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What is a Pre-Ceremony Bridal Session? // Cleveland Wedding Photographers

What is a pre-ceremony bridal session?  I include a pre-ceremony bridal session in my minimum wedding photography coverage so I want to explain what it is.

A Photo Session of the Bride

All weddings include creative, posed pictures in one form or another. For me, these pictures offer an opportunity to create true works of photographic art, if that’s possible. The pictures are completely controlled and directed. These pictures are usually done on the wedding day. When planning your wedding day timeline, time must reserved for these types of photos if you want them. I have always offered my brides the opportunity to take care of these types of pictures before the wedding day.

A Photo Session on the Day of Your Hair and Make-up Session

Most all brides schedule a hair and make-up trial. This is a style session that allows the bride, their hair stylist and make-up artist to get their hair and make-up exactly the way that the bride wants it for her wedding day so there is no guess work the day of. Even experimenting if necessary. But after this styling session, the brides hair and make-up will be precisely like it will be on her wedding day, which saves time on the big day.

By doing the pre-ceremony bridal session on this day, we ensures seamlessness in the pictures. When we put together the wedding album, you shouldn’t be able to tell that the pictures were done before the wedding day. Even details like jewelry are exactly the same.

Planning the Bridal Session

When we discuss the photo session, we come up with locations that are relevant to the wedding day. The location where the bride will be getting ready, the ceremony location,  or the reception location. Again, we want these pictures to be seamless with the wedding day pictures so that you can’t tell that they were taken on separate days. We never do pictures outside as we want the dress to remain clean. We also don’t want the groom involved since most brides don’t want their fiancé to see them in their dress until the wedding day.

This session gives us as much time as we need to do pictures, which is not really an option on the day of the wedding. There may be limited time to do creative photos on the day of, especially in the winter months when daylight is limited.  We do as many posed pictures as we need. The session is usually about two hours but can be longer if we go to multiple locations, which I’ve done numerous times.

More Choices for the Wedding Album

This session will give the bride more choices when constructing her wedding book and it opens up her wedding day timeline. With most of the posed pictures taken care of, the timeline opens up for the bride to relax and have fun. This leaves more opportunity for candid moments (I love mixing these posed pictures with more photojournalistic images).

The pre-ceremony bridal session also allows the bride one extra opportunity to be in her wedding dress. Since the wedding day is the one and only time that the wedding dress is usually ever worn, this is a chance to enjoy it one extra time. It also gives the bride a chance before the wedding day to make sure that the dress fits perfectly. I’ve had a situation that when the bride put on her dress at the boutique, it fit perfectly, but when she had it on at the reception facility, which had carpet, it was 1/2″ too long. Something that you probably wouldn’t think about at the dress shop but would discover at the reception venue.

Giving my clients as many awesome pictures as I can is always my main goal. A large variety of photos ensures that their wedding album will be diverse and complete. The pre-ceremony bridal session guarantees this. It also frees up time on the wedding day so that there is more time for real moments to happen and the day isn’t taken up doing posed pictures.

It’s something to consider if you are looking for a full service, boutique wedding photographer. And that is what you get with me.

Here are a few examples of pictures that were taken at my clients pre-cermony bridal session.

black and white wedding picture at The Club at Hillbrook bride holding wedding bouquet at Firestone Country Club Bride standing in Cleveland Kimpton Schofield Hotel on wedding day Bride viewing downtown Cleveland from Kimpton Schofield Hotel creative wedding picture of bride on stairs at Akron Art Museum Creative wedding picture of Cleveland bride reflections of bride on her wedding day in Cleveland Wedding picture of bride in Cleveland theater wedding picture of bride in hallway at Firestone Country Club wedding picture of bride with reflection at Akron Art Museumbride posing in hallway of shady hollow country club Canton Ohiocreative abstract wedding ring picture at Firestone Country Clubcreative wedding ring picture at Kimpton Schofield Hotel Cleveland