Standard Family Group Shots for Your Wedding

Standard Family Group Shots and Tips to Organise Them on Your Wedding Day


This isn’t an article about the importance of family group shots. I want to believe you already know they are hugely important, and so does your wedding photographer!

Here’s just a few reasons why:

Family is so important, whether you realise this now or later on in life
People don’t stay in your life forever
It’s a way to show your respect towards your family
Your parents / grandparents will definitely want a formal photo with you
It may be the only printed memory some people have of themselves!
They ALWAYS end up in the wedding album

bridesmaids with bride during family group shots at hyde house cotswolds

Which are the standard family group shots for your wedding day?

Here’s our suggestion for your standard family group shots list for your wedding day.

We always suggest a maximum of 10-15 groups and combinations. It can eat up so much of your day if you choose more, as well as become a very frustrating experience very quickly.

To make things really easy, you can DOWNLOAD THIS FREE DOCUMENT to help you start your own list.

  1. B&G + brides parents
  2. B&G + brides parents + siblings
  3. B&G + grooms parents
  4. B&G + grooms parents + siblings
  5. B&G + both parents, siblings & partners + kids
  6. Bride + her GRANDPARENTS  (if any)
  7. Groom + his GRANDPARENTS  (if any)
  8. B&G + bridal party (bridesmaids, flower girls, best man, ushers, page boys)
  9. Bride on her own + bridesmaids, flower girls
  10. Groom on his own + best man, ushers, page boys
  11. Other people important in your lives (very close friends)

bridesmaids and bride during standard family group shots for a forest wedding

Advantages of planning your family group shots ahead

Your photographer will make sure you get photos with your loved ones
You can organize them well within your wedding timeline
You can get a close family member to help your photographer gather the groups
It can be a short and sweet experience
You will not have any regrets once the wedding day is over

Disadvantages of not planning your family group shots

It will be very stressful for you and the others to make start calling people on the spot for group photos
Your photographer will be very confused if you suddenly decide to have family group shots
Your timeline will definitely be affected
It could turn into a very long and frustrating experience
You might seriously regret getting your photos and not having any family group shots for your wedding

bridesmaids and groomsmen during family group shots for a forest wedding

Useful tips to help you organize the family group shots

Now you know why it is important to have formal shots on the wedding day, which one you should take and what are the advantages of planning far ahead.

Your photographer may also be able to advise on a few things, but here are few of our thoughts

  1. You only need to plan family group shots the month before your wedding
  2. Have someone clearly announce family group shots so people come out of the toilet :)
  3. Keep the list to a minimum ( 8-10 is ideal, but 12-15 is the maximum we’d suggest)
  4. Leave at least 20 minutes in your timeline and then some
  5. You could plan your group shots during the canapés
  6. Don’t plan this just before your sit-down dinner! ( if it takes longer, it can be very stressful for your catering team)
  7. Send your photographer a clear list of the people
  8. Have a very close family friend/relative in charge of the list, to help organize everyone
  9. You could split your list in two or three – have older family members group shots after the ceremony and the rest of the list in between meals or during the canapés

If you’re looking for things to do for the rest of your guests during the formal group shots, we came up with a list of 15 Wedding Cocktail Hour games so that’s also sorted for you!

Looking for more wedding planning tips and ideas for your wedding day? We’ve got you covered, friends!


documentary cotswolds wedding photographer