If you are wondering about your wedding family photos on your wedding day and how to have them go as smoothly as possible, I got you! Family formals are usually my couple’s least favorite part of the day and they can be a bit stressful at times. Everyone is moving around, no one can find Uncle Bob, etc. No worries, I promise to move through this part of the day as quickly and as smoothly as possible. I think family formals can be one of the most important parts of the day because family usually travels from near and far to celebrate you! So stay tuned and read these helpful tips, and check out a bonus wedding family photo list for you to use at the end!
Linsay Elaine Photography | Michigan Wedding Photographer
When Do Family Formals Happen?
Normally, we’ll do the formal family photos right after the ceremony. We do this because all family members are already in one spot together. Now, some of my couples opt to do family formals even before the ceremony, if time allows. This usually happens when you do a first look, with families that are much smaller OR you just have a few combos you would like! If we do get family photos done beforehand, this may potentially allow for more time during cocktail hour with your guests!
Pro Tip – these will go really smoothly if you have a photo list made ahead of time. Think of each photo combo of yourselves and relatives that you’d like and write them down in an order that makes sense, so we can knock them out quickly. Let your family members know that they are needed for family formals, and when and where to be! For a bit more of an in-depth example, read on for an example wedding family photo list at the end!
Assign a Helper For Smooth & Quick Wedding Family Photos
Another helpful tip for keeping family photos running smoothly is having a helper (or two) that can go run and rally up the family if someone is missing. It is helpful to have someone on each side of the family and choose a helper that knows almost everyone on the list. Your helper should not be someone that is needed for photos. Typically I recommend your Maid of Honor, Best Man, or an Aunt/Uncle/Cousin that may only be in a few photos. The ideal helper is someone who’s loud and knows pretty much everyone at your wedding. If you’ve got that one friend you know you can always count on – someone who’s confident & isn’t afraid to take charge – then that’s a perfect candidate for a helper during your wedding family photos.
Stay Organized, Create a Family Wedding Photo List & Keep Everyone Informed!
Remember, when it comes to managing all the moving parts of your wedding, organization is key! The more carefully you plan out your family formals, the less chance there is that any details will fall through the cracks. For family photos, making a list will help ensure that no one will be missed. It will also help me keep track of who needs to be in the portraits. Sending me a list that says something like, “Bride, Groom, Mom, Dad,” or “Brother of the Bride, Jill, Jan, and Julie” will be extremely helpful for creating a timeline and making sure everyone who belongs in the family photos makes it in!
I always recommend listing the names that are needed for the photo so there is no one asking “Am I in this photo?” because I won’t know. And, we don’t want you to have to worry about those details on your wedding day. Giving me a list will take this off of your plate. This will also give us a better idea of how much time will be needed for this portion of the day. Sometimes it takes a quick five minutes and other times, we can get closer to the 25-30 minute mark. The list makes a huge difference!
Example Wedding Family Photo List
- Bride + Groom w/ Brides Parents
- Bride + Groom w/ Brides Parents and Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Brides Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Brides Parents, Siblings, and Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Brides Immediate + Extended Family
- Bride + Groom w/ Grandparents
- Bride w/ Mom
- Bride w/ Dad
- Bride w/ Siblings
- Bride w/ Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Grooms Parents
- Bride + Groom w/ Grooms Parents and Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Grooms Siblings
- Bride + Groom w/ Grooms Parents, Siblings, and Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ Grooms Immediate + Extended Family
- Bride + Groom w/ Grandparents
- Groom w/ Mom
- Groom w/ Dad
- Groom w/ Siblings
- Groom w/ Grandparents
- Bride + Groom w/ All Parents
- Bride + Groom w/ Both Immediate Families
Planning Your Wedding? Let’s Work Together!
If I’m being honest, after getting married myself, and losing family members and some of my friends, I believe that family formals are some of the most cherished photos from your wedding gallery. It may be the last photo you have of that special person, and I want to make sure they are captured with care and intention. And don’t worry, I’ll make sure to get allll the photos that you are wanting with the most important people in your life.
Now that we went over how to get all of the wedding family photos you’ll want, let’s talk about your wedding some more! If you’re looking for a Michigan wedding photographer, I would love to capture your special day! You can learn more about me here. If you think I’d be the perfect match to capture your wedding, then inquire with me here! I can’t wait to hear from you! In the meantime, follow me on Instagram to stay connected!