How to master the group photos

Good morning!

As promised, here’s the new post with some advice.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately talking to couples about their weddings and namely the timetable. A reoccurring theme was Group Photographs.


Here are 10 tips to master the group photos:

1. Delegate. Pick someone on either side that can help your photographer gather people. While one group is being photographed, the other is formed. It would help if they are the notorious person in the family that doesn’t take junk from people. This minimises the time spent in between photos putting a group together. While people linger the photographer can take informal natural images of the current group chatting.

2. Prepare them for it. Tell them in advance they’ll be the ones to help so they’re prepared, all ready to go when it’s time. You might want to let them know what time you roughly worked out or allowed for with the group photos so they can help keep them on track too.

3. Keep the list of must have group images to 10 or less. You can have a few smaller groups done later in the day depending on time but if you make a large list then you’ll be set on having all of the photos done and stressing over them taking too long or not enjoying enough of the day and getting enough time to enjoy the day is paramount!

After this, most of the guests the guests who won’t be needed for any other photos can go off and enjoy the day and cause less distractions while they’re at it.


4. Organise your group photo list from the largest group to the smallest.

5. Start with the biggest group so everyone is rounded up for the rest. You can then easily and quickly separate everyone for the all men and all female ones if that’s the route you want to take. (! This is one of the times you can easily arrange your confetti photos for)

6. Plan the morning and leave some extra. If you leave enough time in the morning, you can have the photos with your bridesmaids and your closest family in the morning so the afternoon group photographs session from later in the day doesn’t need to include these freeing up spaces for other photos or just having a good time.

7. Leave a bit more time for the images with the bridesmaids and groomsmen so you can have a change of scene.

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8. How to arrange the groups for a smooth transition if you want photos of everyone.

Here’s an idea and you’ll be able to get how it works and follow the example.

All the men
All the women
You two with both your extended families
You two with the her family
You two with the his family
You two with both sets of your immediate families etc.

What if you don’t want the large formal group images, just close family ones leaving the rest to be photographed as they enjoy themselves? I have the answer: the peeling approach! Here’s how it would work as an example and all the photos have both you and your new spouse in them.


B+G – bride’s side extended family photo (everyone that’s related to you: parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, nieces, nephews, godparents, etc.)
B+G – bride’s side parents, step-parents, siblings, grandparents
B+G – bride’s side parents, siblings, grandparents
B+G – bride’s side parents and siblings
B+G – bride’s side parents or siblings
B – single photo with mom and single photo with dad

As you can see you start with the largest group and just take some out.

In this situation we’d be able to tell anyone who isn’t on the list to leave and enjoy the cocktail hour by narrowing it down little by little. Nothing worse than having to wait around for ages until the photo you’re needed in comes around. Smaller informal groups can be done when you go to the cocktail hour if you’d like as well.

9. Give your photographer enough time in your schedule to take all the photographs required. 20 minutes for 10 group images might seem like a lot now, but be sure there will be delays on the day from prying people away from a conversation to finding stragglers or many others. If you leave more time in your schedule than needed, you can just go back to the festivities.

10. Last but not least, let your photographer know about delicate situations in advance i.e. divorced parents or ill grandparents, people who can’t stand up for long etc. so they can adapt to the situation and keep everyone happy.

These little tips should allow you to get your group photos done quickly, easily and allow your photographer to also focus on the little moments in between the formal images too.