5 Expert Tips for Stunning Bridal Portraits

Discover helpful advice from a professional wedding photographer.

Laurie Bailey shares her expert tips for taking gorgeous bridal portraits for your wedding album.

Photo: Tessa Maxine

I love photographing every moment of the special day for my clients, but one of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer is capturing stunning portraits of the bride. After fifteen years of photographing weddings, I have learned that there are some simple tips that can ensure the bride is picture-perfect, so we can get an array of gorgeous pictures of her throughout the day.

Read below for five tips to achieving stunning bridal portraits:

1. Practice wearing your dress and shoes! I know this sounds crazy. I’m sure you’re thinking, I had so many fittings, isn’t that practice enough? Most brides do have multiple dress fittings, but they don’t actually try to move in their dress and shoes. I always recommend that after the final fitting my brides also step off of the fitting pedestal and just take a little walk around in the dress.

Bridal gowns can be heavy, and it’s so helpful to test out walking with the shoes that you will be wearing, as this will ensure that the dress fits perfectly – and that you will be comfortable wearing it for your entire wedding day. Also, if you have shoes with a little “bling” on them, you can make sure that they don’t get caught on any tulle or lining on the underside of your dress and also make any adjustments you need before the wedding day!

2. Next, when considering how you want to wear your hair, take into account the location and time of year of your wedding. Loose blowouts are gorgeous, of course, but sometimes, this style does not bode well with heavily wind-blown locations – like beaches. Ensure your hair is secure and photo-ready by considering your venue and wedding season so your style team can be prepared.

3. Add a couple of private moments into the timeline for photos of the bride alone just after she puts on the dress. This not only allows brides to take a deep breath and soak in the moment, but it also ensures that the photographer has time to capture a few gorgeous, relaxed portraits before even leaving the room!

4. Don't count out the veil! I’m a bit obsessed with “veil” photos. There is something truly magical about the way beautiful light hits a bridal veil. If you are wearing a veil on your wedding day, be sure to ask your photographer for the best time of day to take a few veil photos, as it can vary depending on the time of year and the time of your ceremony. Even if you are doing a "first look" and taking all of your portraits before the ceremony, sometimes just five minutes after the ceremony will be enough time to capture those truly incredible bridal portraits.

5. The most important thing, of course, is just to relax and enjoy this incredible day. If you're truly having a wonderful time, that is what will come through in your photos!

See some of Laurie Bailey Photography's beautiful bridal portraits below, and gather helpful advice on helping your photographer capture incredible candid photos.

For more photography advice, discover how to have the perfect "first kiss" photo, find out if you should have a honeymoon photo shoot, and learn which touching father-daughter moments you should capture on camera.