Most couples ask us to take some family group photographs. Usually it’s not just the bride and groom who want them. You can bet your parents and other family members will want them too.
Yet, ask almost anyone about weddings they have been to and they will tell you they hated hanging around while the photographer took ages working through a long list of family group photographs. Let’s face it, standing around waiting for guests to be herded ready for the next snap isn’t most peoples idea of fun.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! With a little planning it’s a situation that can be avoided.
I bet you’d rather be tucking into the canapés and spending time with your guests right? So here are our tips about how to make this part of your wedding day as enjoyable as possible.
Wedding family group photographs and how to get them done fast!
We strongly recommend you try and keep the list of family groups required as short as is reasonably possible. If you can keep the list to around ten groups, we can usually get these completed in under thirty minutes. A little longer if the shots have to be done indoors in the case of bad weather. Make sure this time is built into your schedule and there is enough time between the ceremony and sitting down for your meal. You will probably also want time for photos of the two of you, time for your guests to give you a hug and say hello, and of course the canapés.
Here is our default list of family group photographs. This is a starting point and often has to be tweaked, for example in the case of separated parents, but try to avoid adding in more than you really need. Don’t forget we will have photographed the Bride and her party, and the Groom and groomsmen earlier in the day.
Bride and Groom with:
All the guests
Brides extended family
Brides immediate family
Brides parents with Grooms parents
Grooms extended family
Grooms immediate family
Once this list is finalised, we will generate a running order for the groups, with names, and ask you to appoint a couple of volunteers who can help us round up guests so after one group has been snapped, the next is ready and waiting. Ushers with loud voices often make a good choice!
On the day
The trick on the day is to engineer proceedings so that guests are available when they are needed. We want to avoid getting everyone together for a photo, only to discover a key family member has gone AWOL. I f everyone is available when needed, then the group photos run slickly, and everyone is happy!
Here are a few of the reasons why guests vanish that we have come across.
Guests checking into hotel rooms (surprisingly common), Grandparents gone to hotel room for a cuppa, Mother of Bride taking dog for a walk, Bridesmaid gone to feed baby, guests gone to shop for cigarettes, guests watching the football on the TV, and of course there is always someone at the bar or in the loo, or gone for a smoke.
So the important thing is for you make sure your Guests know they will be required for photos at the arranged time. It’s helpful if the reception drinks are served in a suiable room or area so there is no natural tendency for people to wander off.
If your venue is an hotel and guests are staying overnight, ask the hotel reception not to check-in guests during the time between the ceremony and the meal.
If we are really pushed for time, we might suggest doing any friends groups after the reception meal. By this time the Prosecco has started to kick in, folk are more relaxed, and this is reflected in the pictures!
If you think of any more special photographs – not on the list – we will always be delighted to take them for you. Just ask! It’s what we’re there for.
After the wedding
Family Group photographs ordered by guests are by far the most popular print after-sales from our website. If you choose, you can give your family and friends the password to your wedding gallery, and for their convenience they can order copies of the photographs directly from us, either un-framed or framed.
It is likely that these prints will survive as family heirlooms, so a great idea is to write the names of the people in the group on the back of the picture. Use a soft pencil so as not to damage the print. This will give your great grandchildren a head start when they try to trace their family tree!
Golding Photography are full time professional wedding photographers based in Conwy, North Wales.