Let's be honest. Gathering your whole family in one location can be a real challenge. Weddings are often an opportunity for family members who haven't seen each other in years to catch up. They are also an opportunity for family photos.
One of the most common questions people ask me is how to make the family photo process go smoother. After all, once this is over you can get to the party! I have a few tips that I hope y'all will find helpful.
1. Get as many photos done before the ceremony as possible. Brides, if you don't want your fiancé to see you in your dress, you can take photos with just your side of the family or with just or bridesmaids. He can do the same. (Usually the guys photos get finished first because it takes them less time to get ready.) Keep in mind that if you are getting photos taken at the ceremony location, you will want to be out of sight about a half an hour before the ceremony to avoid running into any earlybird guests.
If you don't care about him seeing you before the ceremony, you can do a "first look" where I'll get a shot of the first time he sees you in your dress. I cant recommend this enough. First look photos are SO cute! This is also great because you can get all the formal photos out of the way before the ceremony and you can relax after. I still like to take a few romantic shots of the bride and groom right after the ceremony. Those are almost always my favorite photos. :)
2. Make an announcement at the rehearsal dinner that everyone in your family has to stick around for photos after the ceremony. (Or make sure they know what time to be there beforehand.) Sometimes the thing that takes the longest is wrangling up family members to get photos.
3. Make a list of family members to be photographed (or groups like cousins, grooms sisters, etc…) and give one to your photographer (preferably before the wedding day), one to a member of your family, and one to member of the groom's family. Choose someone who knows everyone's names and can help round up family members. This is a big one. Not only is it a huge time saver, a list also ensures that we get all the photos you want. It's easy to get swept up in the wedding day and forget!
4. Most importantly, if you would like advice or just to chat about ideas. Ask me! I'm always willing to help out in any way I can.