Post # 1
Hello everyone, My wedding isn’t until September 08′ but this subject is already kind of stressing me out. I come from a very large family (10 aunts and uncles on my moms side and a ton of cousins). My parents are divorced so I have double the parents and extended family. My fiance and I hired a wonderful photographer who has a photo journalist background. We don’t want the ‘typical’ posed photos to be taken on our wedding day, thus the reason we hired the photographer we did…So here is the dilemma My mom, dad and step mother want a family photo taken after the ceremony (during cocktail hour). I think it is a great idea, but wrangling all those people up after the ceremony and taking 3 sets of pictures (not including ones with my FI side) is freaking me out…and it isn’t something we really wanted. Most of our guests are going to be family and so, I am fearing that taking the majority of the guests away from cocktail hour will be unnecessary. Am I just being overly retarded about this? Any suggestions as to how to appease the parents? I do have to mention that we are going to take limited ‘posed’ photos of the usual people (mom, dad, wedding party…). Its just the big family shots I am stressing about. Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice.
Post # 4
I had a photojournalistic photographer as well- it’s not that bad… we just set a time limit and each set of parents that wants that picture— well they have to wrangle the troops- they want it, make them work for it.
I made sure everyone knew they needed to be around to get the group shot and made sure my MOH was there as well to help. With the exception of my FIL & MIL, everyone made it. (they kept f’n wandering off and it was ticking me off to no end!)
Post # 5
I agree with babagrlshell – if your mom, dad, and stepmother want the photo, tell them that they need to get all the usual suspects to congregate at the specified area at whatever time. Have the photographer there; it shouldn’t take ten minutes for him to get three group portraits, a couple shots of each. Let your parents know that this is the scheduled time – after ten minutes you’ll release take off with the photographer to sign the marriage license, put your feet up for a few minutes, have a little time with the groom before the rest of the festivities. Anyone who doesn’t show up isn’t in the photo – no exceptions.
We did this at my sister’s wedding – and it went pretty well. We just told all immediate family and the bridal party to hang in the churchyard after the ceremony, while everybody else went on the the reception. Ten minutes later we were on our way. You don’t need to stress, because it’s not your job to get everybody assembled! Don’t take on that responsibility, since you’re not the one who really wants the photo. And if everybody doesn’t show up at the designated time, don’t stress over that either – just say "Well, we tried!" and go on with the evening. It’s nice for your folks if they can get a family portrait done by your photographer on your nickel, but it’s not the primary point of the day by any means. If it doesn’t work out, c’est la vie.
And of course, although there are usually family shots done at a wedding reception, if you really don’t want to bother with it, just tell your folks that it seems too complicated to organize, and that you don’t really want those kind of photos anyway. If your family really wants a family portrait, they can do what everybody else does (whose daughter isn’t getting married) – hire a photographer to take one! Having a photographer actually spend an hour with your family will result in a much better portrait that you will ever get by having your wedding photographer take a couple of group shots outside the church. I hate those wedding and funeral family shots – everybody in their suits and heels – looking like they never actually look.
Post # 6
it’s totally doable without making it a circus, i promise! we had the same issue, and I was more then stressed out about having to round up everyone. we solved this problem by having in the program a small note stating that we were going to take a group photo immediately after the ceremony and that the ushers would direct folks where to go. during the recessional we skipped the receiving line and had everyone follow us to a spot. we took 1 group ‘everyone’ pic, then everyone in my side of the family, then my dad’s side, and then my mom’s side. as people finished, they headed to the cocktail hour. less then 5 minutes.
i f your family doesn’t like that plan, i agree with suzanno that they should round everyone up, but family will be family, and people just don’t behave like they should! so if you can nab people right after the ceremony, you will get everyone hopefully, as allof the late stragglers will be there. good luck!
Post # 7
Don’t stress, it’s totally doable. We had a photjournalist photographer, too, who HATES doing posed shots. But they understand the family shots are a necessity. So if your photog is good, s/he will make it quick and painless.
Designate one or two people from each family as the chicken wrangler. It’s their responsibility to inform all the necessary people to stay after the ceremony is over for a quick family portrait. Pick a location that is close to the ceremony site so you don’t have to deal with moving large groups around.
Tell your photog ahead of time which fam goes first (i.e. mom, mom & dad, mom & stepmom, FI’s fam). S/he will call up each fam, take the shot, then they are free to join the cocktails. Then the next fam gets called up.
It is VERY difficult to get large groups to cooperate for photos, so emphasize up front to the designated point people that they are responsible. Whoever shows up is in the shot, whoever straggles is out of luck!
Post # 8
Photographers, even the photojournalistic ones, are used to this.Â They will be able to handle it.Â Just give them a head’s up that you want it to be fast and for the photos to be good in that short amount of time!
Post # 9
I have a photojournalist photographer, is it generally outside of thier realm to do "untypical" group photos. I have seen ones with all the bridesmaids spread out in a field for example, or should I expect no posed shots?
Post # 10
We tried, the minister even made an annoucement for everyone to stay put so we could sign the contract and come back for photos. But everyone went off socializing and we would have had to scream across the courtyard to get everyone over. We just got photos with the people there. I would say have your parents talk to peopel before hand to get them to stay put.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone! I am feeling much better about the photos. I will take everyones advice and talk to those who want the photos done. Our photographer is really great, she won’t have a problem with the family shots as long as it’s on my list. I also liked the idea of putting it on the program I think I might use that!