5 Tips for Stress-Free Family Formals

January 21, 2020

5 Tips for Stress-Free Family Formals on Your Wedding Day

Family formal portrait at a wedding for a stress-free family photo experience

It’s no secret that the Family Formals portion on a wedding day isn’t always the most fun or exciting portion. They’re stressful. Matter of fact, they’re stressful for all parties involved, whether that’s the bride and groom, photographers or the family members. Here’s a list of my top 5 tips for stress-free family formals on your wedding day.


Designate a Family Member to Help With Family Formals

Assign a family member from each side in charge of calling out family members. This could be someone who knows faces and names who can help the photographer round everyone up. If you have a wedding planner, this could be something you could ask them to help your photographer with in order to keep things moving as quickly as possible.


Ask Family to Arrive Early to Family Formals

Ask your family to arrive early. It can be 15-20 minutes before they really need to be there and don’t forget to tell them where to meet. It’s kind of like that old trick your mom used to play on you when you needed to leave to go somewhere on time, so she would tell you a time to be ready at before you actually had to technically be ready 😉 That way, if anyone is running late, it will still be alright.


Decide When You Want Family Formals to Take Place

If you’re doing a first look, I recommend doing all of your photos before the ceremony, including family formals. This way, once the ceremony is done, the rest of the day is all about fun and you guys can relax! If you aren’t doing a first look, we will do it immediately following your ceremony. Ask your family members to meet right at the alter (or wherever you want to do the photos) immediately after the ceremony ends.

Keep Your Family Formal List Exclusively for Immediate Family Only

Only have immediate family members partake. Any large groups of extended family members such as cousins, aunts, uncles or even friends can be photographed during the reception, just communicate that with your photographer!


Have All Family Formals With Your Grandparents In Them Go First

You love your grandparents. Heck, we love your grandparents! Let’s photograph them first. This way, if they are less mobile, they can sit down and relax right away.


All families are different. All family formals will be different. Everyone has different family dynamics, whether there’s some drama going on, divorced parents or even just a really large family. Knowing these 5 tips for stress-free family formals on your wedding day and how to be proactive when it comes to your family portraits on your wedding day will be able to help you move through them with ease and check them off your timeline quickly and effortlessly!

Love these tips? Check out my article on 10 wedding planning mistakes and ways to avoid them!

  1. […] you also want extended family photos, account for 45 minutes to allow a little extra wiggle room. For Family Formal tips, check out this blog post.) 5:00 – 5:30  –  HIDE, REST AND RETOUCH BEFORE CEREMONY 5:30 – 6:00  […]

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