5 Tips for Stress-Free Group Portraits at Your Wedding

Since I began my career, one thing has remained constant: the importance of family portraits. Each and every person on your wedding day holds a special place in you and your family’s heart, so naturally, you are going to want a picture with as many people as possible. We all love our family, but sometimes taking family portraits can be so stressful, thanks to the number of people included. You would need to figure out how to go about capturing everyone while prioritizing couple portraits, bridal photos, and the reception.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that way! Your family portrait time can be productive and stress-free. Here is how:


Discuss family portraits with your fiancé
A day before the wedding, you must make a brief list (around 10 groupings is reasonable) of who should be included in the family portraits. Sit down and make sure that you are both on the same page. Groupings we see most often are:

  • Bride and Groom with Bride's Grandparents
  • Bride and Groom with Bride's Mom and Dad
  • Bride & Groom with Bride's extended family
  • Bride & Groom with Bride's immediate family
  • Bride and Groom with both sets of parents
  • Bride and Groom with Groom's Mom and Dad
  • Bride & Groom with Groom's extended family
  • Bride & Groom with Groom's immediate family

Share any special considerations

Before the wedding, you and your fiancé should let the photographer know about any special family circumstances. For example, step-parents, divorced parents, or deceased parents. Aside from that, it is your duty to inform the photographer if there are any special restrictions regarding photography during your ceremony. As a photographer, I often know my clients but not their family members. So it should be taken into consideration if, for example, grandpa cannot walk and is using a wheelchair. Those are vital pieces of information that should be relayed to your photographer because they will want to be sensitive and supportive in the way they pose your family.


Give your family a schedule

Make sure that your family members know when and where they should gather. This would save you and your photographer more time to continue with other photo sessions. The more organized this part of the day, the easier everything is going to be. It is best if they would show up at least 5 minutes BEFORE family portraits are scheduled to begin.

Pasadena wedding bridal portrait

Designate a Wrangler

A family photo wrangler is someone who knows both sides of the family and can help make the session easier and less stressful. You don’t want to be chasing Aunt Susan so that she can be in your family photo! Delegating can save you a lot of time and effort. Also, make sure that your wrangler has the list of your groupings and who will be in each of them.


Ask Your Photographer for Tips

Don’t be afraid to ask for a professional tip. In fact, photographers who have taken enough family portraits know the ins and outs of it. They will give you instructions and feedback that will make your photos perfect. Asking for tips and opinions will make your family portraits even better than you imagined. Don’t stress. Trust your photographer!