Efficient Family Photos on Your Wedding Day | Destination Wedding Photographer

As a wedding photographer, I’ve worked with a lot of unique families!  This year, I included a family tips section in my Bride Guide to help brides and their families plan for efficient family photos. The best part is, these tips help in the planning of every day family sessions and extended group sessions also!

bride and groom with family during wedding

How much time to expect for photos

We strive to make family photos as quick and relatively painless as possible (I know we all have people who hate taking photos). But family photo time can add up quickly. Plan on each grouping taking about 2-3 minutes if everyone is ready, and remember the more time we spend on family photos the less time you‘ll have for Bride & Groom photos. If you have 10 family groupings, expect to spend about 30 minutes on family photos. If you have 20 family groupings, expect to spend about 60 minutes. Most couples have photograph lists that range in between 30-60 minutes. I always recommend a minimum of 30 minutes planned for family photos.

bride and groom with family during wedding

Choosing your most valued photos

I recommend limiting your family photos time to your immediate family, grandparents, and other extremely important people, and save the rest of your group photos for the reception (like coworkers, cousins, high school friends!). Choosing your top 10 photos is recommended.

When creating your list, add groups in order of most important:

  • ‘Must haves during family photo time‘
  • ‘Must haves anytime in the day‘
  • ‘Would be nice to have‘
  • ‘If time allows‘

Including Names

Since I don‘t know everyone‘s names, it‘s really helpful to write something like ‘Bride & Groom with bride‘s immediate family (Bryce, Luke, and Sally)‘, so that I know what the group is and who we need in the shot (names help if we have to track anyone down!)

bride and groom with family during wedding

Avoiding Confusion and Respecting Emotions

Please help me avoid any confusion or awkwardness and include in your notes if your parents are divorced, remarried, or you‘ll be remembering a lost loved one with a photo remembrance. Feelings run high on wedding days and I want to be respectful and aware of those circumstances and any other special circumstances.

Common Family Groupings

Bride & Groom with Bride’s Family Members

  • Grandparents
  • Immediate Family (parents & siblings)
  • Parents
  • Siblings

 

Bride & Groom with Groom’s Family Members

  • Grandparents
  • Immediate Family (parents & siblings)
  • Parents
  • Siblings

 

bride and groom with family during wedding

Setting Expectations for Family Members

Lastly, Make sure to tell everyone that is expected. When are they expected to participate in photos? What time do they need to be ready and meet (usually right after the ceremony if you‘re not doing a first look)? Having to wait on family members is one reason photos can take longer than expected, and can make others frustrated.  The wedding pictured below was one of the most efficient groups I’ve ever photographed. We completed over 20 groupings in a short 30 minutes. The bride and groom set clear expectations for each family and they respected and followed the plan!

For more tips on planning your wedding, check out 7 Steps to Pinterest Worthy Florals, Why I Chose to Invest in Wedding Photography, and 5 Tips for Planning Your Destination Wedding.

share this post