Family photos may not be the most fun part of your wedding, but these photos are something you’ll treasure forever. I’ve put together a list of things to help ensure your family photo time goes smoothly and without a hitch. Typically your family photos happen right after the ceremony, but if you’re having a first look then your immediate family photos can happen before the ceremony. This will leave you with more time to enjoy your cocktail hour.
The biggest key to a smooth family portrait time is good communication. Make sure you’re photographer knows what family photo combinations you want (more on this later), and also make sure that those family members that are in the photos know where they need to be and when. One way of letting your family members know is to send out a text message or group Facebook message to everyone involved in the family portraits giving them the details so they know where to be and when.
You also want to let your photographer know of any family situations such as divorced or separated parents or any other sensitive family situations.
Choose A Point Person
This person will be in charge of gathering everyone for your family portraits to help keep everything moving along and on time. It’s helpful if this person knows most of the people who are on your family photo list or know your family in general. For help choosing your point person, read my past blog post here.
Choose The Location & Time
The time for family portrait sessions will be chosen when you finalize your wedding day timeline. Consult with your wedding planner and/or photographer for help with this. You can also read my past blog post here, for more wedding day timeline tips. Your photographer will help to choose your family portrait location, so you don’t need to stress about that detail.
Family Photo List
Being organized will help keep family portrait moving along. One way to be organized is to have a list of all of the family portraits you want (including the names of each person). Having the list prepared ahead of time you can give your photographer a copy and let everyone included in the list know that they need to be ready for the portraits during family portrait time. A general outline of typical family photo combinations is below.
- Bride & groom with bride’s parents
- Bride & groom with bride’s parents and siblings
- Bride & groom with bride’s parents and siblings and their partners and kids
- Bride with bride’s siblings
- Bride with bride’s parents
- Bride and groom with bride’s and groom’s parents
- Bride & groom with groom’s parents
- Bride & groom with groom’s parents and siblings
- Bride & groom with groom’s parents and siblings and their partners and kids
- Groom with groom’s parents
- Groom with groom’s siblings
Family photos take around 2-3 minutes per combination so be sure to have given enough time for all of the photos you want. Typically family photo time is anywhere from 15-30 minutes long which means around 7-15 family combinations if everyone is ready and organized.