How to Prep Your Wedding Party

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The Blog and the Bride

Standing up in a wedding as a bridesmaid or groomsman is a tremendous honor, one reserved for the closest friends and family, those whose friendships have been an indispensable part of the bride or groom’s history.

I remember how full my heart felt each time I was asked to be a bridesmaid or a personal attendant for a friend, a cousin, or a future sister! I remember crying tears of joy as I asked my bridesmaids to stand with me on my wedding day.  

As meaningful as those moments are, there’s a whole other set of responsibilities that come with being a bridesmaid or a groomsman. As wedding photographers, Kaleb and I see what a huge difference it makes when bridesmaids and groomsmen are knowledgeable and prepared to carry out their responsibilities on a wedding day!  

Bride and bridesmaids in chicago

So as a bride or groom, how do you prepare your wedding party for their wedding day responsibilities?  

1. Communicate

Communicating with your wedding party in advance about what you expect from them is key! Because they’re your closest friends and family, they’ll likely be eager to help you in any way they can!  

Here’s a few key times/things to communicate to your wedding party:  

What to wear

As soon as you know what your wedding party is wearing, communicate what they need to do or purchase in writing. Give them a deadline or a date to have purchased all their wedding attire. Include specific directions for shoes and accessories as well! (Pro tip: Guys, don’t forget those tie clasps!)

Important dates

If you want your wedding party to attend your bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner, etc., make sure you communicate the dates, times, and locations of each event in writing. Communicate those details far in advance and then send reminders to the wedding party when the dates are close.

Wedding day timeline

Make sure your wedding party knows where they’re supposed to be and when on the wedding day! They should have a copy of your wedding day timeline that includes times, addresses/locations, and any relevant notes. Relevant notes include things such as transportation, cost involved for any timeline events, items to bring, time to be fully dressed, time to eat, etc.

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2. Delegate

The less you have to worry about on your wedding day, the better!  Choose trustworthy members of your wedding party and delegate responsibilities.  

Delegate to Bridesmaids

Some things I would delegate to bridesmaids and/or personal attendants:  bringing an emergency kit (read our post about what to include in your emergency kit HERE), keeping track of the bride’s personal belongings/honeymoon bag, making sure everyone is dressed on time and ready, grabbing flowers, getting the dance floor going, etc.

Delegate to Groomsmen

Some things I would delegate to groomsmen:  keeping track of the groom’s personal belongings/honeymoon bag, making sure everyone is dressed on time and ready, knowing when it’s time to pin boutonnieres, getting the bride and groom a drink at the reception, getting the dance floor going, etc.  

Bridal party in downtown chicago, river and wrigley building

3. Show them the love

Make sure to thank your wedding party for all the time and money they spend on your wedding!  We recommend giving gifts, but more importantly hand written notes either at the rehearsal dinner or on the morning of your wedding!

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Becky Dean

I'm a co-founder and lead photographer at Pen and Lens.

Wedding photography is my heartbeat. I love capturing the interactions between the bride and her tribe as they get ready together, the look on a groom’s face when he FINALLY sees his bride for the first time, and the way a dad wraps his arms around his baby girl on her wedding day. Bride and groom portraits make my heart jump and I cry on almost every wedding day.

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