One of the most important parts of a wedding day happens just after your ceremony. It is the one thing that is included in EVERY wedding, big or small and it is the one thing that sits on everyone’s mantle. Your Family Formals! Although we try to do family formals quickly, we understand the importance of each of these photos. These are the photos that mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa (need I go on? :P) all get printed to display proudly in their house.
When we got married we took a total of (I think!) 10 minutes to get our family formals done. (seriously record time!!) I loved that they didn’t drag on and my favorite photo of the whole bunch was the one with both of our ENTIRE families, including siblings, parents and grandparents. For us it gave us one photo to blow up and display rather than having to print all of our individual photos with our family members.
Sometimes couples find it hard to draw up a list of the people to include in the family formals immediately following the ceremony versus those who can have a bit more of informal photos later on in the reception. Well, I’m here to help! The groupings listed below are the definite must-haves that I’ve done at every wedding thus far!
If I had to give couples one piece of advice about family formals, it would be to
give your family warning!
Make sure your family knows they are needed immediately following the ceremony!! It makes all the difference :)
I can’t tell you how many times grandma or grandpa end up wandering off to the reception before they get their moment with the bride and groom! With that being said, we try to make family formals as painless as possible! We ask for a list of your family members a month before your wedding, arrange it so that it flows easily and quickly. :)
My second piece of advice would be to think about where you want your family formals. One thing that couples sometime forget is that you don’t have to do your family formals on the alter where you got married. Often times the light is ten times better if you just step outside of the church!! With that, sometime the alter has a very special meaning to the family and it is important to have the photos on that alter because that may have been where the last 4 generations have gotten married. So really, the choice is entirely yours! I just want to make sure every couple is aware of their options!!
With that, here is our normal list of family photos in the order we take them!
B&G with both sets of parents
B&G with bride’s siblings
B&G with bride’s parents
B&G with bride’s grandparents
B&G with bride’s family (parents, siblings, grandparents)
B&G with entire family (including both sides of parents, siblings and grandparents)
B&G with groom’s family (parents, siblings, grandparents)
B&G with with groom’s grandparents
B&G with groom’s parents
B&G with groom’s siblings
B&G with Godparents
BONUS! You even get to see my favorite family formal image that I mentioned above, with the entirety of BOTH of our families :) (by our wonderful wedding photographers, Matt and Nat!)