Seamless Family Formals

Happy Tuesday y'all! Today's "Tips/Tricks" post is going to be short and sweet. This one is for my photographers out there who struggle to get this part of the wedding day done in a timely manner.

1. MAKE A LIST! Okay, that seems obvious! But instead of chanting things like "I need all immediate family," ask your bride and groom to create a list of all the people they want to be in family formal photos with and in which order, prior to the wedding. Your family formal photographs should be simple and seamless. They should sound something like "I need Barbara, Tom, Lilly, Katie, Justin, and Matthew!" Particularly on a wedding day when the bride and groom are stressed and exhausted from having to make decisions ALL DAY, this makes the process much easier for them. Not to mention, family members are not used to hearing words like "mother of the groom" and "father of the groom." They don't respond well to those titles, because they have most likely never been the mother or father of the bride and groom. This is new for them too and they are probably just as stressed as your bride and groom.

Let's be honest here, family formal photos are really only for the family. Most likely, the bride and groom will not be getting large printed photographs of their families and hanging them on the wall. These photos are for parents and grandparents to frame. The family has spent time and money preparing for this day. They would like to have their few minutes in the spotlight as well.

2. The trick is to instruct in a nicely demanding manner. When you are instructing, it is important to be direct, but in a calm, cool and collected manner. If you seem stressed; guess what? Your bride and groom are going to feel stressed too. And that is the very last thing you want for your bride and groom on their wedding. It should be fun and stress free!

3. Do family formals as soon as the ceremony is over! As soon as your sweet couple walks down that aisle as official Mr. & Mrs., gather their families and get the family formal photos out of the way, before they have an opportunity to grab a drink at cocktail hour. The last thing you want is for the brother, cousin, uncle, or even aunt of the bride/groom to spend thirty minutes drinking at cocktail hour before they're supposed to take pictures. What happens then, is often frustrating for everyone. That family member who is a few drinks in, tends to have difficulty following simple directions. Which of course requires the photographer to provide additional instruction, causing family formals to take even longer than expected.

The quicker this process is for everyone, the quicker they can enjoy dinner, dancing and all the drinks their hearts desire!

I hope this advice finds you well! And don't forget to communicate everything with your bride and groom. The more information you share, the easier it is to ensure a seamless wedding day where they have the opportunity to truly relish in their love for one another. Happy Tuesday!

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