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The Ultimate Guide To Your Family Wedding Photos Checklist

family wedding photos

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There’s a lot to know about taking family wedding photos.

Outfits, venue, caterers, we’re sure you already know that there’s a whole lot that goes into planning the perfect wedding. 

And you’re going to want to remember all of that hard work with a photograph or two!

Sure, it sounds daunting having to prepare for a photoshoot, and maybe even like a little bit of drag.

But you’re going to want to remember all of the important people who love you and came to celebrate your wedding!

These days, everyone has their own personal cell phones and devices, and we totally encourage you to snap your own memories. 

But we also suggest hiring a professional photographer so you can really take everything and not have to worry about whipping out the camera yourself. 

What kinds of photos should you have? 

How far in advance should you plan the session? 

We answer all these questions and more. 

Here’s the ultimate guide to your family wedding photos checklist.

Family Wedding Photos: Tips

As always, we won’t throw you in headfirst. 

Let’s start out with some general tips for planning family wedding photos and we’ll work our way to more specific pieces of advice. 

Prepare the Checklist In Advance

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You want your planned photo session to go as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

So we really don’t suggest deciding on your photographs on the spot. 

Instead, prepare the list and send it to your photographers a month or two in advance.

And remember to ask your participating guests to show up too!

Children and the Elderly/Handicapped Get Priority

family wedding photos

If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents, it’s a good idea to take some wedding photographs with them.

And if you have small children in the immediate family, pictures with them can turn out to be pretty adorable. 

In general, the elderly cannot stand around waiting for a long time, especially if they have a walker or a cane. 

And children will start to fidget after a while.

So, we recommend taking photos with these aforementioned demographics first. 

Put A Relative In Charge

Your wedding photographer may not be familiar with every member of you and your spouse’s family.

If you know you have some relatives who are eager to help out on the big day, we suggest designating someone to be in charge of tracking people down for the wedding photos. 

It’s best if you have one relative for both sides of the family. 

Bonus: Dealing With Divorced Parents/Blended Family

Divorce can be sticky, and you don’t want things to get sticky at your wedding. 

If the two parties cannot be civil, organize the photography sessions separately, and if there are step-parents or siblings, include them in the photos too. 

Hopefully, the divorced parties will be able to keep it together for the sake of your big day.

Family Wedding Photos: The Must-Haves

Now, onto the photos!

Your wedding album will represent the best footage you have from the day, so make sure they’re photos that you want. 

If you have a specific vision for the types of photographs you’re looking for, then we definitely recommend talking with your photographer beforehand. 

But if you’re still a blank slate, here are some photographs we think you absolutely must include. 

Getting Ready

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Candid shots of you and your family getting ready beforehand are always great at capturing all the excitement that comes before walking down the aisle. 

This can include shots of getting your makeup done, getting help tying your tie, or just some pep talks between you and your parents or siblings.

Just pretend the photographer isn’t there for the most natural results. 

Need help figuring out your wedding budget?

We know that all weddings are unique and so are wedding budgets. Let us share a customized cost estimate based on YOUR preferences in catering, decor style, season and more.

Solo Shots

In the craziness of the day, it might be easy to forget about taking a few pictures of just you. 

You’re going to want a few great solo pictures of yourself in your wedding day outfit, or of just your spouse in theirs. 

Carve out some time with the photographer to have a solo photo session.

First Looks

family wedding photos

“First look” photographs always end up being some of the most touching and intimate of the bunch. 

A first look can be a private moment of seeing your spouse right before the ceremony. 

Or it can even be your parents looking at their baby all dressed up and ready to get married. 

In any case, you’re going to want to have a memory of that look in their eyes. 

Important Traditions

family wedding photos

Whether they are religious or things you do in your family, if you have any special traditions, it’s a good idea to have your photographer take pictures. 

These traditions document the unique feel of your wedding, as well as the big moments leading up to the “I do’s”!

Altar Photos

Altar photos are usually some of the best ways to get candids of everyone in your wedding party.

You’re all gathered around for an important moment, and in an aesthetically-pleasing space, no less. 

Be sure to have your photographer take pictures of your seated guests to get a full feel of the moment! 

Family Wedding Photos Checklist

You’d be surprised at how many photo combinations you can get out of just you and your parents. 

Or grandparents.

Or siblings.

While we have tons of different groupings to choose from, we recommend you keep it to no more than 20 posed photographs, or you and your wedding party will start to go a little crazy. 

But in any case. keep reading for a more general checklist of the standard wedding photos. 

Family Wedding Photos: Parents

family wedding photos

Partner One’s Parents

  • Partner Two’s Parents
  • Both Sets of Parents
  • Partner One with Partner One’s Parents
  • Partner Two with Partner Two’s Parents
  • Partner One and Two with Partner One’s Parents
  • Partner One and Two with Partner Two’s Parents
  • Partner One and Two with Both Sets of Parents
  • Partner One with First Parent
  • Partner One with Second Parent
  • Partner Two with First Parent
  • Partner Two with Second Parent

Family Wedding Photos: Grandparents

family wedding photos
  • Partner One and Two with Partner One’s Grandparents
  • Partner One and Two with Partner Two’s Grandparents
  • Partner One with Partner One’s Grandparents
  • Partner Two with Partner Two’s Grandparents

Family Wedding Photos: Siblings

family wedding photos

Sibling photos can vary. 

For example, you might want photos with just the sisters or just the brothers.

You might even be an only child!

But hopefully our suggestions can help get the wheels turning. 

  • Partner One’s Siblings
  • Partner Two’s Siblings
  • Partner One with Partner One’s Siblings
  • Partner One with Partner Two’s Siblings
  • Partner Two with Partner One’s Siblings
  • Partner Two with Partner Two’s Siblings
  • Both Partners with Both Sets of Siblings

Family Wedding Photos: Group

family wedding photos
  • Partner One with Partner One’s Wedding Party
  • Partner Two with Partner Two’s Wedding Party
  • Partner Two with Partner One’s Wedding Party
  • Partner Two with Partner Two’s Wedding Party
  • Partner One and Partner Two with Both Wedding Parties
  • Partner One and Partner Two with Children (Flower Girl, Ring Bearer, Etc)

Final Thoughts

Here you have suggestions for your family wedding photos checklist. 

Of course, these are simply our suggestions, but we think you’ll really appreciate these photographs later on. 

Take in every moment of your big day so you can have some incredible memories and photographs to look at afterwards. 

No pun intended, but at Milestone we know you have “one shot” to make the wedding of your dreams.

And we are so ready to help you create what you’ll see in those photographs. 

Talk to the Experts

There are no “silly questions”. We know more about Wine Country wedding venues and planning than anyone. We can help you find a venue that matches both your vision and your budget.