As a bride-to-be Family Portrait time can you leave you with lots of questions. If you have hired a photographer you love and trust then chances are you haven’t really needed to communicate a “shot list” for your wedding day & that is a great thing! When it comes to family formals (i.e. family pictures or family portraits) on your wedding day detail is so important. Throughout this blog we are going to tell you exactly what the bare necessities are for any family formal time and also things you can do before to help make the time go by quickly and painless! These are our 5 tid bits of advice for the bride-to-be planning family portraits on the wedding day!
Ask Your Photographer for Help:
Before you make any steps in any direction check in with your wedding photographer. For us personally we actually have a family portrait list to get our couples started (or finished) with ideas on what family groupings they want on their wedding day! This is so important because we want to do whatever we can to create a stress free experience for our couples and most likely your photographer does to!
Once you have your starting point on some basic family portraits and a little bit of help from your wedding photographer then you can move on to our next bit of advice!
Create a Family Portrait Shot List (with fiance):
Number 1 advice for a long & happy marriage, communicate. Easily forgotten but should never be overlooked. Whether you have a family portrait template or not take the time to talk with your fiance about their needs or wants with family pictures. We always say ask your parents too and go ahead and discuss with them anything that they want. We recommend never spending more than 30 minutes for family formals on the wedding day and we try to make it as close to 10-15 minutes as we can. This is important because this time should be dedicated to immediate/close family only – too many setups can get very overwhelming. Think 1 minute per setup for smaller groupings and up to 2-3 minutes for larger groups. The list below is usually perfect for the 10 minutes and under set up!
- Bride & Mom
- Bride & Dad
- BG & Bride’s Parents
- BG & Bride’s Immediate Family
- BG & Bride’s Grandparents
- Groom & Mom
- Groom & Dad
- BG & Groom’s Parents
- BG & Groom’s Immediate Family
- BG & Groom’s Grandparents
We actually like getting names and relationships to anyone taking pictures during this time to ensure we can call them by name. For example “Next up, the bride and her mom … the bride’s mom? … is Marissa the bride’s mom here?” By this time in the day we certainly know who she is and what she looks like but it’s always good to have multiple ways to communicate to someone that it’s their turn to come up. If your photographer doesn’t have an assistant or another photographer with them that can help call people up.
Share Special Family Situations:
This can be a very delicate section for some families. Whether it’s deaths or divorces it is important to make your wedding photographer aware of any touchy situations. We certainly don’t need the full story; however, making sure that we know any special situations to avoid adding any emotions to will make sure we perform our job to the best of our abilities while also making even a less than fun part of the day a great time for everyone!
Communicate any needs, wants, & desires:
If there is anything special that you want for family formals (or really this is great advice as it pertains to the entire wedding day) make sure to bring up any needs, wants or desires before your wedding day. Chances are you will most likely forget or stress out about forgetting on the day of so making sure the important things are covered in your wedding day timeline will help ensure you are able to relax and enjoy the entire day.
Share a Schedule with your Family:
Once the timeline is complete make sure to share it with your families! This will make sure everyone knows what pictures will be taken and what time they need to be there to ensure the schedule continues to run smoothly. Feel free to share it with your wedding party as well and once you are all done … sit back and relax! The day is going to go so fast and you hired great vendors that will allow you to enjoy only the good parts! We got this!