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Galleries, Wedding Tips, & Good Reads

Group shots and how to avoid the hour-long line up

Updated: Jul 10

Hey there! Today I want to talk about group photos. Formal, family photos are a big deal on your wedding day. They're the ones you'll treasure and proudly display in your family album. Even if you're not feeling it now, trust me, you'll look back on them with so much love in the future.

But let's be real, posing for pictures isn't the most exciting part of the day. You just want to have a blast and enjoy some drinks. So, the goal here is to capture amazing shots without spending forever on formal line-ups. You don't want your reception to feel like one long photo session.

Check out my top tips for nailing those awesome group photos!

Just keep the list short

I recommend having like 6-8 group shots, nothing too crazy.

It shouldn't take more than 20-30 mins, depending on how many people you need for each photo.

Here are some ideas for group shots:

1. Couple and immediate family 1

2. Couple & parents 1

3. Couple & immediate family 2

4. Couple & parents 2

5. Wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen)

6. Just the friends having a blast

Make a list of group shots with names before the wedding

This prep is a total time-saver! It also helps you get ready for all those photo moments at the wedding, so you can relax on the big day and not forget anyone (we've all done that before!).

If I'm your wedding photographer, I'll ask you for a list of group shots and names ahead of time. No worries!

Delegate guest gatherers

Having a few nominated ‘guest gatherers’ can be really helpful when doing group shots. It means I can stay still and snap away, you can stay still and have photos, while a few family members or friends gather the right people. It takes ten times longer if you are having to go off and find someone for the photo.

Some people delegate this to the Ushers, but this only really works if they will know both sides of the family. I suggest picking one person from each side of the family that can gather up the right people (you’d be surprised at how happy some people are at being given a job!) It’s also worth giving them the group list with names before the ceremony, so they can tell people they are needed for photos before they happen.

There will always be someone who quickly sneaks to the bar for a beer, so it’s always good to give a 5 minute warning to those in the group photos so they know not to go off.

Let family members know the plan

If you’re in agreement with keeping the group shots to a minimum, I’d recommend having a chat with family to explain to them how the group shots will work before the wedding, so that there isn’t any stress on the day when mums start pulling second cousins into photos.

What if you want a lot more than 8 group shots?

If you’d like some casual posed photos of friends etc that don’t fall into the family formals, let me know and I can make sure I get some lovely relaxed photos of you with your guests. These can happen at any time and I would suggest doing them after dinner so that you break up the photo-taking, otherwise you’ll get serious jaw ache and dry mouths 🙂

 Having a winter wedding?

If you’re having a winter wedding, it’s a good idea to either have an earlier ceremony, or get some group shots done before the ceremony. I quite often do the bridesmaid and groomsmen shots before the Ceremony if your wedding is between November – February, just so we can get some lovely natural light images, and it also takes the pressure off trying to get lots of group shots photographed after the ceremony, as it gets dark earlier. Of course, the other alternative is to have night time photos – but this can take a bit longer as your photographer will have to set up off camera flash.

I hope this post comes in handy. For more helpful hints and tips check out my blog here.

If you’re looking for an informal wedding photographer, hit me up – I would love to chat!

Valencia wedding photographer group shot

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