With so much going on during a typical wedding day, timings can all become a bit stressful. Lots of different things need to be in place and there will be lots of questions asked of you during the day from different people. One of the time-critical parts of a typical wedding day is the formal photographs. You’ll want to spend as much time as you can with your family and friends following the ceremony, but you may also want to schedule in some time for some group and formal couple photographs. Group photographs can, by nature, eat up a lot of time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast as getting 100+ people organised and in one place can be a bit tricky!
If you follow the six tips below you’ll be back to chatting with your guests in no time!
1. Prepare a List in Advance
One of the most effective ways to streamline the process of taking group wedding photos is to prepare a list beforehand. Make a list of the photographs you would like your photographer to take and share this list with them in advance of your wedding day. They will be able to advise on any ideal group sizes or timings to take into consideration. Also, let your photographer know if there are any family sensitivities to be aware of, where certain people may not want to be in the same photograph. Your photographer should always be very tactful and should read out the group photographs exactly the way you have written them on the list
2. Assign a Photo Coordinator
If you don’t have a toastmaster, nominate a confident bridesmaid or usher to oversee gathering the right people in advance. The photo coordinator’s responsibility is to gather the people needed for each photo, ensuring that everyone is ready and available when it’s their turn. This will help save time and make the process much more efficient, allowing the photographer to focus on capturing the perfect shots. Make sure you give them a copy of the photograph list and introduce them to your photographer at the start of the day, so they know who they are.
3. Make Sure You Allow Enough Time
Depending on the timings of your day, you may be pressed for time during the period between your ceremony and your wedding breakfast. It may be worth considering not having more than 10 group shots which can take anywhere up to 30 minutes. If you can combine some of the group photographs it will help speed up the process. To make things easier, focus on the most important groupings, such as immediate family members, close relatives, and friends. You can always capture more casual and candid shots with other guests during the reception.
4. Keep the Groupings Simple
Many photographers will suggest that the large group photograph of everyone (if this is what you would like) is done at the start of the group photographs as this will ensure everyone is in the vicinity of where the photographs will be taken. Children can get bored, so let them run around until everyone else is in place, and then they can join the photograph at the last minute.
5. Speak to Your Photographer About a Suitable Location
Your photographer will be able to advise on a suitable location for the group photos based on their experience (including a back-up if it rains). It’s good to agree this early on so everyone knows where they are going to need to be. They will need to consider the lighting as typically group photographs are done in the early afternoon when the light is bright and shadows are harsh.
The chances are you and your partner will remain in the same place for the majority of the group photographs. Let your photographer and coordinator do the work in getting people in the right place while you enjoy having your family and friends around you. Relax and don’t worry about blinking. Photographers will be taking many photographs in quick succession so they’ll be plenty where your eyes are open.
Group wedding photos can be a fun and memorable experience if properly planned and executed. By following these six tips, you can simplify the process and ensure you capture the perfect group shots that will serve as lasting memories of your special day.
Meachen & Shorey Photography offer professional wedding photography in Hertfordshire, focusing on natural and documentary-style photography. Please feel free to get in contact if you would like to learn more about what we offer.