Your family photos are one of the main things you will look back on from your wedding day, but wrangling up your whole family to get the photos can be one of the more stressful parts of the day(no one wants to hear the same story for the 10th time uncle bob, lets just take the photos lol). I’ve seen how overwhelming it can be to decide who will be included in photos and how helpful it is to plan a schedule ahead. As always though, I got you with the wedding tips! Here are my tips for nailing your family wedding photos.
As a wedding photographer, I get asked “who should be in my wedding photos” all the time. Obviously you may want your closest family members like parents, grandparents and siblings, but what about others who you consider to be very close to you? My advice is to not focus on what other people will think if they are or aren’t asked to be included, and don’t worry too much about who your parents or other family members think should be involved. It’s your day and your photos, and once you start involving other people’s opinions you’ll end up confusing yourself with who you want in them.
However, once you have made your list with your fiancé, if you want to get the opinion of your immediate family members or maybe a close friend who knows you and your wild fam, now is the time. Just keep in mind that it’s your day and you don’t have to take photos with anyone you don’t want to.
When making your list or order of photos, which is a good thing to do ahead of time, get the photos with your joined families done first so both of your families aren’t waiting around. The bigger the shots you can get done early, the better!
Older people and babies tend to get tired or fussy FAST and I’m sure those people will appreciate getting their photos taken quickly. After those are done, you can divide into your individual families, starting with the bigger groups and narrowing down so you can excuse people to cocktail hour as they finish their photos. I’m sure they will appreciate getting a drink faster and you will be less stressed with fewer people around.
The week of or before your wedding, text or email everyone you expect to be in the photos letting them know they are involved. This gives you a chance ahead of time to make sure everyone knows when and where to be to avoid chasing Aunt Jean down at the bar when she’s supposed to be outside taking photos.
Before the wedding day, you should send your photographer the list. We use the it to make the post-ceremony photos at the ceremony location run as quickly and smoothly as possible so everyone isn’t waiting around to get their pictures taken. It would also be super helpful to mention any family circumstances they may not know of like divorced parents, deceased family members, etc.
Wedding days are chaotic and your photographer may have to photograph some groups or shots out of order due to stragglers or other circumstances. Trust they will get every shot you asked for, because that’s what you hired them to do 🙂 If you saw my post on why you shouldn’t be nervous to have your wedding photos taken, you know how important it is to hire someone you fully trust as your photographer.
Take this photo for example, the church was incredibly dark but I was prepared for any lighting situation to come my way and make sure I could make sure this couples family photos beautiful for them, like they trusted me to do!
Your photographer should be totally comfortable with a last minute request that wasn’t on the list. If one of your family members wants a photo that isn’t on your list, ask them to wait until the end so you can focus on all of the planned shots first. I am always more than happy to take on any last minute requests!!
Family is stressful for everyone, it’s not just yours. It could be helpful to delegate someone ahead of time (think of your most Type A family or friend) to help organize everyone throughout the photos. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and keep your eye on the prize: a stiff drink!
I know planning your dream wedding can be stressful, heres the thing though, you don't have to do this alone!! I got you! I will be your Chicago wedding guide helping you navigate the not so fun parts of planning your best day ever! I believe you should have FUN on your wedding day! I know, crazy right? Let me prove it to you!