Family photos. A prerequisite of any wedding! Once you've decided to tie the knot your mom will officially be planning the family Christmas card around a wedding photo from your big day and you can't disappoint her or your 25 cousins who all want to recreate that photo of you all circa '95!
So how do you get all the family photos (in every possible combination including all the distant cousins, and opposite sides of the family) without either losing your mind or spending half your wedding day posing stiffly until your cheeks hurt from smiling? Answer: organization and a few tactical decisions pre-wedding day! You can save yourself time and stress by planning, and team tagging a few awesome family members to help support and keep the process moving.
These steps + a photographer who has their game face in place, will keep the family photo portion of the day simple and you and your love from missing all of cocktail hour!
Step 1. Make a list!
Decide what combinations of family pictures are a must and who you want in each portrait. Keep this list as to the point and concise as possible. This is your wedding day, NOT Disney Ice-capades, and while you don't want to miss any combinations, you also don't wait to take the same shot 10x over so be thoughtful as you compile your shot list.
Step 2. Once you have your photo list, make sure that you name each person in every photo combination. Instead of a generic list, "Bride + Groom, Aunt, Uncle, Parents etc" use specific names, "Aunt Conny Dusldorph, Uncle Joe Bean" etc. Seriously this will help immensely! Being able to call exact names means people are more likely to know they're needed and respond quickly!
Step 3. Appoint a family wrangler (technical term, industry standard 😜) for both your and your fiancee's family. Someone who knows the majority of your family members and is not afraid to be vocal is a good pick for this position. Arm them with your family portrait shot list and ask them to be on standby to help line each grouping up and make sure all family members are present and accounted for.
Step 4. Let every person you're including in the group and family portraits know ahead of time that they're going to be needed and what time during the wedding day the photos will take place. Trying to round up family and friends once they've escaped to the cocktail hour is worse than herding cats! Letting everyone have a heads up will save the frustration and time of shuffling through the crowd to find specific people.
And there you are! Four relatively easy steps that will keep the family and group portraits moving and streamlined!