Over the years, I’ve noticed that each bridal party I meet is different in their style and personality. Therefore, no photo is the same! There are several ways that I have photographed a bridal party. I found that categorizing them and showing a few examples would be the best way to show my brides as well as other photographers how I handle bridal party formals. Another bit of information that I added was whether they had an indoor or outdoor ceremony and where they decided to do the formals. I also included approximately what time the portrait was taken and at what month of the year. This gives you a good idea of the lighting situation at certain times of the year. Additionally, at the end of this blog post I’ve added a FAQ section where I answer some of the most common questions that brides have asked me about bridal party formals.
I hope you all find this extremely helpful and please comment below to let me know if you have any questions about what you read today!
(Indoor ceremony, Formals taken under pavilion outdoors taken at approximately 3:30 PM in June)
(Outdoor ceremony and outdoor formals at approximately 5pm in July)
Fashion-forward and uniquely positioned formals
(Indoor ceremony, outdoor portraits at approximately 6pm in November)
Semi-traditional poses with a slight twist
(Indoor ceremony, outdoor portraits at approximately 8 PM in July)
Non-traditional, Non-formal, Fun poses
Details and a different perspective
How many bridesmaids and groomsmen should I have?
Honestly, it’s completely up to you. While most people choose an even amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s not necessary. On average I’d say that 5-6 on each side is typical.
How do you handle uneven (uneven amount of groomsmen and bridesmaids) bridal parties?
I handle uneven bridal parties the same way I handle even bridal parties. There’s just an uneven amount. Sometimes, to create a more even look, I’ll put them in a “boy,girl, boy, girl, boy” pose. I typically provide both kinds of images to the bride and groom and they can choose which set up they like more (if we haven’t already discussed this beforehand).
What if the guys are not into photos?
Usually, guys are not huge fans of getting their picture made. I realize that and so I typically “make fun” of them to make them laugh and get out of their “I don’t want my picture taken” mood. This usually helps and I’m able to get some genuine smiles out of them. If they’re just really upset and not amused by me, its not my fault and I have to just do my best at getting a good portrait and leave it at that. I document the moment as is and I can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do.
Is the flower girl and ring bearer included?
I always include the flower girl and ring bearer in at least 1-2 formal shots with the entire bridal party but then I let them leave and go to the reception to be with their parents. They tend to get tired easily and fussy so I always photograph them first and let them go quickly so they don’t get upset.
What if the bridal party wants to do a pose they saw on pinterest?
Sure! I’m totally fine with that. All my brides know that photos they see on Pinterest are great ideas (most of them I’m already aware of and have done before) but sometimes its something I’ve never seen before and I’m happy to take any photo they’d like to have (within reason). This is always discussed with me beforehand so I can prepare for the few “must have” shots if need be. However, most of my brides trust me completely and let my creative mind wander to create the most beautiful and unique images for their particular wedding. Because like I said before, no bridal party is the same!
What if I have a guy as my maid of honor?
You can have whoever you want as your maid of honor…guy or girl. What I typically do in this situation is do a few photos with the guy along with the women bridesmaids and then have the guy step out so I can get some of just the ladies. Again, this can be discussed before the wedding so there are no surprises.