For the wedding day to run as smoothly as humanly possible, a lot of planning is required. I mean, a lot. More than you’d imagine.
Nothing happens by itself. The day has to be coordinated. That is why I’m writing a series of blog posts filled with all my best advice for couples planning the best wedding ever. This is the golden stuff that I’ve learned during my ten years as a wedding photographer. Want to get the best inside info on how to do wedding day family formals and group photos quick and stress-free? Read on!
I talk about this with all my couples early on in the planning process—the importance of taking time to photograph the different parts and elements of the wedding day. I’m not just there to photograph all your friends and family, though they are the most important. I’m there to document everything around YOU––the couple— and the relationships between you and your closest ones. I’m also there to photograph all the details you poured so much time into. And of course, ALL the laughter and happy tears.
Hire a photographer you trust
That’s why it’s so important you hire a photographer you trust and whose visual language you love. Give your wedding photographer complete freedom to document the day, let them do what they do best.
A list of photos can be a bit stifling to our creativity and result in not-so-original work. The only list we need is a list of the persons you want to include in the family formals and the group photos. I recommend you keep the list of or formal images short. It will take away time and opportunity for your photographer to shoot the candids as they unfold. Choose your closest family members to be included in the formal group photos. And have another list of extras that you want to have done if time allows.
Let the remaining photos happen spontaneously and “in the moment.” It’ll give you the most memorable photographs from your day (and night!). You won’t miss the twenty-four group photos you first had in mind. Trust me, no one wants to spend that much time on that many group constellations. Just to get an idea of exactly how much time it’ll take, each group will be at least three to five minutes, and you’ll quickly realize that’s not how you’d want to spend your cocktail hour time. Wouldn’t you rather want to be hanging out and talking with your guests?
My Suggestions For Family Formals
My suggestions for formal group photos would be something like this. (can always be adjusted)
- The bride and groom with their respective parents
- The bride and groom with their parents, grandparents
- The bride and groom with their parents, grandparents, and siblings
- The bride and groom with the bridal party
- The bride with bridesmaids
- The groom with groomsmen
I hope this will be useful for you when you are planning the best wedding ever. Have any questions? Leave a comment!