Our Tips on How to be the Best Bridesmaid & Groomsman
Our perspective on weddings thus far has been only as wedding photographers. Meaning, we had never even been in a wedding and learned all about weddings through the lens (no pun intended) as wedding photographers.
And then, once we got engaged last May, we thought we knew all about weddings, but there was waaaay more that we thought we knew. Planning a wedding and photographing a wedding are on two different planets. The knowledge does not transfer.
So you can imagine, when our sweet friends Chris and Paige asked us to be in their wedding party we were stoked to see what it would be like on yet another side of a wedding!
I will say the only upper hand we had was seeing countless wedding parties and knowing what not to do when it comes to being a great bridesmaid or groomsman. That was a no brainer for us.
Before I get into our tips on how to be the best bridesmaid / groomsman, let me tell you a few takeaways AJ and I had. Spoiler, they are a little similar, and AJ has a bit more advice for the guys!
First takeaway: The beginning part of the day is not at all what I thought it was.
When I walk into a getting ready room as a photographer, my energy is all “go time”. I’m ready to grab those details and get the day rolling because it’s technically when our day starts!
But honestly, the energy is very low during the getting ready part of the day. Hair and make-up is a much slower process than I thought. And not to mention there were 10 bridesmaids, one bride, and two mothers. So we had to get started at 7:30am. And our energy was very low.
I also got to see first hand how easy it is for things to get off track this early. Everyone’s getting everything done one at a time. Then all the sudden we have 30 minutes til we have to get on the bus and we count how many girls still need to get their hair done and…oof we’re behind. More on that later!
This is why it’s so important to stay flexible with your expectations and let your later in the day vendors take the lead!
AJ’s Takeaway: There is a lot of waiting.
From AJ as a first time groomsman: I didn’t expect for there to be so much WAITING. Since the day isn’t about me, there was a lot of blank space in my schedule. The girls are getting ready for hours, but the guys need maybe 30 minutes? But I think the most important thing you can do there is to be okay with it.
Final takeaway: I feel a thousand times more confident in what we do!
Not that I ever doubted the way we do things, but I’m even more affirmed in the idea that a photography experience is a necessary thing on a wedding day.
What I mean by that is there are photographers who come in during the day and shoot what they see and don’t take much control. This is instead of having a photographer come in and really try to be apart of the day. They meet everyone, boost everyone’s confidence, try to be involved in as many helpful things as possible, make sure all the candid moments are captured in addition to the necessary posed things.
While I don’t think this is something you realize when you’re missing it, seeing it from both sides it is such an important puzzle piece of the day. I can say without a doubt it will elevate your day in a major way.
Okay now onto the important part! Our advice for being the best bridesmaid and groomsman!
Here is my best advice: for this one day, you are a part of a squad. All you have to do is act like it.
I asked for advice on my instagram before the wedding, and almost everyone said some variation of:
Remember the day is not about you.
What I mean by remembering you’re a squad, is have a squad mentality. Don’t try to stand out, don’t try to be different. Your main job is to go with the flow, and help out when you’re asked to.
Not gonna lie, there were a few points during the day when I inserted myself because the overeager photographer in me wouldn’t stay quiet. I’m sure both of those times my advice was not helpful. Don’t do that. Do as I say and not as I do.
There will be people directing you and (sometimes not so nicely) bossing you around. Don’t take it personally. The best thing you can do is do what you’re told. Help your fellow bridesmaids do what they’re told.
All you need to do is go with the flow, help others around you go with the flow, and help your bride out only if she needs it. Most of the time, give her her space.
AJ’s advice for how to be the best groomsman is pretty similar. Here’s what he said:
My first thought as a groomsman was don’t complain. With all the waiting we had to do, we got to points in the day when people started complaining about having nothing to do and waiting around, etc. And it seemed to stress the groom out.
And then I think the best thing you can do as a groomsman is not to be THAT GUY.
Don’t be ‘that guy’ who tries to get the groom (or anyone) too drunk. And don’t be ‘that guy’ who’s too cool to want to take groomsman photos. Please don’t be ‘that guy’ who doesn’t listen to the planner’s directions. Nobody likes that guy.
Instead, just try to be the most positive person in the room. No matter what is happening, be upbeat because it’ll lead to a more relaxed groom.
A good groomsman also keeps the energy up. Since there can be so much time spent waiting around, constantly engaging the group and the groom was a good way to pass time. When people started just looking down at their phones or breaking off into two person conversations it really brought the group down.
The last piece of advice on how to be the best groomsman is to know what comes next. Know where you need to be, and when you need to be there, even if nobody else does. It may be that only one guy keeps track for the group, which is fine, but you should be that guy. Even if nobody else tries. That would make a great group.
Overall, we were all super lucky that Paige and Chris had a smooth day !
Nothing drastic happened and there no huge hiccups (or maybe her day of coordinator was just good at hiding it from us!!!)
If you’ve been in a wedding, do you agree with this advice? What else would you add to our list of advice on how to be the best bridesmaid / groomsman?
Tell me in the comments below!
P.S. have you seen Paige’s bridal session yet? I was so lucky that I got to shoot these at her venue before her wedding! Click here to see how beautiful she is!!!