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Wedding formal shot lists

  1. BRIDE+GROOM ONLY
  1. BRIDE+GROOM with BOTH PARENTS and SIBLINGS and GRANDPARENTS
  2. BRIDE+GROOM with BOTH PARENTS and SIBLINGS
  3. BRIDE+GROOM with BOTH PARENTS

BRIDE’S FAMILY:

  1. BRIDE+GROOM with BRIDE’S PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS
  2. BRIDE+GROOM with BRIDE’S PARENTS and SIBLINGS
  3. BRIDE+GROOM with BRIDE’S PARENTS
  4. BRIDE+GROOM with BRIDE’S SIBLINGS

GROOM’S FAMILY:

  1. BRIDE+GROOM with GROOM’S PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS
  2. BRIDE+GROOM with GROOM’S PARENTS and SIBLINGS
  3. BRIDE+GROOM with GROOM’S PARENTS
  4. BRIDE+GROOM with GROOM’S SIBLINGS

BRIDE WITH HER FAMILY:

  1. BRIDE with GRANDPARENTS
  2. BRIDE with PARENTS
  3. BRIDE with PARENTS and SIBLINGS
  4. BRIDE with SIBLINGS

GROOM WITH HIS FAMILY:

  1. GROOM with GRANDPARENTS
  2. GROOM with PARENTS and SIBLINGS
  3. GROOM with PARENTS
  4. GROOM with SIBLINGS

ALL GUESTS:

  1. BRIDE+GROOM EXTENDED FAMILY
  2. BRIDE+GROOM with GOD PARENTS
  3. BRIDE+GROOM with RELATIVES
  4. BRIDE+GROOM with FRIENDS

Please note: This is just my standard list at every wedding. This avoids the chance of missing an important person on your wedding day. Permutations are up to you. You can always send me your preferred list a week before the wedding day.

Grandparents and Elderly Relatives

If your grandparents are able, I suggest they take formal photos with the rest of the family either before or after the ceremony. Older relatives may need chairs or other considerations, for instance, like going first if they can’t stand or wait long. With mobility or other issues, make sure to tell your photographer and have the grandparents be photographed first. If they can’t make the formal photos, there is no reason not to take photos at another time like during the reception.

Timing

Typically formal photos are taken either before the ceremony or during cocktail hour. Some can be taken just after getting ready if you aren’t seeing each other before. (This will save time during cocktail hour.) If you want a lot of formal photos, I highly suggest doing a first look and taking them before. The other option would be to extend cocktail hour. Plan on devoting at least 30 minutes to 1½ hours to taking your formal photos.

Extended Family

Weddings are a rare opportunity for many families to be together in one place. Therefore, it can also be a good time for a group photo or extended-family photos, if that is something that is meaningful to you. Don't forget to include these people on the list.

Some examples include:
- School groups (high school, college, etc)
- Extended family variations
- Sorority or fraternity
- Entire wedding

I usually recommend doing extended family photos before they head on to the buffet table. However, it may work during a bank break. Same with groups of friends. In addition, I recommend doing these during the reception on the dance floor. They can be large and a DJ or MC can be helpful in calling everyone together.
Entire wedding photos are the most difficult and may not be possible or may be too time-consuming. As a result, this will work better at some venues than others.

Where to Take Your Wedding Formals

In general, I suggest taking these photos at your venue or house of worship. (The less complicated, the better!) If your group is small, you can be more flexible. With larger groups, you will need to consider transportation if selecting another location and leave ample time.

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