Today’s post is from an extremely talented photographer, Rhee Bevere ofRhee Bevere Photography, in Campbell, California. Rhee was named one of Bride’s Magazine’s “Top Shots” for the 2008 and 2009 Photojournalism Competitions, was the featured Photographer for February 2011 by the Professional Photographers of America, has been honored with the Bride’s Choice award by WeddingWire for 2009, 2010 and 2011, was named one of the top wedding photojournalists in the world in 2006 and 2008 by WPJA, and is featured in Susie Coelho’s wedding planner “Style Your Dream Wedding.”
One of my favorite parts of the day is the getting ready. If things are going well, and the ladies are all there for you, it is a magical time. It’s when you change from a fiancee into a bride. And at some point during this brief but unforgettable time, it will hit you that you’re about to marry your best friend. When that happened to me, I was blessed with my ladies all around me. I want every bride to feel that way, to know their girls are there with support and love.
I’ve noticed something as an impartial yet compassionate photographer. I’ve seen bridesmaids more interested in preening than helping their friend about to step into a not-so-pret-a-porter ivory ballgown. I’ve seen bridesmaids just kinda stand there and watch instead of rolling up…uh, wait, sleeveless!…grabbing a fistful of tulle and helping fluff the skirt or filling up the wedding purse with necessities.
And then, I’ve seen those bridesmaids who know that their best friend might be a little frazzled and need their help – and do it instinctively.
Not all bridesmaids are helpful. But then, not all brides are kind to their bridesmaids. So when did the most amazing opportunity to bond with sisters/friends/family members/soon to be in-law relations deteriorate?
Some thoughts on getting the most out of your “getting ready”…
1. Ask for help. They might not know the customs of helping a bride into her dress, shoes and jewelry. They may think another bridesmaid’s in charge of everything. Or they may assume the coordinator should do it. Be vocal.
2. Delegate and appoint jobs that are within reason. One of my more popular suggestions with my brides is to appoint a bridesmaid and a groomsman as the “where you at” contact. It’s their jobs to call each other if the bride needs to know where something is from the groom, or, if getting ready in the same hotel, can call to be sure the groom is nowhere near where the ladies will be taking photos!
3. The most important job for one of your ladies is timekeeper. You should never have to look at a clock or a watch, period. But at the same time, you need a little help moving from one phase to the next of your very busy day! Consider having one of your ladies the timekeeper. She’s in charge with letting your makeup artist know that there’s only five minutes until the limo arrives, without worrying you about it! Or gently remind you that you need to be in your dress, now. And yes, you may have a coordinator, or a photographer, or stylists in the room, but don’t assume that they’ll be keeping your timetable for you. Your coordinator will be popping in and out to see how you are, but won’t be prodding stylists or photographers. And the photographer is busy capturing the day as it unfolds rather than dictating it.
4. Offer a “be straight with me” clause. Most women feel that being asked to be in a wedding is, well, a retorical question. There is no “no” really. You may find yourself with an unwilling or unsupportive bridesmaid for this reason. So when you ask, be sure they know that your friendship is the most important thing of all. And when they do accept, be up front about what you expect from them. If you’re laid back and just want moral support, then fantastic! But if you know you’ll be counting on them for things like delivering the groom’s gift or making sure the bouquets are all dry before you pick them up from their vases, let them know you need them.
Check out Rhee’s work and more of her wedding expertise on her wedding photography website!
From her years of experience, she has lots more advice she can offer about how to get the most of your wedding day, and we highly recommend her!