YAY!!! You’ve been asked to be in a wedding!! Out of everyone important in the couples lives you were hand chosen to have a special role in their big celebration!!!
We all know that the responsibilities can be a big task for you to take on. Parties, shopping, planning, etc. But what else is there that’s expected?
After doing this for 10 years now, I have noticed and have had to remind someone in the wedding party at every wedding that their help doesn’t just end now that the wedding day has arrived .
What does that mean?
Here’s a few “unspoken” pointers as far as etiquette for wedding party members:
- Keep in mind that this day is not about you!! Seems obvious- but sadly it is not. There is always a bridesmaid or groomsman that makes the day about them. How they look, how they are feeling, what they think should be happening, etc. Just show up, be happy, be helpful and smile.
- SMILE!!!! I cannot tell you how many times I have had to remind party members to smile…… and I do a pretty good job at making everyone laugh and keep them all in good spirits. But, there’s usually one who is just too cool to smile or look at the camera or even cooperate in the slightest form. RBF does not look good in wedding pictures nor does a guy who is just too much of a badass to grin a bit. Or even the opposite- the one that always makes a goofy face trying to be “funny”- its not. Your friends/family have probably invested thousands into their wedding photographer and I am sure they would be appreciative if you smiled instead of looking miserable. I cannot tell you the amount of emails I have gotten over the years from couples stating they wished (insert party members name) would have looked a bit more happy. I know weddings bring up a lot of emotions and stressful situations- but just for the sake of the couple? Crack a nice smile.
- Don’t be a dick. Blunt, I know. But simply put it is what it is. Groomsmen are notorious for their wedding antics. In the industry we often refer to getting them to cooperate like “herding cats”….. Its not amusing for you to not cooperate. Just makes everyones job and day much harder.
- Pulling the couple and photographer aside to offer suggestions on pictures? Please dont. We are professionals and the couple that hired us trusts us. Believe me when I say we have had many conversations with the couple leading up to the wedding day about expectations and requests. What your photographer did on your wedding day is great, but again refer to point #1. This isn’t your wedding day. Let the couple enjoy their time and photos the way they want. You dont go to a restaurant and tell the chef how the last place you ate cooked your meal just to make sure they “have some variety and other options”.
- Obsessively fixing a dress train during the ceremony. When the bride gets to the alter- sure make it pretty. But it doesn’t need to be fixed every few minutes. You’re actually ruining more pictures than you are “making them pretty” by fixing it.
- Asking for your family pictures to be taken. We usually don’t mind snapping a quick few of you and your spouse/family (after all you are all dressed up and looking like a million bucks) but turning it into a full photoshoot? It’s not necessary. Too many times I have been pulled aside at a wedding and been asked by members of the wedding party or even guests for family pictures and it turns into a full family shoot. With multiple members, waiting for and chasing people down, different combinations, etc. This is a wedding and we are there for the couple. Doing this distracts us from the reason we are there and puts us in a position to possibly miss something important for the bride and groom.
- Put your phone away. Cell phones in pictures never looks good. Or having to wait for you to be done with your phone call or selfie take away from time the couple has hired us for. I know you cant just leave it down for the whole day!! But while we are doing pictures? Just try to be mindful of it. (You would be surprised how many wedding party members have had their phones out DURING the ceremony taking pictures…….)
- Just try to be helpful. Ask if there is anything you can do to help the couple. Get them a drink, get them food, help them get dressed, help clean up the room, etc. Go above and beyond for them- as you would want them to do for you.