Family photos are the ones your gran will be framing and displaying in her home. These are the photos that require everyone to be in the same room and smiling at the camera in unison. Sounds simple, right?
For some, the thought of having all your family members in one room is a bit of a nightmare. And getting them to pose for photos can send your stress levels through the roof! Well, in my years of coordinating weddings (and wedding guests!) I found a strategy for handling family photos. It’s very simple and very effective.
Step 1: Find a good wedding photographer
This might seem obvious, but family photos are not possible without an excellent wedding photographer. If you haven’t found one yet, I suggest you take a peek at our supplier directory.
Step 2: Make a list
You need a plan of action. Make a list of every single family photo you want to take and be specific! Here’s an example of a few photos I had jotted down on my list:
(1) Glen + Kelly + Cathi + Rory (Bride’s parents)
(2) Glen + Kelly + Phil + Dale (Groom’s parents)
(3) Glen + Kelly + Matthew + Jessica (Bride’s siblings)
(4) Glen + Kelly + Lauren + Garth (Groom’s siblings)
(5) Glen + Kelly + Matthew + Jessica + Lauren + Garth (all siblings)
(6) Glen + Kelly + Yvonne + Daphne (both grans)
Your list will probably be much longer than this, but it’s a great example of how detailed you need to be! Try to avoid writing out “all extended family” because that’s vague. Make your list very specific so everyone knows who is in each photo and who is not.
Step 3: Enlist some help
Let’s set the scene for a second: You’ve got all your family members standing around waiting to see when it’s their turn to hop in for a photo. Your photographer is ready to snap the pics but he/she probably doesn’t know who your uncle is. You are posing and ready for action and the last thing you need to be doing is coordinating your family members. This is where help comes in!
Print out your list so that your helpers have it on hand. Before your wedding day, ask two people to step in and coordinate the photos. Your photographer will be free to take the photos (that’s why you hired him/her, isn’t it?) and you’ll be able to stand and look pretty. Your helpers are the ones running around making sure everyone is in place!
Step 4: Tell everyone ahead of time
I’ve been to weddings where the MC announced over the microphone: “Could all family members gather for family photos?”. Now, I know the MC had good intentions, but this caused so much confusion and chaos for everybody. There were extended family members that weren’t required for the photos and that just made things awkward. Drop a quick message to everyone who needs to know about family photos a few days ahead of time. Let them know you’re taking family photos right after the ceremony (for example) and to gather behind the church 15 minutes after the ceremony has finished.
There you have it! A foolproof way of getting stunning family photos with no stress.
Main image credit: David Maury Photography
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.