FAQ Post: Family Photos at your Wedding

Happy Tuesday, friends! We thought we’d share a few helpful tips about shooting family photos at your wedding. We hear similar questions quite often from our couples…. “We love your photojournalistic work, but you do shoot family formals, right?” The answer is of course we do!! Family photos are a very important part of the wedding day. Many times family are traveling in from other states + sometimes other countries, so it’s super important to document everyone together in one place! Family photos, although important, can be sometimes stressful for the bride + groom if not prepared for. We are always trying to find ways to make your day flow smoother + quicker, so here’s a few tips we suggest for family photos.

1.Timing: If you are doing a first look, we suggest also doing your immediate family formals before the ceremony, too! Just give them a predetermined time + place to be. If you’re not doing a first look, we’ll shoot family immediately after the ceremony, and preferrably outdoors.

2. Keep your “formal family photos” list small. We typically suggest doing family photos with your parents, siblings, siblings’ spouses or kids, and grandparents first. These are the VIP’s who are closest to you, and we ALWAYS shoot all the variations of these family groups. When you start to add in tons of aunts / uncles / cousins into this time, there is bound to be a lag where someone wasn’t informed of where to be, another uncle has wandered off towards the bar, you are stuck waiting for the right people to show up, and you start feeling antsy. Keeping the formal list small helps avoid any stress.

3. For larger groups / extended family, cocktail hour is a great time to shoot. We typically ask to shoot the larger extended family shots immediately after the ceremony (and if you didn’t do a first look, this is always when we shoot family.) If we don’t grab them then, there’s plenty of time at the reception!


4. Make sure to appoint a few key family members to round everyone up. This allows you to not be the one calling out names or feeling any stress! We also will have a list with us of anyone besides immediate family who you want included in family formals (i.e., godparents, special relatives from far away, etc.)

5. Have fun with it! Family photos don’t have to be stressful or time-consuming — we buzz right down the list + get them done quickly, as long as all family members are there!

6. Remember to keep cool. If a family member does run off + you’re waiting for a minute for them to show up, just look right at your new husband or wife and take that minute to whisper that they look handsome. Or tell them that you love them. Or smile at each other and say again to each other that it’s your WEDDING DAY! I mean really, what could be better than that? 🙂


  • Christy TylerMay 1, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    Love these tips! Especially the ones for remaining calm if family members wander off! So true! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda MillerMay 3, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Fantastic tips! And look at that epically huge shot, you nailed it!ReplyCancel

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