May 28, 2024

How to Manage a Large Wedding Party

Planning a wedding is no small feat, especially when you have a large wedding party. Whether it’s considered “large” as in over 10 people in California, or even bigger with 20+ in the South, managing such a sizable group requires extra coordination and patience. If you’re wondering how to manage a large wedding party efficiently to ensure your wedding day goes smoothly, below are some practical tips to keep everyone on track and make those memorable moments picture-perfect.

1. Hair and Makeup Timeline

One of the trickiest parts of the wedding day morning is getting everyone ready on time. To avoid any delays that might cut into your photography time, establish a beauty timeline with your hair and makeup team that ends well before you actually need to be done for photos. This built-in buffer will help accommodate any unforeseen delays, which are so common.

Bride and bridesmaids getting ready for the wedding. Getting ready champagne photo ideas. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

2. The Importance of Punctuality

Let your bridesmaids and groomsmen know how crucial their timeliness is. If people aren’t making efforts to be on time, you could end up wasting valuable portrait time. A friendly reminder during the rehearsal dinner that everyone needs to be on time ensures that you don’t lose out on the photos you want with your group.

3. Choose Responsible People to Be In Charge

Choose 1-2 responsible bridesmaids and groomsmen to act as point people. Their role will be to keep the group attentive and organized throughout the day.

I’ve experienced weddings where the wedding party gets lost in their own conversations and aren’t hearing me direct the group for photos. I truly appreciate those people in the wedding party who assertively get those people in line. Since it can be frustrating when people don’t listen to the photographer, having designated leaders helps maintain order and focus prevents wasted portrait time.

Bride getting into her Martina Liana a-line dress with her bridesmaids wearing mix match dresses in spring colors at Rancho Valencia suite. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

4. Communicate the Importance of Group Photos

During your rehearsal, take a moment to express to your wedding party just how important the group photos are to you. Explain that attentive listening to the photographer’s instructions will significantly expedite the process. Let them know the schedule for photos in advance, and emphasize that they shouldn’t wander off until the photographer says it’s okay.

Most people want these photos over as fast as possible so they can rejoin the party. By listening and paying attention to the photographer, the photos will go much faster and allow everyone to be done sooner.

Wedding party photo with mix match bridesmaid dresses with spring colors and bride with colorful pink bouquet. Rancho Valencia wedding. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

5. Discuss Alcohol Consumption

Weddings and alcohol often go hand-in-hand, but it’s wise to keep the drinking at a responsible level at least until the ceremony and all group portraits are completed. Nothing looks worse in your formal wedding party photos than people who are visibly intoxicated.

Craft cocktails with orange slices from Miho Catering. Flower arrangement with pink peonies, roses, and ranunculus. . Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Managing a large wedding party effectively is all about preparation and clear communication. By setting expectations early and preparing strategically for the big day, you can minimize stress and maximize enjoyment for everyone involved. Remember, the key to a smooth wedding day is not just the planning but also the management. So keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of how to manage a large wedding party.