Your wedding day will go by in a flash. We can tell you from experience that most day-of schedules are packed to the brim. You only get one chance to have your dream wedding, so you are going to include everything you think you might want, right? What that means, though, is that your marriage celebration can end up being a bit of a blur. The good news, though, is that you can still create lasting memories that you will treasure forever. How? By finding time to have moments with the people you care about most. Tell your mom and your sisters how much it means to you that they are there. Share a happy cry with your maid of honor. And of course, be sure to take some fun wedding party photos that will make you smile even years from now.
Before we get into why it is important to get fun pictures of you with your wedding party, let’s clarify what we are referring to. Or perhaps we should start by clarifying what we do not mean by “fun bridesmaids photos.” We are not talking about the goofy posed pictures that we might take of you and your girls during the formal portraits part of your day. You know, when your photographers say, “Ok, everybody, do something silly now!” Yes, those can be very enjoyable, and you should absolutely do them if you like. But in the end, there is nothing particularly spontaneous or genuine about those shots. There will always be something that feels a little artificial about them. And that means they might lose a bit of specialness for you as the years go by.
No, when we say “fun wedding party pictures,” we are talking about images that show you having a great time. We mean “fun” as in having fun, as opposed to “fun” as in cute. In 20 years, you will want something that reminds you of why they are your friends in the first place. Something that says a little something about your relationship with them and the shared memories you have. Something that captures your personalities and spirit. Think pictures of you getting crazy on the dance floor, for example. Or images of you and them knocking back a celebratory drink at the bar. Or a shot like this one of all of you posing with some fun photo booth props.
You might have noticed that the examples we just gave you were all from a wedding reception. That was intentional on our part. Why? Because your reception will be hands down the best time for getting the kind of fun wedding party photos that we are talking about.
Think about it for a minute. If you have ever been a bridesmaid before, then you know that the getting-ready portion of the day is a little stressful. Even brides who have everything covered and who seem outwardly calm are not fully relaxed. At a minimum, they are a little nervous about what is coming next. And who can blame them? Wanting everything to go perfectly is an absolutely natural feeling to have on your wedding day! That little bit of tension in the air — no matter how small it is — does make it hard for a bride to really have fun with her wedding party, though. So getting fun pictures with your bridesmaids while getting ready is not really a great option.
Getting them does not get any easier during the subsequent parts of your day either. Forget about your ceremony, of course. That is about you marrying the love of your life, and that is it! Though (as we said earlier) the formal portraits session can be a good time to do goofy posed pictures, it is not great for getting genuine shots of you all having fun. For the most part, your mind is somewhere else — halfway between the emotions of exchanging your vows and the desire to get to the party. With all that going on, you might be only half aware of who is even there at that moment. Your couples portrait session is really just for you and your new spouse, naturally. It is a time for the two of you to spend a few moments together and to enjoy each other’s company in relative privacy.
In our experience, the reception is the first time a bride can finally just relax and have some fun. There is nothing more to worry about — all the important stuff is done. There is no more fretting over planning, who is supposed to be where when or whether everyone is happy. You can just enjoy the moment and being married. And that makes a reception a perfect time to get some fun shots with those closest to you in the world.
The picture featured here does a better job of showing why fun bridal party photos are great than any explanation that we could offer you. From one look, you can tell that we took it at this bride’s wedding reception. (As it turns out, this image is from a wedding at Bluemont Vineyard, one of the loveliest barn/winery wedding venues in Northern Virginia.)
More importantly, though, you can instantly see that she and her bridesmaids are having fun. The looks on their faces make it clear that they are relaxed and enjoying themselves. They are also clearly in a playful mood, as you can see from the fact that they had raided the photo booth props and were wearing them around. And that happiness, that joy that they have being around each other, is exactly what makes a photo like this one that all of them will still smile at in 30 years.
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