|Source: A Glass Perspective Photograph|
I'm helping my niece plan her wedding, so I've got wedding on the brain right now. Here's a little about the southern tradition of a bridal portrait.
In the south, one of the most important items to do on your list is to get your bridal portrait done. Because it will be prominently displayed at the reception in an elaborate gold frame on an easel for everyone to pass when they walk in.
If you've never been to a southern wedding, you've missed all of the whispers that occur upon passing that portrait...
"Oh, she is gorgeous in that dress."
"Are those real?"
"That picture doesn't do that dress justice."
"Good Lord look at the lace."
"Why in the world would you want to lay in the grass in your wedding dress?"
So how did this tradition start?
"Originating in Europe, bridal portraits (or “bridals”) were historically oil paintings of royalty in their bridal regalia and were traditionally commissioned by the bride’s family to commemorate such a special occasion. It’s unclear how this tradition made its way below the Mason Dixon, but before World War II, it was rare to have a photographer at your wedding, so bridal portraits were taken in the photographer’s studio before or after the couple’s wedding. Not long ago, bridals were a rite of passage for Southern debutantes and a family keepsake that was displayed on an easel near the guest book and then hung in the bride’s parents home for years to come."
Oh it's a big deal - definitely something you don't want to get wrong.You have to order your dress in time for the portrait session, and your hair, makeup and flowers must all be perfect as well. It's actually a great dry-run of the real wedding day. I hated the flowers my florist did for me for my portrait day and had the chance to re-consult her for the actual wedding day to get them right.
More than likely, this picture will hang in your parent's home, for all of their friends and family to see. If you want to buy one for yourself, that happens too, but your parents typically have one in their home.My grandmother has portraits of my mom, her sister and her sister-in-law all in a row in her living room. My portrait hangs in my mom's family room.
My photographer totally screwed up my bridal portrait. I spend days getting ready for my portrait sitting. He had a brand new camera that he evidently didn't know how to work yet. He took two hours of photos, but screwed them up when he transferred them to his computer. I had four total to choose from. I was not happy, but at least there was one I really liked.
So, is it an "only in the south" sort of thing? Did you do a bridal portrait? Do you consider this an odd tradition?