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How to Survive Family Photos

One common thing we hear amongst brides is that family photos are one of the most stressful and uncomfortable parts of their day and for so many different reasons! As photographers we want every photography element of your wedding to be as enjoyable as possible. Below is our list of ways to help you not only survive this part of your day but to actually enjoy this time too!

Adam & Chanie's Wedding

A Clear List

Writing down a clear list with a practical order is essential for making this time as easy as possible. It’s important to not just write ‘Groom’s siblings, Groom’s mum’ if you know that your MC & photographer don’t know their names. Also think about whose family might be harder to organise and have them done first so they don’t get lost amongst the canapés and mingling.

An Active MC

Having an active MC has a massive impact on how smooth this part of the day will go. An MC must be very clear and have great directions for your guests. It is helpful to have the next group gathered and ready to go so that as soon it’s their turn they can promptly jump in. If your MC doesn’t know who everyone is, have a family member or friend help assist them. The photographer's job is to direct the photo, but the MC is the one who will help organise the people so that the photographer has someone to photograph.

Talk with families prior to the day

It’s important to let guests know before the wedding if you’re wanting a photo with them on your wedding day, especially those outside your immediate family. This helps guests know in advance that they’re going to be needed for this time so hopefully they’ll then be easier to track down for their turn. It’s also important to discuss with separated family members ahead of time if you’re wanting them to be in a photo together. This will help you avoid any unwanted drama or awkwardness.

Sam & Sharon's Wedding


You might find that it is surprisingly difficult to narrow down a list of who you want to get photos with! But when you consider that most photographers recommend 3 minutes per group, it makes you want to shrink that list a little. Think of ways to combine and shrink the number of groups you have and when you have to make the cut, seek those friends out at the reception and grab a candid shot with them!

Remove your veil

If you’re wearing a veil and you are able to take it out, we highly recommend removing it for your group photos. As much as we love our family and friends, it is the easiest thing in the world to accidentally tug on the veil whilst hugging and getting in close for a group photo. Save your neck and save your smile!

Allow room to breathe after ceremony

And lastly, we recommend allowing 30 minutes of mingling with your guests before heading into family photos. This gives you a chance to take everything in, enjoy a drink and allow the fact that you’re now married to really sink in! Plus, if things run behind schedule on your day, you now have 30 minutes spare up your sleeve to make up for those times that ran behind!

We hope our tips will help you make the most of family photos at your wedding!

Until next time,

Adam & Kirsty


Bonus photo: A shot from the family photos at our own wedding! Image thanks to Emma Willetts Photography

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