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Bridal Portraits

Should You Have a Bridal Portrait Taken?

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The bridal portrait is one of those time-honored traditions that have regained popularity in recent years. If you're considering having a bridal portrait taken, read this fact sheet to learn the do's and don'ts.

What: A formal picture of the bride in her wedding dress, taken a few days or weeks before the wedding in the photographer's studio. Sometime a couple will choose to have a picture taken of the both of them in addition to, or instead of, a bridal portrait.

Why: It's nice to include a bridal portrait in wedding announcements and wedding albums. If you're a bride who isn't particularly photogenic or who is picky about how she looks in pictures, this is an opportunity to really get your best angle without an impatient groom or family member rushing you. Years later when your groom has your portrait on his desk, you'll be glad you got it right.

When: Ask your local newspaper how far in advance photographs for wedding announcements need to be submitted. Then call your wedding dress salon to ensure that they will have your dress and accessories ready in time.

How: Talk to your photographer about getting your bridal portrait taken and the price. You may be able to get a bridal portrait included in your overall package. Make sure this service is written into your photography contract.

Do: Get your hair and makeup professionally done before the session – you can try to maximize your money by combining this with your hair trial, but only if you're confident in your hair stylist. If you're using a new stylist for the wedding, schedule a separate hair trial and then ask her to recreate your favorite look for the wedding portraits.

Don't: Waste money on getting a separate floral bouquet. You certainly don't need a bouquet for the pictures, and most photographers have a silk flower prop bouquet that you can use.

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