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When you book your wedding photographer, something they may offer is a stand-alone Bridal Session. Not everyone knows what this is, especially if you aren’t born and raised in the South, so here are the deets! 

bride in white open air chapel at stand-alone bridal session

It’s a session for the bride where she gets to have a trial run on everything she needs for her wedding day, from her head to her toes! A stand-along bridal session is a great way to test out everything before the big day, make sure everything fits (and that she can walk in her fabulous shoes!), and make sure all the details are what she envisioned!  It’s also a great chance to get a lot of beautiful pictures of the bride, since there isn’t always time to take pictures of the bride by herself on the wedding day. 

A lot of couples like to have large canvases of images from their engagement session at their reception, and having pictures from her Bridal Session is a great way to show off her beautiful face by herself! A Bridal usually takes place 2-3 before the wedding (after the final dress fitting), so everything fits (but, worst case scenario, if it doesn’t, there’s time to fix it)! A lot of brides love to do their sessions at the venue (and most venues include a session day in their packages), but you can also do a Bridal somewhere else, like this bride!

bridal hairstyle with braid and bun, bride in white lace dress looking out window

I wanted to make a list of 5 things to bring to your stand-alone Bridal Session to make your life easier, especially since 2 months before the wedding, life is usually pretty crazy! 

1. Hair and Makeup Artist

Okay, you don’t literally have to bring your hair and makeup artist to the session, but you want to make sure that you get a hair and makeup trial done for your Bridal Session! That way, you can make sure your wedding day makeup is picture perfect! Also, if anything needs to be adjusted, like the long-wear length of your foundation or rearranging your hairstyle so you don’t have a headache all day, there’s time to communicate that to your artists beforehand!

bride with engagement ring and braided har

2. Bouquet

Just like with the hair and makeup trial, doing a bouquet trial is an amazing idea! You can make sure that the flowers look exactly like you wanted, and if not, you’ll have time to make adjustments with your florist before the wedding day like this bride did! One other thing a lot of brides discover at their Bridal Session is how heavy their bouquet really is, and they have enough time to lift weights with their bouquet arm! (I’m mostly kidding, but those things are HEAVY!)

bride in white lace dress looking out window, bride looking down at sunflower and white rose bouquet

3. Veil

Maybe you picked out an elbow-length wedding veil because you like the layers around your face, or maybe you wanted a cathedral-length veil like Princess Di… then at your Bridal, you may discover that you actually want swoopy veil shots, or that you don’t like the hassle of hauling all of that tulle around, so you may decide to go without a veil at all! Good thing you tested that at your stand-alone Bridal Session!

bride with veil adjusting earring looking out of window at wedding venue for stand-alone bridal session

4. Ring

I know your ring has barely left your finger since you got engaged, but please don’t forget it for your Bridal Session! I always like to get detail shots of your ring and any other details you have, like your shoes! It always makes more sense to be in a wedding dress if you also have an engagement ring on! Otherwise, you may as well have gotten your dress from a store called “It’s Not Too Late”! 

PRO TIP: get your ring professionally cleaned right before your session so that it’s extra sparkly! 

bride in front of rustic venue, engagement ring on bride's hand over lace dress

5. Your Maid of Honor/Bestie

Your maid of honor will be with you all day on your wedding day, and she’s usually in charge of train fluffing, veil tossing, garter placement, bathroom assistance, and lots of other things! Having her at the Bridal Session is a great way for her to get practice moving your dress around and fanning the train out! It’s also really helpful for your photographer to have an extra person there in case assistance is needed with lighting or anything else, as you can see here! #uterusesbeforeduderuses

bride in white lace dress on wood stairs, woman holding gold light reflector

BONUS: Something Fun!

Do you have something significant you want to incorporate into your wedding, but you’re not sure how? Bring it to your session! Some people ride vintage bikes, some people love vintage cars, or some people want to include their favorite pet (but you don’t trust them to not run down the aisle and tackle you with kisses)! Let’s feature them at your bridal session!

bride walking in front of fence with sunset in background for stand-alone bridal session
bride with sunflower bouquet standing on wood stairs, bride adjusting necklace looking down over shoulder

Got any questions about a bridal session? Ask your favorite Dallas wedding photographer, me! (I hope!) Almost no one can help you plan for your luxury wedding like your wedding photographer, so give us all the questions! Please!

Venue: Diamond H3 Ranch, Weatherford, Texas

Gown: Bow and Arrow Bridal

Ring: Zales

Hair and Makeup: Z Lashes and Hair

bride in white lace dress looking out over hill and field
bride in white lace dress in white open air chapel, white lace wedding dress on rustic wood stairs
bride in white lace dress looking out over hill and field for stand-alone bridal session
bride in white v neck gown and white veil looking up at camera, bride walking in front of rustic wood fence
bride in white lace dress looking out of window in rustic barn wedding venue
bride in white lace dress in white open air chapel, bride looking down at ground in front of wooden fence

Congratulations on your wedding, Mrs. Messick! Can’t wait to show off the fabulous pictures from your big day!

dfw wedding photographer

Want to see more beautiful brides? Check out this Dallas Texas Bridal Session or this gorgeous luxury shoot!

luxury wedding photographer on white couch in a home with big windows


I can’t wait to meet you, so let’s start the planning process! Hop over to our contact page now and help me learn more about you!

At Abbie Road Photography, I have been capturing joyful and perfectly imperfect couples and families both new and old for years! It would be my joy and delight to work with you and share the magic in your lives! 


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