How To Prepare A Family Photo List For Your Wedding Day

One of the most important items we ask from our couples before their wedding day is a family photo list. As wedding vendors, we don’t know your families personally nor the family dynamics and relationships. Having a family photo list on your wedding is extremely helpful for your photographer to navigate these portraits and ensure you’re getting a photo with all of your loved ones!

Our goal is for you to have the most enjoyable and efficient family photos possible! While they may appear daunting, we are here to help them so smoothly! We’ve compiled our best tips for how to prepare a family photo list for your wedding day with everyone that is most important to you.

Please note: This guide is for immediate family members! As we mentioned before, we don’t know your family! Every family is unique whether it’s a birth family or chosen family. Use this guide as simply that, a guide. Customize your list to include your must-have people!

1. Prepare the Shot List

Write down your family members. Mom, dad, each sibling, their spouses if they have any, nieces, nephews, and grandparents. Have your partner do the same for their side.

2. Create Each Side of the Family List

This is where we will organize your family list by side of the family. Prioritize the family that may need to have their photos taken first like grandparents and/or children. Here’s an example.

First spouse with:

  1. Grandparents
  2. Immediate family (grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews)
  3. Nieces and nephews
  4. Siblings with nieces and nephews
  5. Siblings
  6. Siblings and parents
  7. Parents
  8. Just mom
  9. Just dad

Now that you have organized your list, you will add some groupings with your spouse in them! Take this same list, and then add your spouse.

First spouse with:

  1. Grandparents
  2. Add second spouse name
  3. Immediate family (grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews)
  4. Add second spouse
  5. Nieces and nephews
  6. Siblings with nieces and nephews
  7. Add second spouse
  8. Siblings
  9. Siblings and parents
  10. Add second spouse
  11. Parents
  12. Add second spouse
  13. Just mom
  14. Just dad

Still with me here? I know it seems like a lot but we’re getting there! Have your partner do the same for their side of the family and add you for certain groupings.

After you’ve made each side of the family photos, here is where we will do the list that includes both of you in them. Here are some examples.

Both spouses with:

  1. All grandparents
  2. Full immediate family (both sides)
  3. All nieces and nephews
  4. All parents
  5. All siblings
  6. All siblings and parents

3. Add First Names

You’re almost done! Take your full family photo list and add first names to each grouping. This helps your photographer tremendously because they will be able to call out people’s names for each groupings vs. calling out “mom” or “dad” and no one knowing which one!

4. Send Your List To Your Photographer

Congratulations on completing your family photo list! Now that it’s done, you can email it to your photographer. You can also double check with them that everything looks good and makes sense to them!

Extended Family Members

Wondering what to do about extended family members like aunts, uncles, cousins, etc? Because family portrait time is usually very limited during cocktail hour or because of timeline restrictions, we also recommend making a separate shot list for the reception. Sometime at the end of dinner or after toasts, you can make time to get photos with your extended family members and other friends/guests! This will also help your photographer ensure you get a photo with those special people too!

Let Your Family Know

Make sure the family members know who will be in your group shots are aware ahead of time. You can also have your officiant make an announcement asking family members to meet for photos after the ceremony in a designated location.

Person In Charge

It can be a huge help to have a friend or family member who knows yours families to assist in making sure everyone in the family photos is there and ready to go!

Avoid Phone Photos

When a guest or family member is taking photos beside us during family photos, it can confuse you and/or your family members where to look and slows down the process. Please ask guests and family members to refrain from taking photos with their phones during this time for portraits!

We hope this guide has been helpful in how to prepare your family photo list for your wedding day! Happy wedding planning!

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How To Prepare A Family Photo List For Your Wedding Day

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