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!

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.


  • 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.


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.


I do not need or work from any other kind of ‘shot list’ especially ones you may have found in magazines or wedding websites. As you can see from my galleries and web page, I try to photograph everything from your wedding day (within reason). If I need to refer to a long shot list, I will inevitably miss the important shots.

But if you have something specific that you feel I should know about (a special surprise lined up or particular guests who may be leaving early etc.) by all means, make sure I know about these. But lists that include every element of the day are not necessary and do not help get the best photography for your wedding day.