When you are thinking about all of the amazing photographs you are excited about on your wedding day, family formals probably are not high on that list. Are you overwhelmed just at the thought of all of those family members that you have to control? Maybe it's the thought of everybody standing together, forcing those smiles in the hot sun?
We have some great news for you, family formals DON'T HAVE TO BE STRESSFUL! In fact, this can be a time where so many great moments can be shared. This can be the opportunity that you tell your mom how much it meant to you that she helped you with wedding planning. It could be you tell your grandfather how much it meant to you to spend your summers at the race track with him (Brett's grandfather passed away before our wedding and he would give anything to be able to tell him that on our wedding day).
Family formals can be so enjoyable for you and your family. Here are a few of our essential tips to help your family formals experience go smoothly, as well as creating the best quality list for you and your family.
When you start thinking about who to add to your family formals list, it can grow FAST. Instead of focusing on getting a photo with every single person you can think of, think about which photographs are going to be hung up on your wall. Which photos can you gift to someone where they will hang it up in their living room? What we have seen over the years is for the most part these are going to be photos with your intermediate families. Remember your photographer will take photos of you with any of your friends and family that are important to you at your reception so save your family formals list for only those photos that are a big priority and mean the most to both of you.
The best time to take your family formals is either right before your ceremony, or immediately after. We personally love going somewhere that really showcases the beauty of your venue. However, if you have a list with dozens of combinations, having your family there will become very uncomfortable for them, especially in the hot summer heat. As wedding photographers, it is our job to come up with a workflow to get you from the ceremony to the reception as quickly as possible. It is very easy for family members to get to talking, slowly walk up when they are called, be distracted, etc. That can start adding a lot of time to how long family formals goes.
Grouping multiple families together into one photo is a great way to minimize time and still get you a beautiful portrait with the family members that are important to you
Here is an example:
1.~Bride + Groom + Uncle John's family
2.~Bride + Groom + Uncle Bob's Family
3.~Bride + Groom + Aunt Olivia's Family
4.~Bride + Groom + Uncle Scotts family
1.~Bride + Groom + Uncle John's family
+ Uncle Bob's Family + Aunt Olivia's Family + Uncle Scott's Family
Also, designate someone from each side of the family to help get family members for the photographers. As photographers, we know who your parents are, siblings, and grandparents.....but we have absolutely no idea who Aunt Barbara is or your Uncle Johnny's son Bobby is. Having a sibling or someone close to each side of the family be able to grab and gather family members for us will greatly minimize time you and your family have to stand around for family formals.
Before the wedding day, we always send out questionnaires and chat about every little detail. This includes us asking about your family dynamics and what we should be aware of. This is something very uncomfortable to talk about, we totally get it! We have photographed so many weddings and absolutely LOVE what we do. That isn't to say that even some of our absolute favorite weddings did not come with some family baggage. This is a part of life and its normal!
The more your photographer knows about your family dynamics, the better. If your grandfather recently passed away, we don't want to be asking your dad if grandpa will be joining us for family formals. If your parents are divorced and their relationship is very rocky, let us know so we don't put them right next to each other in a photo. The more you tell us the more your day will go smoothly!
-Bride + Groom + Parents
-Bride + Groom + Parents + Siblings
-Bride + Groom + Intermediate Family
- Bride + Groom + Intermediate Family + Grandparents
-Bride + Groom + Intermediate Family + Grandparents + Extended Family
-Bride + Intermediate Family + Grandparents + Extended Family
- Bride + Intermediate Family + Grandparents
-Bride + Intermediate Family
-Bride + Parents + Siblings
-Bride + Parents
-Bride + Mom
-Bride + Dad
-Bride + Siblings
-Bride + Grandparents
-Groom + Bride + Parents
-Groom + Bride +Parents + Siblings
-Groom + Bride + Intermediate Family
- Groom + Bride + Intermediate Family + Grandparents
-Groom + Bride + Intermediate Family + Grandparents + Extended Family
-Groom + Intermediate Family + Grandparents + Extended Family
- Groom + Intermediate Family + Grandparents
-Groom + Intermediate Family
-Groom + Parents + Siblings
-Groom + Parents
-Groom + Mom
-Groom + Dad
-Groom + Siblings
-Groom + Grandparents
-Bride + Groom + Bride & Groom's Parents
-Bride + Groom + Bride & Groom's Intermediate Families
Here is our list of recommended combinations for your wedding day. By no means are these requirements, you can add combinations or take away. These family formal lists are what we have found to be the best for both time and for getting couples the photographs they really value the most.
We help our couples with so much more on their wedding day!
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firstname.lastname@example.org | (815)347-9192 | 10621 Lake Park Drive, Dripping Springs, Texas, 78620
We would love to hear more about you both and what you are dreaming up for your wedding day. We will reach out to you as soon as possible!
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