Wedding Family Formal Example Shot List + Tips and Tricks…

Do you want to have stress free wedding family formals? Here are all my tips and tricks + an example shot list for all your planning needs…

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July 12, 2022

Mary Pugh

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What is the key to smooth wedding family formals? Efficiency and communication. Family formals can honestly be the most stressful part of the day for couples, but communication between your photographer and family with a shot list game plan can ensure the process is quick and easy! Here are my best family formal planning tips and tricks + a handy example shot list that you don’t want to miss!

Make sure you communicate with your photographer the exact groupings you desire.

Sit down and decide what family formal shots you most desire. Send the list to your photographer and include names of family members. People respond much better to being called up by name: “John come to the front” vs “bride’s brother come to the front.” Also let your photographer know if there are any family dynamics they should be aware of for posing. (Separated parents, family drama, etc.) 

Keep your shot list simple.

I recommend keeping the family formal shot list to 10 or less groupings per side. Keep in mind each grouping will take your photographer two to three minutes to set up and capture. So a shot list of 20 groupings could take a minimum of 40 minutes. Shots with extended family can always be taken at the reception! If an extensive list of family formals is important to you, convey that to your photographer to make sure you have plenty of time allotted in your timeline.

Share your family formal list with all family members involved before the wedding day. 

Wether you’re taking the family formals before the ceremony or after, make sure everyone knows when they are taking place and that they expected to be there (with boutonnieres, flowers, etc.) at least 10 minutes before the family formals are scheduled to start. Make sure everyone knows to stay in place and wait for their name to be called. (No running away to grab a cocktail hour beverage, Grandma!) 

Lastly, have a posing plan. Wedding family formal example shot list below!

This tip is more so for photographers. I use the football method for posing family formals. What does that mean? Think of your posing sequence as the shape of a football. Start your posing with the smallest groupings including bride and groom, adding one family member at a time until you get to the largest grouping. Then remove either the bride or the groom and work your way down the list removing a family member until you’re done! It may sound complicated but it makes the posing process so much more efficient. The less you have to move the bride, the faster the posing goes.

Please feel free save this wedding family formal example shot list!

Learn more about my wedding day process and pricing here.

Other helpful wedding day tips and tricks:

Wedding Day Details

Real Life Family Formal Video