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4 Reasons you Should Consider a Formal Session

What is a formal session? A formal session (sometimes referred to as a bridal session or first look session) is a session of the bride and groom that takes place apart from the wedding day. For couples that are saving the first look for walking down the aisle, they will choose to do this after the wedding or honeymoon. Some want the first look to be a private moment and opt to do this session before the wedding day.

In the past few years, these sessions have grown increasingly popular, and for good reason! As a photographer, I always recommend this session to couples when they have a very specific vision in mind for their portraits. 

A session like this can relieve a lot of wedding day stress and provide you with a lot more flexibility than taking all of your photos only on your wedding day. If you are considering adding this type of session to your wedding photography package, here are 4 reasons why this session could  be a great addition to your wedding photography plan

Eliminate Wedding Day Stress

We all understand that wedding days can be notoriously stressful. The day is filled with a list of to-do’s and there never seems to be enough time in the day to talk to everyone, dance, and eat your yummy wedding cake! Wedding venues can also get much more expensive when you add more time to your wedding festivities. 

Adding a wedding formal session, is a great way to free up some time on your wedding day. Instead of having to worry about getting all of those perfect dreamy shots of you and your spouse on your wedding day. You can rest assured that you will have an abundance of images of just the two of you from your formal session. Plus, you won’t need to be self-conscious about having people wait on you, or watch you take the mushy gushy pictures! 

In my opinion, one less thing to add to the wedding day timeline is worth it! 

When it comes to your wedding timeline, you could always use a little extra time

Location of your dreams

Have you always wanted dreamy waterfront pictures, walking hand in hand on warm sandy beaches with your veil blowing in the sea breeze? Do you love the mountains and want to hang a breathtaking wedding portrait taken at your favorite cliffside with a view? If so, a formal session would be the perfect choice for you! 

Although wedding venues are often times beautiful places to take pictures, sometimes you want a little more for your portraits. With a formal session, you have the freedom of choosing any location you want! Traveling to a destination outside of your city is even an option! Within a few hours of Boise, Idaho there are so many gorgeous places. You can opt for a session at the Bruneau Sand Dunes, Payette Lake, The Snake River Canyon, and so much more. As a Boise wedding photographer, I feel so lucky to have such beautiful scenery all around! 

A good photographer can make any location look pretty in a picture, but with an awe-inspiring location- a good photographer can create magic. Whether you love the city vibe, the mountains, or meadows- finding a location that makes you excited for your wedding portaits is what a formal session is all about!


Printing Options

If you are considering doing a formal session before the big day, one of the major benefits is the options for printing your images.

What better way to show off your beautiful portraits than showing them at the wedding! Printed images of you and your spouse in your wedding attire can be a beautiful addition to your wedding decor. By taking your formal pictures early, you will have enough time to choose your favorites and print them early so that you will be able to have them on display for your wedding. Your friends and family will love this fun personal touch to your wedding decor! 

It can also be a great option for printing off thank you notes with your image after the wedding without having to wait for your full gallery.

Printing off your images before the wedding day could also be a great gift to give your spouse on the wedding day, or on the honeymoon. Bridal boudoir sessions are also a great before the wedding day session option if you are looking to give your spouse a fun surprise to open after the wedding.

Trial Before the Wedding Day

If you choose to do a formal session before your wedding, this will give you the chance to have a trial run of a few important wedding day aspects.

Hair and makeup professionals will often encourage a trial before the big day so that they can be sure they have the right products for your needs and that you are happy with the look they come up with. 

Although it is an extra expense to add another boutonniere and bridal bouquet to your floral budget, it is worth the cost! Florals will elevate your wedding formals and give you an idea of what the rest of the arrangements will look like on your wedding day! It will also help you learn how to best hold your bouquet for pictures. Getting that posing practice will help you feel so much more confident in front of the camera on your wedding day. 

Wardrobe malfunctions happen during weddings too. Having a trial run for the wedding dress, veil, shoes, and tux is always a good idea. That way you can be sure that everything fits correctly and looks good on camera before the wedding day. You will also have time to make those adjustments if any are needed. A lot of brides discover that their wedding shoes are not going to be bearable to wear for a full day and have the heads up to bring a more comfortable pair for the reception. 


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