Deciding upon your wedding group portraits.
Part 1: Creating a list
As a general principal, it’s a good idea to keep the group portrait session fairly swift, as guests get bored if it goes over half an hour. One should aim to keep it down to what you really need, in order to remember who was there at your wedding, rather than an exhaustive set of every combination and arrangement of your guests. Every family is different, so it’s almost impossible to have a perfect standard list. For instance, let’s look at the portrait, ‘Couple and parents’. It sounds simple and one would imagine that it comprises of a couple + 2 parents on each side. Whilst this is not uncommon, it is certainly not a rule. On one side, there may be just one parent and on the other, the parents may have both re-married, so there are 4. Other people see this picture as less important than a photograph of themselves with a grandparent or auntie and uncle, who played a bigger part in their childhood than their actual parents. Grandparents can also be a tricky one. Many people getting married do not have living grandparents or their grandparents are unable to travel. For this reason, ‘couple and grandparents’ is not on my standard list but that is not to say it should not be included, if you are one of the ones lucky enough to have grandparents with you on your big day. Another factor to take into account is that there is no real need to replicate the same groups throughout the day.
Groups may also be made before service, such as:
1. Groom, best man, ushers (typically 30 minutes before service begins)
2. If having a morning visit: Bride + parents/bridesmaids
The groups that don’t require both bride and groom in them really could be made before service if time is short between service and wedding breakfast.
My standard list is only a recommendation. It won’t work for everyone and can therefore be edited and adjusted to suit each couple. If the list is extended by more than a few groups, additional time should be incorporated into the schedule. Seven groups can quickly become nine once we introduce grandparents and different groupings of parents, nine groups can easily take half an hour up.
2. Couple and parents
3. Bridal party
4. Couple and Bride’s family
5. Couple and Groom’s family
No. 1 is primarily to set the scene, so that everyone knows what is happening
No. 3 consists of: couple, best man, maid of honour, ushers, bridesmaids, paige boys, flower girls and ring bearer. It does not usually include parents, unless they have been designated one of the roles above.
No’s 4 and 5 are usually ‘all relatives’ but this can be exchanged for ‘immediate family’ if preferred.
Other popular groups include:
• All friends
But care should be taken not to overload the group portrait time.