Wedding Planning Tips

September 13, 2017

3 Tips to Make Family Formal Photos a Breeze

I’ll be honest with you. Taking family formal photos might not be the most fun part of your wedding. But it’s so important! You’ll cherish these photos for years to come, so you don’t want to skip them. And I promise: it doesn’t have to be stressful!

The key is to do little bit of planning to make the process as easy as possible. Because the more efficient this part is, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your day!  So what can you do to ensure this happens? Here are three tips to help.


Tip #1: Create a List of Family Combinations Before the Big Day

The number one way to streamline these photos is to be prepared! The good news is, I make this part as easy as possible for my couples. I include a list of traditional family formal combinations in my pre-wedding questionnaire, as well as space to let you customize it. That way you can make the list exactly what it needs to be for your unique families!

Once my couples send me their list, I organize the combinations into the most efficient order. My second photographer or assistant will help me check off the list to ensure we get each and every photo on the actual day. So before you know it, you’re on your way to more fun!

Tip #2: Be Intentional With Your Combinations

Now, it’s super important to be thoughtful about choosing your combinations. Once you start your list, it can be easy to get excited. Before you know it, you might have 25 different combinations to take!! (Which could take over an hour!!) And while that might make sense for some couples, you’ll have to decide just how much time you want to spend taking these photos – and if it fits within your timeline. I recommend keeping family formal time between 20-30 minutes unless you have a very large gap between your ceremony and reception.

So what can you do? Focus on choosing the combinations that mean the most. Have both of you make a list of must-have photos, and see how many you have. If it starts to get too long, you may want to consider only doing immediate family photos for this part of the day. You can always ask your photographer for recommendations as well if you have questions while making your list!

Bonus tip: you can always take group photos at the reception! Many couples decide to leave extended family photos or large groups for later in the night. 

Family Formal Photos tips

Tip #3 Let Family Members Know They’ll Be Needed for Photos

Don’t forget to tell your family members they’ll need to be ready for photos at a specific time and place! If it’s after the ceremony, make sure they know they need to stay. If they leave before we get started, we’ll lose time tracking them down. This is especially important if you’re doing family formals before the ceremony.

There you have it! With just a few steps, you can eliminate the stress and actually have fun during your family formals. If you still have questions about your list, send me a note!!

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  1. […] week I talked about how to make the most of your family formal photos. So this week, I thought I would help you start thinking about your list! Now, I know every family […]

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