5 Steps to Having Amazing Family Photos on Your Wedding Day


February 23, 2023

Family photos can be a LOT on your wedding day. Between making sure everyone’s where they need to be, knowing who you want in what photos, and the general busyness that comes from a wedding day it’s easy to see why! In order to have your family photos run smoothly, you’re going to want to plan them out well before your big day. Taking these few simple steps will make your wedding day family photos a breeze!

1. Make a Plan for Family Photos on Your Wedding Day

First things first, talk with your photographer and get a plan in place. Your photographer will likely know the ins and outs of wedding photo logistics, and what works best for their photography style. If family photos are important to you and something you’re looking to from your wedding day let your photographer know! Family photos can fly by and be a ton of fun if there’s planning done beforehand.

With your photographer, choose a specific time for family photos in your wedding day timeline. For most wedding days, it is easiest to take these photos either right before the ceremony or right after the ceremony because everyone is already together. You will want to let your VIP family members in on the logistics BEFORE the wedding. They’ll be able to help gather everyone and keep things running smoothly along with your photographer. I would not set aside any longer than 30 minutes for family photos since your photographer will be able to capture plenty of candids and other photos throughout the celebration!

2. Choose a Location

Pick a designated spot with your photographer for family photos on your wedding day. Make sure that this space is handicap accessible if need be. You’ll want to collaborate with your photographer to choose a spot that is both aesthetically pleasing and not far from your ceremony or reception. This keeps things simple in terms of getting the people you need where they need to be so you can focus more on the photos and the experience rather than trying to wrangle everyone!

3. Make Your VIP Family List

Write out a list of VIPs (Very Important Family Members) and STICK to that list. It’s so important to stick to your VIP list and your wedding day timeline to keep your day running smoothly! Be sure to give your photographer the first name of every family member. Collaborate with your wedding photographer to create a list of each combination of yourself, your partner, and family members you would like to have a photo session with.


  1. Bride and Groom + Jenny, Sarah, Peter, and John.
  2. Bride and Groom + Max, Sarah, Timothy, and Lee.
  3. Etc.

You will want to have a copy of this list to give to a sibling or someone in your family to help get everyone together on your wedding day. Your photographer will not know what these people look like, so it’s important to have someone to help them organize your family members so that they can focus on actually taking the image.

4. Communicate with Your Family Members

Send out a message or call the family members that are on your VIP list and let them know that there is a set time and place for family photos. Don’t be afraid of micromanaging. The more you plan and openly communicate with your loved ones, the smoother and more enjoyable the whole experience will be for everyone. The last thing you should be doing on your wedding day is stressing out over your family photos. Make sure everyone that you need in your photos knows that they’re needed and when photos are taking place.

5. Identify Your Priorities

There will be a LOT going on on your wedding day. You’ll want to make sure that you think through what your priorities are. You can make your VIP list as short or as long as you want. Don’t worry about offending those who are not on it. It is enough of a gesture to all your guests that you have invited them to your wedding. If formal photos aren’t what you’re into as much, make a short VIP list of those who you want to ensure you get a photo with on your wedding day, and don’t invest too much time into it. Don’t feel like you need to get a photo in with every single one of your guests either. Focus on the things you love for your wedding day, not what you feel is expected of you!

Family photos can often be one of the more stressful things to think about when planning a wedding, but they don’t have to be! Follow these steps and work with your photographer as well as your VIPs to make your family photos a breeze and keep your wedding day stress-free. Are you still looking for a photographer for your wedding day? Head to my contact page to send over an inquiry, or if you’d like to see more of my work check out my Instagram!


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