Wedding Planning: The Group Shots

Wedding Planning: The Group Shots

The official ‘posed’ family group shots can be something many couples and guests dread, we have all attended a wedding where guests were left hanging around for a long time to see if they are needed or not for the official family photographs! 

But honestly it does not need to be that way, with just some simple planning. 

It is not always the most fun part of your wedding day! But it is an important one, as you don’t want to miss out on those photographs with your guests.

It can be difficult for couples when considering who they want formal photographs with, without ending up with a very long list, which then in turn will eat into your wedding day schedule and keep your guests hanging around. 

Obviously you care about all of your guests or they wouldn’t be there on your big day, but it would be really hard (especially for larger weddings) to get formal photographs with every single person there in every possible combination (well not impossible but it would take quite a long time!) 

What I tend to do for my couples is guide them, I will email over a questionnaire asking for names of their immediate family members and the bridal party, and I will put a basic list together for them, they can then look over the list and tweak where needed, a lot of couples say the list is a godsend, as they often don’t have a clue where to even start with it! 

There is no limit to the amount of posed photographs I will take for you, after all this is your day, and I always take the couples lead on what they do and don’t want but I know from experience that when I receive long lists for the group photographs that the couple will often get fed up as they are the ones stood there the whole time with the smile on their face and cheeks aching as the guests pop in and out!  So I tend to try keep the list to the closest family members for the ‘formal part’ of the day.

I always say to my couples if you wouldn’t put the posed shot in your album, do you need it? Or what family shot would you be really upset if you didn’t get?
Thinking this way can help you narrow it down as harsh as it may seem!

What I always tend to do is a big group shot of all of your wedding guests with you, followed by the Brides side, the Grooms side, this way we have everyone in your formal shots, even if you haven’t got everyone in the smaller group photographs.

I will always have a printed group list with me and ready on the day so we can do the group photographs as efficiently as possible, without you trying to think on the spot who you may want images with, also with the help of my second shooter Chrissy who will have the list we fly through the group photographs in no time at all, as when I am taking one photograph, Chrissy is gathering up the next group ready.

I always where possible take the formal photographs straight after ceremony as I find this works best.

Your group photographs really aren’t something you should dread at all, and don’t have to be awkwardly posed! I always aim on guests to feel comfortable and even if shots are ‘posed’ I always aim on them looking naturally posed! 

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