Tips for Family Formals on the Wedding Day

If you've ever attended a wedding, you know that the family formal photos are often the craziest part of the day... Missing family members, no organization, & people yelling... It can be a mad house. We like our family formals to be very organized so we've put together a list of tips to help make them quick and painless. 

 

1. Prepare a list


Our brides will receive an online questionnaire with the traditional family groupings three months prior to their wedding. If you're a DHP Bride, you don't need to worry about coming up with these groupings as we do it for you! If your photographer doesn't do this - Make a numbered list of family members you would like in each photo. Make sure to use the person's NAME and not their relationship to you. Traditionally, there should be 6 groupings. Any more than this and you will need to add extra time to your timeline. 

1. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Bride

2. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Bride and Siblings 

3. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Bride and Grandparents 

4. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Groom

5. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Groom, Siblings

6. Bride, Groom, Parents of the Groom, Grandparents 

 

2. Be communicative 

Communicate with your family members about family formals BEFORE the wedding day!  Remind them when the photos are and that they should not wander to cocktail hour or start catching up with old friends.  When everyone is prepped for 30 minutes worth of photos, and if they know exactly when these photos are taking place, it is less likely that someone will have to hunt them down!

 

3. Immediate Family Only

Our family formals are immediate family only. (Parents, Siblings, Grandparents) It keeps things moving quickly and allows for the most time to get those romantic bride and groom portraits. We will have plenty of time at the reception if you would like to get some photos with Aunts or Cousins. Have the officiant announce after the wedding that family members who have been notified of being in family formals to stay in their seats, and dismiss everyone else to cocktail hour. 

 

4. Have a "wrangler" 

You and your partner will be standing front and center with a smile on your face for about half an hour. You can’t be the one running around trying to find your sister. Missing family members cuts into precious photo time and adds stress.  In theory, this person should know both sides of the family quite well and not be a bridal party member. This is usually a great job for an usher. 

 

 

Your wedding day should be remembered for the beautiful decor, amazing speeches, and delicious cake...Not how awful the family formals were. We hope this little list helps you prepare for and  plan awesome photos with the people you love most. 

 

 

© Indianapolis Wedding Photographer Danielle Harris

 

 

Want to know what's in our Wedding Day Emergency Kit?! Click here to find out.  

 

 

 

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International Destination Wedding Photographer 

Charleston SC

Danielle@DanielleHarrisPhotography.com  |  

Tel: 317-762-4589

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