I don’t know anyone who likes too many group shots! but I hear so often stories of old skool photographers making everyone do these for way too long.
We do of course have to do them as they are important but it’s equally important to get them done quickly, simply and as relaxed as possible because no one wants to feel like their wedding day was one big photo shoot right?!
You and your guests would much rather be off enjoying the day, after all it goes so fast.
This is why my style is more relaxed, telling your story through pictures, candidly. This gives you natural images and real moments.
So I shoot 5 group shots, which ones they are are up to you but normally it’s:
1. Group shot (dependent on size of group, this time also includes getting everyone round up and finding uncle Jeff who’s popped off to the toilet!)
2. Couple with immediate family (both sides)
3. Couple with parents/bride with mum
4. Couple with grandparents
All of the above should take no longer than about 15 minutes if you have asked someone who you know your guests will listen to to help me with this. I won’t know who anyone is (other than those I have already met at prep) so this helps save lots of time!
Then we can go off somewhere else for the fun ones with the bridesmaids and groomsman! Again no more than 15 minutes.
5. Couple with bridesmaids & Groomsman.
I’d also recommend having a chat with immediate family and explain to them how the group shots will work so that there isn’t any awkwardness on the day if they ask for extended group shots, sometimes mum can get a bit enthusiastic and start pulling other family members in for photos and the couple can feel a bit stressed so I believe it’s better to have these conversations before.
You also need to consider the time year too, winter weddings mean less light, so its super important to have an earlier ceremony time if you are having a winter wedding and factor in 2 hours between the end of the ceremony and the start of the meal, these two hours gives you 45 minutes to speak to guests and the rest of the time to eat, drink, family shots and portraits…
Hope you found my post on planning your group shots helpful!