If you thought sheepdogs had it bad trying to round up a flock of wayward livestock, think again - nothing is more challenging or time-sapping than trying to round up a group of tipsy bridesmaids and dancefloor-desperate groomsmen. It’s that one nightmarishly ridiculous headache every bride (and groom) could do without on their wedding day.
Of all the stunning photographs that get snapped on your big day, you’ll cherish your bridal photos more than any. They’ll be the ones you flick through for years and years to come, which is why you’ll want to remember this moment with a sunny disposition. You want to remember the moment you left your gorgeous ceremony in that dazzling ivory gown, your skin glowing like the first sunrise of spring and the smile on your face so pure it cajoled a flock of doves into swooping down and perching on the trees before serenading you with a song.
That’s the memory you want when you look back through your photographs, not a memory of trying to track down your AWOL friends and having to tut at your Bride Of Honour for being soooo drunk the pictures had to be taken sat down. And, yes, this scenario is more common than you might think.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the most stunning snaps of your bridal party in the most effortless way possible (after which, it’s straight into your reception to have the hair-let-down of your life - woohoo):
1. Take It Easy On The Champagne Before The Photos
The biggest no-no when it comes to getting the perfect pictures is partying too hard beforehand. That means showing some restraint when your mums mum walks into the getting-ready room with copious amounts of champagne and saying no to more than one cocktail on the limo ride to your reception. We know that sounds more boring than a GCSE maths lesson, but if you’re totally inebriated when it comes to having the photos done - surprise-surprise - it will show when you get them developed. And that’s just a part of the problem. The more tipsy people are before the photographs, the harder they will be to lasso, which is because tipsy people are a million times less responsive. Our advice: stick to one glass of champagne before the photo session to steady the nerves and then say “cheeeeese”.
2. Give The Photographer Your Priority-Picture List
Without any guidance, your photographer is going to try and do the risk-averse thing of squeezing in as many snaps as they possibly can. To speed things up a little, the best thing you can do is tell them which photo combinations your really care about and which ones are a little more, “nice, but not necessary”. For example, if you’re not too bothered about having an individual photo of you with each of your twelve bridesmaids, tell your photographer that you’re happy to skip that part and get straight to the bit where you have the best team photo ever. It will make this part of the process run so much smoother.
3. Tell Everyone In Your Bridal Party Where And When
Miscommunication is the mother of all… well, you know what. So eradicate the chance of this ruining your snappy photo session by clearly telling each member of your bridal party where and when you’re planning to have the photographs taken. If you want to have a batch of first look shots, then let them know you’re having these photos done outside the church as soon as the ceremony is done. If, however, you’re heading to a different venue for the reception and want to soak up your grand arrival as the married couple, let your bridal party know it’s happening at the reception venue. Trust us: this will prevent there being any bridesmaids wandering around the grounds looking lost or stop any of the groomsmen from gulping down cocktails while they wait for further instruction.
4. Limit The Number Of Shots You Ask For
Nothing is going to confuse your photographer more than presenting them with a Pinterest board consisting of 130 photographs that you “really like”. That will just spell disaster. Instead, the best thing you can do is: research your photographer well in advance, see what sort of style they use, make sure your on the same page, confirm they are capable of capturing the style, vibe and ambience you desperately want, and then trust the fact they are a professional wedding photographer. This is what they do and, judging by their portfolio, they do it well. That said, if you really, really can’t resist the urge to present them with a selection of Pinterest photos, make sure there’s no more than five (ten at the max.).
5. Be A Really Good Bunch Of Listeners
Let’s get real for a moment: your amazingly talented photographer will only get the chance to show off their amazing talents if you and your bridal party listen to their instructions. This is what they do for a living, for a passion, to be creative and keep their sanity intact, so let them do what they’re super-qualified at and you’ll get the most mesmerising wedding photographs ever imagined in return. That’s the deal. So, to recap, trust them to work their magic, pay attention to what instructions they give and try not to let your looking-for-love bridesmaids get distracted by any of your cute-and-goofy groomsmen (which will happen).
6. Have Fun With It - Loads Of Fun
Listen, you don’t want your wedding photographs to feel like a chore. That will ruin the pictures. So don’t get too lost in it and don’t let the stress get to you. Instead, enjoy the moment for what it is because it will be one of the most special moments of your whole day. That’s why you just need to be yourself. Be that fun-loving, always-happy, live-for-the-moment couple your friends adore you for. And if something unexpected happens, shrug it off with a grin. Whether it’s a couple of page boys running in front of the camera, an escaped goose that photobombs one of the shots or your husbands best-friend being his usual idiotic self - laugh, giggle, smile and snort. You want your personality to shine through, so let it.
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