A photographers view on being the best bridesmaid
I was going to say ‘Chief Bridesmaid’ but I think most of what I have to say here applies to all the bridesmaids.
There are many lists of things a bridesmaid has to do before the wedding and on the day itself but I’ve never really seen a really good list based on actual experience. I’m not going to repeat what all the other lists say, you can Google those.
Being a wedding photographer, I’m there for a good part of the day. I’m pretty much always near the bride and I get to see how she deals with the day. Over the years I’ve built up a good appreciation of what a bride goes through – I also get to hear first hand what the bride thinks of their bridesmaids(!). So for this article I’m going to try and give some insight into the life of a bridesmaid from my viewpoint.
So in no particular order:
Don’t leave the bride alone – “where are my bridesmaids?”
There are two parts to this. Leaving the bride alone during preparation is usually not a good idea. It is an emotional day and when the bride is alone she starts to over think the day and can get anxious. Even if you think of the bride as independent and emotionally strong just be prepared to be surprised. I’ve seen many a ‘strong’ bride get anxious when left alone. It is such a big day and so many things to think about that she will need keeping on track and focused. So make sure there is always at least one bridesmaid around at all times.
Now the second part to this is after the preparation and during the day itself. The bride will need one bridesmaid with her at all times not only for emotional support but just the physical support sorting the dress, checking/fixing the hair, hold her flowers etc. etc. At roughly 50% of the weddings I’ve shot the bridesmaids have not even been there to help her out of the car at the church. They have been sorting out their own dresses or just standing in the doorway chatting. That’s 50% of brides who are looking for the bridesmaid to help and they are simply not there. So again, be there, it’s your job. Same goes for the rest of the day. Be attentive. Make sure one of you is always at hand in case you need something. I guarantee I will hear the words “where are my bridesmaids?” at one in every two weddings I shoot.
Know how to fix the dress, veil and hair
I would recommend at least TWO bridesmaids (ok, if there is only one then one it is…) are experts at fitting the wedding dress, fixing the hair and taking in/out the veil (if applicable). So many weddings I attend and there are last minute panics on these subjects. Just make sure you know how to do these things and have practised!
Have an emergency bag
Again, I’ve seen lots of lists on this subject. If you read some of the lists you’ll end up carrying around a suitcase! Here is the essentials
- Sewing kit
- Safety pins
- Hair slides/grips
- Mini hairspray
- Basic makeup for touchups
- headache pills
- Boob tape (sorry, toupee tape to be politically correct…!)
You can add to this if you like! I actually carry around most of that stuff and more… just in case, but not all photographers go to those lengths!