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Laughter and Love: Tips for Formal Group Pictures

February 17, 2011

Our Wedding Party, lined up and smiling pretty

Once the ceremony was over, it was time for formal pictures while the guests enjoyed our cocktail hour (and boy did they EVER enjoy cocktail hour).

I’ll post a few of my favorite group shots, but you don’t need to see them all, because you’re not my family (unless you are my family- hi sis!)

So, I wanted to share some tips on making what many have described as a stressful process less stressful:

Rule #1: Food and Drink STAT!  Right after the ceremony, the fabulous Baldwin’s staff got drink orders for D and I, and we had some water for us and the wedding party.  Staying hydrated and a little boozy: check.

Another VITAL aspect to our picture taking was ensuring that the delicious passed hors d’ ovres that D and I had carefully selected would also be available for us.  So, one of the Baldwin’s staffers was pretty much tasked with following us around with trays of cocktail hour food while we got pictures taken.  And it was SO GOOD.

Rule #2: Start big and get smaller. Right after the ceremony, we wrangled everyone who was going to be involved in ANY formal picture and got them to the picture location and AWAY from the cocktail hour (or we might never get them back).  We started with family photos, then moved on to full wedding party photos, then groomsmen and bridal party shots.   Once we were done with those, the wedding party went across the street to another restaurant to grab a beer and sit in the air conditioning while D and I got our pictures taken (because no one wants a hot, cranky wedding party following them around as they take couple pictures).

I love this picture

Rule #3: Make a list. If you know you want specific combinations of family or people in formal photos, WRITE IT DOWN!  There are a few shots I didn’t get that I wish I would have, but I never told my photographer.

Rule #4:  Personalize and spice up boring “everyone line up and smile” shots.  What follows are some of my favorite wedding photos:

Attempting to make the "D Face", which D makes in all pictures ever

The D Face in Action

Attempting to make "finger guns", the ladies had trouble balancing "guns" with bouquets

I laughed about this a lot

We're so serious with our finger guns

Just kidding! We don't know the meaning of the word "serious"

Rule #5: Scout locations ahead of time so that you know where you want your formal pictures taken.  And make it as close/convenient for everyone involved in the picture taking process as you possible can.

We got married in an old Train Station, so I knew I wanted to get pictures with this old train car

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