Family photos are one of the most hectic times of the wedding day. There I said it. And it's true. It's the one point in the wedding day where brides feel like their day is a mess. It's not, this happens at EVERY SINGLE WEDDING. 

Half the time people aren't listening for their name, don't want a family photo even though it's your day and that's all that should really matter, or some people just don't show up. It happens. The key to surviving family formals is...

STAY CALM

If you freak out, then I freak out a little bit, and no one wants to listen to a freakedout out, bossy, annoying photographer. Plan at least 30 minutes for your family formals directly after the ceremony. Every bride thinks they have the most difficult, uncooperative families in the world. It's not true! This is just the one point of the day where you NEED to let me and one rep from your family take control. You just stand there and smile and we take care of the rest. 

The family photo list however, IS SO KEY. PLEASE MAKE ONE. I will remind you at least 3 times before the wedding day. If you don't make a list and give it to me ahead of time you have opened yourself up to at least an extra 25 minutes of standing in one spot, stressing out while we try to figure out what the heck you want. On your wedding day, the lease amount of thinking about logistics you have to do the better.

So make a family photo list and assign someone (usually the maid of honour) super super organized to chat with everyone on that list and make sure they know where and when to be for family photos. This person will also be responsible for grabbing people for the next family photo while I am setting up the current one. Cuts the amount of time we need IN HALF. And that means more time for the portraits that count the most, which are of you and your new hubby! 

Below I have even laid out a sample list for you! Copy it, paste it, and edit it to your needs! I won't come after you for plagiarism or copyright. I PROMISE. 

The only other tip I have is to scope out your ceremony site ahead of time and if possible find a large shaded area for the family photos to take place. That makes things a lot easier and it's a lot nicer for older people to be in the shade for 30 minutes of photos then sitting in the sun. 

If you listen to me and my recommendations you will end up with gorgeous photos of you with your family. :) 

PARENTS

1. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents

2. Bride + Bride’s Parents

3. Bride + Bride’s Mom

4. Bride + Bride’s Dad

5. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents 

6. Groom + Groom’s Parents

7. Groom + Groom’s Mom

8. Groom + Groom’s Dad

SIBLINGS

9. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Siblings

10. Bride + Bride’s Sister(s)

11. Bride + Bride’s Brother(s)

12. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings

13. Bride + Bride’s Mom + Bride’s Sister(s)

14. Groom + Bride’s Dad + Bride’s Brother(s)

15. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Siblings

16. Groom + Groom’s Sister(s)

17. Groom + Groom’s Brother(s)

18. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings

19. Bride + Groom’s Mom + Groom’s Sister(s)

20. Groom + Groom’s Dad + Groom’s Brother(s)

21. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings

Related: Which Wedding Portrait Style Is Right For You? Take The Quiz >> 

GRANDPARENTS

22. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Grandparents

23. Bride + Bride’s Grandma(s)

24. Bride + Bride’s Grandpa(s)

25. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Grandparents

26. Groom + Groom’s Grandma(s)

27. Groom + Groom’s Grandpa(s)

28. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Grandparents + Groom’s Grandparents

29. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings + Bride’s Grandparents

30. Bride + Bride’s Mom + Bride’s Sister(s) + Bride’s Grandma(s)

31. Groom + Bride’s Dad + Bride’s Brother(s) + Bride’s Grandpa(s)

32. Bride + Groom’s Mom + Groom’s Sister(s) + Groom’s Grandma(s)

33. Groom + Groom’s Dad + Groom’s Brother(s) + Groom’s Grandpa(s)

34. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings + Groom’s Grandparents 

35. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings + Bride’s Grandparents + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings + Groom’s Grandparents 

AUNTS, UNCLES, AND COUSINS

36. Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings + Bride’s Grandparents + Bride’s Aunt(s) + Bride’s Uncle(s) + Bride’s Cousins 

37. Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings + Groom’s Grandparents + Groom’s Aunt(s) + Groom’s Uncle(s) + Groom’s Cousins