Photo: Hunter James Photography
There’s a reason finding the right photographer is so high on the wedding planning to-do list: Your wedding photos are the memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your lives, so you want those details and moments to be well-documented. But have you ever thought about what goes into making sure you get all of the pictures you want? If you’re like most couples, the thought of taking a chunk out of your day for family wedding photos might sound like a drag (you will be missing part of cocktail hour, after all!), but it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s how to make those family wedding photos fly by, easing the stress and making sure you get to enjoy as much of your party as possible.
Make a ListEven if your photographer is known for his or her ability to capture candid moments, your family photos shouldn’t be taken on the fly. “Set aside a night, open a bottle of wine, and think through the combinations of people you really want to get,” says Kina Wicks of Kina Wicks Photography in Chicago. “Prioritize the family wedding photos you know you won’t be able to get as candids, like one with your brother or all of your aunts and uncles.” But remember that other pairings, like a shot of you and your favorite cousin, will be easy to get on the dance floor later, so leave it out. “I recommend about 20 combinations of people total, which covers all of the important groupings,” Wicks says. And don’t forget to actually include people’s first and last names!
Give Family a Heads-UpYour family may expect to be included in pictures, but they won’t know where to go unless you tell them. “I ask all my couples to make an announcement at the rehearsal dinner, telling their family where and when family photos will take place,” says Wicks. “They’re much more likely to listen to the bride or groom than even the planner!” And remember—your planner and photographer don’t know what your family members look like, so telling them where to be will make gathering everyone infinitely easier the next day.
Take Intimate Groupings EarlyThose one-on-one shots with your mom? Take them earlier on in the day—even before the ceremony, right after you’ve gotten dressed—so you don’t have to add them to the list later. “It’s important to get those individual shots, and it’s helpful to do them beforehand to keep family wedding photos moving along,” Wicks explains.
Photo: Michelle Lea Photographie