One of the most special things about all the moments leading up to a wedding, and those experienced on the big day, are the people. Sure, it’s about you and your significant other. But it’s also a special time to recognize the family members who raised you to be ‘marriage material’, the friends who you have gone on double dates with, and the mentors who have provided support in the most tumultuous times of your relationship.
You have probably invited those who are meaningful to you to be a part of the wedding in some way---including as a member of your bridal party.
This is an important group of people who you’ve chosen to elevate in both responsibility and honor! Make sure to plan to capture stand out moments with them and add these bridesmaid photos to your wedding shot list.
As you build out your wedding shot list in partnership with your wedding photographer and videographer, here are some of our favorite moments to shoot for our Joy couples.
1. Getting Ready: Matching Looks with Robes or Shirts
It’s tradition to buy your bridal party members a gift of gratitude for the encouragement and support they’ve given you in such an important life season. One of the most popular gifts to give your girls happens to be a clothing item that can play double-duty.
If you purchase matching robes or shirts, they can wear them on the morning of the wedding to create more of a uniform look in photos. In the future, they can then enjoy wearing the clothing again as they think back on memories of your big day and the friendship that you share.
Our favorite website to purchase getting ready looks is Etsy. You can easily find a variety of items to personalize to your wedding colors or the individual bridal party member (i.e. monogrammed initials.)
Plan to pose in both organic and more formal ways with your girls in the matching attire. This is a unique time for connection and preparation which will turn into great photos.
2. Celebrating Together: Capture the Silly to the Sentimental
As you are getting ready, everyone's nerves may be a little on edge because everyone wants to look their best. There will be moments when you just need to let loose to relax together and get in the right mindset before the ceremony.
Turn on an awesome playlist, pop some champagne and cheers together. Have a dance party, jump on the bed, or help each other with makeup and hair. You could also do a group hug or huddle, and say a prayer with each other. To take it over the top, get creative with props:
Balloons that match your wedding color scheme or spell out ‘BRIDE’
Signage (like a chalk board) that says how they met you, how long they have known you, or their best advice for you
If this is something you want to do, make sure to plan ahead with your day of wedding coordinator or your bridal party.
3. Having a First Look: Reactions from The Bridesmaids and Other Important Family Members
You have heard about the first look for the bride and groom but what about when the bridal party sees the bride for the first time?
The bride's first reveal to her bridal party can result in some emotional and memorable photo opportunities.
If you have a larger bridal party or they are scattered in different locations, it’s likely that some have not seen you in the dress. And even for those who have, the wedding day emotions and high-quality hair and makeup will take the look over the top.
Add the first look with the bridal party to your shot list. Your photographer can snap it from both sides, your face and theirs. If there is anyone else in the room as you’re getting ready, like a parent, they can be added to the frame, too!
4. Stepping Out in Style: The Dress and Shoes
A lot of thought went into your bridal look and those of the bridal party. Make sure to add these bridesmaid photos to your wedding shot list.
The back of your wedding dress may have beautiful details that you will want to remember. Pose for close ups of the bridesmaids helping you get dressed. It could be when they are helping to close your buttons, zipping the zipper, or lacing up the back of your dress.
The intricate details of the bridesmaid dresses, whether it be a dainty bow, rhinestone belt or crisscross strappy backs.
The front of all your dresses together in the same frame. This will help display how they complement one another and pull together as an entire vision. Make sure to get individual photos with each girl, and then a few options with different groupings based on the dynamics of the relationships. Mix up the poses and take some silly ones together, too!
You can't forget about the fancy pedicures and shoes. You'll want to get a group shot that showcases everyone’s shoes, with toes pointed out or kicked in the air. You can also capture a bridesmaid helping to put on your shoes or writing a special message on the sole of your shoes (which remains with you as you walk down the aisle and in years to come).
5. Featuring the Flowers: Bouquets (or Bouquet Alternatives)
Bouquets won't last a lifetime, but the pictures will. Close ups of the bouquets in a few different scenarios are photos that you will want to have.
There are many ways you can showcase the bouquets with ‘Team Bride’ whether it’s right before you go down the aisle, through to the end of the night:
Line everyone holding up their bouquets out to the camera or in the air
Hide faces with flowers held in front
Form a circle around the bride with the flowers in hand
Walk side by side and hold hands, then drape the bouquet down from the other side
Close up at the end of the aisle
Toss the bouquet to single members of your bridal party and wedding guests
Bouquets are here to stay and vary from lush and ginormous to sweet and simple. As couples continue to challenge tradition, some are choosing to forgo the fresh flowers. There may be alternates like hanging wreaths, lanterns, balloons, or matching clutches. Any of these items can be photographed in place of these bouquet ideas.
6. Catching Glimpses Down the Aisle: Bridesmaids Looking at The Happy Couple
Some of the most special moments are the genuine moments of emotion. There will likely be moments when your bridal party are looking directly at the couple during the ceremony. There may be tears, giddy smiles, or laughter, all resulting in an adoring look.
7. Tearing it up on the Dance Floor: Dynamic Reception Moments
Finally, don’t forget to add these bridesmaid photos to your wedding shot list: the grand entrance into the reception, the fun cheers at the end of a toast, followed by any and every dance moment! Whether it’s cheering together in the middle of a conga line or twirling around with your maid of honor, there will be many authentic moments that can be captured on the dance floor.
One of the best parts about dancing at the end of the night? This is typically when you’re able to let your guard down and enjoy all the hard work that led up to the wedding day.
Now you can just enjoy being a newlywed with the people you love most (with the potential of a two-step or a macarena in tow…)
We hope this has helped inspire you as you plan to add these bridesmaid photos to your wedding shot list.
Our Joy photographers and videographers are committed to supporting you by giving you confidence in capturing your lifelong and joy-filled memories. They will have some of their own unique ideas to add to this list as well depending on your wedding location or vibe! If you’d like to connect with us, we have a team across the nation, including Texas and Florida. Our packages and current promotions are available on our website.
[In the spotlight: Weddings in Dallas and Houston, Texas]
The Joy Team