Wedding Day Family Formals - How To Plan For Them | Los Angeles Wedding Photography

Wedding photographer in the Los Angeles and Orange County

As a wedding photographer in Los Angeles I know that thinking about family formal photos may not be the most exciting part of wedding planning.

Wrangling family members together for a set amount of time, hearing them moaning and groaning and dealing with children that just want to run and play can sound daunting.

Here are a few tips to help you feel at ease during family formals on your wedding day.

Have A Strong Photographer

Speaking to your wedding photographer about family formals during the initial consultation should give you more insight in to how they approach this part of the day.

As a Los Angeles wedding photographer I personally like to work with my couples to build out a list of photos. You give me a list of family members you want in these photos and I map out a shot list. Together we add and delete at your request.

This system works really well for my couples as they can focus on other important aspects of their wedding.

Have A Plan

If you do have to make your own shot list to send off to your wedding photographer you should start by listing everyone that will be in these photos.

This will be a good start and give you an overview of just how large the group will be.

From that list you should then ask yourselves a few questions.

-Will the bride and groom be in every photo together? (Example: There may be some images where the bride and groom are together but do you also want some with just the bride and her family and just the groom and his)

- Are you including long term boyfriends/girlfriends or siblings or just husbands/wives?

-Do you want pictures with each of your individual parents or will your parents always be together in each photo?

-Are you including extended family? If so, who and is this necessary?

By answering some of these questions you make this part of your wedding photography journey just a bit easier.

Ask Friends About Their Experiences

I am a big believer in learning from the mistakes (and successes) of others.

Your recently married friends will be more than happy to share how good or bad this part of their wedding day had gone. By hearing their experiences you’re able to take away some do’s and don’ts to add to your own list.

Here are some examples of do’s and don’ts of wedding family photos:

-Don’t trust that everyone will make it to the session on their own.

- Do designate one family member per side to wrangle everyone and have them ready for the photographer.

- Do schedule more time then you think you need for this part of the wedding day (1 hour is best).

After photographing weddings in Los Angeles I have been complemented many times on how I handle the over all wedding day and more specifically the family portion.

Here are a few things couples have said about me:

You were so organized, everyone came to us and said ‘Wow your photographer really knows what she’s doing!’ We were so happy with the way you handled our families!
— Lauren and Matt
Our whole family commented on how great you were and how well you handled the family portraits.
— Meredith and Evan
You handled everything so beautifully. When it came to the portraits you were efficient and gave us ample time to enjoy our wedding.
— Gina

Crystal Stewart