Navigating family dynamics during a wedding can be, err, complicated – to put it mildly. This can make the family photos portion of the wedding day tricky. Emotions run high on wedding days and, without much notice, the formal photo session can turn into a mess of confusion and frustration.
I’m not saying all of this to get you worked up or worried – but instead to encourage you to have a plan! If you can provide your photographer with a list of must-take family photos – the rest should flow with relative ease. You might think that an actual list is overkill — but trust me — taking the time to write out what formal portraits you want on your wedding day will be a lifesaver (for both you and your photographer!).
How To Create A Family Photo List For Your Wedding
Below are some common arrangements to get you started and answer your questions about how to create a family photo list for your wedding. Please keep in mind that every family and every couple is different, so adjust this list as needed so that it works for your group!
Couple with Bride’s Immediate Family
Couple with Bride’s Grandparents
Couple with Bride’s Parents
Bride with Dad
Bride with Mom
Bride with Siblings
Couple with Bride and Groom’s Immediate Families Together
Couple with Groom’s Immediate Family
Couple with Groom’s Grandparents
Couple with Groom’s Parents
Groom with Dad
Groom with Mom
Groom with Siblings
Brides Extended Family
Grooms Extended Family
Professional Tip: Make sure you alert your photographer to any special circumstances that might affect the formal family portrait session. Are your parents divorced and not friendly to each other? Has there been a significant death in the family that might heighten emotions? Family tension that might result in some awkwardness? Yeah – we need to know those things! Because the last thing we want is to put people who don’t get along next to each other in your forever photos!
Remember, this list is just a general starting point. If you take anything from this post at all – take this: Keep it simple.
It’s easy to go off on tangents and create 25+ arrangement combinations – but no one will want to spend that much time taking portraits on your wedding day. There is dancing, drinking and celebrating to do! Go enjoy yourself!