Pictures of you with your family and close friends are going to be some of the ones you treasure most from your wedding day. In fact, after the images of you and your future spouse experiencing the most significant moments from your marriage celebrations, they will probably be the ones you appreciate most in 30 years. And perhaps none more so than those that feature you and your maid of honor. Whether she is your sister, cousin or best friend, you chose her to stand by your side for a reason. And you are going to want to remember every smile, every laugh and every tear you will share with each other. Which is why we are going to pay particular attention to creating meaningful bride and maid of honor photos like this one.
When you are thinking about what pictures you want to be sure to get with your maid of honor, it can be tempting to trawl through the many wedding blogs and websites out there looking for “must-have maid of honor photos.” We absolutely encourage you to do that! It is always a good idea to look for inspiration.
At the same time, we urge you to keep one thing in mind. In our experience, most of the suggested must-have shots you find out there are staged shots. What we mean by that is “candid” images for which the bride and her maid of honor have quite obviously posed. Think pictures of you holding out your hand to show off your engagement or wedding ring while she pretends to gasp in awe, for example.
Don’t get us wrong! Those can be lots of fun! But unless the two of you are great actors, the pictures are always going to look and feel a little forced. And that is going to make them less impactful, less powerful and in the end, less meaningful to you. So as you compile a list of “must-have” shots, we encourage you to think about this differently.
Start by considering what makes a picture meaningful to you. Obviously, the person or people in it have to matter to you. Photos of strangers are not going to move your emotional needle much. It also helps if the moment captured is important to you in some way. A picture of you and your future spouse exchanging rings is probably going to mean a lot more to you than one of them putting their shoes on. Finally, an image is going to be more meaningful to you if it has a significant emotional content. A photograph of you laughing, crying or shouting in celebration is going to affect you more than one of you smiling and posing for the camera.
So we encourage you to not think about what staged shots you need to get with your maid of honor. Instead, think about building into your timeline some general scenarios that put you and her in close contact. That involve her in important moments on your wedding day. That underscore the bond that unites the two of you. Then you can just relax and let things happen as they will. Trust us when we tell you that the emotions that you both feel will result in some really meaningful bride and maid of honor photos.
A great example of the kind of scenario we are talking about is having your maid of honor help you into your dress. (Or if your attire is the kind that requires several assistants, having her see to the final details and adjustments.) That is obviously a significant moment on your wedding day. You will be feeling strong emotions -- excitement, nervousness, joy -- and you will want to share those with your family and friends. At the same time, getting into the dress is a very intimate moment. It is personal, and you will definitely want those closest to you by your side for it. So it is a perfect time and place to involve your maid of honor.
And not surprisingly, you are almost certain to get some really lovely maid of honor and bride photos like the one featured here. Images that are rich with emotion and meaning. The kind that will warm your heart even 30 years from now.
We took it at a destination wedding in Ohio just after the maid of honor had finished helping her sister into her wedding dress. As a finishing touch, the former brought a beautiful necklace around the latter’s neck and attached it at the back. It was a moment that was simple but very, very meaningful to both sisters. You can see that in the smile crossing the bride’s face at that instant. She is clearly happy -- happy to be getting married, happy to be in her wedding dress. But at that moment, she is happiest that her sister/maid of honor is there sharing it with her. And no staged picture can give you the kind of memories that this image will give her in the future.
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