One of the most common questions I’m asked by my brides is, “Why should I have a separate formal session? Isn’t that just more unnecessary stress?” I can definitely see why you might think so, and if a formal session before the wedding just isn’t your thing, no worries. However, I LOVE offering formal sessions and I think there are so many benefits to them! Today I’m sharing 5 reasons to have a pre-wedding formal session.
Reason #1: It’s your chance for a trial run of hair and makeup!
Deciding on your hairstyle and makeup for your wedding day is a huge decision and you absolutely want to feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable. You need to have a HMUA that you can trust completely to create exactly what you want. Enter the trial run of a formal session. This is a chance for your HMUA to do your hair and makeup and get a feel for your hair, your complexion, your tastes, and practice on you so that they know exactly how to achieve the best results on your wedding day. This is also a chance for you to try something out if you aren’t sure exactly what look you want for your wedding day. I wore my hair one way for bridals and a different way for my wedding day. When I look back at pictures, I like the way it looked at my bridals better! I love that I have both and that I had a chance to get those formal pictures done beforehand so I have more pictures to choose from.
Reason #2: You can do a first look!
A first look is an absolutely adorable session where the groom sees his bride in her wedding dress for the first time. Lots of formal sessions start off with a first look so that we can document that reaction and that sweet moment so much of your planning and preparation come together so your groom can see how stunning you are and really imagine you as his wife. First looks can be emotional and really touching! If you are getting married in a civil ceremony, your first look can be when you’re walking down the aisle and can still be documented, but if you’re getting married in the temple, a first look at a formal session is a great way to make sure you capture that special moment.
Reason #3: You can display the images at your reception!
I love seeing gorgeous pictures of the couple displayed at the reception for the guests to look at and appreciate! It really makes your reception personal and celebratory of your love and your journey. If you do a formal session before your wedding day, it gives you enough time to choose your favorites and bring them to the reception for that even more personal touch in the décor.
Reason #4: Your session is a chance to get to know your photographer.
You want your wedding day to be as stress-free as it can be. If possible, it shouldn’t be the first time you’ve worked with your photographer! Your formal session before your wedding gives your photographer a chance to get to know you and vice versa. You photographer can learn how you like to be directed, what poses you thrive at and feel comfortable in, whether or not you feel comfortable with PDA in pictures, and what your good side is! There are so many things your photographer will want to know so that you have an incredible experience on your wedding day instead of feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or misunderstood. Your formal session is the perfect opportunity for that! Get to know each other and make sure your photographer knows exactly what you like and how you want to be served.
Reason #5: It helps relieve stress and loosen up the wedding day timeline.
There are so many things that will be out of your control on your wedding day. Traffic, weather, other people’s promptness or lack thereof, etc. It’s rare that you can stick to the timeline perfectly, so it’s really beneficial when you can add in some wiggle room. If you already have a beautiful gallery of images of you and your husband or wife coming into your wedding day, you can breathe a sigh of relief and know that it’s ok if you don’t get more. Go ahead and schedule time for pictures of the two of you, but with your formal gallery in the back of your mind, know that whatever happens, you’re just fine! If you need to rush off to your reception, skip the formals in order to talk to friends who showed up late, or if you just decide you don’t want to take any more pictures that day, you have the freedom to do so!
I love formal sessions and think they’re a wonderful way to help make your wedding day more special and enjoyable! Let me know if you have any questions about formal sessions below!