You found the man of your dreams. THE ONE. He popped the question and you said YES! Now it’s your turn to pop the question to the gals you want by your side on your day. The ladies that had your back with the heart breaks and cheered you on when you were winning in life! Your besties! You know exactly who you want by your side. You’ve asked them and they said yes. Some of your gals will be a bridesmaid veteran and know what to expect and whats expected of them. For others this may be their first time being a bridesmaid. Most likely, this is your first wedding as well and have no idea on what you should expect from your bridal party. So I want to share some advise on how to prep your bridal party. Why prep your bridal party? Because the more they are in the loop the smoother the day will run and the more you’ll enjoy your day together.
How to Prep your Bridal Party
Share the Timeline with the Bridal Party
One of the common things we hear on a wedding day from the bridal party is that they didn’t know when and where they needed to be. It is so crucial that your bridesmaids know what time their hair and makeup needs to be ready. When they need to step into their dresses etc. What tends to happen if they don’t is that we end up having to wait on them to finish getting ready. It doesn’t mater how much they love you, the bride, they don’t want to be photographed without hair and makeup and we totally understand. These pictures are going to be shared online. They want to like how they look. So would you if you were a bridesmaid. So please share the timeline given to you by your coordinator or photographer so that they know when and where they are expected to be ready. The same goes for the groomsmen.
Things to Delegate to the Maid of Honor/Best Man for The Day of
Your maid of honor/best man are your right hand the day of your wedding. Let them help you. Here are some things that you can delegate to them.
- Maid of Honor/ Best Man should help keep the bridal/groom prep area clean and free of clutter. Nothing is more helpful when we arrive to the prep room than to be able to start shooting right away instead of having to clean the space so that we can produce those magazine quality pictures free of clutter in the background.
- They should know where key elements are located. Maid of Honor should know where the brides gathered details are located so when we arrive the Maid of Honor is just pointing to where they are and we can get started right away on styling your details and photographing them.
- Give them the task of giving time checks to the rest of the wedding party. The entire bridal party will know when what is happening because hopefully you have shared with them the timeline. Have your maid of honor/best man call “5 minute warnings” for the bridal party . So for example: If we are doing robe pictures at 2:00pm, your maid of honor will let your bridesmaids know at 1:55pm “Hey we’re going to do robe pictures be ready”. And let your bridal party know ahead of time that thats their chance to take any last potty breaks, lipstick touch ups etc. We’ve had situations where the bridal party didn’t know when those pictures were happening so they are jumping into their robes and going to the bathroom or applying lipstick when pictures are supposed to be happening so now those pictures have 5-10 minutes less to take them (meaning less pictures) or the timeline gets set back.
Recently we had a wedding where when it was time to take pictures of the groomsmen they were drinking and still putting on their ties, shoes …spraying cologne and it set portraits behind 15 minutes. The groom still wanted (totally understandable) formal shots with the groomsmen, and the individual shots with all 8 of his groomsmen. So where did the 15 minutes that were lost because of having to wait come from? From the bride and grooms first look. Instead of the couple having 45 minutes alone for pictures they now had 30 minutes. Which then went down to 20 because of a wardrobe malfunction the bride had. The time had to come from somewhere. Of course there will be curveballs that happen on a wedding day but those should be the uncontrollable. They should not be caused simply because the bridal party didn’t know that they were expected to be ready at a specific time. And of course we still got beautiful pictures and a great variety for this couple but had they had those extra 15 minutes they would have had more.
Share with your bridal party behavior expectations
Its your wedding day! Your bridal party wants to celebrate. And they should! Heck we want to celebrate! We totally understand! But from experience we’ve seen when bridal party start drinking alcohol as soon as they arrive, by the time its time to get them in front of the camera or to get lined up for ceremony they are not as attentive. They’re loud and uncooperative. Result, a delay in timeline. A frustrated bride because the bridal party isn’t listening to any direction. The last thing we want is a bride borderline tears on her wedding day because her bridal party is a bit tipsy. Everything is taking twice as long to accomplish and everyone thinks its funny except you.
So are we saying don’t have fun. AHHHH NO! Definitely have fun. Those are our favorite shots to capture. We love capturing champagne toasts with the girls in their robes and the groom and the groomsmen taking their last shot with the groom as a single man! But for the sake of not loosing them before the wedding actually begins you may want to consider agreeing on a limit with your spouse for the amount of drinking that happens before the ceremony if any at all. And let them know that after the ceremony they can go as hard as they want. Especially if you’ve decided to do a first look. They will be able to go straight to the bar after the ceremony.
Why did we write this blog? We wrote this blog because we want you to enjoy your day. We want your bridal party to have a great time! We want it to be the most memorable day of your lives! From experience, we’ve had brides cry out of frustration about their closest friends on their wedding day. We’ve seen time slip through our hands because lack of communication with the bridal party. It wasn’t that the bridal party didn’t care. It wasn’t that they were purposely trying to frustrate you. The problem was that there was no communication. The had no idea what the expectations were. We always promise our couples that we will share hiccups from previous weddings in hopes of saving future brides the heartache and frustration from it happening on their wedding day. We want to capture all the pictures you imagined and then some and communicating with your wedding party so that they are on the same page as you and your vendors is one sure way to do that!!!