How To Prepare Your Family Formal Photo Checklist For Your Wedding Photographer.

So your wedding photographer has asked you to prepare a family formal photography list for your wedding but you honestly have no idea where to even begin. Here are a few tip and tricks that I have found helpful.




Setting Time Aside.


Traditionally, family formal photos are taken shortly after the ceremony while everyone is still in the same place. In order to accommodate enough time for family formals before you head off to bridal portraits, have a look at your timeline and see how much time you perhaps have free after your ceremony end time.


It's a good idea to work on around 2 minutes per photograph as this allows time for arranging of those in the photo as well as posing them before a shot is taken. The more people you have in the shot, the more time you will need to arrange everyone so keep that in mind. For whole group photos including everyone at the ceremony I would recommend 10-15 minutes just in case. So if you know that you are only going to have around 30 minutes for family formal photos after the ceremony, then you know to keep your list a bit shorter (15 different photo groupings at 2 minutes each).I would also recommend budgeting 10 - 15 minutes before the photos even start to gather everyone together who needs to be there so that they are all ready to go to make the photos flow quickly.

Creating Your List.

Here is a guide to potential combinations of photos you may want to have. These are only a guide so feel free to change it up if you like. There are no rules when it comes to creating your checklist so create a list that suits you. As you are writing your list, it is a good idea to add first names next to each combination so that you photographer knows who to call out on the day.


  • Bride and her bridesmaids

  • Groom and his groomsmen

  • Bridal Couple and bridal party

  • Bridal couple, bridal party and flower girl or page boy

  • Bridal couple and bridal party with partners

  • Bride and parents

  • Bride and each parent separately

  • Bride, parents and step parents

  • Groom and Parents

  • Groom and each parent separately

  • Groom, parents and step parents

  • Bridal couple with both parents

  • Bridal couple with both parents and step parents

  • Bride and siblings

  • Bride with each sibling separately

  • Groom and siblings

  • Groom with each sibling separately

  • Bride and siblings with partners

  • Groom and siblings with partners

  • Bride and siblings with partners and kids

  • Groom and siblings with partners and kids

  • Bridal couple and both sets of siblings

  • Bridal couple and both sets of siblings and partners

  • Bridal couple and both sets of siblings and partners and kids

  • Bride and grandparents

  • Bride, parents and grandparents

  • Bride parents, grandparents, siblings

  • Groom and grandparents

  • Groom, parents and grandparents

  • Groom, parents, grandparents, siblings

  • Bridal couple with both sets grandparents

  • Bridal couple with both sets of parents and grandparents

  • Bridal couple with both sets of parents, grandparents and siblings

  • Bride with aunts, uncles or extended family

  • Groom with aunts, uncles or extended family

  • Bridal couple with both sets of extended family

  • Large group shot of all bride's family together

  • Large group shot of all groom's family together

  • Large group shot of bridal couple with all family

  • Bride and special friends

  • Groom and special friends

  • Bridal couple with special friends

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Photos.

There are a few things that I have found make your family formal photos look amazing. Here are my favourite:


  • Connect with the person or family member next to you in some way. Put your arm around someone, touch the arm of the person next to you and so on. This creates greater connection in your photos and ensures that you don't stand too far from the person next to you.

  • Squeeze and cheese! For close families, I love counting to 3 and getting everyone to squeeze each other ever so slightly as I take the photo. Again it creates amazing connection in your photos and guaranteed it will create genuine smiles rather than the cheesy posed ones we tend to pull when we are nervous.


I hope that you found this helpful and that you are all set yo create your checklist with ease!


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