April 23, 2019

Liz and Alexander – Zoo Safari Park Wedding – San Diego, California

Posted in: Wedding

Bridesmaid 101: Do’s and Dont’s

Being a bridesmaid is tough, I get it. It’s not all giggles, champagne, and parties. It’s work, and it’s a commitment you made to the bride- to be her shadow, her confidant, her helper throughout this process that she, hopefully, will only undergo once. As a photographer we hear and see a lot of bridesmaids and bridesmaids horror stories. Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’t to be a stellar, 5 star bridesmaid.

When a bride is first engaged, one of her foremost thoughts will be “but who will be in my wedding?” She will think and think, and plan and plan about asking the most special girls in her life to take on this daunting task with her. If you passed all the criteria, Congrats! You obviously want to be the best bridesmaid you can be, right?

Here’s what not to worry about:

Dresses: We all want to look stunning, but this day is NOT about you. Remember that every time you think “this color is all wrong” or “I look like a pink trash bag”. If you are really uncomfortable wearing a certain style of dress please tell the bride early on so she can keep it in mind. The last thing your bride wants is girls talking behind her back about how ugly the dress she picked is, how expensive everything is, how much work they’ve missed to be here, etc. She knows, and she will be told by the other girls in the group that you are complaining, so choose your words wisely. A unhappy bride will be the end of you.


Dates: chances are, if you’ve been chosen to be a bridesmaid you’re close enough to the bride to know a lot of other people in her life. Depending on how many bridesmaids there are, your bride may forego dates all together unless you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while or married. Don’t get hung up on not having a date. Going stag and with friends to prom was super in like 10 years ago, and you’ll have a whole group of bridesmaids to dance with and sit with so do not ask the bride for an extra plus one.

Missing Work: I get it, work is important, school is important but if you committed to being in someones wedding you probably knew there was a few days you’d have to miss. Maybe you’re going on a weekend out of town and leaving on a Friday for the bachelorette, or the weekend before the wedding you need to help with decor and seating charts. Whatever it is, prepare yourself at the beginning or talk to your boss about missing work. Let the bride know if you will not be able to miss anything, or if finals are happening at the same time, so she can plan accordingly. No bride wants some of her bridesmaids attending her bachelorette. This is her moment, and you’ll probably expect the same thing when you’re a bride, so help a sister out.

Other Bridesmaids: Don’t tell the bride that someone called her a bridezilla to be funny behind her back, don’t tell the bride that Sherri hates the dress and Candice doesn’t like the colors she chose, Ruby hates the venue, and Lisa hates Sherri. You are there to be her spokesperson, her supporter, her campaigner. Shut down those rumors, or remind those bridesmaids how a bridesmaid should act and leave the bride out of it. She does not need one more thing to worry about. If you consider yourself a friend you’ll solve the problem for her, not cause her another one.

Things To Do:

Listen. Just listen. Make sure she knows that you aren’t bugging her with wedding talk all the time and let her vent about the venue, the caterer, Aunt Lucy bringing her 20 years her younger boyfriend, etc. A bride really wants someone on her side, and that’s your job exactly. If she’s getting too stressed up find the silver lining and crack some jokes, that should cheer her up.

Plan the Perfect Party: While the MOH may be in charge of the bachelorette party, you can help keep communication open. If Trish can’t afford a weekend away, tell the MOH. Chances are, your bride would rather do something local and affordable with all her girls, then a weekend away with half of them. Make sure the activities are things the bride loves to do, and talk to all the girls about pitching for the brides meals, activities, etc. Don’t break the bank but make sure your bride will be relaxed and loved. Bachelorette parties are all about de-stressing and having fun with your closest ladies. She will always remember her bachelorette party, so make sure it’s a story she’ll love to tell.

Create a Group Message: Group messages can be messy and annoying. Try creating one for only wedding questions and info. Chances are if one person has a question, the rest have the same question. The MOH can be in charge of the answers and in communication with the bride. She can delegate info to the rest of the tribe.


Take on Something: She’s probably complained to you about addressing invites or figuring out table decor. Instead of telling her you can help with anything she needs, pick something and do it. Whether it’s pinterest-ing the S*&^ out of table decor, or coming over with wine and desert and helping her address all the invites. Don’t just say, do!

Feed Her: While she’s getting ready day of the wedding, feed her, go get her a coffee, make sure she’s eating. Most brides try not to eat and then forget to eat the whole day. Make sure she’s at least nibbling on her favorite snack!

Keep Checking: Day of make sure your brides drink stays full, make sure she has someone to touch up her makeup after she cries, Stay close in case she needs to use the bathroom and needs help with her dress, Communicate with the photographer and vendors so they don’t have to bug the bride with questions.

Have FUN!: A bride wants nothing more than to enjoy her wedding day, and that means she wants her loved ones to enjoy it just as much. Make sure you dance, eat some cake, laugh a lot, and tell her how beautiful everything turned out. Being a bridesmaid is a lot of work and it can be so rewarding too. She will remember how great you were through the process and you will win her trust and her appreciation. It will further your relationship and bring you closer together. 

For more photos of this San Diego Zoo Safari Park Wedding go to:


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Sarah and Brent are a husband and wife team based out of southern California who specialize in playful, intimate, free spirited portraits for the wild at heart. They have shot all throughout southern California and plan to tackle the globe one love story at a time. When they're not behind the lens you can find them at local coffee shops, Disneyland, or home hanging out with their cats.