This is my journal on documenting love, finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

This is my journal on documenting love,
finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

HELLO, I'm JENNIFER! welcome to MY blog!








The Importance of Family Formals

Filed in: What to Expect

I hate to admit it, but I used to really dislike photographing family formals. You know, the photos always taken at weddings that seem to take forever where everyone lines up and smiles for the camera. They felt forced, stiff, and anything but genuine.

However, now that I have been a bride myself and have my own wedding photos to look back on, I’ve realized that these posed family formals are SO very important. These photos are pieces of your heritage, your new family history to show future generations. Of course, I adore the candid photos from our day too, but the formal portraits where you can clearly see everyone’s smiling face are more vital that I ever realized before.

Furthermore, we spend a good amount of time capturing photos with your bridesmaids and groomsmen, so shouldn’t family share that same respect?

I have taken this new outlook on family formals to heart, and want my brides to understand it too. I totally get that everyone wants to move onto the reception as quickly as possible, which is why these portraits are usually dreaded so much, but I promise to be efficient with working through the list. Besides, was it really worth it to get to the reception 5 minutes sooner rather than have a photo memory with all of your cousins, or your sweet Aunt Betty, or nice picture of just your parents together?

Here’s the standard list of family formals that I typically take.

  1. Bride and Groom formal
  2. Bride and Groom with pastor/officiant
  3. B&G with both sides of immediate family
  4. B&G with both sets of parents
  5. Bride’s side
    1. B&G with Mother and Father
    2. B&G with Mother, Father, Siblings
    3. B&G with Siblings
    4. B&G with Grandparents
  6. Groom’s side
    1. B&G with Grandparents
    2. B&G with Mother and Father
    3. B&G with Mother, Father, Siblings
    4. B&G with Siblings
  7. B&G with both sets of siblings

If everyone is organized and ready, this list takes me about 20 minutes to work through. If you have large or separated families and requests for extended family portraits, this could increase to 30 minutes for portraits. Make sure we discuss your expectations for family formals and please let me know if you have questions.

Take some time to check out the other posts in this series which will help make your wedding day go smoothly: timeline and First Sight. I have a few other “What to Expect” posts up my sleeve, so come back later this week for more!




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