• Donna Harrison-Smith

Group Photographs at Weddings (7 Ways to Make it Flow)

Updated: Sep 23

Oh dear don't they just take forever! And really all we want to do is be at the bar or catching up with our friends & family! Well take a look at my blog to get some ideas of how to make the group shots run a lot more smoothly....





1. Have a plan

Your Photographer can help you with this as they are the experts & know what works best. To minimalise group shots so you are not spending ages doing lots of variations it is a good idea to do one big group photograph so you know you have everyone on one of the images. Then from there I think you should have a few 'must haves' but again not to go overboard or else you risk everyone including yourself getting really bored & fed up especially if the weather isn't playing ball or it's too hot.


2. Must Have Group Photos

Many brides & grooms I meet nowadays say that they don't want any group photographs but then when you dig a bit deeper there are always some shots you really can't live without. I remember when my Dad died I was looking for the photograph of us both together at my wedding, I desperately wanted to frame it. It's at times like that, that you really do appreciate those few group shots that you did manage to get on the day.


3. Plan with your Photographer where is best to take the group photographs

If you are having a church wedding I would suggest doing the majority of them there as all the guests are in one place & haven't wondered off to the bar or to check into their hotel room. Bear in mind even with all the best intentions in the world the groups might have to be moved around because of the lighting, so be guided by your Photographer on that one. Have a back up plan if it rains! Your Photographer might not have the space to get everyone in the shot if it rains so I have a little suggestion, if time permits, for the Photographer to go round each table at the wedding breakfast to take a photograph of the guests before they start eating so at least you have all of the guests photographed this way instead


4. Assign someone to help the photographer round up the guests

Your Photographer will not know all the people on the list so it is always helpful to have one of your friends, best man or a bridesmaid to help as they tend to know who's who & can round them up quickly. It's looking for the people that takes up the time on the day so it's a good idea to tell some of the main characters on the group shots to hang around by the Photographer until all these shots are taken.


5. Organising the Group Shots

I like to do the big group photograph first so then most people can wonder off to the bar or start chatting with friends. Then I go for smaller groups from there. I suggest we keep the group photographs roughly in the same spot so we have more time to take the candid, natural ones of people enjoying your day. We can be more creative with the backgrounds of the venue for the couples portraits & the bridal party which is a personal favourite of mine as I tend to have a lot of fun with these images. Also keeping the group shots roughly in the same place is good for the family as they are not traipsing all over the grounds.


6. Have Fun with the Images

Why not have a bit of fun with the group shots? Most of the time people are just standing in a line, don't get me wrong this is great for some of the group photographs as it definitely saves time but I like to have a few fun images too. I'd suggest this mainly for the bridal party, the bridesmaids, friends & groomsmen images.


7. Candid/natural Group Shots

I love to capture those candid group Shots, I will be on the look out for some lovely natural images of you & your guests chatting or playing lawn games together so we can tell the story of your day without intruding all the time trying to set up the perfect shot!




Checklist for when it is best (if it's relevant to your plans & day) to take the group shots:


Before the ceremony (at home, the church or the venue):


Bride with Mother

Bride with Father

Groom with best man

Groom with Best man, groomsmen


After The Ceremony

Bride & groom with the following:


Big group

Parents

Siblings

Grandparents


After The Meal (light permitting otherwise before the meal):


The Bridal Party (Bride & groom, best man, ushers, bridesmaids)

Bride with bridesmaids

Bride & groom with Friends


If you want a laid back, fun Photographer at your Wedding then I'd love to hear from you & we can plan your hassle free group photographs together:


www.harrisonsmithphotography.com


Wedding Photographer Birmingham covering Solihull, West Midlands, Warwickshire





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