Family formals are a big deal.  It isn't often you have both sets of families, and extended families, together at the same time; especially so if many family members are from out of town.  These shots are an essential part of the day and your hiring a professional.  Ideally, couples want to get these staple shots out of the way with efficiency and without making families wait for long periods of time.  Let's face it, no one wants to come to a celebration and stand around for hours waiting for their picture to be taken - nor should they!

I've taken most the work off your plate with my set of standard shots I aim to take at each wedding.  When you think about your family formals, it's most helpful to me to highlight areas which you'd like to remove, add, or tweak from this list.  It's also helpful to have names - but not necessary.  The most important piece is to have someone close, who knows family members by name and face, who is not drinking on the wedding-day or in the majority of the photos, who can help my assistant and I wrangle everyone in during the photo taking.

Family formals should take between 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the families.  I like to work with the largest family first, then combine families, and work with the smallest family last.  This keeps the majority of people from having to stand around and wait - which tends to lead to wanderers - especially for that bar!  ;)

Below, you'll find a list of my go-to shots for your wedding day.  Feel free to use this as a reference, copy and paste this into an email with modifications and your input, and/or utilize the Family Formals Questionnaire sent to you through WeddingWire to send me your family shot-list in coordination for your big day.

Bride's Family

Bride + Groom with Parents Bride with Parents Bride with Mom Bride with Dad Bride + Groom with Siblings Bride with Siblings Bride with Siblings Individually Bride with Parents & Siblings Bride + Groom with Parents & Siblings Bride + Groom with Grandparents Bride with Grandparents Bride + Groom with Grandparent, Parents, & Siblings

Combined Families

Bride + Groom with Both Sets of Parents Bride + Groom with Both Sets of Parents & Siblings Bride + Groom with Both Sets of Grandparents, Parents, & Siblings

Groom's Family

Bride + Groom with Parents Groom with Parents Groom with Mom Groom with Dad Bride + Groom with Siblings Groom with Siblings Groom with Siblings Individually Groom with Parents & Siblings Bride + Groom with Parents & Siblings Bride + Groom with Grandparents Groom with Grandparents Bride + Groom with Grandparent, Parents, & Siblings

Step-Families

Bride + Groom with Both Sets of Parents Bride/Groom with Both Sets of Parents Bride + Groom with Each Set of Parents Bride/Groom with Each Set of Parents Bride + Groom with Both Sets of Parents & Siblings Bride/Groom with Both Sets of Parents, & Siblings Bride + Groom with Each Set of Parents & Siblings Bride/Groom with Each Set of Parents & Siblings