As a wedding photographer I know all the tips for making those family formal photos flow the best & I am so excited to share it with you! Wedding day family formals hold immense sentimental value, capturing cherished moments with loved ones that last a lifetime. They are the moments that so many family members will print & hang in their homes.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how incredibly sweet this moment is? Makes my heart smile!

To ensure your family formals are brimming with joy, smiles, and laughter while keeping stress at bay, here are my top tips for wedding day family formals.

  1. Make sure everyone in the photos knows ahead of time that they will be in the family formal photos. (& make sure they know if they will be happening before or after the ceremony.)
  2. Have a designated family member to help gather anyone who may have wondered off or forgotten about photos. (Preferably one person from the brides family & one for the grooms side.)
  3. Give your photographer a list before the wedding day with all the different combinations for your family formals. (I always ask for this in my wedding questionnaire that I send before your wedding day!) 
  4. If there are any divorce situations in your family let me know ahead of time. Consider if you want images with both parents or would like to keep them separate. (This is also a great time to let me know of any other family dynamics that would help me to know!)
  5. Start with the larger groups & then get smaller. This will allow people to leave instead of waiting around. This is also a great time to capture younger children or older grandparents first as well.
  6. If you have multiple truly LARGE groupings I highly recommend doing these at the reception. That way you still have the moments with them captured but you are also allowing yourself to have enough time for just married portraits after family formals without needed to rush through anything. 
  7. I always work with my couples to create a family formal list that works the best for your wedding day!

These tips are a great outline to be able to start planning for the family formals on your wedding day.

Typically when we have a planned family formal list & everyone is prepared we are able to capture these moments in 20 minutes but I do suggest scheduling a full 30 minutes just to be safe. Adding in that extra buffer room makes such a huge difference in making sure you don’t feel rushed on your wedding day! (There will be more on this in a future post.)

Below is a little list to help you get started on creating your own family formal list for your wedding day!

  1. B&G with Bride’s Immediate Family (Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Nieces, Nephews) *list all names for this group
  2. B&G with Bride’s Grandparents (Judith – Grandma, Joseph – Grandpa)
  3. B&G with Bride’s Siblings (Sister – Andra)
  4. Bride with Siblings (Sister – Andra)
  5. B&G with Bride’s Parents (Mother – Tammy, Father – Jeffery)
  6. Bride with her Parents
  7. Bride with Mom, Bride with Dad
  8. B&G with both sets of Parents (B’s Mother Tammy, B’s Father Jeffery, G’s Mother Marie, G’s Father James)
  9. B&G with both sets of Immediate Family (list all names)
  10. B&G with Groom’s Immediate Family (Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Nieces, Nephews) *list all names for this group
  11. B&G with Groom’s Grandparents (Grandpa – Mark, Grandma – Lane)
  12. B&G with Groom’s Siblings (Brother – Nathan, Sister – Emma)
  13. Groom with his Parents
  14. B&G with Groom’s Parents (Father – Luke, Mother – Jennifer)
  15. Groom with Mom, Groom with Dad
  16. Groom with Siblings

I hope this helps you as you prepare for your beautiful day! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Thanks for checking out this week’s blog post! If you’re new here, I am Bläk Walters, an Orlando wedding photographer who loves capturing joy filled & authentic moments! Being able to serve the absolute best BMP couples brings me the most joy! If you are looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to reach out as I would love to be able to talk with you more!

Are you diving into wedding planning? Be sure to check out “Planning your Wedding Ceremony” along with following me on instagram for more wedding day advice!


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