Family Photos Tips for Your Wedding


There’s no doubt that our newly married couple is the focal point at any wedding. However, family photos are an integral part of the photography timeline on the day. As much as you want to look back at photos of you and your partner, it’s also very special to have professional photos of the people you love.

To make sure things run smoothly, I have put together a few family photo tips based on my experiences at weddings and working with photographers.

Focus on Immediate Family First

If you have a large family and limited time for photos, start with your immediate family. If you can take photos with any family members, let it be your parents, grandparents, and siblings. Whoever has been the biggest part of your upbringing should be at the top of your photo list. If there is still time available, you can include aunts, uncles, and other family members.

ProTip! Hire a photographer who has a second shooter – that way you have two photographers working at the same time and they can split your list of immediate family and extended family to save you time!

You Don’t Need to Include Your Parent’s Partner

The only time you really should include a stepparent in your photos is if your parent has remarried or they have been together for several years. Anything outside of these parameters and the choice is entirely yours. The same applies to stepsiblings – if they haven’t been in your life for very long, you can decide whether you want to include them in your family photos.

ProTip! An easy way to decide is to ask yourself if your stepparent will be considered a grandparent to your children. If the answer is no, then you don’t need to include them if you don’t want to. If the answer is yes, they you will likely be very happy to have those photos to look back on.

Give Your Photographer a Head’s Up

Once you decide on your family photos, send your photographer a list of the people who need to be photographed together with their names and relationship to you. Not only does this help them allocate enough time, but it can speed up the process on the day too. Don’t forget to let those family members know that you will require them for several minutes after the ceremony too.

Freebie Alert! Click HERE to download my wedding photo list to help guide you in this process!

ProTip! Ask you Officiant to make an announcement at the beginning of your ceremony reminding those who have been told ahead of time to stick around for family photos!

Get Some Help

Since it’s not always easy to coordinate family photos, get someone who is not in your wedding party to assist with after the ceremony. Choose someone with a strong, commanding personality and give them a megaphone if you feel it will help.

The sooner everyone is in one place, the sooner you can take the photos and enjoy your reception. There is always the option of taking family photos prior to the ceremony, but if you choose to use this time for their first look instead, you will need to allow time after your ceremony.

Along with the formal family portraits, don’t forget to let your photographer know about any other shots you want to include family members in. Your father, or father-figure, seeing you for the first time in your wedding dress is one such example.

With a little planning and assistance, family photos don’t need to be stressful and a lot of fun!

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