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When it comes to their wedding day, family formals are usually the last thing on a couple’s mind. Maybe you don’t enjoy coordinating a large family and making sure everyone is on the same page. Family formals should be one of the happiest parts of the day because you don’t get all of these people together for a photo opportunity every day! When making this time decision, the availability of transportation for your family members is a vital factor to consider. Because some family members may find it difficult to arrive at the portrait location an hour before the event, having everyone gather immediately after the wedding may be ideal.

There’s no need to be worried; here are some tips for making the most of your wedding day family formals and making sure everything goes smoothly.

Better to Keep It Small

Because some people come from large families, getting these photos in during the limited time before the event would be difficult. At the absolute least, your formal family portraits should include your close relatives. What does it mean to be a member of an “immediate” family? Your parents, siblings, siblings’ wives, and children, as well as your grandparents, are all significant individuals in your life. Whether or not to include partners or girlfriends for your unmarried siblings is entirely up to you.

Keep your family formals list short, if possible. You should also inform your photographer and other families that you’d like to try for a group shot at the reception. That way, the pressure is relieved, and the ceremony’s stress is also relieved. 

Consider Creating a List 

Consider all of the family members you’d like to include in family formals before your wedding day. Make a list of everyone in your family as well as your fiance’s family and give the list to your photographer. It is also advisable to consider what kinds of family combinations they’d like to capture. 

Not only will you have every family combination, but we will also be able to call out the groups so we know which ones are most significant to you. Your family will appreciate how well-organized and prepared this part of the day is, and how much faster they can get to cocktail hour

Be Aware of Issues

It’s a good idea to let the photographer know if you have any family concerns. We will be best prepared to keep things running smoothly and relieve you of any stress if we are better informed. It’s normal for family members to disagree on some issues from time to time, therefore there’s no shame in informing your photographer about it. It would greatly assist the photographer in capturing your family portraits if all stand and act properly.

Keep Everyone Together after the Ceremony 

Remind everyone on your guest list that they will be included in family photos after the ceremony once you’ve confirmed your family lineups. Because family members may leave from time to time, this is crucial. Make a place for the whole family to gather. Recommend that the family remain at the location of the ceremony. When you have a strategy and a place in mind, family formals go much more smoothly.

Before the Ceremony, Opt These if All Family Is Present

If you plan to have family formals before the ceremony, you may consider having the first look. When a bride and groom do a first look, they usually do all of their portraits and family photos at the same time to get everything out of the way. As a result, they’ll be able to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests right following the ceremony. 

Another option for couples to consider is to take family pictures right after the ceremony, which is open to every couple regardless of their first look choice. This is the most common choice, and many couples choose to use their wedding venue as a backdrop. It is usually easy to gather everyone needed at this time because everyone is already there.


Someone such as your maid of honor/best man should assist in bringing everyone together. Despite having the shot list and most likely a second shooter, your photographer doesn’t know everyone in your family. It is incredibly beneficial to have someone who knows everyone to assist the photographer in calling out names and pulling them over! 

The importance of formal family pictures on a wedding day cannot be overstated. So, I sincerely hope this information assists you in completing your family formals! It will go easier if you are prepared and your photographer is prepared. 

Please contact me if you have any additional questions or would like to book me as your wedding photographer! To see how we worked, click on all of the links. Let’s collaborate on your special day! 

Although Diana Marie Photography is based in Tennessee, I am willing to travel to any location!

Wedding Tips: How to Make Family Formals Go Smoothly

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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