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Wedding Family Photo Ideas

Wedding & Elopement Tips

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Wondering how to come up with the list of wedding family photos and looking for wedding family photo ideas?

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen all sorts of different combinations. From only having immediate family members in formal family portraits to extensive extended family combinations!! So what’s right for you? Every family is different so ultimately it’s up to you!! Maybe you are super close with your entire extended family! Maybe both sets of parents are divorced and have remarried. Perhaps a family member is estranged and you want just one photo with them.

Most important takeaways:

Keep it simple.

For instance, ask your photographer if your proposed list will take 30 minutes or less. If not, try to revise and condense combinations.

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

Step 1. How to approach it

  1. Keep the combinations as simple as possible. Start with your immediate family and go from there. Secondly, list anyone else you feel like you absolutely must have a photo with!  

After you have that list, then go in and begin to arrange the combinations. For example:

List:

Mom

Dad

Sister

Brother

Grandma

Grandpa

Cousin Leena

Combos:

Bride with whole family listed

Bride with grandma and grandpa

Bride with grandma

Bride with grandpa

Bride immediate family only

Bride with parents

Bride with mom

Bride with dad

Bride with siblings

Bride with sister

Bride with brother

Bride with cousin leena

2. Repeat this on your fiancé’s side.

3. Finally, repeat this process listing out the combinations you’d like with both you and your future spouse in the photo.

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

Step 2. Evaluate

There’s a chance once you’ve written it all out, you realize you have a TON of combos (I consider anything over 30 combos to be quite a bit!). So, I would look for opportunities to condense.

For example, maybe for the bride and groom together portion you listed out this for sibling photos:

Bride and groom with bride’s sister

Bride and groom with bride’s brother

Bride and groom with bride’s sister and brother

Bride and groom with groom’s sister

Bride and groom with groom’s brother #1

Bride and groom with groom’s brother #2

Bride and groom with groom’s sister and brothers

Bride and groom with all siblings

However, that is a lot of similar combos that probablyyyyy aren’t necessary (especially if the bride and groom are getting separate photos with each sibling).

Therefore, I recommend:

Bride and groom with bride’s sister and brother

Bride and groom with groom’s sister and brothers

Bride and groom with all siblings

Or perhaps even just:

Bride and groom with all siblings

To clarify, Here are the most common combos you can use as a basis:

Bride:

Bride with immediate family + grandparents

Bride with grandparents

Bride with immediate family

Bride with parents

Bride with each parent

Bride with siblings

Bride with each sibling

Groom:

Groom with immediate family + grandparents

Groom with grandparents

Groom with immediate family

Groom with parents

Groom with each parent

Groom with siblings

Groom with each sibling

Bride + Groom:

Bride & groom with both sets of parents

Bride & groom with brides immediate family

Bride & groom with groom’s immediate family

Bride & groom with all siblings

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

In short, I recommend narrowing down the smallest list of combinations you could possibly get by with. Your photographer should be able to guess how long the family photos will take.

Step 3. Decide when to do family photos

Usually, they happen after the ceremony that way it’s easy to round up everyone right after at a nearby location.

If you do have an expansive list of portraits I recommend trying to do some prior to the ceremony. So, you could at least get your individual ones done, that way after the ceremony all you’re working on is the bigger group ones with both of you.

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

Step 4. Find your point person

There is likely a sibling or best friend of yours who knows everyone listed in the family photos. I highly recommend connecting them with the photographer in advance so the photographer can share the shot list with them. As a result, during photo time your friend can help identify and gather the correct people to help the process go smoothly and more quickly.

Share the finalized list with all family members involved

In addition, have the officiant announce the family photos and where to meet after the ceremony

Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer
Rachel Christopherson Photography-Wedding Family Photos-Wedding Photos-Family Photos-Family of the Bride Photos-Family of the Groom Photos-Father of the Bride Photos-Mother of the Groom Photos-Family Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography-Wedding Photographer

Final piece of advice

To sum up, family photos are extremely important, but more combinations does not always mean better. Keeping a smaller list of must-have photos and getting to spend more time with everyone on your wedding is best. Above all, on your wedding day, I can promise you that you won’t want to spend an hour smiling in an endless amount of family photos! You’re going to want to head to cocktail hour and start living in the moment!!!

I hope you enjoyed my wedding family photo ideas, which was your favorite tip??

Need more wedding tips? Click here or here to read more!!

Photos by Rachel Christopherson, Wedding Photographer

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