Photographing the family group wedding photographs

Bridesmaids with the couple at Dumbleton Hall

Choosing your group photographs

One of the hardest decisions on a wedding day is choosing who should be included in the group wedding photographs and who should be left out. When we first started photographing weddings my wife would take care of aranging people into groups. We soon realised that the majority of people that had been chosen by the couple did not actually want to be included. We decided to start advising couples on the groups. Eight group photographs with up to eight people in each group would take us about thirty five to forty minutes to complete. When we had the initial meeting with each couple we would work out how long their photographs would take.

For the last two years I have been photographing weddings alone with small unobtrusive camera equipment, in a quiet documentary style. I have realised the best approach for me now is to forget about lists of groups and just make it all happen on the day. I stand with the couple when they are ready to start there family group photographs, we decide together who should be in each group and how large they should be. It has worked really well as it gives me a chance to interact with the couple and there family members. This makes the whole experience allot more enjoyable for everyone.

bride with groomsmen at a wedding at stanbrook abbey

Daytime reception advice

Different venues have different ideas of how long a daytime reception should last. On average I would say most venues allow one hour and thirty minutes. The group photographs will take about forty minutes and the photographs of the couple alone together about twenty minutes. This should leave thirty minutes for the couple to enjoy time together to relax with their friends and family. I like to capture natural images of everyone enjoying the day at this stage and also like to concentrate on all the detail photographs of the tables laid out ready for the wedding breakfast. It is very important that your venue allows enough time for the daytime reception.




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