4 Things All Bridesmaids Wish They Would Have Known

You’ve been asked to be in a wedding — what an incredible honor! Of course, your gut reaction is a squealing “YES!,” but now that you’re in, here are some things you’re really gonna need to know.


1. Finances. You are gonna need to budget, stat!

The bridesmaid gown or tux rental, the bachelorette/bachelor party (and if they decide on a party bus or not …), the wedding shower, the wedding itself with all of the various travel / hotel expenses, and then hair and makeup on the big day.

It’s good to mentally prepare, and also budget for this big (yet oh-so-worth-it! commitment). Make sure to communicate with the entire wedding party and set a budget that works for everyone.

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We reached out to one of the bridesmaids in a wedding we recently had the honor to shoot. Here’s what she had to say:

“As a bridesmaid, it’s important to know and expect the financial responsibilities … once you’re involved, if you can’t afford things, it makes it stressful for the rest of the group and isn’t fair to the bride.”

2. You’re going to wear a LOT of different hats

It takes a lot more than just “showing up” to be in the wedding party. You’re going to be in a major support role, too. You’re going to be a therapist, the snack fetcher, the pillar for the bride to stand on when she’s so stressed she can’t stand it (especially if you’re in the Maid/Matron of Honor or Best Man role!).

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I’m going to tell you a story from a wedding of a best friend of mine.

Her husband couldn’t find his tux on their wedding day.

I saw a panicked look on his face (seriously, and hour to go until it was ‘walk down the aisle’ time). I asked him what was wrong.

“Christine, I can’t find my tux.”

Now, did I panic? No. Did I let the bride know something was amiss? Hell no. She was blissfully ignorant of the entire situation (as it should be).

I went into her room, poured her another glass of champagne, and stepped out into the hall.

“You’ve looked in your hotel room, everywhere?”

“Yes!” he said.

“I think you should go look at the house (her parents lived close by).”

“The house? I don’t think it’s there.”

“If it’s not here, that’s your last option!”

I convinced him to go look.

I walked back into the hotel room to a suspicious bride.

“Where is he?”

“Just getting ready. A little hungover from last night.”

That didn’t seem too crazy to her, and by the time she walked down the aisle, she saw her grinning groom in his tux (yes, it was at the house).

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As a wedding party member, it is your job to put out the fires. It is not the bride’s job. It is your job to help her pee when her dress is too big. It is your job to hug her when she gets emotional that she’s about to start this new phase of her life!

Also, it is YOUR job to support the decisions she makes. Don’t make her life harder than it is. Don’t like the dress she picked? It’s not your wedding, so make sure to be supportive of her decisions, and let her know she looks stunning in it!

Hate the bridesmaids dress? Don’t ever let her know.

Think the shoes are tacky? She doesn’t!

As one of our recent bridesmaids put it: “Realizing it’s not your wedding, it’s your friend’s, so you need to be supportive of what they need and want, and help make decisions easier, not harder!”

3. Something is going to go wrong

This ties in well with my previous story. But it’s not just at that wedding. Something will happen at every wedding. Seriously. I’ve been in a dozen myself, and have personally been the photographer for more than I can count.

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There have been at least 3 weddings where the pastor was late. In one of those cases, he told the bride only a few days before he couldn’t make it at all. In that case, the best man stepped up and got ordained online so he could officiate! Now, that’s commitment!

I once shot a wedding where the best man dropped out the week before.

I’ve been in a wedding where a bridesmaid showed up, didn’t like how her dress fit, and then literally drove back home and never came back for the ceremony.

I once had a groom who was uncertain if he was going to be able to do the mother-son dance because of family drama.

I don’t think I have ever shot a single wedding where the ceremony started right on time.

Things happen. Life happens. It’s all going to be ok!

As a member of the wedding party, try to deal with as much as you can. The bride and groom seriously don’t need anymore stress. And, if it can’t be helped, keep that champagne flowing!

4. After the wedding, your job isn’t quiiite over! 

All those gifts need to get packed up in someone’s vehicle! Also, sometimes cleanup is involved at the end of the reception.

Even months after the wedding, the couple may want some help picking out photos for their wedding album (although you need to give the photographer ample time to edit them first)!

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There’s so much that goes into a wedding day. It’s a whirlwind, but it’s worth it! Know your commitments, be there for the bride and groom, and celebrate these two who are dedicating their lives to each other!

Still in the market for a wedding photographer? Make sure to reach out to us, here, or message us on Facebook! We have home bases in KC and St. Louis, and also travel!


Willows & Redbuds: A Gorgeous Maternity Shoot At Forest Park

The third time is a charm! Ally and I had to re-schedule this shoot twice — once due to it snowing, despite it being 70 degrees the day before, and once due to a tornado. Such is the life of a photographer in the Midwest! But it was worth the wait — everything is in bloom right now! Plus, the wind LOVED Ally — it kept blowing her flowy floral jacket perfectly.


I met up with the lovebirds, Ally & Aaron, at Forest Park in St. Louis today (Kansas City Photography is in both KC & St. Louis!). Ally’s original due date was in May, but her doctor recently bumped it to the end of April. We are going to be meeting Mr. Jaxton even sooner — hooray!


Ally met Aaron six years ago while working at Syberg’s in downtown St. Louis. It took a few years, but Aaron finally worked up the courage to “officially” ask Ally to be his two years ago.


The couple brought along their pups Gonzo and Wilson. Gonzo is super old, and realllly blind, but he was a good sport. Thankfully, they brought a favorite squeaky toy that really helped get the pups to look at me! That’s one of the tips on our blog post about shoots with pets!


You can tell Gonzo is not impressed. Or he is just squintin’ ’cause he can’t see anything. Poor dude! It also helped they brought along an assistant, AKA the sisters of all sisters — Jessica!


One of my favorite things to do during shoots is crack jokes. Then, I get reactions like this:


It doesn’t help that I am good at getting people to laugh, builds up my ego a little too much! Hahaha.


Congrats to the happy couple!

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The Calm Before The Storm: Jenn & James’ Maternity Shoot!

We got hit really hard with severe weather Monday night. We even had to go to the basement at the wee hours of the morning when a tornado warning was issued for our area. But the good news is — I got a shoot in before all that hail hit! Meet Jenn, James, and baby Genevieve (she’s still bakin’)!


Jenn had a whole Pinterest board for me to look through, and I noticed a lot of those pins were silhouette shots. Some of my absolute favorite shots are silhouettes!! Done!



Not gonna lie, James supeeeer didn’t wanna do the shoot. He just got the Nintendo Switch (the last on in Missouri), so he had Zelda brain. But regardless, he was a great sport, and we got some amazing shots!



You could see how much they love each other just by the photos!



Jenn is very fit. She goes to the gym 6 days a week. It was important to her that we incorporate some workout shots into the shoot. Her favorite hashtag is #fitbump. She lives it!


I saved the best shot for last — this sums up Jenn’s pregnancy. She has been SO hungry, especially for sweets. Since my oldest daughter, Lily, just got her Girl Scout cookies in to deliver … we had quite a few cookie props for Jenn to use!


Congrats, James and Jenn!!

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A Day At The Park

I met with Sarah, Shane, and their adorable family this weekend in Parkville. They picked this location based off of our Top 10 Photo Locations in KC post. It was a gorgeous day — in the 70s — in February!!


Their three sweet girls were a riot. They didn’t want to say “cheeeese,” but we could get them to say “Anna,” “Elsa,” and “Frozen.”


At one point, they were dancing on the bridge singing “Let it gooooo, let it gooo!” How cute is that?


Since it was so nice, it was really busy — and joggers kept trying to interrupt our bridge shots. But we still got some great ones!


We walked past the bridge to look at the water, and then decided we may get our youngest princess Aarabella to smile if we used the swings. Who complains about swinging? No one, that’s who!


A gorgeous day for a gorgeous shoot!


An Ode to Love: Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s the day of love! I know some people grumble over Valentine’s Day — but the history of Saint Valentine is based on love, and I just love love!


Weddings are one of my favorite types of shoots. It’s a day focused on two people — in love! They want to spend the rest of their lives together, and they want the world to know it.


They invite their friends and their families to come and recognize two lives becoming one. They want the world to witness their commitment to each other. How awesome is that?


The morning of the wedding — the bride is all jitters. The clock seems to be moving 5 minutes too fast, there is so much hustle and bustle with the hair, makeup, jewelry, champagne.



I threw in the champagne. What’s a busy morning without some kind of brew, amirite?


The time comes when the bride puts on her dress. She puts on the veil. She takes a few deep breaths when she sees herself in the mirror. It’s all so real now.


She walks down the aisle and he sees her. He tries not to tear up, but he does anyway. His groomsmen can’t even make fun of him — because they are, too. But those tears quickly turn into elated smiles.


They say their vows in front of everyone. They exchange rings as a symbol of their never-ending love. They seal it all with a kiss.



Now, the couple walks down the aisle together. It may have only been 30 minutes, but something is different. She is now his Mrs. He is now her Mr. Forever! Their commitment was witnessed by everyone they hold dear, both present on Earth and up above.


Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you celebrate, and give, love today! And here’s to not running into angry anti-Valentine’s Day dinosaurs!


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