You love your family, but they’re kinda nuts. And the excitement of the ceremony is so contagious. Understandably so, because you just got married! How could anyone not be stoked?
That’s why having a list of family members that you need photos with is always helpful. I recommend including names, as well as their role. For example: “Sam’s mom (Gina).” Since this is likely my first time meeting your family, this will make it easier for me to go down the list and call out names, and I can keep track of who’s gotten their photo taken and who hasn’t.
Definitely make sure to let any family members who are part of these formals know that they have to be there! Tell them where to go right after the ceremony, so that they know where to be. People often tend to wander during this part – people who need to be in more than one photo try to leave after the first one. While I will of course keep an eye on everyone and do my best to let people know when they’re done, I find it helpful if you also send a list of the family shots to each member of the family – that way they’ll know exactly what’s going on.
After a long day, the last thing you want to do after the ceremony is waste precious time wrangling hangry friends and family. In order to keep family photo time as streamlined as possible, use the KISS method. (Ahem, that’s keep it simple, stupid) Keep your list as short as possible, sticking to only essential immediate family members.
Grandparents should go first so that they can leave afterward to have a comfortable place to sit and get out of the heat.
If children don’t want to be involved in these photos, it’s typically pretty futile to try and force them to participate.
Let the aunts and uncles and cousins and work friends know that at any point during the reception they are welcome to come grab us and ask us for a photo.
Want to do a photo with all of your work friends, or your sorority sisters? The DJ can announce that photo during the reception.
Each family dynamic is unique and nuanced, so there’s no “right way” to do this. But here’s the basis that we typically find ourselves using for a standard family.
B = bride, G = groom
B with grandparents (Betsy and Bill)
B&G with bride’s mom and dad (Jane and John)
B with mom
B with dad
B with siblings (Jack and Jill)
B with parents and siblings (Jane, John, Jack and Jill)
Then we’d switch to the other partner’s side
G with grandparents (Bitsy and Dill)
B&G with groom’s mom and dad (Jan and Joe)
G with mom
G with dad
G with siblings (Ron and Don)
G with parents and siblings (Jan, Joe, Ron and Don)
There, see how easy that was? Now go write up your family photo list and make sure you send it over to me ahead of time!