January 14, 2020
The idea of so many people in one place for family portraits doesn’t have to be overwhelming. After all, this is probably the only time you will have all your close loved ones in the same place at the same time! Instead of stressing, lets utilize the time and gather your nearest and dearest to celebrate the special occasion 🙂
By including these 5 tips, you can eliminate some of the stress as well as potentially adding a few more minutes to your Mr. & Mrs. portraits! Double Bonus!
Make a list:
A month or two before the wedding, I will send out a questionnaire to help gather a list of all the loved ones you want included in your family formals. So many people right?? Lets simplify it a little!
The portion following the ceremony usually includes mom, dad, grandparents and siblings, however you can include anyone!
Write down all family members by grouping them under the bride’s side and the groom’s side. We typically start with grandparents so that they aren’t standing around too long 🙂
Ex: 1. Bride & Groom with Bride’s Mom (Karen), Bride’s Dad (Jeff), Bride’s Paternal Grandparents (Ralph & Phyllis).
2. Bride & Groom with Bride’s Mom, Dad, and Bride’s Maternal Grandparents (Marilyn & Robert).
Bonus tip: I have a great-aunt that meant a great deal to me. She has passed away, but if she were alive today, she would be in my special family formals because of how special she was to me. For other extended family, we can always grab fun groupings of them after dinner as so that you (and your guests) can enjoy your first meal as husband and wife! YAY!! 🙂
One of the most important parts of the timeline is the family formals. From this list, we read the grouping of names straight from the list. Each grouping of people takes about 2 minutes. We always suggest couples to have 8-10 groups with no more than 10 people in each group. This way, family photos should take no more than 20 minutes and we can move forward with bridal party portraits and your Mr. & Mrs. romantic portraits.
Prepare your family:
Be sure you notify everyone on your list that they will be a part of family portraits immediately after the ceremony. This is important because sometimes family members disappear (to the bathroom, to get a drink, snacks, or to greet guests.). By informing everyone that they will be needed for that portion of the day saves the trouble of having to find Uncle John amongst all of the wedding guests!
Be specific when you tell your family where they will be meeting following the ceremony. Usually this will be at the alter. I typically let them know to sit in the pews a few rows back. For example, if you are in a church, they will begin filling in the 3 rows from the front of the church and wait for their names to be called.
Designated Family Member:
This person is someone who isn’t afraid to get loud, someone who knows all there is to know about your family. You may want to choose two DFMs as it is rare that you will have one DFM who knows both the Bride’s side and the Groom’s side well.
Hopefully this has been beneficial and will help you create your family formal list a little easier! We would love to hear what part of this has been the most helpful – Bonus points if you share this to social media and tag a friend who may need help with their family formals!