Who should be in my wedding group photos? When should I have my wedding group photos? This blog has all the answers you are looking for when it comes to planning your wedding group photos.
Possibly one of the more important parts of the day however, also a big make or break point in the day. From experience, most aspects of the day can flow freely with no real need for direction (within reason). The group shots however are certainly one of those "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" moments, don't worry though, I've got you! Get it right and it will be an epic part of the day, get it wrong and it could potentially be very stressful and end up eating a huge chunk out of the time you should be celebrating, not wondering where uncle Bob has gone so you can have your 14th group picture.
To help you I'm going to list the bare minimum/essentials list. A great method for choosing this list is the "Will Nan print this and put it above her fireplace" technique. I always recommend a maximum of 8-10 separate groups. TRUST ME anymore than 10 can change the whole vibe of your reception.
Bride & Groom + grooms parents
Bride & Groom + grooms parents + siblings
Bride & Groom + brides parents
Bride & Groom + brides parents + siblings
Bride & Groom + both families
Bride & Groom + bridal party
Groom + Groomsman
Bride + Bridesmaids
*Bonus tip* these are the formal ones, the "will Nan put this above the fireplace" ones. Any additional ones (Your best mates from uni, the stag/hen do, your oldest school mates etc) can always be done more casually throughout the reception or later in the day, Remember your photographer is there all day to take pictures. Give them a little tap on the shoulder, they will get that pic for you, I definitely will.
Depending on the time of year/location the best time for group pictures will usually be immediately following the confetti/ceremony. Everyone will be there making organisation much easier. In peak summer, especially, this may change if there is no suitable location e.g harsh sunlight in everyones eyes/no shade. This will effect your images massively so certainly something to consider. That leads me onto "where?"
More often than not as the previous tip mentions the best time to do group photos is following confetti, at the location where the ceremony takes place. Personally, I always try seek a suitable background, something clean and not to distracting or a point of interest on the day (church/venue). In peak summer or hot days having a bit of shade is a must too. Not only as this makes for much more flattering lighting in images, taking pictures in the boiling sun is never fun.
Let's face it. It's very rare all/most family members are all in one place at one time, that's the joy of celebrating a marriage! To most people having family at your day is the most important aspect. So it's important to get some formal pictures of you all together that you can print and cherish for generations to come.
THE NOT SO FORMAL ONES
These are the ones of the girls in the bath tub, smoke bombs, sparklers or even the ones of the groom being thrown into the air. A lot of these although may need a little communication an experienced photographer will capture these throughout the day when they happen. Smoke bombs and sparklers obviously need a bit more preparation (timing /location) but all the others you can use the "tap on the shoulder" technique. "Can we have a picture of the stag do, please?" etc etc.
Your photographer doesn't know your family history, so unless you tell them that Mum and Dad are no longer together and don't get on that well they won't know! Please give us a heads up to avoid any awkward moments.
The big group photo will obviously need more planning and an area large enough for everyones face to fit in. Discuss the idea with your venue, they usually know a place that fits best.
The social ones e.g. smoke bombs/sparklers. Let your photographer know before hand. An experienced photographer will know what is best for both.
Every photographer is a little bit different. Always check their full galleries to see how their group photos look. Both the formal ones and the not so formal ones to see if they match your vibe.
Group shots are all about balance, communication and completely individual to you. A key ingredient to your group shots is your photographer, so always check how they roll when it comes to this part of the day. This guide isn't a one-size fits all guide however, I would certainly recommend taking some points on board.
I hope this helps you at least a little! If you're in search of your wedding photographer feel free to hit that cool button bellow and send me a message to see if I am available!