Knowing what to do when your a bridesmaid

So normally, I write tips to all the couple’s planning their wedding. But today- it’s a little different. I prefer the word attendant, but I’m actually writing specifically to the ladies. So whether you’re a bridesmaid or attendant or badass brigade, I have a few tips that *you* can do to make the wedding day go smoother and for you to look better.

Maybe you’re over the hill with unicorns and baby dolphins about being a bridesmaid. Or maybe you would rather eat your own young. Either way, it’s a really weird position to be in. A lot is expected of you, but from behind the scenes. And it varies a lot exactly what is expected of you.

  1. Talk ahead of time to the couple. Do they have a planner to help make things run smoothly? If not, is there a specific person you can go to with questions if vendors or guests are asking? You can even volunteer yourself as the go-to person if your super organized and ready for a day full of a lot of work.
  2. When the wedding day actually comes, it’s time to get ready. If a hair and makeup person is coming to help everyone get ready, make your choice about if you want professional hair/makeup waaay before the actual day. And once you make that choice? There is no going back. The timeline has been set and while the makeup/hair person may offer to squeeze you in- there is no squeezing in. You are guaranteeing things will now run late. If you’re doing your own hair/makeup- keep an eye on the time. I know it’s super exciting to see all your friends. It really is! But you need to be ready at least 10 minutes prior to the bride(s)/groom(s) getting into their wedding gear so you can help. There is something really amazing about a whole bridal brigade helping get the couple ready and the ‘omg-he/she-is-dressed-and-looks-awesome’ moment. That moment is what the bride or groom has been waiting for. They want to share that moment. They want the gasps or the crying. So don’t be late for them.
  3. Now everyone is dressed. If the bride has a long veil or train, help a girl out. And not just for the first 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it the whole day. At the ceremony? Fluff the dress before the walk down the aisle. Is the veil messed up at the altar? Totally cool to step out from the line and help straighten it out.
  4. Now that we are talking about the ceremony: HYDRATE. You should be drinking water all AM. Why? Because nothing is worse than a bridesmaid passing out. And I have seen it happen at 6+ weddings. Full-on, smash face, passout. It’s most common at summer weddings but I have seen it year round. Why does this happen? Your standing in one place for a very long time, sometimes outdoors, sweating, you most likely forgot to eat and you have been up since the crack of dawn for hair/makeup. That’s why bridesmaids pass out!!
  5. When walking down the aisle, walk slowly and look up. Most processional pictures involve everyone looking at the ground as they walk up the aisle- not the most flattering of poses. So try to look up and walk slowly so you don’t trip.
  6. While you’re standing there at the ceremony, all nice and hydrated, stand correctly. I don’t just mean remember to stand up straight (though, that helps) but remember to not lock your knees. Stand with a slight bend to your knees, back straight, shoulders back, and engage your core. This will help get you through the loooong ceremonies.
  7. I know it’s a long ceremony. And a lot of times (as in, like 80%) you can’t see the ceremony. At all. It sucks. I have been a bridesmaid twice and didn’t see the ceremony either time. I hated that. But if you’re standing up there and you can’t see a thing? Pretend. For the love of cupcakes, pretend you can see that ceremony. Do not look up in the air to watch the passing birds. Or down at the floor at the grass growing. Look in the direction of the couple and look happy. Because I’m shooting wide shots that include you- so if every shot is of you admiring the shade of green of the grass?? It just looks bad.
  8. For group shots, if you are a family member of one couple’s, know the group shot list ahead of time. And be prepared to wrangle some people up for group shots. I may have a list, but I have never met Aunt Judy before. So any help I can get will make things move faster. And you want those group shots to move fast, don’t you? No one likes those.
  9. If someone hasn’t brought the couple some yummy appetizers or glasses of water, grab a waiter and ask if the couple will be getting some because they are most likely being swarmed by family/friends and aren’t thinking about those things. Making sure they are well fed and hydrated makes for a happy couple and a couple ready for the dance floor.
  10. Dancing can sometimes be an instant, full-on dance floor. But other times? No one wants to get up. And the couple wants to dance. You can see it in their eyes they can’t wait for all their friends to enjoy themselves. Be the first. Be brave. Go out and dance on that empty dance floor. More people will join you and that dance floor will fill up. And even though everyone might forget who started dancing and made the wedding a hit- you’ll know you took one for the team and helped out.
  11. Toasts. Oh boy. Some people love to get up there and talk while others would rather skip the whole thing together. But if you have been asked to toast, prepare prepare prepare. Write your speech. Time it. Have a few friends read it. The key is to keep in under 4 minutes and keep it funny/happy/meaningful not just to the couple but to all the guests. And if you haven’t been asked to give a speech and you want to? Pipe up before the wedding so the timeline can be adjusted. I have seen toasts that were scheduled for 15 minutes go on for 40 minutes because some extra people decided to give toasts. The guests were waiting for food. They were super duper cranky from being hungry. The couple look anxious because they loved the speeches but had to be out of the venue by 10pm or get charged a couple hundred extra dollars. And the caterer looked like he was going to pull his hair out.

[…] have something to sip as you wait to walk/skip/dance down the aisle. Just like I said in regards to Bridesmaids- hydration is key to not passing […]

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