Pull out those pocketbooks.

Ball Gown Beauty
Credit: @thewhiteroomal

Every wedding comes with its fair share of cost cutting, even when Mama's big wedding dreams are at stake. Once wedding bills start trickling in, you might have to fight to keep those beautiful blush and bashful bouquets a priority as the family starts slashing price tags. Though each bride has her own thoughts on where to splurge and where to save based one her own wedding day dreams, there is one tradition Southern families will always pull out their purses for: the bridal portrait.

Not only did the practice of bridal portraits start in the South, but down here it has evolved into more than just a keepsake. It's a family tradition. That beautiful picture of Mama in full bridal glam framed in Grandmother's living room? You know, the one you admired growing up? Her actual wedding day was far too chaotic and exciting to have time for such a shot. It was perfectly planned beforehand.

These days, a once stuffy feeling session where the bride posed in a studio has transformed into a day of doting on the bride in ways only Mama could imagine…and it often comes with a price. Southern brides go full on supermodel as photographers position them in just the right way in front of beautiful gardens and churches. It's a day all about the bride as she poses solo in her full wedding ensemble.

The result? A fairytale-like photo of a blushing bride that's glowing with anticipation, and it's worth every penny. Though it may feel a bit extravagant in the moment, a portrait session is an opportunity for the bride to try on her full look before the Big Day. It's an opportunity to get to know the photographer and become more comfortable in front of the camera. It's a final moment to make sure everything is just right. But most importantly, it's a Southern tradition.

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