Formal Wedding Photos

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One of the major details you’ll discuss with your Mike Staff Productions wedding photographer (we hope!) is whether you prefer artistic, candid or photo journalistic wedding pictures. But one thing is certain, you’ll likely have a more traditional feeling toward the formal family images from your wedding day. These images are the ones that sit on mom’s mantle and add to the history of your families. Here’s some tips on making your photography plan that includes the family formals:

Prioritize The List

Make a written list of all the group combinations you might want. Now consider your timeline, knowing that each combination will take a minimum of two minutes to change the people in the photo, pose everyone and take the shot, prioritize your family formal list. Which images must be taken at the church and which can be taken throughout the day? Are you taking an image because you “have” to or because you want to save the memory?

Identify The Subjects

There are some people whose presence in family formals is expected – you, your groom, parents and siblings. From that base, you will begin adding in people that will form your blended families; both you with each set of parents, combined parents, grandparents, etc.

Once you have completed your “must have” family formal combinations, it’s time to add on the photos of more extended family; a group shot of all the cousins, a photo with your aunt and uncle that traveled from the other side of the country to be at your special day. If your timeline doesn’t allow for these photos to be taken at the ceremony location, consider capturing these pictures at your reception.

If your wedding photography package includes two photographers, you can ask that the second photographer capture the wedding day photos that wouldn’t necessary include you such as the attendants with their spouses, your mom and sorority sisters, or other images.

Organize Your Photo List

It can be a real time saver on your wedding day to capture as many of your wedding photos outside of the time between your wedding ceremony and reception is possible. This can be done through a First Look session for the bride and groom, getting ready images with your bridesmaids or candid images throughout the day. When you organize your wedding photo list, look for times where you can get a photo of a specific combination of people that doesn’t eat into the allotted time for family formals.

Ask For Help

One of the best things you can do to help your wedding photographer capture the images you want is to communicate your expectations. This will allow your photographer to provide suggestions for getting the wedding photos you will love.

Tell your family members in advance, the rehearsal dinner is a great time, that there presence is requested for family images. This will help to avoid someone leaving immediately following the ceremony. It’s a good idea to remind your bridal party that they will be needed too.

Asking a close friend who will know many of your family members to help the photographer during the family formals will help to make sure everyone is where they need to be as the pictures are taken.

Family Formals Photo List

Your wedding day photography list will be unique to you and your family. Here is a list to help you begin thinking of possible photo combinations.

  • Bride alone
  • Groom alone
  • Bride and groom
  • Bride, groom and officiant
  • Bride with maid of honor
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Bride with flower girl
  • Groom with best man
  • Groom with groomsmen
  • Groom with ring bearer
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and groom with groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with maid of honor and best man
  • Bride and groom with flower girl/ring bearer
  • Bride and groom with entire wedding party
  • Bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s parents
  • Bride and groom with both sets of parents
  • Bride and groom with bride’s extended family (grandparents, siblings)
  • Bride and groom with groom’s extended family (grandparents, siblings)
  • Bride and groom with extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles)
  • Bride and groom with any special friends/guests in attendance
  • Bride and groom with pets, if part of wedding

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