As a photographer I know just how important family photos on your wedding day are to not only you but your parents and relatives! So I am here to help you with some tips to maximize your family photos the best you can!
1. WHEN TO DO THEM - I always suggest doing the family photos right after the ceremony and as close to the ceremony space as we can, if there is a nice shaded area that is ideal! If you do them right after the ceremony everyone is still together and you do not have to start wrangling in people from all different areas. This way you can get the done and send them on their way to enjoy cocktail hour and socializing!
2. PUT SOMEONE IN CHARGE - It is a great idea to put a bridesmaid or family member in charge of helping with the list. As much as I wish I knew all of your family, I don't! So giving that task to someone who does can help get people on deck and ready to go!
3. KIDS & ELDERS GO FIRST - When you're planning your list don't have grandparents or little kids wait too long. Lets try and get those ones out of the way especially if its HOT!
4. FAMILY DYNAMICS - Lets face it, nobody has a "perfect" cookie cutter family. It will always help to help me (of your photographer) know if there is any awkwardness between separated members, or if there are members who don't want to be photographed together etc. That way we can be as smooth as possible on your day to avoid an uncomfortable moments.
5. PEEL BACK THE LAYERS - I like to start with a larger grouping and "peel" off as needed. This makes it move along very smoothly and quick! As an example, say we start with your side, your parents, siblings and grandparents, we do one group shot with everyone, and then we remove your grandparents, and then we remove your siblings, and so on and so forth. This way it is just a dwindling down effect and nothing gets missed! As each family is finished we can dismiss them off to cocktail hour feeling comfortable that we have what we need and we wont need to call them back over!
6. ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER - It is easiest to start with one side and move to the next. So we can do all of your side of the family, and then a couple quick overlapping photos (ie: your parents with your partners parents, and both sets of siblings etc) and then your family can be all done and we can move onto the other side of the family.
7. WHICH FAMILY MEMBERS TO CHOOSE - Deciding on who should be in your photos can be tough! I get it! But I do highly suggest you keep this shot list to grandparents, parents and siblings. If you have aunts and uncles, best friends, old neighbours etc that you want a photo with that is always possible for your photographer to grab at the
7. ENTIRE GROUP SHOT - Sometimes you may want a huge group photo of all of your guests right after the ceremony. These can be hard to wrangle and depending on how many guests you have this shot can take up to 20-30 minutes to arrange. If you do want this shot that is totally fine! But please make enough time in your timeline for it and have the officiant or commissioner TELL all of your guests that this is happening and where to go. This way no body leaves and they go directly to where we need them to! Also, do not spring this photo on your photographers, they need time to plan for something like this so make sure you tell them ahead of time if this is a photo that you want!
All of these things help this section of the day run super smooth, fast, and efficiently! Plus your family members are super happy that we can get through these quickly and they will definitely thank you later for that!
Hope these tips help!