Archive for January, 2012
Jan 16, 2012
posted in Wedding Resources with 0 Comments


So how do you prepare for all of those group photos on your wedding day?  Well, to start, I have included a basic list below that should help you get the main photos covered, and in an organized manner.  Of course you can modify it according to your own needs.  Just having a list is important since it’ll help you know who and how to prepare so it can all be executed in a timely fashion.  Remember that the more elaborate you make your list, the more time it’ll take, and the more likely chaos and confusion will still happen.  Besides, only a select few will actually make it from digital to print as it is anyways.


Basic Shot List:

  • All in one (everyone in one big photo)
  • All family & wedding party members
  • All family members
  • Both sets of grandparents & parents
  • Both sets of grandparents
  • Grooms grandparents only
  • Brides grandparents only

* Grandparents are completed and may move on to the reception

  • Both sets of parents
  • Grooms parents
  • Grooms parents & siblings
  • Brides parents
  • Brides parents & siblings
  • Siblings only and other remaining family photos

* Family members are completed and may move on to the reception

  • Entire wedding party
  • Groom with bride’s maids
  • Bride with bride’s maids
  • Bride and each bride’s maid individually
  • Bride with groom’s men
  • Groom with groom’s men
  • Groom with each groom’s man individually
  • Bride & groom only

* Formal group photos are completed. Additional fun photos may be done at this point.

Possible Pre-Ceremony Shots:

  • Bride with bride’s maids
  • Bride and each bride’s maid individually
  • Groom with groom’s men
  • Groom with each groom’s man individually
  • Bride with family members
  • Groom with family members
  • Bride only
  • Groom only


Once you have your list, let everyone on the list know.  You can even share that list with everyone so that they can know their part and when they need to be ready, and when they are done so they can move on to the reception.  Ideally you want to take care of the grandparents first so that they can be off their feet as quick as possible.  Next you want to get anything involving family knocked so that you can then be left with your wedding party only.

In my list, you’ll notice the first item is a large group photo that includes everyone.  Some of my wedding couples really wanted to capture their entire wedding attendance in one big photo.  If you desire the same for your day, first consider if the venue you’ve select will have a place to facilitate the size of your guest list.  If so, then you’ll need to coordinate with both your photographer and your coordinator.  Plus, you’ll need to make sure all of your guests are aware of when and where they are to be for the photo, otherwise you’ll have people scrambling to organize a disaster.  So you’ll have to decide when and how to let everyone know.

The next thing you need to decide is when you want to have your photos taken.  I talk more about this in my post titled Pictures Before Or After The Ceremony, so I’ll just lightly talk about it here.  Many people hold to the tradition of not seeing each other till after the ceremony.  Others bypass the tradition by doing all of their photos prior to the ceremony so they can spend more time with their guests at the party they paid for.  It really is a very person decision, so you’ll want to make a decision you won’t regret.

More than anything else, have your plan, and let everyone know their part.  Having everyone on the same page will help avoid, or reduce, the cat-herding experience on your wedding day.  Make sure that everyone knows when and where they’re supposed to be, and that they really are there.  But remember that you don’t have to do this yourself.  Feel free to assign one or two people from your wedding party to take care of this for you.  Just getting the group photo part of your day planned and ready can take a huge amount of stress off of you, making you better able to enjoy one of the best days of your life.





If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Plus I appreciate Likes and Shares when I can get them.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography


Traditionally, a couple will not see each other on the day of their wedding till the groom sees his beautiful bride walking down the aisle in all of her radiant glory.   Seeing each other before the wedding is bad luck supposedly.  So this tradition is also a bit of superstition.  Many couples now days are starting to let the tradition go for the sake of other wedding day bonuses.

In my blog post called Wedding Group Photos, I talk about some traditions.  One of the sites I reference if the  They have a list of traditions and their origins.  Here’s what the site says about the history of not seeing each other pre-ceremony:

In the early days of arranged marriages, the bride and groom often never saw each other at all before the wedding. Even when couples were acquainted before they married, it was still considered bad luck for the groom to glimpse the bride pre-ceremony, as she would not be pure and new. Neither was the bride supposed to see herself — it was believed that if she saw her reflection she would leave some of herself behind in the mirror.

According to this, if a bride wants to be true to the superstition, then she should avoid seeing herself in the mirror as well.  I don’t see that happening.

The alternative to this tradition is what is often referred to as First Glance, or something along those lines.  In this scenario, the couple not only sees each other pre-ceremony, but also does all of their group photos pre-ceremony.  This really is a great way to go for many reasons, but it’s at the cost of a long cherished tradition.  So which way is right for you?


Let me highlight the advantages that I’ve experienced personally with my couples that have let go of tradition:

  • They can go right to their cocktail hour or reception after the ceremony instead of missing it
  • They spend more time with their friends and family
  • They spend more time enjoying the party they paid for
  • They aren’t hungry or stressed throughout
  • The group photos experience is calm instead of chaotic
  • There is less of a cat-herding experience
  • The group photos wrap up more quickly
  • Everyone is present and ready instead of distracted and scattered
  • The experience is less rushed
  • Everyone is focused on instead of reliving the ceremony and anxious for the reception
  • More options on where to do the group photos


When we do this for a couple, we actually handle it very delicately.  So far, we’ve never had a couple feel robbed of an experience on their wedding day or live to regret the decision.  No one has ever said that they felt any less excited at the altar.  Everyone that has done this, has loved it, raved about it, and recommended it.

Basically what we do is photograph the groom with his men and his family while the bride puts on her finishing touches.  Then we hide the groom, putting his men in charge of keeping him in hiding, and we bring in the bride and photograph her with her ladies and family.  After finish this sequence, we hide the bride, bring out the groom, have him look away, and then bring in his beautiful bride to surprise him for the first time.  We then give the two a few minutes to enjoy each other’s company, capturing a few candids.  At this point, we pose them for a few photos of just the two of them together, and then start working in all of the other arrangements.

Since everyone that needs to be there generally already is there, it goes fairly quickly.  I’ve had enough time left over before that we just started capturing family moments as everyone casually interacted while they waited to move on to the ceremony.  One of our couple that did this ended up arranging a single photo with all of their guests at the reception site, which was the only group photo they did after the ceremony.

There really are tons of benefits to doing all of the photos pre-ceremony.  But the trade off is having to let go of tradition.  And depending on the circumstances, you might sacrifice being able to have your photos taken at the altar.  That’s something that would have to be looked in for each individual case.  In the end, it’s a decision that is only up to the couple to make.  Even with the many advantages, they are all a waste if one of the most important parts of the day is that one moment during the ceremony when the bride is seen by her groom for the first time.




If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Plus I appreciate Likes and Shares when I can get them.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography