Family Formals on Your Wedding Day

Posted in: For Clients

Family Formals On Your Wedding Day

Family Formals, Wedding Blog, Family Formals on your wedding day, how to simplify family pictures

One of the places I see the most confusion from clients is during family formals. It is the time of the day when tensions are high, and time is of the essence. Add in those family member that have an opinion on everything (we all have them, right?), and all the questions floating around in your head, and it’s no wonder why weddings are labeled “stressful”.

Who do I ask to stay for family formals?
What family combinations are “standard”?
Am I going to offend anyone?
What is my mom going to want?
How do I keep this from eating up an hour out of my wedding day?

Whew. Don’t worry, though. This is one area of the wedding planning process where I make sure to step in, and answer some of those questions.

Involve your parents

I give each of my clients a list of “standard” family formals. These are the pictures that everyone asks for. I invite each of my clients to take it to their parents and ask them if there are any combinations they would like to add, or any they would like to subtract. The idea is to have my clients emphasize it to their parents that I will have the list on the wedding day and plan follow it exactly. I find that having that communication allows them to relax and know that their input is being valued.

Limit Combinations

One of the biggest mistakes I see during family formals is redundant combinations. So much time can be eaten up by having slight variations to the essentially the same grouping.

For example, instead of doing a picture that includes:
“Bride + Groom + Flower Girl + Ring Bearer”

A couple might request:
“Bride + Flower Girl” 
”Bride + Ring Bearer”
“Bride + Flower Girl + Ring Bearer”
“Groom + Flower Girl + Ring Bearer”
“Bride + Groom + Flower Girl”
“Bride + Groom + Ring Bearer”
“Bride + Groom + Flower Girl + Ring Bearer”
“Groom + Ring Bearer”
“Groom + Flower Girl”

That one shot just turned into nine just by adjusting all of the possible combinations. Ask yourself what you want to do with each of those pictures, or if it is sufficient to have one or two of the combination.

Talk to the family that you want to stay before the wedding day

Most of the time, extended family pictures can be a gray area. If you are wanting big family groupings, be sure to let each person know where they are to be and when! One whole picture can be ruined by one person not getting the memo, and leaving for the reception. If that isn’t possible or if time is limited, we can ask the DJ or Band to make an announcement at the reception for all of the Smith’s to head to the lobby for a picture!

Was this helpful? Still have questions? Comment below! To see more advice for your wedding day, click here! 


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