In my career as a wedding photographer, I have come across many different kids of wedding parties with many different kinds of bridesmaids and groomsmen and bridesmen and groomswomen and best women and men of honor – and even best dogs! A great wedding party is an awesome asset to a couple, because this team of people can help a couple get through their day without a lot of stress and fatigue. (In fact, I often find myself aligned with the wedding party, since my goal also is to help the couple get through their day without stress!)
Every once in awhile, though, I see wedding parties who are really more interested in…well, partying…than in helping their friends manage the overwhelm of a wedding. So I thought I’d share some of my ideas about what makes a great wedding attendant. It doesn’t matter whose side you stand on, it matters that you have their back on their wedding day.
1. Ask Your Friends What They Need
Wedding days are busy, overwhelming, somewhat stressful, and the couple likely has 10,000 people milling around offering free advice, telling them what to do, and maybe even being critical. Great wedding attendants don’t tell couples what to do or what they need. They ask. Or, even better, they anticipate what the couple will need; offering a bottle of water, bringing along extra tissues, distracting the mothers-in-law so they’ll stop driving everyone nuts.
2. Go Team!
Sometimes all of the wedding attendants are good friends, and sometimes they hardly know each other. Regardless, though, they need to act as a team. Having a wedding party that gets along makes the party more fun for everyone (and will produce some really fun pictures!)
3. Bring Safety Pins
And scissors. And bobby pins, tissues, maybe a flask of booze, lip balm, deodorant, and mouthwash. You never know what might happen, and the more prepared you are for the unknown, the better! Oh, and don’t forget the snacks. Don’t let your friends get hangry on their wedding day. It’s a real bummer for everyone.
4. Be Fun!
Your friends are getting married and they want to have fun at their wedding, but they may be worried about a lot of things. And likely one of those things is worrying that people aren’t having fun. So even if you have cramps, are hungover, have a hangnail, or just would rather be anywhere else, you need to act like you’re having a great time. It’s your job to bring the party!
5. Get on the Dance Floor
Sometimes, wedding dancing is a bummer (ideally a great DJ or band helps to ensure that doesn’t happen.) But if the wedding dancing sucks, the photos of the wedding dancing sucks, so I personally want to see a packed dance floor! The wedding party should always be dancing, and if you’re not dancing, you should be giving yourself whatever kind of pep talk you need to get back out there and dance some more. When other guests see the cool kids on the dance floor, they’ll all join in, too.
6. Don’t Get Too Drunk
Oh, it’s just so tacky. A little drunk is one thing, but once you start saying embarrassing things or tripping or acting like a jerk, you’ve gone too far. (And please don’t do that thing where you tie your necktie around your forehead like a hat. I hate that.) Just don’t be that person at your friend’s wedding. No one wants to see those pictures, least of all me.