Advice & Ideas Articles

Southern Wedding Traditions Part 1

1) Bridal Portraits: Yes, this is a tradition that many brides partake in, but bridal portraits are especially important in the south!!! Years ago, having a photographer at a wedding was unusual, so this was the only way that one had a keepsake of their wedding day. Historically, southern parents-of-the-bride would display the portrait in their home. Today, they are still elegantly framed and put on prominent display at the wedding reception for each and every guest to see and perhaps in a parents or the couple’s home too. Remember, an engagement portrait is to be displayed at the ceremony site, and the bridal portrait at the reception site. You never show the bride’s photo prior to her walking down the aisle. It is most important in the south to make her first appearance a special moment.

Your portrait session can be as traditional, romantic or fun as you want them to be! Do not be afraid to bring your personality to the pictures! You can do this by finding the perfect backdrop for the photos. If you are uber-urban, perhaps in front of a graffiti covered wall or in an abandoned warehouse. If you are metropolitan by nature you might consider a highrise with spectacular city views behind you. Or maybe you prefer nature and dress the part of a western couple on the ranch. Your choice.

Your photographer will take pictures of you in your dress on wedding day, so why not skip the bridal session, right? WRONG! If for nothing else, schedule your session on the same day as your hair and make up trials. This way is a guarantee to know exactly what you will look like the day of your wedding! If you don’t like something, you will have plenty of time to change it! Mostly, it is a great time to build your relationship with your photographer, letting them get to know you will prove VERY beneficial on the big day!

Laughing Bride


When to Schedule your bridal portraits: Bridal portraits should be scheduled around 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding! Talk to your photographer about their turnaround time to ensure that you will get your portraits printed and framed in time for the wedding. Also, be sure to be in contact with your bridal boutique to confirm that your dress will arrive and be altered in time for the photo session!


What to bring to your session: The dress of course, but let us not forget about the smaller details. This is a great time to break in your wedding day shoes, undergarments and jewelry! Think of your session as a test drive for your big day!!! Talk to your florist about a test bouquet and bring a supportive friend or mother to help you change and carry your things while you are with the photographer.



Where to take your portraits: Discuss locations with your photographer, but ultimately decide on a location that suits your vision! Are you looking for traditional portraits? Something modern and edgy? Something vintage? Most bridal portraits are on the traditional side, but they can be whatever you want! Build a relationship with your photographer and let them help you decide the perfect location, poses and feeling you are going for.