This is your big day and you want it to last forever, well, except perhaps for the part of the day that includes the Wedding Party and Family photos!
It’s important to have a plan, a detailed time line so that you and your photographer know when and in which locations these group photos are going to take place.
My guide will answer some of the most common questions regarding group photos that I am regularly asked by couples.
Q1. When is the best time to do family and Wedding Party photos?
A. These can be done after the ceremony when the guests are mostly still in the place. If the reception is in a different venue form the ceremony, it is usually best to take the family and wedding party photos soon after arrival at the reception venue.
Q2. How long should we schedule for family and wedding party photos?
A. This varies for each wedding. I recommend factoring in 30-45 minutes for the wedding party and 15-30 minutes for the family photos. It will take 3-5 minutes for each shot, longer for groups larger than 6, taking into account leaving time for anyone that is missing. It’s better to have time left over rather than run out of time before dinner.
Q3. Should we have a large group photo with all of our guests?
A. If you want to have a photo with all of your guests present, I suggest doing this as soon as you arrive at your reception venue, before people start disappearing to the bar! The larger the group or the more group photos you want, the longer it will take to have these completed.
Have two members of your wedding party or family or someone that knows most of your guests by name to organise the groups for photos. They should also be aware, if possible, of family dynamics so that no one has to stand awkwardly beside someone that they would rather not be next to. This way, they can be comfortably lined up, ready and waiting, making this part of your day flow much faster and stress-free, allowing guests to get back to socialising and having fun.
Keep your list of group photos to a minimum, especially if the weather is cold as guests won’t enjoy waiting around and are more likely to disappear inside at this point! If guests want to take photos, this will also add to the length of time it takes to get through your list. If there is more than one camera to look at, everyone will be looking in different directions!I usually request that I take all the requested photos before guests start getting out their iPhones.
Ensure that you have listed any other photos you specifically want of cousins, aunts and uncles, Godparents and friends. Remember that some of these could be taken in a more casual style later in the day or in the evening.
1. Create a list of which group photos you want well in advance of your wedding day and assign a key member of your bridal party or family to organise the groups from your list. Two people if possible.
2. Ensure that every one that is to be in the photos knows beforehand so that they can be in the right place at the right time and will know to stay around after the ceremony or on arrival to the reception.
3. Send the list to your photographer at least one week before your wedding and on your wedding day. It is also helpful if you photographer is aware of who you have choosen to be your key group organisers.
I want to help you have a fun and stress free day by making you and your guests feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera and by not taking up too much of your very precious day. Remember, I will be there to capture the more natural, authentic moments which quite often turn out to be the most precious. It’s these little, unposed moments that capture the true essence of your day…