Tips to Make Family Formal Photos Fast and Easy for Everyone on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions and joyous moments. But amidst the celebration, wrangling family members for formal photos can feel stressful for the bride and family members.

Here are my top tips to make family formal photos fast and easy for everyone on your wedding day enuring everyone has fun and the photographer gets the shots they need.

Step 1: Plan Ahead: Create The Pre-Wedding Family Formal Photos List

  • Create a master list: A few weeks before the wedding, gather your RSVP list and create a shot list of all the family combinations you desire. Include immediate family, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and close friends. Prioritize your must-have photos. As your wedding photographer, I will ask for a wedding shot list at least 2 weeks before your wedding day. I will walk you through creating this least to lesson the stress of creating the list.
  • Share the plan: Communicate the photo list with your photographer well in advance. This helps them plan the flow and allocate sufficient time.
  • Delegate a helper: Enlist a trusted friend or family member who knows everyone well to help round up family members for each photo.

Be Strategic with the Family Formal Photos List

  • Schedule the family formal photos list strategically: Allocate a specific time slot for family photos, ideally after the ceremony during cocktail hour. This keeps the flow going and avoids taking away from other planned activities. Plan for the formal photos to take at least one hour.
  • Location, Location, Location: Discuss with your photographer the best photo locations beforehand. Choose a well-lit area with an attractive backdrop that complements your wedding theme.

Keep the Family Formal Photos Quick

  • Focus on close-ups: While a large group photo might be nice, prioritize smaller, candid close-up shots of each family unit. These tend to be more personal and heartfelt. My work flow goes like this: I focus on the big groups first, then break off into each family unit (i.e., bride and bride’s family, bride and sister, bride and brother, bride with siblings, etc). I will ask them to take one formal photo where you are looking at me, then a funny one. It is repetitive, but everyone gets into a rhythm and it makes the formal photos go by fast.
  • The “assembly line” approach: Line up family groups in the order they’ll be photographed. This allows the photographer to capture photos efficiently as each group steps forward.

Bonus Tip: Consider offering a digital copy of the family photo list to guests beforehand. This allows them to know which photos they might be in, saving time on the day.

By following these tips, you can capture beautiful family photos on your wedding day without the stress. Remember, the most important thing is to cherish the time with your loved ones and create lasting memories!

I hope this “Tips to Make Family Formal Photos Fast and Easy for Everyone on Your Wedding Day ” has helped you. If you have any additional tips or questions, please leave a comment below! You an also view other wedding day resources like my Top Tips to Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline here.

June 10, 2024

  1. Bela says:

    I love all these tips, they are so helpful! Thank you for sharing!

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