A stunning Asian bride on her Raleigh wedding day by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Bridal Portrait Prep

If you’ve chosen to have Raleigh bridal portraits taken as part of your wedding photography package – get excited for some me time! Not only does a bridal portrait session allow you to test out your bridal hair and makeup, and get a first-hand look at your wedding florals, but also get the opportunity to have a mini wedding day experience before the big event. It is a special experience focused solely on you.

(Looking to learn about what a bridal session actually is? Read more about bridal portraits here.)

Glowing bride at her wedding venue during her Raleigh bridal portrait session by JoLynn Photography

Since this is most likely the first time you’ve had bridal portraits taken, and or possibly your first professional photography session in general, you may be looking for a few tips on how to prepare for your session. I am happy to share some insight and tips to share for your Raleigh bridal portrait session.

A glowing bride during her Raleigh bridal portrait session at sunset in a stunning Raleigh park by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Scheduling

You will probably have a handful of fittings that you will need to schedule around.  Make sure your bridal shop and wedding alterations both know that you are planning bridal portraits.  It is recommended to have your Raleigh bridal portrait session no later than 6x weeks before your wedding date.

As a wedding photographer, I understand that it can feel overwhelming to fit it all in before the wedding. Talk with your wedding photographer about the option to schedule your Raleigh bridal portraits after the wedding if scheduling is an issue, or if you would simply like an opportunity to extend your wedding after the wedding :)!

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Location

Location is a crucial part of scheduling and planning your bridal session.  Here in the Triad, there are many beautiful outdoor locations for Raleigh bridal portraits!  However, you will need to consider your overall look as well as the limitations of your dress.  For example, if you are wearing a long cathedral-style train, location should be considered if the dress could potentially get dirty before your wedding day.

Both outdoor and indoor locations can be stunning for bridal portraits.  It is important to remember that many places require permits or rental fees to take photos on their property.  With that being said, many wedding venues will allow you to schedule your bridal session there at no extra cost as part of your booking package. If you need assistance with discussions with your wedding venue regarding your Raleigh bridal portrait session, let your wedding photographer know and they can gladly assist with facilitating conversations.

A dashing redheaded bride during a Raleigh bridal portrait sunset session by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Hair and Makeup

Most hair and makeup artists will want to conduct a trial run before your wedding day.  Coordinate with your wedding photographer and HMUA to schedule your bridal portrait session on the same day. You will want to be sure to contact your artist(s) in advance to get on the books, as they can fill up quickly.  

If you are a bride who does not wear a lot of makeup on a regular basis or would like to DIY your own, please consider hiring a professional HMUA for your wedding. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you deserve to have professional services for your wedding day. Professional services or lack thereof do show in your wedding images.

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Accessories

It’s a great idea to bring any accessories and jewelry you plan on wearing for your wedding day.  That way, you can ensure that everything looks cohesive, and try out different variations for your final look. Remember to bring a bag to carry all your accessories in to avoid potentially losing items or having to carry items in your pockets.

A dashing bride putting on her wedding earrings during her Raleigh bridal portrait session by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Wedding Florals

Contact your wedding day florist and let them know you are taking bridal portraits.  Most will provide a bouquet that matches the one you will carry down the aisle for a discounted rate, or can be included free of charge as their floral services.  Be sure to keep the bouquet in water until you arrive at your portrait location.

A gorgeous bridal wedding bouquet used by a bride from a local Raleigh wedding florist

Raleigh Bridal Portrait | Day of Session Advice

Bring A Companion

I recommend bringing 1-2 people with you to your bridal session.  This can be a family member or even a bridesmaid.  I usually enlist their help holding and fluffing your dress or carrying your flowers/bag. Be sure that the person(s) you bring is someone who is uplifting and energetic during your bridal portrait session.

Please note; I don’t recommend bringing more than 2 people to your bridal portrait session. As the bride who is celebrating the occasion, you don’t want to be stressed from potentially having to manage people during your well-deserved time to yourself.

Stay Energized and Refreshed

I always suggest that brides bring a snack or two and plenty of water.  It is easy to underestimate how much energy it can take when all the focus is on you. Staying hydrated and any potential hangry moments.

Relax and Have Fun

This is your moment. Your time of iconic power. Your time to walk into the next stage of your life. Your time. Enjoy it!

Glowing same-sex couple during their sunset Raleigh bridal portrait session by JoLynn Photography

While wedding planning, be sure to also check out helpful information below for your Raleigh wedding.

Inquire today for your Raleigh bridal portrait session here today!

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