Tips and Tricks: Handling Family Formals on Wedding Days

Heck Designs and Photography_Franklin, TN Wedding Photographer_Cassie and Dan_Family Formals

Family formals are so important on wedding days. Often, this is the first time in quite a while that a whole family is together, and will probably be for a while. I mean, we can all relate to that, right? So as a wedding photographer, I want to make sure that you have enough time for all of the family formals you want, but also make sure that we aren’t rushed in the wedding timeline.

So how much time should you leave for family formal photos in your timeline?

When planning for family formals, I always suggest leaving 3-5 minutes per photo. If it is a smaller group (maybe 3-6 people), it will be on the lower end of that. If it is a larger group (7-10 people), you will be closer to 5 minutes. If it is a group larger than 10, it may take a little bit longer, especially if children are involved!

How do I plan out family formals?

I always tell my couples to list out their groups and to give me a list. You don’t have to tell me who people are, just list out the names. That way, I can just yell out the names for the group! Here is an example of what the list should look like:

  1. Morgan, Matt, Patty, Denny

  2. Morgan, Matt, Mackenzie, Patty, Denny

  3. Morgan, Matt, Mackenzie

  4. Morgan, Patty, Denny

  5. Morgan, Matt, Sherry, Jeff

So who should be in your family formals?

Typically, I recommend that only immediate family be included in these, especially if you have several siblings. That way, it doesn’t take too long to finish these. If you would like photos with other family members, we can do those at the reception, especially if you want a photo with all the cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Where should you do family formal photos?

Typically, I prefer to family formals at the alter where you just got married! I do this so we don’t have to try to move everyone to a different location. This is also helpful so grandparents don’t have to move too far. This helps keep everyone together as well!