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  • Writer's picturePriscilla Cavazos

How to Make Sure Family Wedding Portraits Go Smoothly

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Today, let's talk about Family Portraits at your wedding.

When it comes to family portraits, this go can one of two ways..

Either can be a smooth process or a chaotic one especially when it comes to family dynamics.

But I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to be stressful.

The way I like to approach family photos on your wedding day is to be as prepared as I can be.

In doing so, it helps not only you but helps your photographer stay calm, cool, and collected.

Here are some tips I like to share with my clients to help ensure that family portraits at your wedding go smoothly

Have a list ready for your photographer and include names so it makes it easier to call out

This is very IMPORTANT especially for your photographer since they most likely wont know any of your family members. When it comes to the way I like to approach this, I ask my clients to list each name in each photo then move onto the next photo.


Photo 1: John, Jacob, Linda, Sarah R, Sarah H,

2: Richard, Lisa,

3: etc.

This makes it easier for your photographer to call out names instead of "Okay, I need bride's or Groom's aunt and uncle" and they can get these portraits done in a timely matter.

Always list immediate family first

Best thing to do is to list immediate family first. I like to start off with the grandparents first so they don't have to be waiting too long to have their photo taken. Next, would be to list your parents then siblings, siblings families, uncles, aunt, cousins, etc. Don't forget to include your bridal party too and anyone else that you would like to add into that list!

Inform family that they will be involved in photos

Make sure that every person who is going to be involved in these photos knows so that they are well prepared and ready to go. Whether you decide to do your portraits before your ceremony or after, guests tend to start roaming around which makes it more difficult to gather people up. When this happens, it takes much more time than anticipated which can lead to stress and cut into the other events of your wedding.

Have everyone arrive on time

This goes with informing everyone about how they will be involved in photos. My advice is to speak with your photographer and coordinate an estimated time to have your family present so we make sure we have everyone ready at go time.


Even though your photographer has a list to go by, it's very beneficial to appoint someone to gather up everyone on your list to help the flow go a lot smoother. This should be a family member or friend who knows mostly/all of the names on your list.


These are the 3 D's and are always a tough one. As a photographer, the last thing we want to do is offend or upset anyone due to these reasons. You and your spouse are the only ones who know your family so when writing your list, make sure you are sensitive to any divorces, deaths, or disabilities between family members. As I have always said in my other blog posts: COMMUNICATION IS KEY!

So make sure you communicate these things with your photographer so they are well aware and prepared to handle the situation.

Well folks, there you have it!

By taking these tips and using them to create your own list, you have a better chance of ensuring your family portraits on go smoothly on your wedding day!

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