Jesse, Allie, and Lance met me out at Old Baylor Park in Independence for Jesse and Allie’s engagement session. The weather was quite chilly (that’s an understatement, it was cold and none of us could feel our fingers by the end of it!), but we had so much fun celebrating their sweet relationship before they become man and wife. Being the parents of a 7 year old is no joke, but they were happy to let Lance be his goofy self and it made for some sweet photos of their family of three. We are so excited to be there with them in October! Enjoy!
Houston Wedding Photographer
What is a bridal session? Do I need to have one? The question of whether to do a bridal session or not comes up fairly often in wedding consultations before booking. Many people don’t know the exact reasoning behind the tradition and are curious if it is something I do often for other brides. I would say about 60% of my brides have a bridal session that is separate from their wedding day. The tradition behind the portrait session is a sweet reminder of years past, but there are practicalities to it that we can appreciate in the 21st century.
First, let’s dive into the history of the bridal portrait. I love history, a lot. I nearly minored in it in college, so it’s one of the reasons I love bridal sessions so much. Bridal portraits were traditionally commissioned by royalty and wealthy families in Europe to commemorate the special time in their daughter’s and family’s life. Photography became a more affordable medium, and so families began having portraits taken of their daughters before their wedding days, as it wasn’t very common prior to World War II to have a photographer at wedding on the day-of. Even after it become commonplace for photographers to capture portions of the wedding day, the Southern tradition of bridal portraits prior to the wedding stayed, and now many times these portraits taken before the wedding are displayed at the reception. I love seeing bridal portraits hanging in family homes, especially when you’re able to see generations of women in your family. How special is that?!
Now, let’s get to the practical reasons!
Hair and Makeup Trial: Many brides have their hair and makeup done professionally on the wedding day, and often they do a trail with their hair and makeup artist before the wedding. Why not use that trial as an opportunity for photos? You’re already all dolled up, it just makes sense.
Bouquet Trial: Along with a makeup and hair trial, many times brides use the bridal session as a trail for their florist to make their bouquet. It’s hard to know what exactly you want in a bouquet, and many times creating a bouquet for the bridal session helps brides know what they want and what they do not want their bouquet to look like. You do have to consider some flowers may or may not be in season at the time of your bridal session, so that’s something to discuss with your florist. But, who doesn’t love a beautiful bouquet of flowers? Plus, you get to enjoy them all week long, unlike the ones for your wedding day.
Dress Fitting: Bridal sessions are a wonderful opportunity to see everything come together for your bridal “look.” You finally see yourself in full hair and makeup with your dress, veil, and jewelry on. It’s quite a magical moment! You will get the chance to move around and feel what being in your dress will feel like on the wedding day, and it helps you determine if something is not fitting quite right or if it’s perfect!
Enjoying your time as a bride, a bit more stress-free: I try to help create a low stress environment on the wedding day, but nerves and occasional unforeseen events can get in the way of that sometimes. Bridal sessions are a spectacular way to truly enjoy these sweet and fleeting moments as a bride. Many brides bring their moms, sisters, and best friends along to the session, and that helps create a fun and memorable event.
Giving your photographer an opportunity to scope out your venue: Many brides choose to do their bridal session at their wedding venue. This gives the photographer a great opportunity to explore and see the venue, whether it be for the very first time or the 50th time. I often find new photo spots when doing sessions that I wouldn’t have had time to find on wedding days because of the fast-paced nature of the day.
These are just some of the reasons a bridal session may be right for you. If you’d like to know more about the process or what goes into a session, you can email me at kristina[at]kristinarossphotography[dot]com.
Eee! I’m so happy to finally share Shelby and Cody’s engagement session! When Shelby asked me to be their wedding photographer, I couldn’t have said yes faster. We’ve talked about these moments for so long now, and the fact that they’re finally here is crazy awesome. Shelby’s mom’s side of the family is from North Carolina, so we’re headed to a small town outside of Asheville for their big day in June! Curtis and I are both honored and so, so excited to be there with them on their day.
As for the engagement session, we had originally planned to do the whole thing at Pedernales Falls State Park outside of Dripping Springs, but…fate had other plans for us. We drove together for nearly 3 hours to reach the state park, we got out of the car, Shelby and Cody got changed into their first outfit of the session, we walked about a quarter of a mile down to the falls, and right as they came into view… it started raining. Not just tiny sprinkles that you could deal with..like full on rain shower, and there was no where to hide. We all felt gutted. It was one of those things that you just have to laugh about, otherwise you’ll just be far too upset over something so silly. (Note to self: bring umbrellas EVERYWHERE) So, we got back in the car to assess the damage done, and decided the only thing we really could do was head back to College Station. Basically, we took a very scenic route to Dripping Springs to eat at Schlotzsky’s, y’all. But, it was so much fun getting to hang out with Shelby and Cody, and get to know them even more!
Fast forward a few weeks, Shelby and Cody decided another trip to Pedernales wasn’t in the cards, so we went to one of my favorite spots near College Station, Old Baylor Park. We were blessed with the most beautiful sunshine and weather. It truly was dreamy! I’m so thankful for friends who trust me enough to be there with them on their wedding days and laugh about a rainstorm that made us drive 3 hours back home with wet hair and runny makeup (that would have been me.. I’m sure the lady at Schlotzsky’s was like.. wow, what is wrong with her?). Curtis and I are super excited to be the ones that capture such a special, special day for two amazing people. I CANNOT WAIT!!!
Here’s a list of venues in Bryan and College Station, Texas, with a few other surrounding areas thrown in. Our area is seriously so lucky to have so many great options for weddings. From barns, to industrial spaces, to traditional elegant ballrooms, to historic homes, to the wide open Texas landscape, we’ve got it all, which is something many other smaller cities like our’s can’t say. We’ve shot at almost every venue in the BCS and surrounding area, so if you have any questions or would like my thoughts on a particular venue, don’t hesitate to contact me. For more wedding info, you can click here!
Venues are in no particular order of my own personal preference. They are listed alphabetically.
Indoor Wedding Venues:
These are venues where the ceremony and reception both take place indoors. There are also beautiful outdoor areas for formal bride and groom and bridal party photos.
5. Big Sky Barn
8. Downtown 202
Outdoor Wedding Venues:
These venues focus on outdoor wedding ceremonies, and some even have excellent spaces for outdoor receptions. Almost all of them have indoor reception spaces (hello Texas summers!).
13. 7F Lodge
16. Astin Mansion
18. Messina Hof
21. Wind Dancer Retreat