Steps to stress-free family portraits on your wedding day

Steps to stress-free family portraits on your wedding day

Family formals on a wedding day can be the most hectic part of the entire day for many reasons. Family formals are typically done right after the ceremony. But every single guest wants to hug, congratulate, and take a photo with you but after your kiss, I need to whisk you away to get those formals done asap so that way you can get back to your party!

Here are a few tips to have as little stress as possible when it comes to this part of your wedding day:

  1. Sit down and talk with your fiancé and make a list.

Talk about what family members and groupings you want your family formals with. Now, this doesn't mean every single guest; these photos are the formal, clean photos that mom and dad print for the wall or family Christmas cards. 

  1. Assign a family wrangler for each side.

This can be a game-changer. As a photographer, we don't know every member in your family, like who is your three aunts that you want a photo with. Rather for us to yell out names, have someone on each side of your family that know everyone on the list. That way if aunt Becky is starting to stray, they can grab her. It is a massive help for photographers!

  1. Tell family members the plan

Give your immediate family a heads up that after the ceremony, we will be taking those perfect photos. A plan can help avoid family members straying to the cocktail hour when they are needed or your mom worrying that we didn't take a portrait of you and your siblings before the ceremony. 

  1. Give a list to each wrangler, and me! Your photographer.

As soon as you have this list made, send me a copy! Typically you want the list done at least one week before your wedding. This helps me know how much time is going to be needed. It also helps me out to have on the wedding day, so I can check off every grouping that you want, and go as fast as possible. 

5. Have your officiant announce right after the ceremony

Before they say y'all can kiss, have them make a quick announcement that after the ceremony you will be going straight to photos and the family who knows who go to the area with them. And for the other guests to attend the cocktail hour, you will be joining them shortly!


If these five things are taken place, family formals are going to breeze! I am going to get you done as fast as possible, and it will be a stress-free wedding day!