I finally got around to blogging this stunning bridal portrait session with my sweet Meredith College friend, Natalie. When I tell you this is one of my favorite sessions of all time – I’m not exaggerating. Natalie was so easy to photograph – laughing and dancing, posing effortlessly and beautifully along the North Carolina coastline.
Her stunning gown from Gilded Bridal in Raleigh, NC fit her like a glove – and was quite literally made for her. No, really – she had it custom made. Talk about a dream!
And would you guess that her bouquet came from a grocery store? Natalie got married in early January on a cruise – so her florist wasn’t local. This means she had to improvise – and she ended up with a pretty bouquet that didn’t break the bank! I think it went perfectly with her bright wedding colors.
And – Natalie had her sister-in-law do her hair and makeup – which also saved her some money! I think she did a fantastic job – I never would have guessed it wasn’t professionally done. It’s crazy to think that other than her dress, Natalie is a DIY bride. She looks elegant and high-end from head-to-toe – and she’s living proof that you don’t have to go broke trying to look good for your wedding. Your natural beauty will speak for itself, and small, understated touches are the best way to enhance that.
Speaking of understatements – this was the cloudiest day ever. I always get asked if it’s okay to take pictures in overcast. And every now and then, someone will argue that it’s the best light. I say it all depends. Not all overcast days are the same, and lighting can change from one minute to the next. But what I can tell you – is that no matter what – don’t worry. I’ve got it under control, and I know how to set my camera to accommodate for light. In this case, I think overcast really complimented Natalie’s skin tones and made her look like a warm, glowing bride on a blank canvas. The beauty of the ocean was a nice backdrop – but it wasn’t too distracting. It was calm and desolate while Natalie was beaming, radiant, joyful. The two didn’t compete – and the results were stunning. Plus – at the beach, overcast days are a bit easier to work with because the sand acts as a natural reflector for sunlight.
Another thing I loved about Natalie’s look was her veil. It was – as Lorelei Gilmore would say – elegant and understated. (Shameless Gilmore Girls reference.) Not too over-the-top, just simple, flowey, and beautiful. I love the movement you can get with veil shots. It’s a chance for me to get creative and for you to play!
Something to note is that while she may look like one, Natalie isn’t a model. She was determined to make her bridal portraits FUN! And I think that’s why they came out so beautifully. Before we shot them, she invited me over to her sister-in-law’s beach house while she finished getting ready. I walked in to a girl’s party – they were putting on makeup, sipping champagne, and playing fun music. THAT is the best way to prepare for a session!
And since they tagged along for the fun, we went ahead and got some shots of Natalie with her in-laws – after all, they were kind enough to host us. 🙂
So anyway – I’m officially the biggest fan of bridal portraits. And if you weren’t sure if you should do them before, maybe these have convinced you to do them now! They can be added on as an extra to your wedding package, which you can learn more about in my free bridal guide. Drop your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox!