Your wedding photos will help you and your loved ones remember and relive your special day. So how can you make sure all of your important family members are captured?
As wedding photographers, we recommend preparing a checklist of family and group photos in advance to help your portraits run smoothly (and so you can get back to the party as soon as possible!).
No idea what to include? Keep reading for our ultimate family photo checklist below.
Why Prepare a Family Photo Checklist for Your Wedding?
Having a pre-prepared group photo checklist or “shot list” will help your photographer maximise the time spent on family portraits. Without any kind of checklist, it can be stressful (and time-consuming!) trying to coordinate a large group of guests.
Let’s be honest – after the ceremony, you and your loved ones will be ready to relax, mingle, and get the party started. A group photo checklist means we can get your family portraits done as efficiently as possible, so you can get back to enjoying your day!
Preparing a group photo checklist also means you don’t have to worry about any important family members being overlooked. Amongst the craziness of your wedding day, a checklist helps your photographer understand exactly which portraits you’d like captured, without forgetting any key people.
The Ultimate Family and Group Photo Checklist
So, what kind of group photo combinations should you be including on your checklist? This will depend on your unique family situation, and will look different for each couple. However, you can use the following checklist as a helpful guide to get started:
Family Photos – Bride’s Side
- Bride with mother
- Bride with father
- Bride with both parents
- Bride with siblings
- Bride with immediate family (parents and siblings)
- Bride, Groom and Bride’s parents
- Bride, Groom and Bride’s immediate family (parents and siblings)
- Bride with her grandparents
- Bride, Groom and Bride’s grandparents
Family Photos – Groom’s Side
- Groom with mother
- Groom with father
- Groom with both parents
- Groom with siblings
- Groom with immediate family (parents and siblings)
- Bride, Groom and Groom’s parents
- Bride, Groom and Groom’s immediate family (parents and siblings)
- Bride, Groom and Groom’s grandparents
Family Photos – Both Sides
- Bride, Groom and both sets of parents
- Bride, Groom and both sets of immediate family
Bridal Party Photos
- Bride and Bridesmaids
- Bride and Maid of Honor
- Groom and Groomsmen
- Groom and Best Man
- Bride and Groom with Maid of Honor and Best Man
- Entire bridal party together
- Bride and groom together
- Bride and Groom with Aunties, Uncles and Cousins
- Bride and Groom with Flower Girl / Page Boy
- Any other meaningful groups of friends/family members
- All wedding guests together
How Much Time Should You Allow for Family Photos?
Depending on how many groups you have, we recommend allowing approximately 20-30 minutes for your family portrait session.
If you have a significantly large guest list, it can be a good idea to use this time for immediate family only. Your photographer can then capture everyone else during the cocktail hour and reception.
To ensure your family portraits run as smoothly as possible, you’ll want to make sure your photographer and wedding planner both have a copy of your checklist. Your wedding planner will be able to coordinate your portrait session and round up the relevant people. If you don’t have a wedding planner, make sure you delegate this responsibility to another guest before the day. This will allow your photographer to focus on capturing beautiful portraits, with someone else to keep everything on track.
Now that you have your family photo checklist sorted, check out our guide to creating your wedding photography timeline here. Or, if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Italy, get in touch to learn more about our destination wedding photography packages!