Wedding Day Family Portrait Tips

Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, yet it will go by in a FLASH! Every bride comes to the end of her big day and wonders where the time went. Which is why it makes it so important to do as much prepping before the day as possible. Including creating your family portrait list. Your wedding may be one of the few times you have all of your family together, so you don’t want to miss the precious opportunity to get your family portraits taken. Below are a few tips for you to keep in mind to make your family portraits a breeze!

1// Prepare a List

Hopefully your wedding photographer will be asking you for this prior to your wedding day. This makes all the difference in the world. Just take a few minutes one evening and think of all the combos you want: bride and groom (B&G) with brides parents; B&G with grooms parents; B&G with brides parents, aunts/uncles, and grandparents; etc. This way the second shooter can help let Aunt Susie and Uncle Bob know they are up next and to be ready.

2// Family Dynamics/Drama…Every Family Has It

Everyone  is nervous about their family drama and ‘this person shouldn’t be in a photo with this person’. Don’t be afraid to note this in your shot list. For however complicated you may feel it sounds, trust me, we photographers have heard more complicated! Don’t be afraid to talk this out with your photographer beforehand, it will certainly save you aggravation on your big day!

3// Set Aside the Time Needed

As I said before, this may be one of the few times in your life you have all of your family together. Make sure you set aside the time to get these important portraits! Once you have your list together send it over to your photographer and talk through how much time you will need. Typically I say you need at least 20 minutes, but if you have a huge family and lots of portrait combos you could need as much as 45 minutes.

4//Choose a Location & Inform Family

It is your wedding day, you guys are the stars! Everyone will want to talk to you…awesome! Except when it comes time to get your family portraits done so you can join everyone else at the party. When you are talking with your photographer before the wedding, decide on your location for your family portraits. Whether it be at the ceremony location or the reception, then share that information with your family. Ask them to be at the location on time and ready to go. With that said, also be willing to go with the flow. If the day changes and it looks like you won’t get the portraits done at the church, have your minister make an announcement of the time/location change and ask the family to meet you at the new spot.

5//Inform Friends on Where They Should Go

At the end of every ceremony most guests will hang around. Of course they want to see you and say hi, but it may not be the best time for you if you want to get your family portraits done. Again enlist the help of your minister. Have him/her make an announcement at the end of your ceremony asking guests to kindly proceed to the reception to enjoy a drink and some nibbles while you and your family take your portraits. Trying to guide the guests to the reception without a formal notice can take twice as long…of course they don’t want to just leave thinking they may miss something.

6// Large Group Shot?

If you would like a portrait of everyone attending your wedding, make sure you include this in your list. These can be so much fun, but you don’t want a few guests to miss out if thye weren’t aware of the portrait. Again enlist the help of your minister (can you tell I love the ministers…they are miked up and are always happy to help). Ask all the guests to gather at one location for the huge group portrait first. After which friends are welcome to make their way to the reception while you and your family finish up.

I hope these tips will help you a bit in planning your family portraits! Have any questions or further tips? Feel free to leave a comment here or email me at leah@leahvalentine.com.

L~ F~:

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