Myth: you need to spend hours away from your guests on your wedding day doing photos

Absolutely not! Here are the facts, and some top tips for avoiding spending hours standing in a lineup with jaw ache from smiling at the camera!

Group Shot List

I recommend to all my couples to come up with a list of 10 group shots. If you think about them ahead of time you can really condense the list of the shots that mean the most to you, and it will mean on your wedding day you don’t spend hours grimacing in a line up whilst all you want to do in that moment is to drink champagne, eat the canapés you put so much thought into and mingle with your loved ones.

Are Group Shots Important?

While some photographers are in the “I’m a documentary photographer so I don’t do group shots” camp, I do believe that having some group shots is important. After all, these are the photos that your relatives will have framed on their walls, and some of the photos you’ll look back on fondly in years to come when maybe one or two faces from the frame may no longer be earthside - a time when you were all together in one spot 🤎

Pick a Location

It's a good idea to pick out in advance a location where you would like your group photos to take place. The spot must be large enough to accommodate your largest group, and ideally will have a lovely scenic or natural backdrop. Most wedding venues have several locations which are perfect for group shots. If you're getting married at a hotel with limited outside space for example we sometimes have to get a bit creative! But it's best to decide this in advance to save time during the drinks reception. It's a good idea to have an alternative wet weather location for the shots too. If it's raining I won't trail all your guests outside (unless everyone wants to head out with some brollies, which I'm totally up for but something I've not come across very often!). When looking for a wet weather location, the best option is somewhere that still has lots of natural light, so by a big window, maybe even in an open doorway so you can all stand inside and I can stand outside under an umbrella!

Give your Guests a Heads Up

It's a good idea to let any of your guests who will be needed for group shots know in advance - this generally helps cut down on any time waiting for guests who have headed off to check in / gone to the bar etc when we need them!

Recruit some helpers

I find a number of around 10 shots can be efficiently worked through in around 30-40 minutes (with the help of one or two guests - best man/bridesmaid/the mums - we want helpers who together know everyone from both sides of the family) and once we’ve had 20 minutes of couples portraits that still leaves lots of time for mingling with your loved ones and eating miniature sausage rolls!