July 2, 2019

Family Formals Photo List

A complete list of wedding day family formals photo list for a stress-free wedding day by akron wedding photographer

I take pride in the fact that 99% of my couples say their wedding day was fun and stress-free.  The first wedding I ever photographed was over eight years ago (where did the time go?!?!).  Since then, I have had the absolute honor to spend over 150 wedding days with couples.  Through trial and error, I have come to understand which part of a wedding day can be the most stressful for a couple.  

Here are some examples of stressful parts of a wedding day and how to resolve those

Stressful: Early morning setup of your reception space
Solution: Hire a wedding planner to set up for you
(Need referrals for planners?  Email me!  I will share with you my go-to Cleveland, Akron, Canton Ohio wedding planners! ❤️)

Stressful: Hair and makeup run behind
Solution: Start EARLY!!  And earlier than they recommend by at least a half hour

Stressful: Travel time between locations
Solution: Get married at a venue that has everything there for you.  A getting ready place for hair and makeup.  And a ceremony + reception combo   

Stressful: Family Formals. 
Solution: Download this free guide and use it on your wedding day

A free guide for wedding family formals photos list by akron wedding photographer

Why Family Formals can be stressful

It’s not uncommon to sit down with a couple at our first consult and find out at least one set of parents are divorced.  What is uncommon these days is, however, is being told that both sets of parents are still married.

Family dynamics can be so hard.  Especially when you have divorced parents.  Nine times out of ten, there are some unresolved emotions, and for a magnitude of reasons, wedding days bring out the worse of those emotions.  

(I can speak from experience on this.  We were one commercial break short of a full-on Jerry Springer at my wedding thanks to an immature parent that wouldn’t stand in for a handful of family photos because his ex-wife was also in the photo)

To keep things running smoothly and as stress-free as possible, I have mastered the family formal portion of a wedding day.  At this point in my career, family formals run smoothly.  Almost like it’s a well-oiled ship.

But I also recognize that not every wedding day is like that for brides everywhere.  That is why I wanted to share with you today my family formals list.  

This list is permanently etched in my brain.  On a good day, when the family is ready for photos, I can roll through this list in under 20 minutes.  When we have divorced parents that are remarried, under 30.  

That is one of the keys to keeping family formals as relaxing as possible for my couples.  This time goes by quickly.

Here are some tips for keeping this portion of your wedding day enjoyable:

  • Family formals work best if they take place right after the ceremony at the ceremony location
  • Be sure to remind your immediate family of the time and meeting location for photos
  • Ask the Moms to gather everyone because someone is bound to forget, even though they were reminded 20 minutes beforehand
  • Keep the list simple. Anything more than what is provided on the left will cut into your other photo time if you didn’t do a first look
  • If you want photos with your extended family, take those at the reception
  • If you hired two photographers, the second photographer could take photos of just the married couples on the Bride’s side while the main photos are happening with the Groom’s side. And vice versa.
  • Take the photos with the grandparents first. Wedding days are long for them
  • Then take photos with the little kids. It’s probably their nap time
  • Final tip: PRINT THESE PHOTOS. Gift them at Christmas. Especially the photos of just the parents and grandparents together.

I hope you have found this post helpful!  Wedding days should be enjoyable and memorable.  Not stressful.  My hope is this guide helps accomplish that for you on your wedding day!

Don’t forget to download your free guide!

If you found this post helpful, be sure to read other helpful wedding tips here!

To view past weddings, click here

To view past engagement sessions, click here

If you found this post helpful, save it to your Pinterest wedding board!

A complete list of wedding day family formals photo list for a stress-free wedding day!

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