Monday, April 26, 2010

3 tips for taking photos with your entourage

If you don't have the luxury of taking the bride-groom photos before the ceremony, or if you choose to see each other only at the ceremony versus before, you will likely have to take photos with immediate and extended family members as well as the wedding party just after the ceremony. Often times, there's only about an hour -- the cocktail hour -- to take these photos. If you have a large family, this may be daunting.

Here are some observations I have about expediting this process:

1) Ensure you have a shot list of which family members or close family friends you must take photos with (the wedding party is a given). Often, the mother of the bride wants her side with the couple, the father's side of the bride, and so on. Having the shot list will help your photographer assess the best approach for taking photos. For example, if you have tons of group photos, your photographer can work with you on deciding which ones should be priority (must-haves) versus the nice-to-haves.

2) Ensure you have a family member (or close friend) from the groom and bride's sides assigned to each family and gather everyone needed in the photos. Ideally that family member/close friend is familiar with most everyone. Your photographer won't know who Aunt Sally is or who Grandpa Ted is. But your sister, or great-aunt might. So ask that family member to help "herd" each side of the family. And whoever you choose must be assertive!

3) Ask your photographer what their shooting style is for taking these post-ceremony/group photos. In my opinion, the most efficient way is to start with the big groups first and then dismiss family members. The last people standing should be the bride and groom (or else the wedding party). It's more challenging to start with the bride and groom photos first and then try to add family members or other close friends because they are often wandering off to catch up with each other or grab a drink/appetizer.

[Tip #4: Ask your wedding coordinator or catering manager to have refreshments and a few appetizers close at hand for the bride and groom and/or wedding party because these photos often take place outside and the wedding party is already somewhat exhausted/potentially dehydrated from the day's preparations!]

Those are the top three that float to mind. I'm happy to hear more suggestions in case they've escaped me! 

2 love notes:

Bicoastal Bride said...

Great advice! I agree that a shot list is a definite must, and that starting with the large group photos is the best plan of action. And having a plate of appetizers on hand never hurt, either!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the pretty details and forget about the practical things that overwhelm the big day! Thanks for sharing!

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