How to Get Group Wedding Photos Done Quickly

Take the stress out of group photos with these tips

“My favorite part of the wedding was taking group photos after the ceremony!”

~ Said no one ever

bride and groom with bridal party at tuscan ridge

You did it! You said your vows and are officially married to your best friend. It’s finally time to celebrate. But wait, we need to get all the family photos taken care of first. While it is certainly no one’s favorite part of the wedding day, these photos become treasured memories, telling the story of your special day and the bonds that tie you together. 

They are not just pictures; they are the proof of love, the evidence of the beautiful connections you share with the people who matter most in your life. They are a reminder of the love and support that surround you, and they represent the beginning of a new chapter filled with love and togetherness.

My goal is to get the formal group photos taken as quickly as possible so that you and your guests can get on to the more exciting parts of your wedding day. Here are a few tips for capturing group wedding photos quickly!

groom and groomsmen on a wedding day

Prioritize the essential family photos on your wedding

First, It is important to prioritize the photos that matter most to you. While I am happy to spend as much time as you want taking photos of each and every family grouping, I never like being the person standing in the way of your guests heading to the bar for cocktail hour! Here are a few guidelines to help you narrow down your list to help things go smoothly and quickly.

Must-Have Photos

The essential family photos on your wedding day. These are the shots you definitely want to get, no questions asked. Think about the immediate family members and close relatives you want to include in these group pictures.

Better-Have Photos

The next step is to add in those extended family members and special friends you’d love to have in your portraits. These shots are great to have, but if time becomes an issue or any unexpected hiccups occur, don’t stress too much if you can’t get all of them.

Nice-to-Have Photos

There may be some additional shots that you’d like to have if everything goes smoothly. It could be a specific combination of friends or family members that you’d love to capture together. While these are nice to have, they are not critical, so don’t worry if they don’t happen.

Okay-If-We-Miss Photos

If, for any reason, you can’t get some of the photos you hoped for, that’s okay! It’s essential to be flexible and remember that the day can be unpredictable. Don’t let it dampen your spirits; you’ll still have beautiful memories captured throughout the day.

Low Priority Photos

Finally, there may be some shots that you don’t really care about, or they’re not as significant to you. These are low-priority shots, and if time or circumstances don’t permit, it’s perfectly fine to skip them altogether.

bride and bridesmaids on a wedding day

Plan ahead

Build out a shot list

Planning ahead is key to getting the family formals done quickly and getting your guests on to the party. Think through all the different groupings you want (parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family etc.) and list out what posed photos you want to take. By planning ahead, we can already have a goal in mind and know how to quickly arrange everyone to get these photos captured.

For large families, think big to small. With the bride and groom in the center, start with the entire family, and the pair down to the smaller groupings. Once people are finished, they can head to cocktail hour. It is also important to consider doing photos with older grandparents and small children early on. 

Enlist someone to round everyone up

One of the biggest challenges of group photos is making sure everyone is in the same place, so consider asking a cousin or friend to round up all your grandparents, aunts and uncles to ensure they’re ready for the camera. Just make sure that whoever you assign this responsibility knows who everyone is. 

Be sure to let those you want in photos know beforehand so they know to stay behind after the ceremony. 

Explain sensitive relationships to your photographer

Every family is different, and a wedding can often put people with strained relationships in close proximity. Be sure to talk to your photographer beforehand about any awkwardness or discomfort that may arise, as well as any people who need not to be in the same photo. Professional wedding photographers have worked with hundreds of families, so they are definitely familiar with the strain of divorced couples or other issues and will certainly be understanding.

Set aside enough time for group photos

When building your wedding day timeline, make sure to set aside plenty of time for your family and group portraits. Typically, the formal family photos are taken right after the ceremony, before everyone heads to cocktail hours. If you choose to do a first look with your partner, you may want to consider taking care of your family photos before the ceremony, allowing you to go straight to the reception after the ceremony and prevent your guests from waiting. 

bride and groom with family

Know where you want to take your photos

Group and family photos should all take place in the same spot, so be sure to pick that area of your venue out ahead of time to make things easier. If you’re not sure where to take these photos, talk to your photographer about the best spot with optimal lighting.

You had me at Candid

Curious if your wedding date is available? Reach out today and make sure you don’t miss out on booking your preferred day.