5 Tips For Family Formals You’ll Treasure

One tradition that really has stood the test of time is taking family photos after the ceremony. Weddings can sometimes feel like a family reunion- everyone is together to celebrate the couple AND they’re dressed in their best! What better time for an updated family photo?! However, weddings have tight timelines and it’s not hard to forget a shot you really wanted, or get way behind schedule trying to organize the shots. I want you to cherish the family photos you take on your wedding day for years to come and have fun taking them! Here’s five simple tips to keep your family formal time stress free and smooth!

Tip #1: Make a list, and keep it simple!

Weddings are a time when families come together. Often it’s been a long time since so many of you have been in the same place! It can be tempting to take ALL the photo combinations when family formal time comes around. There’s nothings wrong with wanting photos with all of your friends and family! However, family formal time most often falls right after your ceremony, and the timeline can be TIGHT! To keep things from becoming rushed try making a list of your ten ‘must have’ family photos for family formal time. By listing these shots you can not only ensure an important shot isn’t forgotten, but your photographer will be able to keep things well organized and fast!

Tip #2: Add first names to your list

Nothing adds stress to a wedding day like the chaos of unorganized group photos! Trust me, you don’t want to go there! By adding first names to your shot list, a designated person can call out names for the next group shot, while your photographer takes the current one. Imagine this two ways.

  1. ‘Okay everyone! I need mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and siblings ready for their photo! Your group is next!’ It sounds good, but do we need the bride’s parents or the groom’s? Both sets of the bride’s grandparents, or just one?
  2. ‘I need Tim & Kathy, Grandma and Grandpa Jones, and brothers Keith and Cody over here for the next photo please!’ Adding in their first names lets everyone know exactly who is needed for the next shot! Grandma might not hear ‘I need the bride’s maternal grandma!’ but she will hear someone calling for Grandma Jones to be ready!

More precise instructions will help keep everything moving smoothly and avoid confusion for your loved ones!

Tip #3: Start Big

Things can naturally feel a little more chaotic when there’s a larger number of people around. By starting with the big group shots, you can organize everybody once, and then break down the group shot as you go. For the family members that are only in a large group photo, they can be free to go to the reception quickly!

Tip #4: Make time for an individual of dad and mom (and grandpa and grandma)

Something that can be commonly overlooked is getting a shot of the important couples in the bride & groom’s life. I’m talking about a cute shot of just the bride’s parents together, or just the groom’s grandparents! If you can make the time these are shots you’ll really treasure down the road!

Tip #5: Get extra shots before the ceremony and during the reception!

If you know you really want a photo with all of your cousins, or your Aunt Bea that you’ve always adored, remember that family formal time is not the only time you can get a photo with family! Have Aunt Bea slip into your getting ready room before the ceremony, or get all of your cousins together for a fun group photo during the reception! Family formals are just that, formal. You can always add important people to your shot lists for other parts of the day!

Family formals are a truly beautiful part of your wedding day and I hope this post will help you have a stress free family formal time during your big day! I’d love to know which of these tips you found the most helpful!

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