Getting your wedding family portraits, which we also know as family formals captured, is important for your wedding album. Most times, these pictures feature your immediate family members and grandparents, friends and other loved ones.
I recommend scheduling the group and family portraits straight after the wedding ceremony because at this time all your guests will naturally follow you before everyone starts wandering around the venue. Group photographs may take a long time, and it can get very tiring. No one wants that. That’s why in this article, we discuss how your family portraits and group photos can go smoothly and quickly.
The best number of groups to have overall is about 10-13 groups. This number allows for a manageable timeline, as each group typically takes about 3 minutes to gather, ensure everyone is present, and capture the perfect shot. Numbering your groups provides a clear structure for both the wedding photographer and your guests, making the group photo session efficient and enjoyable for everyone involved.
You will also need to take into account extra time if you would like a group photo of everyone. So, for example, 13 groups including a group of everyone will take on average 45 minutes. This is something to consider when planning the wedding day schedule as we don’t want to make the guests feel rushed or overlooked. I wouldn’t recommend having more than 14 groups because it gets too long and tiring for the guests as well as you, the couple.
Here is an example of a group list that I recommend:
2. First partner’s entire family (usually the bigger family)
3. First partner’s immediate family
4. Second partner’s entire family
5. Second partner’s immediate family
6. Both sets of parents
7. Both partners’ bridal/groomsmen party
8. First partner’s bridal/groomsmen party
9. Second partner’s bridal/groomsmen party
10. All friends
When creating the shot list for your wedding photographer, names are always the best to go with. Using general boxes like “The bride’s uncle” could cause problems if there is more than one, for instance. You also give your wedding photographer a chance to familiarise him or her with the guests’ names. So rather than writing “The couple and the bride’s uncle and aunt,” go for “The couple and Uncle Mark and Aunt Marge.”
This makes it easier for your UK wedding photographer to let who will be next in the shot with you know. For larger groups, include guests’ names. For example, group 1 – Bride and Groom with both sets of parents (John, Charlotte, Nancy, Brad), group 2 – Bride and Bridesmaids (Amber, Emily, Kellie, Jessica).
Having a family member who knows everyone working with your wedding photographer for the portraits is the best. That way, they can point out all the people on your list in time for the photographs. This is better than having the wedding photographer only call out names, as this does not always work. People could be distracted and not hear on time.
The best person is someone with a strong voice, who knows most of the people and who is not taking care of young children at the wedding. I also recommend having at least two appointed people to help with the groups if it’s a large wedding. They’ll be able to split getting everyone together faster between them so the formal portraits process goes smoothly.
If you have family members with disabilities or grandparents who use wheelchairs, for instance, please tell your UK wedding photographer ahead of time. This way, they’ll keep them in mind when choosing a location for your family portraits. You don’t want to have your wedding photographer choose a perfect place and have to change it because your family member can’t make it there.
Letting your wedding photographer know if any family members have mental disabilities is also important. This way, they can find ways to work with that during your family portraits. With your help, your wedding photographer will learn the best way to make the experience pleasant and enjoyable.
Last but not least is family drama. There are many different kinds of family drama that could affect your wedding portraits. Some of them could be friction between divorced parents or even the bride and groom’s families.
Whatever the situation, the first step is to give your UK wedding photographer a heads-up. That way, you and them can decide on what works best for your kind of family drama. It could include ensuring both parents are not in the same photos or taking pictures with different families at different times. You want to do what is best for everyone and your family photos despite the drama.
The second step is to have a candid conversation with your family members. Let them know how important these photos are to you and that you’d love it if everybody gets along for them. An honest conversation like this can often make a world of difference. Best of luck!
Wedding planning can be very overwhelming and stressful. But every bride wants to have a beautiful wedding which everyone will remember. Veronika Joy Fine Art Photography & Film creates unique photographs and videos with an artistic touch, so every bride can feel proud of her memories that won’t be forgotten.
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