Waco Wedding Photographer

5 Reasons to Schedule a Bridal Session

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!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

In the mood for some pretty bridal sessions? Be sure to take a look at a few of my favorite past bridal sessions linked below.







Kelsie | The Vineyard at Florence Bridals

It's been so cold here in Texas lately. Seriously, I'm fairly convinced it's one of the coldest winters I've lived through! Since I've been longing for sunnier, and perhaps a bit warmer, days over here, I thought I'd finally share some of my favs from Kelsie's session from last January! It was a perfect evening for bridals and the Vineyard at Florence made for the most beautiful backdrop. Kelsie was absolutely glowing! I just loved everything about what she chose to wear on her wedding day, and her pup.. so precious! Kelsie and her hubby are coming up on their first wedding anniversary, so congratulations you guys! 


Courtney + Dillon | Waco Engagement Session

My best friend, Courtney, is getting married this weekend! I can't believe how fast her and Dillon's engagement has flown, but I am so, so excited that they found each other all those years ago and are committing their lives to one another. In March, we planned out their engagement session at a couple of really great locations outside of Waco. As a photographer living in Texas, when you come along and find locations that look like the one below, you get rather excited and proceed to pray for really awesome sunshine, which is what we got. I had so much fun with Dillon and Courtney that evening. They're just the cutest and sweetest together, and I'm proud of Dillon for fully embracing all the odd things I make people do during engagement sessions, hehe. I'm so excited for this Saturday and all the joy and excitement it will hold! Until then, enjoy some of my favorite photos from their engagement session. 


Melanie | Carleen Bright Arboretum Bridals

Summer bridals are generally full of lots of sunshine, smiles, and the inevitable Texas heat. Melanie's bridal session at the Carleen Bright Arboretum was just that, but so much more because she got to share the special moment of transforming into a bride by putting on her dress with her full hair, makeup, and bridal bouquet with her mom and two sisters. I don't often get to shoot weddings or session for people I know personally, so when the opportunity arises, I am oh so thankful for the sweet memories I get to share with people that are dear to my heart, too! This past weekend, Melanie married her love, Barrett and it was an awesome ceremony showcasing God's love for us and the ways He brings the perfect person into our lives. Can't wait to share their sweet wedding day on the blog! 

**Shout out to a former bride of mine and Melanie's sis-in-law, Sara for being awesome and holding branches out of the way so we could get in the perfect position with just the right amount of gorgeous light. And to Megan, Pam, and Sara for being the best cheerleaders and making Melanie feel like a princess. You can't even tell it was 100 degrees!