Making Your Wedding Family Formals List: If you’re like most couples, you might not have thought too much yet about making your family formals list. And that’s okay! This is a topic that I’ll bring up with you automatically, closer to your wedding date (…if I’m your wedding photographer) so we don’t forget to have a list made. But make no mistake – while I may be nonchalant about when we make this list, I am decidedly a stickler for being sure we definitely do make it at some point before your wedding day.
Because honestly, family photos can be one of the most important but most chaotic parts of the day. So let’s try our best to prepare you, okay?
First, decide whether or not you want to do a First Look before the ceremony. If you are, that opens up some options for timing! A lot of couples do things in this order before the ceremony: first look, wedding party photos, then family photos. Each of these things will take approx. 30 minutes (if we do a few bride & groom portraits along with the first look).
If you’re not doing a first look, we’ll do your family photos immediately after your ceremony. Then your wedding party photos, then your bride & groom portraits.
(for more pros, cons & my thoughts on doing a first look, check out this blog post)
Second, write down your groupings. Now narrow it down to 10. If you can’t quite get to 10 while you’re making your wedding family formals list, just get as close as possible! Each grouping will average 2-3 minutes, so 10-15 groupings is 30-45 minutes (I know that seems like a lot, but when Uncle Frank is in the bathroom and your sister forgot and went on to the reception so someone has to go track her down, you’ll see). Note: But I am not a stickler for sticking to the list when we have extra time. For example, if I take a photo of you and your parents and you ask to take one with each of your parents individually, of course we’ll do that if there’s time & they’re both already standing right there. This step is just about prioritizing your groupings so that we are sure to get the most important groupings if we’re in a time crunch!
Third, take that list and order it so that we start with groupings that include small children and/or any elderly guests.
Fourth, the rest of the groupings should be ordered from biggest to smallest, with consideration given to minimizing the number of times anyone with mobility issues (like elderly guests) has to hop in and out of the photos.
1. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents, grandparents, sister/brother-in-law and their 2 kids
2. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents & grandparents
3. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s grandparents
4. Katie, Katie’s grandparents
5. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents
Boom, your list is done! I have more to say on this topic though, so this post isn’t quite over. Here are a few more tips for, you know, handling family photos well.
Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer. Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, El Dorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!
St. Louis Wedding Photographer
January 24, 2021
Making Your Wedding Family Formals List