Bridal party group shot

What is a formal group shot list?

Your formal group shots are photographs you would like in a posed manner with family and friends. This formal part of the day is a traditional way of being photographed. Family members place importance on them to have as a memento of the day. It is important to create a list, as your photographer does not know who important family members are.

You do not need to have a formal photography part of your day. If you choose not to have a formal photography session, then we can’t guarantee that we will photograph a key member of your family. I promise that your formal photography session will be photographed in a natural and relaxed way. I call it semi-posed!

A guide to putting together a formal photographs list.

wedding photographer north wales, cheshire and chester

My tips on getting your group shots right.

  1. Most people want natural photographs. Therefore, keep the formal list short. Eight groups is my recommended amount.
  2. Each group of people will take between 2-5 minutes.
  3. Keep variations to a minimum. Is it better to have one larger group photo of one family with you rather than lots of smaller group photos with individual family members.
  4. Guests wonder, to help things go more smoothly, send your formal list to everyone on it and ask them to keep an eye out for their turn.
  5. Include first names and their relation to you on your list. This helps when we call for the next guests to join you in the photo. If a guest has an unusual name, phonetic spelling is helpful!
  6. A complete photography group list would look like this (but with names). Note: start with the largest shot and then remove people. It is a good idea for people who need mobility help to go first and the next photograph on the list to not include any family members who may need to assist that person back to their seat.
Example group shot list


Couple posing with family at wedding
Combermere Abbey

Implementing the list

Before the wedding, I ask for two nominated people who will help gather the guests for the formal photographers. Ideally chose one person who has knowledge of one family side and a second person who has knowledge of the other family side.

I will WhatsApp some helpful tips and the shot list to your chosen nominees close to the wedding so that they have the list on their phones.

On the day!

I like to have a bit of fun so jokes banter and funny picture ideas are all welcome. So expect to smile, have fun and enjoy your wedding photography formals and we will get through them as quickly as possible, so you can have a well-deserved drink and chat with your wedding guests.

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