When to do them

Quite often these formal photographs are done after the end of the congratulations after the ceremony before your guests run away or consume too much alcohol. Another time you can do them is while your guests are being seated, as guests are done with their photo, they can head inside and grab a drink, their bag and take their seat.

Have a helper

To make these go smoothly and not take up too much time make sure you appoint a helper. This could be your MC or a family member on either side. Another way to make things go smoothly is to ensure your guests know when this is going to happen. Your celebrant can let people know during the ceremony house keeping or you could even have your time line on a sign.

Prioritise your list

When you write your list, put your immediate must have people at the top. These are the non-negotiable group photos. Parents, siblings and grandparents should probably rank in these. That way if you get fed up or tired of smiling, you can easily cut your list knowing you've got your must haves. Make sure to use peoples names on the list too. That way we can call them out rather than just calling out for the brides mums sister.

Have the next group ready

To ensure these go by as fast as they can so you can get back to mixing and mingling. Make sure your helper has the next group ready to go, before the group before them is finished. That way you won't be waiting for aunt Julie to get back from the car or uncle Mark to finish pouring the ice into the drinks bin.

Be congratulated first

If you don't, everyone coming in for a group photo will want to hug you, shake your hand and pat you on the back before they'll get in line for their photo. Which is fine, but when you have lots of people doing this, it will take much longer per group of people.

Do a big group photo

One way to not leave anyone out but also not have to have a formal photo with every single group of your extended family is to do a big group photo with everyone in it. This is also a great segue into the next photos as we've got everyones attention. Big group photos usually take around 5-10 minutes to organise and take.

The Simple List

  • Everyong
  • Couple with brides parents
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with dad
  • Bride with mum
  • Grandparents
  • Brides immediate family (parents, grandparents + siblings)
  • Couple with grooms parents
  • Groom with parents
  • Groom with dad
  • Groom with mum
  • Grandparents
  • Grooms immediate family (parents, grandparents + siblings)
  • Friends

You can also add in a group photo of all the extended family on either side if needed or the couple with nieces or nephews or children. You can also do one photo with and without unmarried partners of family members. At the end of your must-have groups you can always ask would anyone else like a photograph with the bride and groom and just have people come in and out who want to have photographs which takes a lot less time than trying to dictate who is in each photograph with who. If you have a really big list of photographs, be aware it will take time and it can be a little frustrating waiting on your guests to get organised so have patience and take a breath.