I hear it pretty often at weddings that couples don’t really care about the family photos or don’t want to waste a lot of time on them. As a previous bride and someone that was blessed enough to have a grandparents well enough to come to our wedding almost 10 years ago now, it was important for me to get photos of the loved ones who came together to celebrate with us. This did mean wrangling kiddos, organizing larger groups and having those formal posed shots taken. I know that if I didn’t have those photos I would be really heartbroken as my grandmother has since passed. I cherish those memories of her being able to be a part of out day, and it means so much that I also got the broach she wore at our wedding when she passed. Wedding days can be so busy that you might not even realize how important these photos will be to you in the future. Having these memories to look back on really can mean the world.
With all this being said, how can you make sure you get these photos but also keep them as streamline and painless as possible? Well today I have put together a list of 5 tips for stress free family photos on your wedding day.
1. Ask For a Time Frame
Most wedding photographers know how much time they can allocate to family photos during your wedding day. For some this might be 15 mins or for others it might be 30-40 mins just depending on your timeline. Usually I say family photos should take about 20-30 mins depending on the number of groupings. If you require more then about 10 groupings then additional time will be needed which will affect your timeline slightly.
2. Chat About Groupings Before Hand
I always reach out to my couples about 6 weeks prior to your wedding day to chat about timeline, getting ready locations and family shot lists. This is a good time to sit down as a couple and put together a list of the family with names and groupings you both would like photos of on your day. It is super important to do this prior to so the day of you aren’t trying to remember the list and trying not to forget anyone. I also will bring the list with us the day of so we can easily call out the names and groupings and all you guys have to do is enjoy the family time.
Bride & Groom with Bride’s extended family
Bride & Groom with Bride’s immediate family
Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s extended family
Bride & Groom with Groom’s immediate family
Bride & Groom with Groom’s parents
Bride & Groom with both sets of parents
Bride With Mom
Bride with Dad
Bride & Groom with Brides Siblings
Groom with Mom
Groom with Dad
Bride & Groom With Groom Siblings
Bride & Groom With Grandparents
3. Share with Us About The Families
As photographers we do get to know you both pretty well before the wedding day. We usually have met a couple times before the big day and have chatted a ton. Who we don’t usually know is your family. So sharing a little background with us prior to the day really helps us find the perfect location for photos if your Grandfather has a hard time walking or if one of your aunts is in a wheel chair. All this info is really important so we are making sure everyone can be apart of the photos easily. It is also important to share with us any awkward family relationships. This may not be something you like to share or talk about but for us it helps make sure that awkwardness doesn’t show up in the photos as well. We never want to intentionally place people beside each other if it isn’t natural so us knowing before hand really helps us out.
4. Assign a Wrangler
Sometimes family photos can be a bit like herding cats. People kind of scatter after the ceremony so having your officiant make an announcement at the end and telling all he family before hand to stick around and stay close really helps. It also helps to get a person that knows the family well that might not be in the photos to help out. They can be the ones to wrangle all the family into one place and help us out with the organization of everyone. This can really be helpful for everyone and speed the process up.
Wedding days can be stressful, but photos shouldn’t be. Take the time to enjoy your family and the time you have together. These people have been by your side through the thick and the thin so make sure you relax and enjoy even the small moments like family photos. These are the photos you will cherish for many years to come so make sure you take the time to get them done and to enjoy them.
No matter how busy your wedding day timeline is there is always time for family photos. These are the people in your tribe, the people who raised you, the people who were there in the good, the bad and all the terrible relationships before you found the one. Take the time to get photos with them, cause like I found out, you never know when they might not be just a phone call away.
The photo below of Jason, my grandmother and myself will always be one I truly cherish. Its these small moments that make wedding photography so important. It by no means is the image that would win awards, it isn’t the image that has the most wow factor from our day but it is the image that I am most thrilled we had captured. As time goes on you never know how each day will play out, so hug your loved ones, say I love you as often as you can and cherish every moment you have. Love you always Gma Frankie!
Photo by the talented Samantha Ellen Photography
If your looking for a Wedding Photographer and are in the Calgary, Cochrane, Canmore or Banff area get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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