The Photographer as Bridesmaid
Your friend/sister gets engaged. You obviously are delighted for her and show genuine interest in how he proposed and make all the right oohs and aahs over her ring, but there is a burning question on your mind, distracting you, eating away at you, until finally she asks that all important question. Will you be my bridesmaid? Yay! Leap for joy, of course I will!!!
I have been a bridesmaid twice now. Fair enough, I’ve got nothing on Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses but I know how special it is to be the chosen one. A Bridesmaid ☺
The first time I was asked to be a Bridesmaid was when my best friend became engaged. We had lived together while we were studying photography and on the rare days that we did not make it into college, we would prance around in our apartment, me wearing her communion veil and her wearing a knickers on her head. I’m not sure we were pretending to get married but I did love wearing that veil. Eibhlin’s was an outdoor wedding, on one of our rarest of summer days, the ceremony taking place looking out across the Atlantic at the Blasket Islands. It was a mix of traditional Irish & Indian cultures with a bouncy castle. There was only one rule at Eibhlin’s wedding. No adults in the bouncy castle. Worst bridesmaid ever, I ripped my bridesmaid dress in the bouncy castle…..
More recently, my sister asked me and my younger sister to be her bridesmaids. I was over the moon and determined to be a much better bridesmaid this time round.
It is such a different experience being a bridesmaid compared to a photographer. I love capturing the build up to the wedding, the tears, the excitement, telling people where they need to be. As a bridesmaid, it felt alien at the start to have someone else come into our environment and watch our every move but I quickly felt comfortable and forgot she was even there as she roamed about capturing all our special moments in the build up to the wedding. Then it was time. Our moment in the spotlight came upon us. I love that feeling of walking down the aisle, all eyes on you. That is, until the bride walks down the aisle after you☺. It was lovely being able to sit and relax and enjoy the ceremony, safe in the knowledge that there was a professional at work and she would capture all the important moments during the ceremony. Doing my best to sit elegantly, my face in a constant smile, I’m thinking about bridesmaids I have captured in the past who have looked bored, reminding myself to have an interested happy expression at all times. It was so refreshing afterwards listening to the photographer giving directions, and just enjoying the moment knowing that this photographer is going to capture you looking your best.
As a photographer I go into every wedding fully prepared, knowing what shots I need to get on the day. Sitting down with a couple prior to their wedding day and discussing what is important to them in their Wedding photography puts them at ease and they can relax in the knowledge that I will capture everything that is important to them. Therefore being a bridesmaid for the day was very different. I was able to relax and enjoy the day and spend quality time chatting and dancing with the other guests.
So which do I prefer? I love both jobs for very different reasons. But it’s not every day you get chosen to be a bridesmaid, so on those days you just have to look your best and let the photographer capture you looking radiant.