How to Structure Your Family Wedding Photos For a Smooth Wedding Day Charlotte Wedding Photographer


September 19, 2023

Planning your wedding and wondering how exactly to structure your family wedding photos for a smooth flowing timeline? As a wedding photographer of 12 years, I’ve gained some valuable tips and tricks that I use when structuring my couples family formals that make the process go so much faster and smoother, and I can’t wait to share those tips with you, so keep reading!


1 – Creating Your Family Formals List

Its important that you create a list of who exactly you want in your family wedding photos prior to your big day and that you communicate this with me. This will ensure that we get photos with everyone you want, and it will help for a smooth process when this is decided on prior to. Below is an example list for family formals. Keep in mind that this is for both sides of the family. Starting it this way makes it easier to eliminate people out of the photos as we go, saving you as much time as possible! Keeping everyone close by is a great way to let people pop in and out of photos quickly if desired.

  • Couple, parents, siblings, and grandparents.
  • Couple, parents, siblings
  • Couple, parents
  • Bride & Mom
  • Bride & Dad

Then you’ll repeat this list for your partners side again!

2 – Use Real Names When Creating Your Family Wedding Photos List!

When you’re creating your family formals list, please use their real names. This makes it so much easier to know whose being called up for family photos! EX Katie, Joe, Lexi, Brad, etc.)  If you write down “Grandpa”, “Grandma” or “Sister” it may be confusing as there may be several grandparents and sisters in attendance! 😉


3- Have a Designated Family/Friend to Rally Up People For Photos

A great tip is to have a designated family member or friend who knows both sides of the families well to stay and help “chase down” family members who may have forgot to stay and already made their way to cocktail hour!


4 – Break Your List Into Groupings For Larger Family Wedding Photos

If you have a larger family formal photos you want done, break up into groupings. For any groups where your partner isn’t involved, try scheduling these prior to the ceremony to save time later!

5 – Let Your Photographer Know of Any Family Dynamics or Tension

If you have any awkwardness or sensitive family dynamics, let your photographer know this ahead of time. This will allow us to be prepared and mindful during this time! This will ensure we avoid any awkward encounters and keep your day a positive vibe as much as possible!

6 – Looking for Candid Shots For Your Family Wedding Photos?

If you’re someone who values candid shots with your family, be sure to greet and interact with each member of your family as they come up for their family wedding photos. This allows you to not only get traditional group formals, but also natural hugging shots, handshakes, etc and will add emotion to your photos!

Did You Find These Family Formals Tips & Tricks Helpful?

My hope is that if you’re trying to figure out how to structure your family wedding photos, that this has helped! And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, I’d be honored to be a part of your special day! You can learn more about me here, and If I sound like the perfect wedding photographer for you, then inquire with me here! In the meantime, follow me over on Instagram where I also share wedding tips and tricks!


Brooke Michelle Photo | Charlotte Wedding Photographer


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