Family Formals

Planning Tips

One of the most amazing parts of the wedding day is getting to see all your family and friends dressed up! All the lovely ladies in fancy dresses! The guys are sporting the suit and tie. This may be the only time you get to see your little brother in a tux (of course until he gets married). This makes it so tempting to create a mile-long list of Formals for your photographer… You want to include everyone!

When we work with our couples, we always ask for their Formal Shot List. Our job is to make sure that we are capturing the MOST important photos of your family. They make perfect gifts for the holidays, and we all know that everyone wants an amazing photo of them with the bride and groom. After all, everyone is at their BEST.

We have put together a few tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your Formal Shot List:

  1. The average time for each group on your list will take approximately 3 minutes to set up and photograph. Please make sure that you account for that during your timeline. For example, if you have set aside 30 minutes for Family Formals, that will allow for ten groups.
  2. When you decide on your list, prioritize it in the MOST important on top. Don’t get us wrong; we’re not saying that all the photos won’t be done… but we want to ensure that you get the images that you truly desire.
  3. Do not feel obligated to get a photo with everyone. Just because Aunt Sue came in town from Georgia, does not mean you need to include her in your Family Formal time. We tell our couples to remember we will be at the reception…. Stop one of us, and we’ll get a nice photo of the two of you.
  4. This is not the time for creativity… Sorry… but due to the time constraints and the number of photos needed during a short part of the day, the images will look very similar… just different people. Our goal is to get through your list as efficiently as possible so that everyone can head to cocktail hour! Typically, we will set up the Bride and move people in and out without moving her. A simple movement for the Bride, take a good few minutes!
  5. Ensure that everyone knows if they need to stay for Family Formals. Bonus points if you set up a meeting a place for everyone to go after the ceremony. One of the biggest delays we encounter for Family Formals are people wondering around. Setting a designated spot will make sure everyone knows where to go and that they are needed for the Family Formals.

Family Formals are such an important part of the wedding day. This short but powerful part of the day typically gets overlooked during the planning process. These few tips should help make planning this part of your day run smoothly, on time and ensures you get exactly who you want in these photos.

Happy Planning,

Nicole and Ryan

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