Spinoff – Family photos with a dress code

posted 2 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
1324 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

In the case of the family portrait, most families 1) make a group decision about the palette 2) usually pick a palette that includes neutrals 3) are normally in casual (or more comfortable) attire   4) are photos for the entire family 5) the photoshoot is a separate occasion. 

In the wedding example, there was no group decision, the palette isn’t neutral, it involves a semi formal outfit which is both more costly and less rewearable. The bride also made it clear that the reason for this ask is that it was HER wedding and HER photos.  However, she didn’t feel she should pay for the attire because in theory, the items would be rewearable.  The photos are also lumped into the the wedding celebration, so the family can’t just opt out without making a scene at her wedding.  

Post # 32
2477 posts
Buzzing bee

My siblings and I did a photo for our parents – just the 5 of us. We coordinated by wearing blue – any shade and any type of shirt was fine and it worked out well. We chose blue because it looked good on everyone and allowed the people in the photo to stand out instead of the clothes. Had we not decided to do this, one sister would have been in bright red and another would have been in something inappropriate. Oh wait, that sister did wear something blue but still inappropriate and I had to lend her a shirt…lol

Post # 33
6935 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

The only time I’ve ever had a family portrait taken was when I was about 5 years old. It just included my immediate family and it was a disaster because my little brother was only 2 and HATED IT! He would not sit still to save his life and the outfit my parents put on him you’d think was made out of burning hot lava or something. Maybe that’s why we never did it again?

Anyway, the only sort of out coordination we had was that we all looked…nice? I had on a red dress. My brother had on a little blue sweater. My mom had on a green top. My dad was wearing a blue sweater as well. But as you can tell, none of us “matched,” we all just looked dressed up. 

We do have a ton of extended family photos, but none of those are professional portraits. They’re all just photos taken of the group with someone’s phone on Christmas or something while all the cousins are standing in front of the Christmas tree. And those are so great because everyone is smiling and happy and some people are wearing silly Christmas sweaters or even some of us are in pajamas and you can just feel the joy. Those are the kinds of pics we have hanging on our walls. 

Post # 34
13210 posts
Honey Beekeeper

View original reply
coffeecakez :  That’s exactly it. Family photos are a group decision, done for everyone’s benefit, often in jeans and a white top, or similar, ie something everyone already owns and can be worn again and again. The two situations are not at all comparable.


Post # 35
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We had a very small inimate wedding, 4 people other than ourselves… we asked those people to wear specfic colors but whatever they wanted (shorts, pants, skirts, dresses etc.) because they were part of our pictures that we had done prior to going to the small reception at the restaurant. Our shades were neutral though.. so various shades of cream, tan, beige, brown, ivory, sand,  etc…. Not only did I want those colors I knew they would look good on anyone and any skin tone based of the lightness or darkness of those shades. 

I wore a champagne gown, and my sig O wore, white and taupe – … 2 of our ladies wore ivory knee length dresses with crochet pattern, it looked like they went shopping together but our wedding was the first time they met! And the other 2 guests opted for dark brown and one had a light cream short— so they matched wonderfully, and all really loved that they got the choose the garmets they loved!

Post # 36
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

I have the opposite problem. I have a bridal party and I asked the ladies:

“if possible, would you mind wearing a neutral/muted color? like tan, blush, grey, green, blue, brick… wear any dress you want and pretty much any color as long as it’s a muted shade”

But for some reason EVERYONE in my family keeps sending me pics like “Is this ok?” NOT just the bridal party people, EVERYONE , the moms, the aunts, the cousins… I’m like NO! You can wear anything, it’s just the bridal party I asked to wear nuetral! wear whatever you want!

They all want to though and I think it’s sweet and cute

Post # 37
266 posts
Helper bee

I also think a family photo shoot is also very different from a wedding because for a photo shoot, typically you only wear the coordinated outfit to the photo shoot. That’s it. There’s no multi-hour formal event attached to the photo shoot. Asking someone to wear a specific thing for half an hour of their life to take a picture is different from asking them to wear a specific outfit for 5 to 8 hours involving a formal ceremony, eating a meal, and dancing. 

Post # 38
449 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I posted about the same a while back and was attacked, happens often on this forum though. I find that it’s ok if everyone is on board and does depend on the familly. I was only planning to invite 20 people and they all like dressing up and the theme was pastel colours lol not even a specific colour!

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