Family & Bridal Party group photos at weddings

When a couple books us to photograph their wedding, it is usually because they like the idea of photographers who work in a natural and documentary style keeping overly posed traditional wedding photographs as minimum as possible. That does not mean that we will not set up some group photos of you and your family. A wedding is a family event and it is the rare times that you have all of your family with. Your family is a huge part of your wedding day and it’s important that they are documented too.

Group photos at weddings can be stressful for couples on the day, as they worry about making sure that everyone gets photographed, then there is the actual organising of the groups and trying to persuade the people that don’t like having their photograph taken to participate.

Every London wedding photographer will have their own preferred way of shooting group photos at weddings and we have ours based on our experience.

How to plan group photos

Do not plan a lot of group photos at the weddings. We always advise couples to keep group shots to a minimum. Between 10-15 is best. Any more than that and you can run into issues with your wedding timeline. If you think you will need more than that, have a think about having bigger groups rather than small ones. Think about the photos that you really want and the amount of time needed for each one. The most important photographs for most couples are usually parents, siblings, grandparents, the bridal party, and extended family and then all of their friends.

Time frame and the location is the key. Time at every wedding day is a precious commodity and group photos are one of the parts of the day than can easily run over if not managed carefully. As a rough recommendation groups of under 6 people will generally take 4-5 minutes, larger groups will take a few minutes more. Many couples don’t understand that to take a great photograph we need good lighting. It’s always better to let us choose which area to use. We will choose based on which area has the best light at the venue, to try and provide you with the best possible wedding photographs.


Experience has taught us that while wedding magazines and wedding blogs will always recommend using a list of must have photographs to be as organised as possible, that this in the real world generally does not work well. They usually tell couples to prepare the list then hand to their photographer to sort it out. Most of the time this does not work. Guests will wander off, can not be found and the process takes much longer than needed, even when we have help from the bridal party to track people down.

We have found that for us the best thing to do first, is to have our couples use members of the bridal party to gather everyone together in one large group. This works much better than us to trying to track each grouping down. Once everyone who needs to be photographed is together, we ask the bride and groom to shout out the names of the people they want included and we then quickly organise them and take the photos. This is the quickest way we have found to shoot group photos at weddings. Usually the quicker we can get through this part of the day, the happier our couples and their guests are.

For us as photographers it’s important that our group photos still fit in with our style so instead of just every photo being a line-up of people. We like to mix it up a bit which also helps make this part of the wedding day a little bit more fun for everyone.

P.S. Check out our quick video here how we organise family goup photos at one of the weddings we shot at Ariana Gardens.