While candid groupings are my favorite to capture during the cocktail hour and reception, those formal groupings are just as important!
From my thirteen years of experience, this can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming tasks for you to get through on your wedding day. Your family will be SO excited to see you and they are even more excited about being photographed with you! The excitement and exuberance can increase the energy and noise level…which might increase your stress level.
Every family dynamic is very different, as well as different cultures can have high expectations of the amount of people they want in these shots. (ALLL the second cousins, once removed…ha ha…you get the picture).
Regardless of how large or small your family is, it’s important to set us up for success by creating a detailed list of every grouping you two might want. I always recommend that you reach out to the future in-laws for their “must-haves”, and cull down from there. This list will also give me better idea of how much time we will need to carve out of the timeline.
Keep in mind that you will be a blended family now! It makes the most sense to create groupings with BOTH of you in each shot, with the exception of the immediate family individual shots with Moms and Dads etc.
We also want to be sensitive to any divorces, or deaths to make sure there aren’t any awkward situations or uncomfortable situations. Please share anything that will help us be sensitive to your family and guests!
I also recommend that you have a “go-to” family member or friend that knows each side of the family fairly well! When it’s time for the groupings, my assistant will use that list and get each group on-deck while I photograph the first group, and so on. Your go-to person, along with my assistant, will call out the names, which will help everything run efficiently, and quickly. During the transition of groupings, we cross off the names on the list, ensuring we don’t miss anyone. If you have family members ask for groupings that are not on the list, we will be your advocate here! It is always our recommendation to them that they grab us during the reception and we will make sure it happens. 🙂
We want everyone to have a FUN time through these!