How to choose your bridal party. Probably one of the first 5-10 thoughts you had as a new fiancèe. Who will be standing in as your right hand ladies?!
Thoughts probably drifted to your sisters, cousins, best friends, college roommates — Oh gosh, what about your new fiancè’s sister(s)! How will you ever choose?! “Will I be able to?” you probably thought as that number grew from three to fifteen.
Who you pick as your bridal party can make the biggest difference in your images AND your overall experience as a bride.
“How can it possibly effect my images??” Imagine this. You’re taking a silly photo with your brides maids. Three of your CLOSEST FRIENDS and your finacè’s sister from California you’ve only just met. I have seen this many times and this is how the photo goes. You pose with your best friends in a super snuggly silly way and your fiancè’s sister is the odd girl out. I try to coax her into standing a little closer. She feels included at the time you request she be a bridesmaid, and excluded when she realizes she’s only a bridesmaid because of blood. The realization syncs in that you’re not actually that close yet and your photos display three very best friends, and one stranger that would have been happier sitting with her cousins she never gets to see. Trying not to leave anyone out is sweet and considerate…in the moment. But when it actually comes down to your wedding day, most relatives and “kind of close” friends would be much happier just enjoying the party.
When picking your entire bridal party, be selective. It is more important that your bridal party consists of people you know you will have FUN with than making sure you have an even number on both sides for photos or trying to be sure you’re not “leaving anyone out”. You should have chemistry, history, and a pretty solid future with each member of your bridal party.
Even as the photographer, and LOVING my high photo priority brides, ITS NOT ALL ABOUT THE PHOTOS! -but really. People having FUN and celebrating LOVE with unwavering support is what I want to document. Not your second cousin twice removed because you “needed one more groomsman”. Yes, even numbers are helpful if it makes sense, but these people will be in your photos forever. Be sure you truly cherish your time with them–and that it’s received both ways.
A few questions to ask yourself:
• Can I depend on this person?
• Do I have fun with this person?
• What are the chances I have a fall out with this person in the future?
• Has this person made a notable impact on my life and in my relationship?
• Do I feel their unwavering love and support in my decision to marry the love of my life?
• What effect does this person have on me compared to how I want to feel on my wedding day? Nervous, calming, anxious, endless laughing, etc..
In the end, the day is about you and your new immediate family…as in you and your new husband/wife. Maybe having a formal “bridal party” isn’t even what you want to do! If that’s the case, don’t feel like you have to single any group of girls/guys out if you don’t want to! Everything about your wedding day should FUN, LOVING, JOYOUS, and INTIMATE. Don’t let any tradition distract from that main goal. ♥