December 17, 2018
Your wedding is a very personal thing, it’s a family event and a moment when all your close friends and family come together to celebrate this big day with you. And yes, your wedding is all about you two, but it also is about your families and Family Portraits is a great way to honor them! I bet your parents, grandparents, aunts, and ankles haven’t had their pictures taken professionally in years, or maybe even decades! Your wedding day is a great chance to update your family archives with some timeless portraits of your family in formal attire!
That being said, I know that weddings are complex, require a lot of planning, including many moving parts, and family portraits might sure add some stress on top of it all. That’s why you want to have a game plan for it and do everything you can beforehand to ensure this part of the day runs smoothly!
Here are my top 5 tips for stress-free family portraits on your wedding day:
Every photographer has a preferred time limit for family portrait sessions on wedding days, talk to your photographer to learn what that time is for them. I usually recommend keeping family portrait time under 30 minutes, which gives me enough time to photograph around 15 groups with attention to posing and details.
My clients always get a pre-wedding questionnaire where they can list all the family groupings they would like me to get on their wedding day. If your photographer hasn’t sent you one, just make a list and give it to them. It’ll make you, your families’ and your photographer’s life a ton easier!
I always recommend sticking with only your immediate family during your portrait time, and just the people that play a very important role in your life. You’ll always have a chance to take some more extended family portraits during your reception!
Here are some groupings that I see most often:
I try to get to know my couples as much as I can before their big day. But I usually don’t get to meet their families until the day of the wedding! And that means I don’t know them, their special needs, circumstances, and relationship with other members of the family. Unless you tell me, I don’t know if you grandma has troubles standing and might need a chair for the pictures, or there have been deaths, divorces or conflicts that might make some poses uncomfortable or awkward.
Communication with your wedding photographer is a key and all that information would allow them to be mindful and sensitive in a way they pose your family on your big day!
It’s always a great idea to give your wedding timeline to all the people that are involved in some parts of the day. You can send it to them, so they always have it on their phones or print it for them. Highlight the time and place where they should be and ask them to set a reminder for that time just in case they get too busy on the wedding day and lose track of time.
It can be another family member, your maid of honor, your coordinator, planner or their assistant. But I can’t emphasize enough how much smoother things go if there is someone who has your family groupings list and can gather those people in one place for your pictures! Trust me, you don’t want to run around in your wedding dress and look for uncle Joe on your big day!