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7 Ways to Take Bridal Portraits on the Big Day

No time for a bridal portrait session before your wedding day? That’s okay! Here’s a handful of ways to do bridal portraits the day of, no time commitment necessary. If these gorgeous photo ops don’t inspire you, we don’t know what will!

You may be asking, what’s a bridal portrait? It’s typically a Southern tradition when the bride takes portraits (typically 1-2 months before the wedding) in her full wedding day attire – hair, makeup, jewelry, veil, bouquet, and of course, the dress. It’s a lovely way to commemorate a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

While a session before the big day is ideal and special, day-of bridal portraits are just as gorgeous and are adapted for busy brides. You’ll need to organize your wedding day timeline for a few of these special snaps, but thankfully there are several key moments that make it easy to fit them in. Read on for our favorite ways to capture bridal portraits on the wedding day.

#1. Applying your makeup during bridal prep. Most ladies get their makeup professionally done the day of, but consider applying a swipe of lipstick or blush yourself (or just pose like you are!) Touch ups in front of the mirror make for stunning getting ready photos.

#2. Before you get into your dress. Hang your dress and take a few moments to admire its beauty! We love when brides find a unique way of hanging or displaying their dresses. Draped romantically over a beautiful chair or hanging from a door or windowsill, take a moment to reflect on how beautiful your gown is before you get dressed. It might be your favorite photo.

#3. During the finishing touches. Spray perfume, put your earrings on or step into your shoes. All of these photo ops capture your day-of beauty candidly.


#4. Near an interesting venue feature. Once you’re dressed and prepped for the perfect day, get ready for your close up! Whether it’s all about the architectural details, colorful bookcase, or a glam chaise lounge, an interesting nook at your venue can make for a perfect bridal portrait location. Have your photographer scout one out the day of, or make note of locations you like during a walk through.

#5. In front of a window. Soft, bright light makes the prettiest lighting for bridal portraits! Take a seat on a window bench or vanity chair and let your photographer capture your perfection in angelic lighting.


#6. Outside with your bridal bouquet and veil. The natural setting will look stunning with the delicate details of your gown and veil. If you’re up for it, get adventurous! Sit on steps, twirl in the snow and walk through a field of flowers. You’ll love the shot, we’re sure of it.  


#7. Just before the ceremony. Take a peek out the window, climb the grand staircase or pause as your driver drops you off at your ceremony location. It’s those just-before moments that are magic.


Looking for more inspiration and photo tips? Browse our Photo Inspiration section for more can't-miss photos, shot lists, tips on indoor and outdoor photography, and so much more.

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