Should non-engaged significant others be in formal family wedding photos?

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
Member
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Why not take one of each?  One with family only, and one with everyone.  

Post # 3
Hostess
9919 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

sunflower22:  I think it depends.  My dad’s uncle has been with his girlfriend for 25 years.  She’s as much of the family as my husband who’s been in my life for 10 years they’ve just chosen to not get married.

I think you need to do what’s right for your family but I agree with PP that perhaps getting a shot with them and a shot without them would be good.  Who knows, maybe they end up being around forever, then you might regret them NOT being in your pictures.  If they’re gone in 3 months the pictures with them in it will be a funny memory buried on a disc somewhere. 

It’s not like 20 years ago when each shot had to be carefully thought out and selected because you would get 20 pictures and that’s it.  You’re going to get 100’s.  It’s not a big deal for the photographer to add a person, drop a person from a group shot.  We did a lot of that what with my parents being divorced and me having a half sibling and whatnot.

Post # 4
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

sunflower22:  If you know they’re really close – take one of each. They may or may not be around. 

Post # 5
Member
716 posts
Busy bee

I attended a wedding with my FI a little over a year ago.  His cousin was getting married.  There was an informal cousin photo.  No one provided any direction as to whether non-engaged SOs should be in the photo.  Again, this was informal and unplanned. 

My instinct in the moment was to not pose for the photo as my FI and I weren’t engaged at the time.  My feeling was that my FI grew up with these cousins and they should get their group photo without strangers in it.  Now, other counsin’s non-engaged SOs did pose for the photo, apparently they felt that they should be acknowledged as part of the cousin group.

In my opinion, boyfriends and girlfriends shouldn’t be in family photos.  But my point is that clearly not everyone shares that opinion.  The nicest approach is likely what netto614 suggested, one of each.

Post # 6
Member
3702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

sunflower22:  I agree with PPs. Take photos with and without SOs. The relative “importance” of a person within the family is not necessarily correlated with their status as a fiance or not. Is a fiance of 1 year more important than a boyfriend of 10 years? Hard to say I guess, so to be on the safe side, just take multiple shots. 

Post # 7
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

sunflower22:  I agree with PP–do both.  Just don’t do what my FBIL did, which was to not include me in any pictures, even though FI and I had been engaged for awhile at that point. 

Post # 8
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

sunflower22:  For my wedding, we took ones with just fiances/husbands/wives and then after, called the girlfriends to come up. Like PP said, in these times, its so easy to take a bunch of quick photos- we were adding and dropping people so fast in so many different combos, it was easy. I would be like okay now add this person! Okay, now just these people! No one cared.

But that way, we didn’t hurt feelings and had the ones with just our family, in case they do break up! I mean, I think that is totally acceptable to not have them…if I were someone’s girlfriend, I would understand and know I am not married or officially in the family yet. 

Post # 9
Member
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: A very pretty church.

I’m going to have to go against the trend here. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair or acceptable to divide on those lines, and I do believe that it can hurt feelings. My brother’s partner has been around for the last 8 years and I know they intend for that to continue, forever. They might never get married though (it does take two after all). They are still young but my brother used to say he would never get married to anyone (some big political statement…whatever). Making it an issue during photos of our family would be incredibly cruel to my ‘Sister-in-life’, she is absolutely a part of my family even though they are not married.

Post # 10
Member
423 posts
Helper bee

Why not take two sets of photos, so everybody is happy?

I’ll buck the trend here too. I don’t think it’s very nice to exclude people from photos. People could really get their feelings hurt. Who am I to judge other people’s relationships? What if I were to draw the line at only engaged couples and my sister’s boyfriend was planning on proposing within the next month? I’d feel just as terrible as he would. Family is family.

Post # 11
Member
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

sunflower22:  when my sister got married 6 years ago, my brother in-law was worried about having my fiance in the wedding because he didn’t know if we were going to last. They took some photos with him in it and some photos with him not in it, but I think it offended my fiance though.  I felt bad for him because their official wedding pics that they gave my mom and family was one where he wasn’t in it. Til this day he notices that he’s not in it, but I could see why they were worried about having him in it because at the time we were only dating for a year.  

Post # 12
Member
3558 posts
Sugar bee

sunflower22:  I know in my situation, when I was dating my ex, I never asked to be in photos, but if someone insisted I was in the photo.  We obviously ended up not being together after four years, but I was still in a few family photos, that I think may or may not hurt his mother (she really wanted us to work it out).  As for my husband’s family, I’ve been in them since the beginning.  They just knew we were getting married.

I don’t know if I would be offended or not to not be asked in photos, but in my own family they usually draw distinctions, here’s pinkcorsage’s family (husband and daughter), and here’s her aunt’s family line (my aunt and my uncle, and their children).  So maybe it’s just my upbringing.

Post # 13
Member
13021 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Do both.  Even engaged and married couples divorce.   The only thing permanant is blood related immediate family.

Post # 14
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

sunflower22:  It’s socially acceptable to not include non-engaged SO’s who are also not defacto common law marriages.

If they’re in their late 20’s or older & have been together without issue for 6+ years, and they’re living together, then they’re pretty much having a common law marriage.

However, the solution of having one with SO’s and one without is alos a good ‘just in case’ moment.

Post # 15
Member
4893 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

sunflower22:  I would do with and without. There is no set rule, it depends on your family dynamics. We included my brother’s girlfriend – and they ended up getting engaged two months later, and married the following year. I know a couple who is not married but been together 25+ years, so it seems silly for them not to include each other in family photos.

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