A bride and her bridesmaids laughing in front of a door.

How to plan your formal wedding photos

Congratulations on tying the knot! After your beautiful ceremony, it’s time to capture some fantastic formal photos with your loved ones. With a little bit of planning, this can be a fun moment for everyone and it won’t take too much time out of your day. As there are two of us, one of us will be taking the phots and the other one helping to line up and find the right guests.

Before your big day, we’ll ask you for a list of the formal photos you’d like. Here’s an example to give you an idea:

  • Everyone
  • B+G and bride’s family
  • B+G and the groom’s family
  • B+G and parents
  • B+G and siblings
  • B+G with friends
  • All bridal and groom party
  • B and bridesmaids
  • G and groomsmen
  • B & G and Friends

Having this list in advance helps us estimate the time needed for the photos and plan an efficient order. We usually start with the larger groups and gradually move on to smaller ones. Taking people away from the group is easier than trying to gather them. If there are children or elderly people in the images, we allow a little more time per photo. Think about which photos combinations are important to you. The shorter your list, the more time you’ll have to celebrate with your guests.

Typically, there are about 90 minutes between the end of the ceremony and the start of your wedding reception. During this time, you can enjoy throwing confetti, taking your group photos, grabbing some drinks, and perhaps enjoying canapés. You’ll also have a chance to spend quality time with your guests and stroll around the grounds for your couples’ photos. WE try to allocate 20 minutes for your couples photos to take a tour of the venue and make the most of the different photo opportunities. It’s also a special time for you to relax together to enjoy your first moments as a married couple. We make this time relaxed and fun, it’s not a photoshoot, more a chance for us to capture your love and excitement (and to nail some epic shots too).

Keep in mind that each group photo may take around 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the group. Since guests tend to wander off to the bar or bathrooms, it can take a bit of time to gather everyone for each photo. So, when choosing your groups, consider the ones you’d like to frame and prioritize those. It’s essential to have a manageable number of groups so you can also have time to catch up with your guests, and take your couples’ photos without feeling rushed.

When we say “formal” photos, that doesn’t mean the photos ned to be boring or stuffy! We can arrange fun poses and some natural moments shots where we capture you interacting together. It’s also useful to have the bridal and groom party for a little longer to get a variety of images (and you get some time to spend together as a group). If you have any particular requests for your formal photos, just let us know before the day so we don’t miss anything and can plan as needed. On the day if you’d like to try something just ask! We will also give you suggestions and ideas, but again, it’s always up to you to decide what you’d like to do.

To make things easier, we usually enlist the help of the best man, parent or an usher to gather the right people for each photo and to make sure no one is missing. We’ll then focus on arranging everyone in position, lucky smart and tidy. Sometimes, if the Maid of Honour has the loudest voice, we’ll rely on her too! We’ll guide each group to face the camera and smile, capturing a few shots of each. Later, during the selection process, we’ll choose the photos where everyone has their eyes open and is looking their best.

If for any reason we can’t get out to do the group shot of everyone, (we won’t mention the ‘R” word), we will try again a bit later before the evening meal. We will find a dry spot inside to take pictures of smaller family groups and also bring g several white umbrellas if needed.

If you need to add any photos on to your list on the day, that’s not a problem, just let us know what you need. As we will be with you all day, you can grab us at any time when you see a family member of friend that you’d like a photo of. We’ll also be capturing those natural and candid moments of you interacting and hugging your guests and having fun with your friends (it’s never our suggestion to lift the bride or groom, but it does make for a great shot).

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