A Wedding is a Celebration and
a Family Reunion
The family photo list can be just as daunting as the seating chart but hopefully we can help you with some tips to help the planning go smoothly.
The first thing we always say is to make sure that both of your families are involved in the list. Your parents will know what family will be offended if left out as well as some configurations you might not think of. The list can be overwhelming, but as long as we have it, it can go pretty smoothly.
We aim to have photos take no longer than 30 minutes. In most cases, groupings take around 3 minutes each. Larger groups are more time consuming and will add to that. For example, two groups of seven will take less time than one group of fourteen.
When and where to take them?
Photos can occur before the wedding if it is limited to immediate family only. Once you add grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, we recommend doing the photos after the ceremony. With all families, it never fails that someone is running late, and when you add that many people to the mix, the risk of stress and delay will increase. Better to be safe than sorry.
Another tip is to have the photos taken at the ceremony site. This will keep everyone in one spot and avoid any issues that will come with traffic and transporting everyone.
Let your families know that they will have access to the photos so there is no need to worry about having someone take them as we are. This will also help speed things along. It is hard to imagine, but getting all of those eyes to look in one spot can take a bit LOL!
In most situations, we are given around a dozen groups. We can accommodate more than that, but we will need to build it into your timeline. If your bridal party needs to be working while you do your family photos (loading bus, etc) let us know and we will move them to the top of the list. Otherwise we recommend you have the officiant (if photo is wanted), grandparents, then children. These individuals are usually in need of being moved quickly through the list.
The groupings listed below are also on the Family Photo List questionnaire that you will receive.
- Bride + Groom
- Bride + Groom w/ Officiant
- Bride + Groom w/ Flower Girls & Ring Bearers
- Bride + Groom w/ Wedding Party
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Grandparents
- Bride w/ Bride's Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings (including spouses and their children)
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents & Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents & Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents & Siblings (including spouses and their children)
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Parents
- Bride + Groom w/ Bride's Siblings and their spouses
- Bride w/ Bride's Parents
- Bride w/ Bride's Mother
- Bride w/ Bride's Father
- Bride w/ Bride's Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Grandparents
- Groom w/ Groom's Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings (including spouses and their children)
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents & Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents & Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents & Siblings (including spouses and their children)
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Parents
- Bride + Groom w/ Groom's Siblings and their spouses
- Groom w/ Groom's Parents
- Groom w/ Groom's Mother
- Groom w/ Groom's Father
- Groom w/ Groom's Siblings
Communication is Key
It is important to remember that weddings are also like family reunions and many of your guests haven't seen each other in years. As happy as they are to be a part of your wedding day, they are also happy to be reliving old memories with loved ones. This is why communication is so crucial. Once you have your list decided on, notify those families and let them know when the photos will be happening and that we will be able to move quickly if they are all there. This will allow them to get back to visiting as fast as we can. If you are not having a receiving line, suggesting that family involved in the photos stay in their seats after the ceremony. This will keep everyone where we need them and avoid any wandering, restroom visits or outside breaks. Your officiant can be a great help in the matter too. They can announce a reminder to family and give them the basic directions they need.
It is a common misconception that doing "just a large group" will be easier than breaking them up. Large groupings are very difficult to manage and sort out. We have things to consider such as height, the smaller family groupings, kids, and elderly. The biggest issue with large groups is just the time. It can slip away quickly when trying to map out the members and their relationship dynamics.
Any group is fine with us! You list it, we will call it out and photograph it. We stick to your list and your list only. If, during photos, family asks/suggests another photo, we will first ask your permission.