Oh hey future bridesmaid/groomsman! Whether you’d done this job before or it’s your first time in a wedding party, this guide is for YOU! 😊
Or maybe you’re a bride or groom, and you don’t really know what to expect from your wedding party and don’t know which tasks to delegate. Keep reading to find the 5 ways to save yourself from stressful or awkward situations, and to make the whole wedding day flow more smoothly!
Tip #1 is the most important…
If you’re a bridesmaid or groomsman, you’ll be with the bride & groom literally all day. It’s a huge honor that they want to spend this meaningful time with you!
People say that when the bride is happy, everyone is happy. Well, I’m taking that one step further back. When the bridesmaids are happy, the bride is happy. You set the mood for the whole day. If you’re happy, prepared, and ready to party, the bride/groom will have a blast! 🎉
You know the couple better than anyone. If they’re prone to getting stressed out, or if you know that wedding planning has been rough on them, brainstorm ways to make it easier on them. You can also simply ask the bride & groom what you can do to be helpful. More on this later!
Even though you’re going to look fabulous in your dress or suit, this sometimes means doing the dirty work and taking care of things that just need to be done. 💪This could be filling up your car with decorations and unloading them at the venue, helping the bride go to the restroom, or staying at the venue until 1am to help clean.
This also means being involved in the planning process weeks or months before the actual wedding day. Knowing the couple’s vision for the wedding and what’s most important to them will help them out in a BIG way. For example…if you know how things are supposed to look, you’ll be able decorate tables without supervision or help from the bride. That’s one more thing checked off her list!
You don’t necessarily need to have the photographer and coordinator on speed dial, but knowing their names can be useful.
Guests will probably come to you with questions throughout the day. You don’t need to know everything, but you should know SOME things. Even if that thing is just knowing who to direct questions to.
“I’m not sure, but you can ask Kelsey. She’s the coordinator, and she’s right over there 👉.”
Remember that the bride & groom have been working with most of their vendors for months (or longer). The vendors have had an active role in planning the wedding since the beginning, and the bride & groom trust their expertise and experience. You should too!
I’ve been photographing weddings for years, and I’m happy to say I’ve NEVER encountered a “bridezilla”. Personally, I think that word is annoying, and this will be the only time you’ll read it on my blog. But, it’s a useful word for painting that stereotypical picture of a dramatic bride.
So, with that in mind, I will say that I’ve seen some dramatic bridesmaids in my time. I hate saying this, but I’ve seen calm, happy brides get seriously stressed out by being surrounded with upset bridesmaids and family members.
Please please please do your best to keep the atmosphere fun and positive, especially in the morning while everyone’s getting ready. You’re there to celebrate one of your best friends, and it should feel like a party!
Here are some things you can do to make the morning fun:
What do I mean by that? One of your jobs as a bridesmaid/groomsman is to make sure the bride & groom don’t have to worry about the timeline and any little things that go wrong.
As a photographer, one of my jobs is to keep everyone on schedule, and I might do that by asking for your help.
For example, if hair & makeup falls behind, I might ask the bridesmaids/groomsmen to help me get things back on track. We can fix the timeline by having the bridesmaids get dressed in 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes. Things like that are really really helpful to me, and therefore, the bride.
Examples of problems you can fix without bothering the bride & groom:
Problems that are big enough to involve the bride & groom:
I’ll end with a quote from a Huffpost article about handling bad weather on a wedding day:
“I’ve seen perfectly calm brides who weren’t pleased (but were holding it together) about the weather, get tormented by members of the wedding party who didn’t seem to understand that the role of the bridesmaids and the moms when something is amiss is to SUPPORT the bride and tell her everything is going to be okay, not run in and out of the bridal suite announcing that grandma’s hair got wet when the rain showers started after she’d been seated. In the case of rain, we have it under control. It may take the wedding planning team a few minutes to adjust the plan, but unless the ceremony is on a remote beach with no tent, there’s always a Plan B. It just takes a few minutes for our team to execute it.”
I know most of the this blog has filled with tips about what work you should do, and your shoulders may feel a little bit heavier. But remember that it’s a huge honor to stand next to the bride & groom while they get married. Yes, you do have more responsibly and things to worry about than a regular wedding guest, but it’s still going to be really fun!
The wedding party is the bride & groom’s personal hype squad. You’ll help them relax and have fun, and it’s hard for you not to have fun while you’re doing that.
Being so intimately involved in the planning process and behind-the-scenes on the wedding day also means that you’ll have allllllll the funny stories and memories to share with the couple for years and years to come.
I hope this is helpful for everyone involved in a wedding party! Did I miss anything? Have a funny story about something that happened while you were a bridesmaid? Tell me in the comments below!