Organising family / formal group photos

.... and how to make sure they don't hijack your day ...

Having a plan for any formal group shots can save a lot of time and energy on the day itself. But more importantly, give you more time to spend with your guests drinking champagne!

Make a List

It’s a good idea to make a list of the group shots you would like and to include the names of people in each of the groups.

Organising people for group shots at weddings is like herding cats! To avoid this it’s best to:

  •  decide where you’re going to have your groups
  •  who is going to be in each group before the wedding
  •  have someone (an usher, best man, family member etc) that is familiar with the various people on the list to shepherd them into the formal shots when they are needed
  •  let people know that they will be required for groups shots, where and when

A very efficient approach to organising the group shots in advance can save a great deal time and leave you more time to enjoy the day.

A basic list of shots would be:

  • Bride and groom
  • Bride and groom, bride’s family
  • Bride and groom, grooms family
  • Bride and groom, both families
  • Bride and groom, ushers and bridesmaids

Of course you can have as many variations and combinations of groups you’d like – extended family, grand-parents – but just keep in mind, the more groups you have, the longer it will take.

How long will they take?

It will take roughly 2-3 minutes for each group and longer for larger groups more than 8 people. A list of 10-12 group shots will take 20-30mins. Taking the photographs themselves is relatively quick – getting people to where we need to photograph them is the bit that takes time!

As for where to do the formal shots, I usually tend to say that during the reception once everyone has had a chance to have a glass of champagne, is a good time to do the shots. But as every wedding is different, the groups shots can be done at pretty much anytime after the service depending on your locations. This is some thing we can discuss closer to the day itself.

Must have photos

Other Shot Lists

A lot of magazines and wedding blogs often put together “shot lists” for couples to give to their photographers. These can be long lists which usually include a lot of things I would expect to photograph as standard. I tend not use long lists as it means I will be referring to a list rather than concentrating on the important thing of photographing your wedding.

But, there are always a few key things or moments that you may want that are important to you so please send these through to me. From mother of the bride doing up the dress, father of the bride seeing the bride for the first time, confetti shot, sparklers to details I might not know about, personal touches, important jewellery, surprises …whatever is out of the obvious, please let me know, I’d hate to miss these.

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