Is there a right way, or a wrong way to schedule your bridal session? Definitely! Although not as complicated as wedding day, a bridal session does involve a lot of moving parts and it needs to be done in a particular order to ensure it all works smoothly. There’s no point getting it all scheduled only to find our your venue isn’t open that day or your beauty team isn’t available, or your dress hasn’t come in yet. Never fear, as a bridal beauty expert for over 25 years, I have the perfect formula ready to go…. all you have to do is follow it!
Follow these steps in order:
STEP ONE. Look at scheduling dates well after your dress is due to arrive and include extra time for alterations.
STEP TWO. Determine where you want to take your bridal portrait session. If outdoors, you’ll need to consider the weather (heat, cold, rain, timing of sunrise and sunset) in addition to any restrictions, specific hours or fees involved in shooting at the location of your choice. If you’re choosing an outdoor location, verify if there is somewhere to change into your gown or if you need to arrive ready to go! Indoor locations are great to avoid weather issues, but you still need to verify dates/times available for bridal shoots, plus any restrictions and fees that may be involved. Once all of this has been considered, it works well to have 2-3 dates that work for you and the location you’d like to shoot.
STEP THREE. Check with your photographer to determine 2-3 dates that align with your schedule, the venue where you want to shoot, and the photographers schedule. NOTE: It is generally not possible to shoot bridal sessions on weekends, so try to shoot for weekdays!
STEP FOUR. Now that you have 2-3 dates that work for you, your venue and your photographer, you’re ready to line up your beauty team. When requesting your appointment, consider where hair and makeup will take place and any travel required to get to your shoot location. Example: For Lip Service Makeup, we plan on 2 hours for hair and makeup at our studio in Grapevine, and we schedule bridal sessions Monday-Thursday between 9am-6pm. If you need to meet your photographer at the Dallas Arboretum at 5pm, then we’d schedule your hair/makeup session for 2-4pm to allow a full hour to get to Dallas. When in doubt, build in extra time so you’re not rushed!
STEP FIVE. Once you have your bridal session scheduled with your location/photographer/ and beauty team, don’t forget to order your bouquet from your florist! You’ll likely need to go pick it up that day but be sure to discuss with your florist ahead of time so it’s ready in time for your shoot.
Bonus Tips for A Great Bridal Session:
1. Bring a friend! If your mom can’t be there, ask a sister or best friend to be there with you throughout the day. They can assist you with carrying everything, getting dressed, and just helping you feel relaxed so it’s a fun experience.
2. If you want to involve your pet, make sure someone else can manage those arrangements…you and your photographer can’t focus on a great photo shoot if there’s no one to watch your dog!
3. Relax and just be yourself! If you’re a sunny person who loves to laugh, let that side of your personality show through…don’t think you need to be serious in every shot. Think happy thoughts and don’t get caught up in thinking every shot needs to be perfect, you really only need 2 or 3 that you love.
Article Written by Jennifer Trotter, Principle Hair & Makeup Artist, Lip Service Makeup
Contributing Photographer: Beatbox Portraits