Wedding Photography 10 Top Tips for Great Group Portraits at Your Wedding

Wedding group photos could be among the problems with logistics at weddings. They typically occur during the time between ceremony and wedding breakfast and can involve numerous shots squeezed into a short period of time. If the wedding doesn’t go as planned, guests become bored, the caterers begin to feel nervous, and this can ruin the mood of the wedding.

Ideally, all group photos should be arranged by your photographer at the wedding planning meeting. I typically recommend my clients plan a time of around 45 minutes for group photos. The majority of wedding plans permit between two and one hours in between ceremonies and wedding breakfast. Approximately an hour and a quarter are typical. Therefore, if you allocate 20 minutes following the wedding to drink a glass of wine and toast the newlyweds 5 or 10 minutes to make sure everyone is gathered to take a confetti photo, typically, you have the time of an hour to squeeze photos into. I’m not a fan of scheduling the entire time because it’s essential to allow some flexibility in the event that people go missing or find it difficult to gather. I like to work quickly and move things along. The enthusiasm of your guests may begin to fade when you reach one hour. However, there are plenty of ways to ensure that this portion of your wedding is smooth as well as being enjoyable for both you as well as your guest. Here are my top ten ways to make sure the group photos don’t turn into an exercise that makes you feel frustrated and your guests.

1. Make Sure You Have a List.

The first step in making sure that the group photos go well is to create a set of photos with your photographer prior to the wedding. The photographer can provide guidance on how long they believe it will take and tell you in case you missed any details. If you’re pressed to time your wedding plan, the best method to make sure that you’re on time is to avoid having too many minor variations on your schedule or to combine photos that are related to one another into a larger group—for instance, photograph ushers and bridesmaids in one group rather than shooting them individually. I usually bring three or four hard copies of the guest list is to be used at every wedding—one for myself and another to help me organize people.

2. Begin by forming large groups and gradually letting people go.

It’s best, to begin with, the most prominent groups because they are the easiest to gather around after the ceremony and are less likely to be wandering off. Additionally, guests are most educated early at the wedding. They take off their tie and loosen jackets as the event progresses. These things can be challenging to identify in a crowd of 120 people! Cut the groups to ensure that your families and close friends come last since they’re usually the ones most enthusiastic about having pictures taken together.

3. Ushers and Bridesmaids are Best for Rounding People Up.

I prefer having someone who can gather the next group of guests while I concentrate on the shot at hand. It is best to have someone who knows who the majority of people in the group are. For instance, if I mention that I’m in need of Auntie Mavis to take the following picture and someone who knows her appearance will be able to find her. This is why it’s best to ask an usher/bridesmaid to be the photo wrangler, and it will make things go easier.

4. Are people able to get refreshments While they wait?

When possible, it’s best to take group photos at the wedding reception so that guests can eat refreshments while they wait to get photographed. If I am shooting group photos at the church, I tend to stick to a small list and then take care to complete photos at the reception location, particularly in the midst of summer, when guests are waiting in the heat without the ability to drink water. This is particularly true if there are guests who are older or minor children in the wedding celebration.

5. Prioritize Older Guests.

If there are elderly relatives at your wedding, ensure that they’re taken photos quickly and don’t have to wait in the middle for no reason; if you are able to ensure that there is a spot to sit, then so much the better.

6. Be sure to keep your location close to your Wedding Guests.

This could be a huge time-saver. If your groups are shot at least two minutes away from the location where they are gathering, it can require at least four minutes to find the person who is missing or find a bouquet that is missing. This can increase if you’re taking 20 group shots. Be sure to ensure that your shooting site has a logistical purpose as well as pleasing to see.

7. Be prepared for family issues.

It’s not uncommon that the bride or groom’s parents may be divorced or get married. Sometimes both birth and stepparents will be attending the wedding. In these situations, you must ensure that your photographer is aware of the exact identity of each person so that they don’t accidentally cause embarrassment or offence. Sometimes, this involves shooting different groups to make sure everyone feels included and valued and at other times, it involves arranging people so that everyone isn’t uncomfortable.

8. In the event that your checklist is long, break it down into pieces.

There’s no reason to think that you must shoot all your group photos during one lengthy session. You could just as quickly cut the list in half into groups and photograph them at various timings throughout the day. The bridal and groomsmen’s parties prior to the ceremony, families after the wedding ceremony and family after dinner can all be effective. Breaking the group session into 10-minute segments can make it easier to manage.

9. You should have a plan in place for severe weather.

If you’re not lucky that your wedding is ruined by rain, having a plan for contingency is worth its weight in gold. It is possible to have an indoor venue or have a large number of umbrellas, but having a plan can make you feel more comfortable. It’s impossible to guarantee that it will not be raining on the day of your wedding more than purchasing a dozen umbrellas that are white!

10. Enjoy Yourself

I often remind my clients that it’s my responsibility to be worried, and it’s your responsibility to relax your time. Plan everything ahead and let the pros at your wedding take care of you. That’s the purpose we’re all here for. From my perspective, the more happy the wedding reception is and the easier it will be to capture great pictures of them. Making sure you are happy helps me do my job better!