Wedding Wisdom: Choosing your bridesmaids

As a wedding photographer, I get to see so many different styles, amazing venues, fantastic florals, etc etc...the list goes on {forever}. But something that I don't think too many people talk about is the dynamic between the Bride and her ladies.

Today, let's talk about bridesmaids.

I can not tell you enough how important the choosing of your bridesmaids is. After being IN numerous weddings, getting married myself, and photographing dozens and dozens of weddings...my advice is CHOOSE WELL.

Things to think about:

            #1-The "Should I?" Bridesmaid: This is not meant to be offensive in any way. But you know what I'm talking about. The girl (or sister/in-law) who you know would be sad if you didn't include her, but you're just not that close. Or that friend who would threaten to not even come to your wedding if she wasn't a bridesmaid. Or a BFF from high school that you haven't spoken to in years. All of these...SORRY, but they should not make the cut. If you have to say maybe...then say maybe not.

            #2-Who would drop everything? Ask yourself this question as you are contemplating who to choose for your big day. You have no idea how many times I have heard my brides say {or yell} "WHERE THE {insert profanity here} ARE MY BRIDESMAIDS?!?" If you have said this...you are SO not alone. But is that ok? NO. In my opinion...the sole purpose of having bridesmaids are to have joyous helpers at your side who would drop everything to fluff your dress, touch up your makeup, hold your drink, etc etc. After all...the day is about YOU (and your groom of course). ;) So when you're thinking of this major decision...ask yourself that question. It absolutely warms my heart to see a group of girls that are focused on the bride and their strong friendship is SO evident. Trust me...it makes for a wonderful day. These ladies below were such a wonderful example of that and it was so obvious.

           #3-Quality over Quantity: How many girls at your side is ideal? Now as a photographer, the smaller the wedding party...the easier it is to fit you all in places! But! If you have 8 AMAZING best friends that you can't imagine your day without them at your side...then GO FOR IT. If your absolute best of friends only adds up to 2...then that's your perfect number. You can also consider your venue! If you know you'll have plenty of space (like a wide open forest of redwoods) then don't be bashful in asking all of those BFFs.

           #4-Consider Having a Chat: Let's say BFF #1 does NOT get along with future sister-in-law, but you desperately want to have them both in your bridal party. Take some time and sit down with them separately. It should be assumed...but so many times it's not...but they need to know that the day is NOT about them. Like...at all. Tell them to put on their absolute best face and save any snide remarks for...well...never. Once you get to marrying age, all of your bridesmaids are adults. Even if they're young ones, they should know that your wedding is all about YOU. And that they are there solely for love and support.

         #5- Note to Bridesmaids: Be there for your bride/friend. If she chose you to be in her wedding she obviously loves you. Love her back. Especially on this most important day in her life. Ask her what role she would like you to play. Be happy for her. Make her feel more beautiful than ever. Be calm before the wedding so she is calm. Be excited during the ceremony as she cries and laughs. Have so much fun at the reception, but still remembering she might need you to help with her bustle or find her bouquet. Just be the best bridesmaid ever. ;)

I promise ladies, having wonderful people at your side just enhances your most wonderful day.

XO,

Elise