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How to Style Your Bridal Session


Jessy Howard, CEO of The Howard Brand

The Howard Brand is more than just your average photography company. They love to shoot all events, including weddings, fine art events, portraits, and lifestyle shoots. Although they are based out of Columbus, The Howard Brand is more than welcome to traveling for destination weddings and other photoshoots outside of the Midwest.


The Howard Brand loves to shoot weddings and bridal sessions. Jessy Howard, CEO and Founder of The Howard Brand, states, “As a premier photography boutique here in Columbus, Ohio, it is important that we offer a full range of photography sessions for our stylish, classic brides. We offer our bride the opportunity to express herself creatively through a luxurious stylized bridal shoot that has her walking away feeling and looking like royalty. This session is often more intimate and definitely more laid-back. This is our chance to create gorgeous creative imagery together.”


With that in mind, we at Cbus Chic wanted to know how to style a bridal shoot, and Howard had all the answers.


Cbus Chic: How do you style a bridal session?


insightlyJessy Howard: Pick a theme and think about what you would like to showcase in this shoot. Is it your style, a specific location, a time of year, or a certain hobby you like to do? I’ve photographed numerous bridal sessions, some of which were in rivers with waterfalls, at night with white Christmas lights in the background, and even barefoot in a field… My most recent was with [a bride named] Michelle. We went with an old Hollywood glam winter shoot with a vintage couch, fur shawl, and accessories. [In styling a bridal session, one should] discuss some ideas with your photographer. I personally like to utilize Pinterest to create storyboards with each of my clients. Some photographers are anti-Pinterest, so be conscious of that.


CC: What should I do with my makeup and hair?


Howard: This shoot is all about glamming it up one more time in your wedding gown, so hire professionals to get your best look. You will be more satisfied with the final outcome of your images. When choosing your bridal look, pick something completely different from your wedding day that way you will have more variety with your images.


CC: What about my nails?

Howard: Your hands will be in the images as well and you’ll want them looking stellar, especially since I’ll probably be highlighting that brand new ring you have on your finger!


CC: Should I come to the bridal session with multiple looks?


Howard: Based on the theme of your bridal shoot, layer up! [With Michelle], we decided on an old Hollywood glam theme, so what better way to showcase that than with a fur shawl and vintage accessories. The juxtaposition of the soft fur and glitzy accessories yields a much more interesting and cohesive set of photographs. The fur shawl was my mother’s when she was my age and all of the accessories were curated from The Ritzy Rose.


CC: Should I bring props?


Howard: A bouquet is your most obvious prop and a must when creating your bridal shoot. Ask a florist to make you a bouquet. It doesn’t need to be as elaborate as the one from your wedding day or even look like the one from your wedding day. Make it you and unique. Again, this will yield more variety with your whole wedding collection of images. An example of extra props off the top of my head could be something for a rainy day bridal session with Hunter rain boots and a clear umbrella… That would be super fun to photograph! Anyone?!


CC: What about my location?


Howard: If you have a particular theme in mind but not a location, keep your eyes peeled for interesting architecture or foliage. Most likely if you’ve hired a great photographer, he or she is already doing that as a daily habit, but it’s always better to have two sets of eyes alert and aware of great locations. Also, be aware that some locations may require a small fee or a permit to shoot there. 


CC: How should I feel about this?


Howard: Be excited! Remember this is the last time you’ll ever wear your gown, so make sure you bring your energy and inner “fierceness.” This shoot is about you. Your grandchildren will one day marvel at these images and possibly even hang them in their homes. Be excited about the legacy you are creating and leaving for them!


To learn more about The Howard Brand or to book them for your own bridal sessions, check out their website.











How-to-style-3To learn more about Jessy and The Howard Brand, visit her online at And be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @thehowardbrand.