Taking formal family photos on your wedding day does NOT have to be stressful! Let me tell you right now though, that it can be if you’re not prepared. The last thing you want is someone taking charge and asking for extra family photos, and then suddenly eating into your portrait or cocktail hour time! Or having to run off to cocktail hour to chase down grandma for a picture with her. I always assure my couples that taking family photos on your wedding day is a BREEZE if you have a family photo list! That’s why I’ve helped create this blog post on how to make your family photo list for your wedding day!
I send all of my couples a questionnaire about 1-2 months before their wedding day to collect some important info the day of. This has things like emergency contact information, vendor information, any last minute details, and the ever so important family formal list!
This is where you’ll write out all the family photo combinations you want me to capture on your wedding day. I tell my couples to let me know each person’s first name, and who they are. This helps move things along even faster the day of the wedding. Instead of pointing at someone and being like “hey you in the blue dress,” I can just call them by name! This always makes family have a more enjoyable experience as well!
I love taking all kinds of candid and fun photos throughout the wedding day, but honestly, the family photos are the ones I know mom and dad are going to look at right away and frame forever.
It’s important to know when creating your family list with your wedding day timeline, each combination of photos takes anywhere from 60-90 seconds to set up and take. I recommend having about 15-20 minutes reserved after the ceremony for family photos. Whenever you have the option, I recommend doing them before the ceremony!
Because of the time constraints on wedding days, I always recommend couples keep their family list to immediate families. This would include parents, grandparents, siblings, and if your siblings have spouses and/or children.
Not everyone has the same size families, so think about who all is in your immediate family that you would frame a photo with. For larger families or couples who have large extended families, I recommend doing any extended or additional group photos at the reception.
Most of the time, extended family members will wander straight off to cocktail hour anyways, so this avoids the problem of having to go look for them and saves you SO much time! If you want an extended family formal portrait with your cousins or favorite aunt, make sure you let them know AHEAD of the wedding day!
Partner A’s Family Photo List
Partner B’s Family Photo List
Combined Family photos
Small edits can be made to a combination list like this one. Just remember additional combinations that won’t be hanging on your wall for 10+ years can be taken more casually at cocktail hour or your reception. Just let me know their names or what the grouping is and we will make it happen!
I hope this blog post helps you feel at ease going into family formals for your wedding day! Have any other blog post tips you want to see? Comment below to let me know!
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