How to be an Amazing Bridesmaid or Groomsman

Mar 17

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…

 

1. Realize how important you are

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!

 

2. Be truly helpful

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!

 

 

3. Know the timeline and the vendors

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 👉.”

 

Mini-Tip: Trust the Vendors

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!

Mini-Tip: Brides, give your wedding party this information:

  • A list of all vendor names and phone numbers. A list of all wedding party and parent names and phone numbers.
  • The full timeline. You can even highlight the sections that apply to them.
  • A map of the venue and the table layout.
  • Door passcodes, gate codes, or anything they’ll need to get around.

 

4. Be selfless

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:

  • If you’re having a bad day for whatever reason, try not to talk about it much with the bride & groom. The wedding should be a drama free zone.
  • Don’t complain about your own appearance. I know this sounds like a weird tip, but today is truly all about the bride & groom. Also, the bride probably picked out your dress, or at least the color and style. They might have also paid for you to get your hair and makeup styled. Show your appreciation for them. 😊
  • Don’t be the one holding up the timeline by not being dressed and ready in time.
  • The photographer (and the bride!) will love if you know the the timeline and are ready before you need to be.

 

 

5. Be a little sneaky

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. 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 schedule by having the bridesmaids get dressed in 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes. Bridesmaids can help me dry off wet bouquets or pin boutonnières on the groomsmen. Things like that are really really helpful to me, and therefore, the bride.

Examples of problems you can fix without bothering the bride & groom:

  • Problem: The baker arrives and doesn’t know where to put the cake. Solution: Ask the coordinator. It’s also great if you already have a copy of the reception setup. It will probably label one table as the cake table.
  • Problem: Uncle Bob arrives 2 hours early, doesn’t know what to do, and wants to hang out in the groom’s suite. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Solution: Again, direct him to the coordinator, or politely offer him a chair somewhere out of the way.
  • Problem: A shuttle bringing guests to the venue gets lost and will be 10 minutes late to the ceremony. Solution: No need to worry. The coordinator will save the day again! 🦸‍♀️ They’ll probably just push the ceremony back by 15 minutes. Then, they’ll communicate this to the bride & groom. Done!

 

Problems that are big enough to involve the bride & groom:

  • Problem: A groomsman slept in and will arrive 45 minutes after photos are scheduled to begin. (Y’all may laugh, but I’ve seen it happen. DON’T be this groomsman😂 ) Solution: Let the groom and the photographer know. Don’t bring it to the bride. The photographer will adjust the timeline to make sure he’ll be here for groomsmen photos.
  • Problem: Something SUPER crazy happens like a tornado pops up minutes before the ceremony, or the groom’s ring is lost, or the ring bearer trips and breaks his arm. These things are unlikely to happen, but you get the point.

 

 

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 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!

Want more?

How to handle bad weather on your wedding day >

What time to start your ceremony >

Getting awesome wedding photos. The Do’s and Don’ts >

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