Group wedding photos are a common pain point for couples. If you’ve been to a wedding where the newlyweds were noticeably absent all through cocktail hour and beyond, chances are the wedding photographer was not experienced in how to capture group wedding photos quickly and easily. This is often a chaotic time of the day because there are large groups of people to manage, but there are several things you can do to organize beforehand and help keep things moving more smoothly so you can get back to your guests and enjoy your party.
This is the most important thing you will need to do, for obvious reasons. I request this list a month ahead of time so I have something to refer to on the day of the wedding, but I also need to make sure we have allotted enough time to photograph all of the groupings on your list. If there are ten groups on the list, but we’ve set aside only 30 minutes, then we need to discuss adjustments. Generally, I allow about 5-7 minutes per grouping for group wedding photos; it takes time to shuffle people and get them into a pleasing grouping. I usually need to spend a bit of time making slight adjustments to get everyone evenly aligned and comfortable.
Most often, the altar/ceremony space is the popular choice for group wedding photos. This serves two purposes: first, it commemorates the exact spot where you said your vows, and second, it’s the simplest location to use since everyone is already there.
If Uncle Bob runs off to grab a glass of champagne, every minute he’s gone costs you time, either from your couples’ portraits or time away from your guests, which can be stressful and irritating. When you notify your family and wedding party beforehand that they should stay in the area immediately after the ceremony for group wedding photos, then you won’t lose any valuable time searching for stray sheep.. and you’ll get to enjoy more of your day.
Even though I always have a detailed list of groupings, I don’t know everyone by name. Choose someone (most often either the MOH, a bridesmaid, or a trusted family member or friend) who knows everyone on your list so they can easily help gather them when they are needed. This will greatly streamline the process, and even better, your photo wrangler knows every name.
These few simple tips will help capture your group wedding photos quickly and easily, which means less stress and more fun for you. Put them into play and go enjoy your day!
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