Family Formals in 15 minutes

September 26, 2017

We love bride and groom pictures. We’ll be totally honest, its our favorite part of a wedding day! These are the pictures our brides looked at when deciding wether they would book us for their wedding. They are the pictures that lead them to daydream about how the groom would look at her and how happy and in love they would look in their own wedding images. But we all know that those aren’t the only pictures that we need to take! We know that we need to keep the parents and grandparents happy. The way to their hearts are  with the family formals! The ones that they want on their mantle!

There are so many elements that we need to capture on a wedding day and we need to execute them all efficiently and beautifully. When we first started shooting weddings, family formals would always stress me out. A room full of loved ones who are excited and sometimes seeing each other for the first time in a long time. The chatter is loud, sometimes louder than my voice, if you can believe that!!! That doesn’t change the fact that we need to get their attention and get these pictures done quickly!

We have come up with a system that has gotten our family formal pictures down to 15 minutes!!!!! This is especially awesome because it leaves more time for the bridal party and the bride and groom sunset pictures after the ceremony!

Knock out Family Formals in 15 minutes

First thing is first! I tell the bride to have the officiant announce after the bride and groom make their way down the aisle for all guest to go to the cocktail hour. Family formals are for immediate family. We have our brides tell their parents, siblings/spouses, and grandparents prior to the wedding, to stay for pictures when the guest are directed to go to the cocktail hour. This works great and keeps the chatter volume down because now we don’t have people there that aren’t supposed to be there.

Lastly we create a formal shot list and place it in a order that flows so that we can dismiss family members as we are done with them.

Bride and Mother

Bride and Father

Bride with Mother + Father

Bride + Groom with Mother + Father

Bride + Groom with Mother, Father, Siblings (We do one with spouses and nieces and nephews, one without)

Bride + Groom with Brides grandparents

Bride with mother and grandmother

Bride + Groom with both Bride and Groom’s parents

Bride with Mother and grooms mother

Groom with mother and father

Groom with mother

Groom with father

Bride and Groom with Grooms Mother and Father

Bride + Groom with Mother, Father, Siblings (We do one with spouses and nieces and nephews, one without)

Bride + Groom with Grooms grandparents

Groom with Father and Grandfather

 

We love this shot list! It’s a great variety of family formals  and contains the main shots that the parents and grandparents want! When our couples opt to do a first look, we add a few more variations in and will through in within these variations “candid” and formal pictures with the parents. We hope this helps for your next wedding so that you can be efficient without missing any of the important shots for your couple and their families!

Not only does it knock out the most important family formals quickly, it adds 15 minutes to the bride and groom session where we can really give the couple alone time to take in their new marital status!!!! Nice golden light, smooches and laughs is how we like to spend our sunsets on a wedding day!

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