Getting through the formal family photographs at your wedding can be a breeze or a frustration - It's up to you. Imagine, the ceremony is over and you're now married - Congratulations! You're all standing around listening to the trendy playlist your DJ expertly put together, and everyone is happily devouring those canapé's you spent months obsessing over. The champagne is flowing freely - Yes, it's a great day!
Your photographer walks over and says, OK, let's get some formal family photographs?
You're happy and then very confused. Who should be included? Where are they? Who's going to get them and then who is going to co-ordinate this? Yup, the formal family photographs can be a little overwhelming on the day, which is why my advice is to plan for them before the wedding day. Sit down as a couple and decide who you want included and which sequence you'd like these images in.
Realistically, no family is the same - The dynamics are different for everyone. Perhaps you no longer have a mom? Perhaps your parents are divorced and now you have 3 moms - There is no clear cut family picture anymore, so rather avoid that awkward moment your photographer gets it all wrong and educate them upfront. Let them know - My folks are divorced, My dads wife and my brother don't want to be photographed together. I only want pics of my husbands siblings - Whatever the setup, whatever you want, let your photographer know.
This is how you do it. Create and complete a copy of this life saving piece of paper before the wedding day and get it to your photographer - They'll thank you, I promise. Of course in your instance you can add actual family members names so it's easy to call them out during the family formals.
Additional words of wisdom - Plan the Canapés section of your day around this - If there are tons of line-ups to get through, having family members eating between photographs can be tricky, so let them eat first, or get them to be photographed first ;)
Assign someone that knows all the members to group them all together so when your photographer says, 5 minutes until the family formals, they can rally up the troops so everyone is ready.
This not only keeps things running smoothly, it saves plenty of one of your most important resources on the day - TIME!