• August 10, 2018

How to Prepare for Wedding Group Shots

How to Prepare for Wedding Group Shots

How to Prepare for Wedding Group Shots 1000 665 Nathan Walker Photography

Planning your Wedding Group Photos 

Wedding group photos form an important part of every wedding album.

Let’s face it, how often do you get all of your family members and close friends together all dressed to the nines? And also, it’s a sad fact of life that by the time the next big occasion comes around some family members might no longer be with you.

So, theses photos will become cherished family heirlooms just as much as the photos of your wedding ceremony

With this in mind, it may be important to you that you allow time in you day to take some wedding group shots for your record.

Here are my top tips to help you plan groupshots to ensure your day runs smoothly and there are no surprises!

1) Keep the number of photos to a minimum

I’m sure you don’t want the experience of your wedding day to be one of standing around for ages while endless pictures are taken? Besides, the groom’s already waited, for what would have felt like an eternity, for the bride to arrive at the church/ ceremony.

I recommend that you plan around 8 group shots. This will take only 20 min, allowing you to enjoy mingling with guests as much as possible over cocktail hour.

2) Suggested wedding group shots

A good starting point for deciding group photos is:

Close family 

Newlyweds with Bride’s close family:

  • Parents,
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

Newlyweds with Groom’s close family

  • Parents,
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

Wedding party

  • Bridesmaids
  • Groomsmen/ best man

Every family is different, but I find that this list covers most of the key shots my wedding couples need.

3) Consult your family 

It’s important to get wedding group photos that both you and your family wish for.

Ask significant family members if they wish that a particular group shot is taken and add it to your list.

Please don’t count on remembering to ask me for a shot on the day- chances are you’ll forget and the last thing we want is an upset mother of the bride because I didn’t get a formal shot of her and Aunt Betty…

4) Set expectations… 

It’s a good idea to manage expectations of family members when it comes to group shots.

Gently advise family that you have a limited window for wedding group photos so that you can enjoy your day. Family members are always welcome to ask me to capture less formal, more spontaneous gatherings of guests later in the day.

5) Share your group shot list with your Ushers

When you’ve finalised your group shot list, make sure you share it with your ushers. Make it their job to round up family members for the group shots because they’ll know who’s who and they be able to help things run smoothly for you. Your photographer will not know who he’s looking for, so help him out if you can.

6) Remember why you hired your photographer

Group shots don’t make the best use of my talents.

Pretty much anyone can take a shot of people standing next to each other (the skill from my side is in being assertive enough to get people together and arrange them efficiently).

My time is best used where I have the freedom to improvise and to be creative 🙂

7) Do you really need the BIG group shot?

This might be controversial, but is a group shot of everyone worth it?

  • You’ll only be able to make out the faces in first 3 rows of people- the rest will look like face-less white peas.
  • You’ll never print the photo large enough to be able to see everyone’s faces.


  • It takes away from you spending time with your party (rounding up over one hundred people is not a trivial task).
  • Most people hate them.

So, ask yourself what’s the value in having it taken other than for the sake of having it taken?

Of course I’m not against them, if you would like one bring it on! I’m more than happy to take any shots that you request. I just want to help you think through how certain shots will impact your day.

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