Your wedding day is all about celebrating your love with family and friends and not dreading your “Family Formal Shot List”. Thankfully, we’ve found a foolproof way to make this part of your day as quick and stress-free as possible! Read through these quick and easy tips before you start planning!
PLAN OUT A LIST. Preparing a list ahead of time will let your photographer know which family members will be present and help communicate which groupings you’d like photographed. We will manage the list throughout the day and make sure that we check them off as we go. This will also help us to plan for anyone that might have mobility difficulties so we can select a location that’s easily accessible.
DIVIDE YOUR LIST INTO “MUST HAVES” AND “EXTRAS”. If you’re doing a first look (which I highly recommend) we aim to get all of your immediate family formals completed before the ceremony. This group of “Must Haves” includes both sets of parents, siblings and grandparents if they’re present. This leaves just your list of “Extras” which could consist of Aunts & Uncles, Godparents, Cousins or College Friends. These can be completed quickly after the ceremony during your cocktail hour or reception.
SCHEDULE CHILDREN EARLY We all know that children have a short attention span and as soon as the ceremony is over, kids love to start playing which means Mom and Dad will either change their outfit or they’re going to get dirty. If your flower girl or ring bearer are on site before the ceremony, I highly recommend snapping your pictures then otherwise we should plan for those to be your first photos after the ceremony.
LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN AND WHERE THEY NEED TO BE. Communication is key! If we’re doing family formals at the altar, your family needs to know to return to the front pews of the church after the recessional. If we’re doing immediate family formals after your first look but before the ceremony, your parents and siblings need to know to arrive early so we can finish up before your guests start arriving. By communicating to your family members ahead of the big day, you will significantly decrease confusion and avoid people running to find “Uncle Jim”.
GET HELP. We will do everything we can to help wrangle the guests needed in each grouping but the process is a lot faster and less hectic when we have help from one or two trusted family members that know your guests. A sibling or cousin are typically a great choice!
PLAN EXTRA TIME. For large groupings, it’s important to schedule extra time for each set. I recommend 5 minutes for each family grouping and a minimum of 10 minutes for larger extended family groupings.