One of the major things you start thinking about when it comes to wedding plans is WHO you want to be there to celebrate with you and your main squeeze on your wedding day. Most couples have to be careful with who they invite so that their guest list because that will affect the overall cost of their wedding. Also, depending on which venue you’ve reserved, the ceremony and reception spaces have limitations on how many people can fit into those particular areas.
Since you’ve carefully selected your guests, I’m guessing you want to make sure you get a photo with them on your wedding day, right? Of course! No matter what size your list is (whether it is a small or large wedding), when it comes time to taking those photos, things can get crazy in a blink of an eye if you aren’t prepared or if the photographer doesn’t know who is supposed to be in photos or with who!
My biggest tip is this: CREATE A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE GROUPINGS that you want photographed with all their names listed. (Keep scrolling to the end to see a detailed list to get you started!)
As fast-paced as weddings are, there just is not enough time to get an INDIVIDUAL photo of you and your fiancé with every single guest in attendance. GROUPINGS are key! This will help family photo time to run a lot more smoothly since the photographer will have a list to go by and work through. It will also minimize the chances of forgetting a photo combination that you really wanted! Having a family photo list ready to go helps speed up the process and keep the stress levels down!!
Your guests, whether they know it or not, will love that you have this all organized too. This way you can also let your family/friends know that they are in the important and need to be there for family photos. You can even give them this list so they know what to expect. If you are calling out guest’s names on the fly it is almost guaranteed that people will chime in and say, “Well, what about so-and-so?” and you’ll end up having some people in photos that you would’ve preferred to be in a separate grouping or not at all.
Shouting out names loudly trying to be heard over the small talk that your guests are making while they wait around for their turn is, without a doubt, a recipe for stress! When your guests know that there is a list your photographer is using, they will automatically know that things are under control and moving as efficiently as possible.
Also, the more efficient you are with your family photo time, the more photos you can squeeze in during that time block! I ask for a list of these photo groupings from my couples in a very detailed questionnaire that has been so helpful! If your photographer doesn’t ask for one, don’t hesitate to give one to them anyway. I PROMISE they will be grateful for it when the time comes!
Ok, now that we know lists are important, (I love lists and scratching items off!), now we talk about who makes the family photo list.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to planning your family wedding photos, I am here to help! And the more specific you can be the easier it is and the less chance of missing a grouping. Here is the most common family wedding photo groupings as a starting out point:
(But be sure to list their names so your photographer can call them out easily.)
Couple with parents
Bride with Mom
Bride with Dad
Groom with Mom
Groom with Dad
Couple with grandparents
Couple with immediate families
Couple with siblings and siblings’ spouses/families
3 or 4 generation photo
Couple with their pet?
If you want a large group photo of all your guests, I do recommend doing that right after the ceremony at the ceremony location. Everyone will still be there and it will be easier to communicate with them because of your photographer may be able to use the microphone.
Please believe me when I say that having a Family Photos List is a win-win situation! Get the prep work done and enjoy your day!!