Before the wedding, most brides do a trail run for hair and makeup. This can be important because if you plan on doing something "special" you want to know how long it will take you to have it done on your wedding day.
So, if you are all prepped and you have your dress, why not take advantage of it and do bridal portraits? And that is what Monica did. Check these out!
Monica did her bridal portraits at Candoro Marble, a wonderful and historical building in the Vestal neighborhood of Knoxville. She did not have her wedding or reception there . . . but so what? Monica chose to have her wedding reception at the school where she will be teaching because of that connection, but if you are a budget-savvy bride, you can always pay a rental fee for a place like this or anyone of several places in the area for bridal portraits. If you plan on having a first look, why not do it on the same day as well?
Consider the advantage. Less hectic than your wedding day. Guests not gawking at you, trying to take pictures on their cell phones. Making use of the dress more than once. Pick your location, pick your time. Maybe even use the images in your decor for your reception.
During our session, I also had Monica bring the rings, which allowed me to do detail shots of them, thus freeing up some more time on her wedding day. Having some time to relax before the ceremony is a great thing!
By the way, doing a separate shoot after the wedding isn't a bad idea, too. Don't trash the dress - reuse it!