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5 Tips For Family Portraits: Monday Wedding Madness

One big part of the wedding day is when you get to take the Family Formal Portraits. Not only do you want those images with your closest family members but they want those images as well! These are the images that are usually printed and displayed in your families homes. They may not be the ones that will make it into your album, but they still play a huge part for you and your family. These five tips will help make the family portrait part of your wedding go fast and seamless!

1. Make A List and Stick To It

Make a list of the different family portrait combinations and give that to your photographer. They will then be able to read off the list and won't have to ask you what family portraits you are wanting that day. While making this list is it helpful to group all of the bride's family in one section and the grooms family in another. You will want to start with the bigger group and then pull people out one by one. For example, start with the bride and groom with the bride's parents, siblings, and grandparents. Then pull out the siblings, then pull out the grandparents.

Stick to the list you make and try not to add extras. You and your photographer have figured out how much time you will need based off of the list you sent. Adding different combinations at the last minute will cut into your time and you may not be able to get through your whole list or you will be late to the next section of your day.

2. Allow Enough Time

After giving your photographer your family portrait list ask them how much time they will need to shoot the different combinations. If you have 15 different combinations, you will need more than 10 minutes and if you only have 5 different combinations you will not need 30 minutes. By communicating with your photographer before the wedding, you will be able to adjust your timeline to what will be needed.

3. Consider The Location

A lot of times the family portraits will be taken at the ceremony altar, but this does not have to be the location! Consider what your altar looks like. Is it in a dark church/venue? Is the background not very pretty or is it distracting? You can always take your family portraits outside in natural light or move to a location that is less distracting. You will also want to try to make the location an area where guests will not be walking around. All of your guests will want to come congratulate you and this will cut into the portrait time.

4. Notify Your Family Members

Before your wedding, let all of the family members who will be needed for family formals know. Let them know the location as well as the time. This will make sure that they know they will be needed and help keep things running on time.

5. Appoint A Helper

Your photographer is not going to know who Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob are. If you have a family member or friend stand by they can help make sure your different family members are ready for the next grouping which will help the family portraits go by faster.


Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to


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