OPTING OUT OF A FIRST LOOK AND FAMILY PHOTOS

If you are opting out of a first look, taking a group photo of the extended family (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) immediately following the wedding ceremony is ideal. I read this in a photographer’s blog once and have used it ever since.
1. Have a representative on each side (bride’s side and groom’s side) inform all family members to stay in their seats after the ceremony. They will ensure we keep things on time.
2. Communication! Let everyone (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) know what you expect in advance. The more instruction you give the better. In advance, inform those you want in your formal family photos that they are to stay seated after the ceremony.
3. Organization. I’ve felt this has worked best for me. I start with the biggest group, then peel people off in layers. To avoid taking time from your bride and groom photos and of course, cocktail hour, this example is the quickest and most efficient.
Bride’s side – large group photo (this is everyone: parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents)
Bride’s side – parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents
Bride’s side – single photo with mom, single photo with dad
Bride’s side – siblings
This same process is repeated on the groom’s side.
4. Any other variation of photos can be taken during the reception since your photographer will follow you throughout the night. Plus, since you still have to take your bride and groom photos, you don’t want your family photos to cut into your valuable sunlight for those portraits.

 

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