Family & Wedding Party Portrait Prep

Here are a few tips to get your wedding party and family ready for portrait time so we can keep things quick and easy!

Be ready early

I recommend scheduling in some buffer time between hair & makeup and the time everyone needs to be ready for pictures. If you are doing a first look, everyone should be ready to go as soon as we finish up couple portraits. If you aren't doing a first look, it would be helpful for us to photograph each side of the wedding party separately as we will have much to accomplish during cocktail hour. All members of the bridal party should have their bouquets handy and boutonnieres affixed at go time.

If we plan to do all or some of the family pictures before the ceremony, ask them to arrive 15 minutes early. That way everyone has time to get their boutonnieres and corsages affixed.

remind them

Make sure to tell your family members the plan for pictures before your wedding day. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to do this. It's especially important if everyone is expected to arrive early to the ceremony, but also important to making sure they don't head over to the cocktail hour following the ceremony. We don't want to spend precious time chasing down wandering family members. We'll ask for one or two point people in case this happens, someone who knows your family members and can help us find who's missing.

Your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen will be with you all day, but don't leave them in the dark. Let them know the game plan so they can enjoy themselves and know what's expected of them.

who's first?

If you decide to do a first look, we will photograph the whole wedding party ahead of the ceremony. That means they'll get to take a break and enjoy the cocktail hour following the ceremony. If time permits, it's great to get a start on some of the family pictures ahead of the ceremony (think your nuclear family and maybe even your grandparents). But if not, all family pictures will directly follow the ceremony.

If you don't do a first look, we'll start with the family pictures following the ceremony as they generally involve the greatest number of people. Then we'll do the wedding party pictures and, lastly, the couple portraits. As you can imagine, that's a lot of pictures to do at one time! That's why it's great to photograph the separate sides of the wedding party before the ceremony.