@Wowand135: Well that’s up for you to decide really. Family photos are often the most stressful part of the day for couples because you are anxious to get to the party or the next stage in your day and you’re then going to be standing in the same place for 30min to an hour dealing with your family (which let’s face it, isn’t always fun). These are the tips we send out couples (I apologize for the length, I’m just going to cut and paste it all):
Our goal is to get the photos you want in the shortest amount of time possible. To facilitate this, we recommend first that you inform everyone who is going to be part of the formal photos when and where to be to take them. It also can help if your officiant makes an announcement at the conclusion of the ceremony for those involved in the formal photos to stay put or go to the desired meeting spot. This may not apply if you are holding for formals before the ceremony.
From our experiences we have created the most common list of formal photos. Our recommended list is for the schedules that are tight for formal photos. We’ve also included some additional poses that larger families sometimes require. We work as a team during family formals, one person will be taking photos and the other person will be checking off combinations from the list as we take them and helping to arrange people. Formal photos are not part of our fun creative stuff, and we like to budget a separate time for that with you and your wedding party. In order to keep this process moving quickly we will take 3 photos of each pose, keeping the one shot where you look the best in and as many eyes are open and looking in our direction as possible. Our time estimates are accurate assuming everyone is where they need to be and cooperative when we call them into formation.
3 things that slow down the process and may stress you out:
1) Over the shoulder photographers. There are lots of cameras at weddings, and we are very tolerant to guest photographers so long as they do not interfere with us getting great shots. For family photos we request that any camera operators behind us trying to take the same photo keep their cameras lowered until we have completed our third shot. At which time they can take their shot. This is to insure that everyone in our shot is looking at us, and not a different camera. Ideally we would ask that you consider not allowing for guest photographers during this phase as it will really speed up the process.
2) Not sticking to the list. If we do not stick to the list the process will go slower. Typically what happens is family members or guests will request groupings such as their own immediate families, college friends, etc. While we definitely prefer to take care of all formal group photos during this time we advise to not deviate from the list until every combination is finished and we’ve had time to check our timing to see where we are at.
3) If people are not where they are supposed to (i.e., Uncle Bob makes a beeline for the bar), your process can really get slowed down. We’ve seen more people yelling at their family members when this happens.
Here’s how we define the wording in our groupings:
Immediate Family- typically means only parents and siblings (and spouses/children of siblings), although grandparents can be included if desired.
Extended Family- includes aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings, grandparents, and spouses/children of family members.
Wedding Party- means bridesmaids and groomsmen only.
Extended Wedding Party- includes bridesmaids, groomsmen, house party, ushers, flowergirls, and ringbearers.
Older folks – keep in mind that for some any long amount of standing can be difficult, so if someone might need a chair for the photos or between takes it’s a good idea to have a sitting option. Older people may also be more sensitive to cold or heat. If we’re expecting the weather to be severe it may be wise to plan the formal photos for indoors if possible.
Kids- kids notoriously have zero patience for formal photos. We aim to get them in and out as soon as possible. Even the most normally well behaved kids can go full moon on you doing formals.
Wedding Parties – we love the creative stuff, but it’s much much easier to do with smaller groups. For this reason we recommend doing those photos with just the wedding party, not the extended wedding party, and cut loose whomever might want to come around to spectate.
Will your formal group photos be held indoors or outdoors? If outdoors at what time of day? It’s very important that we know what sort of lighting conditions we’ll be facing when it comes to group shots. In choosing a suitable location for your group photos keep in mind that time of day can be a big factor in outdoor photography. We ideally want to take these photos in a well shaded area to ensure that no one is squinting. It also helps to have enough room to handle your largest grouping.
The last part I can’t copy because it’s multiple choice, but here is a screen capture: