bridal portraits: a southern tradition


One of the most common questions I get from my destination brides is, “what exactly are bridal portraits?” Well ladies, I’m so glad you asked!

Originally, meaning way before the camera was even invented, a bride’s family would commission an oil painting of their daughter in order to commemorate the momentous occasion of her wedding day. The idea was to capture her beauty in that very special season of life prior to marriage.

The development of photography obviously magnified that tradition dramatically and now bridals seem to have taken on a life of their own, especially in the south I’ve found. Why that is, I have no idea but personally, I love shooting bridals! Why?

Bridal portraits are essentially solo portraits of just YOU - the bride - prior to your wedding day. This gives you the chance to hop in your wedding gown, grab your florals, get your hair and makeup trial done, and ensure that your beautiful vision is exactly how see you it! (Psst: It also gives your parents the chance to print a large framed or canvas portrait of you to display at your reception space and beyond! You’re their little girl, can you blame them?)

And in my experience, this opportunity to nail down some of your bridal logistics before your big day pays off BIG TIME when your wedding day actually does come along. When you know that all of your special details - your gown, your bouquet, your makeup, your hair and nails, and everything in between - is just the way you want it, you’ll naturally be more relaxed and having more fun on YOUR big day.

And if giving yourself a fun day of pampering and relaxation before your wedding day to double check everything you’ve already invested so much energy into doesn’t remind you of the beautiful marriage that is about to unfold, then your beautiful bridal portraits, which often become cherished heirlooms for you to pass down for generations to come, certainly will!


Venue: Villa Del Lago | Film Scans: Photovision | Photography: Jenna McElroy | MUAH: Wander Salon | Wedding Gown: Carol Hannah | Shoes: Kate Spade | Florals: Whim Hospitality | Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bride | Veil & Dress Restructuring: Nardos Designs | Planner: Westcott Weddings