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The 10 Commandments of Bridal Parties. | Milwaukee Wedding Photographer.

Maybe I'm just an unpopular gal....or maybe I'm just lucky!...(depending on who you ask!)..but in my 30 years I've only had to be in one bridal party. I was seven. I wore a peach dress that I assure you was, at best, flame-retardant....but that's about it. I threw flowers down the aisle accompanied by a little blonde boy wearing tails. He didn't want to dance with me at the reception. I remember I cleaned the open bar out of Shirley Temples.

Since then, I've been able to fly under the radar and avoid the matching dresses, the stiff-as-a-board hair-do's and the DRAMA that sometimes accompanies membership in a bridal party. However, I have been witness to many a party....and over the past three seasons I've spent entire days with the bride and groom's nearest and dearest. Along the way, I've picked up some tips. So, if any of my friends ever do decide to ask me to stand up for them (I think they're pretty much all married...but hey, there's always renewals!) I'll be all set!

So, I give you the 10 Commandments of Bridal Parties.

1. Thou Shalt Wear the Ensemble Specified.
The most hard and fast rule of participation as a bridal party member is: OUTFIT. The bride and groom spend months planning their wedding: the colors, the themes, and whatever they ask you to wear certainly goes along with that. So no matter what that happens to wear it. Unless your friends are nudists....and decide to go with that as a theme. And then I suggest to you...perhaps you should reconsider your social circle.

Bridal party outfits have improved quite a bit since my days of peach taffeta

2. Thou Shalt Not Humiliate Your Friends.
Part of the role of the bridal party (specifically the Best Man and Maid of Honor) is to make sure the bride and groom get one last hurrah before the big day. Now, etiquette is pretty slim where this is concerned. Some folks want a quiet wine and cheese party at home while others are completely up for whip-cream covered strippers and a party bus.

Keep your friends' personalities in mind when planning these parties. If the bride is as meek as a mouse, making her traipse through downtown Milwaukee carrying a giant inflatable fallace probably isn't the best idea.

3. Thou Shalt Be ON TIME.
There is no excuse for tardiness. Remember, you're there to play a role, and if you fail to show up for that role...people WILL notice. And they will make fun of you. Being late the day of the wedding throws the whole schedule out of whack. So, get your stuff ready the night before. Make sure you HAVE EVERYTHING (I can't stress this enough, I recently heard a horror story when a groomsman realized the day of the wedding that he had 2 left shoes). And get to the church on time.

4. Thou Shalt NOT hit on the Bridesmaids/Groomsmen.
At least not blatantly. Especially if they've let you know they're either: A. Married or B. Not that into you. This is especially important to remember once the drinks start flowing.

Get along with your fellow party members....but not TOO well : )

5. Thou Shalt Not Get Sloppy Drunk
While we're on the subject of flowing drinks, it's not advisable to get SO plastered that you can't remember your participation in the event. way to avoid this on the girl's end is to only invite pregnant women to be in your party. So...make friends with pregnant ladies. Problem solved.

6. Thou Shalt Not Treat the Processional Like a Race.
You get no prize for making it to the altar in record time. SLOW DOWN. (This message brought to you by the poor photographers trying to get off more than 2 shots of you sprinting down the aisle).

(and while we're at're on camera!)

7. Thou Shalt Be Nice to the Vendors
Ok, I'm biased...because I am one...but be nice to the hired folks. I can joke around with the best of them, and I LOVE a bridal party with a sense of long as you also realize that I have a job to do. So, when it's time for the group pictures (which I know everyone just LOVES), paying attention is the best way to get them done quickly and get you on to the party portion of the evening. If it becomes a "herding cats" situation because the bridal party cannot contain their giddy excitement, all that does is prolong the group picture process. So, in a word, happy cooperation is in your best interest : )
Or...I'll make you do ridiculously cheesy poses.
I have that power you know.

8. Thou Shalt Keep Speeches Tasteful....And Brief.
I know if you have a loooong history with the bride and groom it can be tempting to stand up and wax nostalgic for 30 minutes about every funny story involving you and your pal. But, keep in mind that many people attending the wedding may not have any clue who you are....or any clue what makes some of these stories so awesome or funny. Or, they may want to just get to the eating already! So, pick a few stories....make it short and sweet. Everyone in the room will thank you. (And keep the off-color stories for another time!)

9. Thou Shalt Save the Drama For Thine Mama.
You may hate the other bridesmaids with a passion. Maybe you dated one of the groomsmen. Maybe the bride is your old college ex and you still harbor resentment. Whatever the case is, suck it up. The wedding day is not the day for Drama Llamas. If you cannot contain your Drama Queen ways, maybe you should decline the bridal party invite.
Now, this does not apply to the bride. She's allowed her moment of dramatics. It doesn't apply to kids in the bridal party either....because Lord knows they cannot contain their dramatics.

10. Thou Shalt Have the Bride and Groom's Back
Most importantly, you are there to be supportive, loving, and do whatever it is they tell you to do. You are indentured servants who get beer and a new outfit out of the deal. Enjoy it! And when the bride sends you out mid-reception for Altoids and are on that! You jump in your car and go do it. Because you are a member of...THE BRIDAL PARTY!

1 Peanut Gallery.:

the red gecko said...

LOVE it. All fantastic pointers! I would kill for your wit, girl. I'm just not that funny. :)

P.S. I'm posting this link all over the dang place.

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