to finish.

Incorporating a bridal prep session into your wedding photography package can add depth and dimension to your wedding album, capturing both the small, personal moments and the grandeur of the ceremony and reception.

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