It might come as a surprise, but often the most potentially stressful part of the wedding day is family photos! There are often many people to coordinate, and without some thoughtful planning ahead of time, this part of the day can quickly become chaotic and stressful. It doesn’t have to be this way, though! Here are three of my top wedding photography planning tips, as well as why I value this part of the wedding day going smoothly.
My biggest goal for clients is to allow them to be present on their wedding day.
A large part of this includes watching for times that could potentially throw this off. I’m going to share some of my favorite tips on how to have amazing and efficient family photo groupings at your wedding.
1. Make a detailed list for wedding day family photos
This will happen when I send out a detailed wedding questionnaire about 45 days prior to your wedding day. We’ll meet to go over it and plan out your wedding timeline 30 days prior. Within the questionnaire is a section for you to list out your family photo groupings. This is the format I suggest listing them out to ensure no one gets missed:
– David, Nicole, Jim, Pat
– David, Nicole, Terri, Mark
– David, Nicole, Terri, Mark, Jim, Pat
And so on! Getting really nitty gritty in the list making will help the actual shooting of these groupings go smoothly and efficiently. Keep in mind each photo grouping will take about 2-3 minutes.
2. Ask your officiant to announce where family should gather after the ceremony for family photos
My favorite time to take family photos is directly after the ceremony, since everyone in those groupings are likely present. Having your officiant announce that family should remain behind while other guests are dismissed, or communicate where to go if the photos will take place outside or elsewhere, will help you keep everyone together.
3. Have a point person (who knows your family!) help out with the after-the-wedding family photos
It really helps having someone on hand who recognizes family members and can help stage the next grouping. I call out groupings from my list, but sometimes I need extra help gathering family members. Since I don’t know who is who, it goes more quickly when an aunt or a bridesmaid can help point out and gather family members.
These are my top tips on having amazing and efficient family photo groupings at weddings.
There you have it! Three wedding photography planning tips for family photos. These don’t have to be stressful and can be really fun instead! Just plan ahead and remain thoughtful in the list you create, and you’ll have the photos you cherish without the headache of a disorganized photo time.
Be sure to check out another blog post in this wedding photography planning tips series, Planning For The Perfect Details!