Baltimore Jewish Wedding Photographer | Yael Pachino Photography

Yael’s Tip of the Week vol. 35: How to Prepare for your Family Wedding Portraits

I know, without a doubt that you love your family. I also know that you are going to love your wedding photography and, of course, love your wedding day itself. Putting it all together can be a lot to handle, to say the least. Family photos can be overwhelming. So many different combinations, unique family dynamics and a ton of coordination. Even though it might feel like the longest part of your wedding day, the family portraits end up being some of the most cherished photos. Family comes first. Family is everything. Family photos are a must. Here is the best way to prepare for your wedding day family portraits!

First look or Cocktail Hour?

Having a first look or waiting to see each other as you walk down the aisle has a direct effect on when we will capture your family portraits! If you want to enjoy your cocktail hour as much as humanly possible, but also want to make sure you have plenty of time for family portraits, I suggest doing a first look! This way, you can have your family arrive before the ceremony and have all of the family portraits completed before you say “I do!” PLUS: No one has started crying yet, so everyone’s wedding day look will be on point!

Write a list… check it twice!

This is a game changer! Take an afternoon, sometime before your wedding day, and write down a list of all the family combinations you want to capture. Once you have your list, ask your mom take a look and make sure there are no other combinations she is dying to have! I know, it sounds strenuous but trust me on this one, when you see your photographer reading off the list and being 100% sure that they got every family combination you could possibly want, you will feel a whole lot better! PLUS: It takes the pressure off of you on your wedding day… who doesn’t want that?

Select a meeting time and place

If your family is anything like my family, they run 15 minutes late to everything, and I mean everything. This is the perfect time to pull the tell them it starts 20 minutes earlier than it actually does so they make it on time strategy. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it! This is your wedding day! You and your photographer have put a lot of time, energy and consideration into your wedding day photography timeline, as much as you love Aunt Margie, she must be on time!!

Designate a Family Portrait Captain

Every family has a busy bee, someone who likes to take charge and who can actually get Uncle Harry to stop telling his jokes and pay attention. Do you have someone in mind? Great! Give them a call! Ask them to be the Family Wrangler and they will not only feel important, but kick some major ass doing it!

Consider Ages

I have nine nieces and nephews. The oldest is almost ten, the youngest is not even two years old. There is a big difference between how much time you can have a nine year old and a two year old stand there and smile. Be mindful when you consider which combinations go first! The same thing goes for the older generations! If Bubbe has a hard time standing, make sure there is a chair nearby to use, if Grandpa is recovering from hip surgery, make sure he gets in and out of his photos as quickly as possible. Your family is going to be grateful that you thought of it all!

Keep your Photographer Informed!

It is your family and you know it best! Your family deserve to have it captured in whichever way best represents who you all are, that means, keep your photographer in the loop! As a photographer, I assure you, that we want your wedding day experience to be as pleasant as possible and if that means keeping Mom and Dad away from each other, we will do it!

These are the photos that are shared and loved by all generations. These are the photos that get framed and hung up on all of your walls. These are the photos that matter because the people in them matter. Make sure you are prepared to get everything you possibly can from your wedding day family portraits. No one loves your family as much as you do!

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