Wedding Group Photographs

Formal & Informal Group Photographs

Taking the group photographs is a long standing wedding tradition since wedding photography began. Many people don’t want to spend long amounts of time standing to attention and smiling in a rigid way. I aim not to do this at all, but shooting group photos can take time and I suggest following this guide and the tips below.

A few tips:

  • Group photographs can take up to 3-4 minutes to organise. This time frame accounts for organising people to get the best visual aesthetic, gathering the group together and getting the right shot with everyone smiling and looking their best.
  • Speak with your parents about what photos they might like; it’s your wedding day, but the last thing you want is dad trying to round up his work buddies for a photo that you never wanted in the first place. Discuss what photos they might like and come to a compromise.
  • It really helps to get at least the Best Man and/or two Ushers to spearhead organising people for group photos. The photographer won’t know many people by name, but an usher from either family can be a real time saver.
  • Build your groups like a layer cake, start with bride & groom, and add the parents, then siblings, and lastly extended family. This saves lots of time but your photographer can probably arrange your group photos into the most time-productive order. Also remember less is more: Try and merge group photos together if you want to save time. Review your list and consider merging some shots together or doing them informally later.
  • Listing names helps if people need to be called/shouted/hollered/phoned/telegrammed for.
  • Break up the time frame by getting some shots done at different times of the day.

Wedding Group Photography Examples:

Mix up the formal photographs with other’s that are more fun and quirky like this one.

EXAMPLE ONE:

Families, family friends & bridal party

Bride and Groom with:

Grooms Family: Norman Blum, Sylvia Blum, Gladys Ellison, Eddie Ellison, Iris Bartlett, Sally Stevenson, Linda Ramsay, Nicola Cliffe, John Cliffe, Holly Cliffe, Ewan Cliffe

Brides Fathers Family: William Brewer, Elaine Brewer, Peter Brewer, Zaz Brewer, Clifford Brewer, Jane Kelly, Del Thomas, Christine Jackson, Alan Jackson, Richard Jackson, William Jackson, Aimee Rogers, Pam Wong

Brides Mothers Family: Elaine Brewer, William Brewer, Gil Tansley, Irene Tansley, Fred Gaffney, Jean Gaffney, Jane Curtis, Jenny Gaffney, Francesca Gaffney Harrison, Judy Renton, Andy Renton, Charlie Renton, Georgina Renton, Catherine Renton

The family friends: Maria, Michael, Joseph, Tim and Edward

Grooms Father and Brides Parents

Grooms Father

Brides Parents

Stuart and Claire (Witnesses)

Bridal Party

Groom with Best Man & Usher

Bride with Bridesmaids

Bride with Emily, Kimberly and Gemma (friends)

Approximate time scale: 30-40 minutes

Formal photographs of the entire bridal party and family are very important, although it can take a while to do these photographs

EXAMPLE TWO:

A mix of formal and informal shots

Formal Group Photographs

Bride, Groom and both sets of parents

Giddings family and Bride

Montgomery family and Groom, including Darling Pam

Montgomery and Giddings family all in one photo

Ushers, Bridesmaids, Bride & Groom

All guests from top floor window

Informal shots

Group photo of Groom with Groomsmen

Bride with Bridesmaids and girls

Bridal party – Kissing with Bridal party behind

Bridal party – From below, looking over camera

Groomsmen – Jumping

Approximate time scale: 35-45 minutes

Taking some photographs earlier in the day can save time when doing the group shots later, this shot was taken on the morning of the wedding.

EXAMPLE THREE:

Separated parents with partners

Formal Group Photographs

Bride and her parents

Bride with Mum & Tim

Bride with Dad & Kim

Groom with his parents

Groom with Mum & Mike

Groom with Dad

B & G with both sets of parents

B & G with all Brides family

B & G with all Grooms family

B & G with Kat, Henry & Edward (Brides Sisters family)

B & G with Sean, Philippa & Rosey (Grooms Brothers family)

Bride & Friends (Ket, Hannah, Linda, Meg, Emma, Fliss, Philippa)

Groom & friends (Sean, Henry, Darren, Christian, Brady, Jamie)

Bride & Bridesmaids

Groom & Best man

Groom, Best man & Ushers

Full Bridal Party

Approximate time scale: 45-60 minutes 

EXAMPLE FOUR:

Staggered shots at Bridal Prep, Church ceremony, Reception & after wedding breakfast

Pre Ceremony

Roisin, Rory & Kathleen

Roisin, Catherin, Kate, Sarah & Molly

Roisin, Rory & Kathleen, Ronan & Catherine

Tyler, Molly & Shay

Roisin, Catherine, Ronan

Roisin, Tyler, Molly & Shay

Approximate time scale: 15-20 minutes

At the Church

Neil & Gavin

Neil, Roy & Hilary

Neil, Roy & Hilary, Gavin, Wendy

Neil, Hilary & Roy, Wendy & Barry, Gavin & Sue, Freddie (kid)

Neil & Freddie

Approximate time scale: 10-20 minutes

At the Reception

B&G with Rory & Kathleen

B&G with Rory & Kathleen, Ronan, Catherine

B&G with Rory & Kathleen, Ronan, & Lisa, Catherine, Tyler, Molly & Shay (kids)

B&G with Kathleen & Rory, Hilary & Roy

B&G with Hilary & Roy

B&G with Hilary & Roy, Wendy, Gavin

B&G with Hilary & Roy, Wendy & Barry, Gavin & Sue, Freddie (kid)

B&G with Hilary & Roy, Wendy & Barry, Gavin & Sue, Freddie  (Kid), Slyvia

B&G with All the wedding party

B&G with Gavin, Catherine, Kate & Sarah

B&G with Catherine, Kate, Sarah, Molly, Gavin, Tyler, Shay & Freddie

B&G with Molly, Tyler, Shay & Freddie

B&G with Molly, Tyler, Shay & Freddie on their own and at garden hut

Approximate time scale: 30-40 minutes 

Evening 

Bride, Groom & Bride’s school friends

Bride, Groom & Bride’s uni friends

Bride, Groom & Grooms friends

Approximate time scale: 10-20 minutes

Remember that it’s YOUR wedding day, the most important photos will be of just the two of you!