About two months before your wedding, we are meeting for consult #2 to go over your timeline, details and to help compile your family formal shot list. The better organized we can be before the wedding day, the more you can relax and enjoy your guests on the big day. Over the 10+ years I’ve been photographing weddings, these are some fabulous helpful tips for a smooth formal portrait experience:
- Add in to your timeline, “cushion time.” I use this word a lot. If your family formal time falls after your ceremony (or even before), everyone will want to make sure to give you a big hug and tell you how beautiful you both are without just jumping in to taking pictures. These are very sweet moments seeing family for the first time so we want to make sure not to rush this for them and you. We always ask to allow 10-15 minutes of hugs before we start pictures. This will also allow us to set up our lights if needed.
- A great rule, is to allow about 1 minute per group shot in your schedule. Roughly 2-3 minutes for the large extended family shots. This is why we mostly focus on immediate family pictures during “formal portrait” time. Remember, we can always take additional photos of extended family and requests at the reception.
- Have a photo location picked out before the day of, so that you can tell everyone where to be directly before or after the ceremony.
- Email your shot list along with the schedule to all your family and friends before the wedding day, that way they know where to be and what time.
- Print off extra shot lists for family, the day of the wedding and have them available during this time for their reference.
- Remind family, to remain quiet and attentive so that you may focus on your family pictures during this time. These pictures are truly timeless and we want to make sure everyone is stress free and bringing their best smiles. *Just tell them, the quicker we get done, the longer they will have to mingle. Wink*
- Try to take as many of the shots of just you (bride and you groom) with your immediate family before the ceremony if you choose not to see each other before.
- From experience, I’ve learned it’s easier to have grandparents and children come post-wedding for their pictures so they don’t get tired of being on their feet for long. It makes it an easy day for them.
- Have a “special attendant” who knows a lot of the families, to help gather the next shot on the list so they can be “on deck and ready” to transition quicker. You don’t want to steal your coordinator away from their duties, and our second photographer is catching those sweet moments with the family interacting during this time.
- We would LOVE if you could hover over the image and PIN this image to Pinterest. If you wish to download the shot list below, please click here.
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