Ahhh the Group Shots..... it's that part of a wedding day that somewhat resembles herding kittens and often leaves the couple standing dazed, confused and wondering "why oh why did Mum choose NOW to disappear back into the bar....?!"
As wedding photographers with a documentary style approach, telling the story of your wedding in the most relaxed way possible and capturing natural moments, is what we do best.
Hooooowever... Its not often that you have all of your loved ones in the same place, at the same time and we fully understand the importance of capturing this. We frequently shoot weddings where guests have travelled from all across the globe to celebrate with our couples, and taking group shots is a great way to document this.
We shoot our group photographs simply, and quickly, designating 30 minutes to shoot these all important pictures.
We don't do anything crazy here... there's no cheesy posing or getting everyone to jump in the air on the count of 3 and I don't ask the Best Man to give the Groom a kiss on the cheek!! Now don't get me wrong, If that's what you guys want to do, then great! But at all points we want our photographs to document and reflect who YOU really are. So if being a bit silly and having fun with it is your thing then that's wonderful, do that! (see above for Naomi & David with their tribe at Minstrel Court!!) and if you're more of a stand there and look utterly fabulous next to your favourite aunts in all your wedding finery, then that's also wonderful!
Basically, you do you! And when we spot some sweet little candid moments in-between the organised group shots we'll get those lovely moments too.
Rachel & her Nan at The Letchworth Centre
A few tips on how to make this part of the day as stress free as possible and keep your guests happy (read - "not get bored because they are made to wait around hours for the pictures"!!)
Keep them to a maximum of 10 combinations, ensuring it takes up no longer than half an hour of your drinks reception. For example, a shot with you and your parents, that's one combo.....a shot with you and your bridal party...that's a second.... you get the point! You'd be surprised how long it can take to find and organise the guests into a simple group shot. Any more combinations than that, and you'll be seriously loosing lots of time that could be spent mingling, chatting, drinking Prosecco and having a few of those canapes that you've been desperately eyeing up from across the gardens.
So our advice? Pick your top 10 " absolute must have group shots" and trust that there'll be lots of shots taken candidly throughout the day with all your family and friends.
To help make this part of the day fly by we always bring printed copies of your requested group shoots with us, to share with the Best Man and Maid of Honour, that way they can help us out. After all, they will generally be a lot more familiar with who's who in your family & friends circle than we will be. So give them a heads up, let them know how much easier it will make that part of the day for you if they're on hand to help rally guests.
Victoria & her squad at The Milling Barn
And lastly, I can't speak for all families but I can speak from my own experience... Families are complicated!
Modern families are made up of lots of different dynamics, all with their own unique stories. We both come from big families and understand how tricky it can be when you want to have everyone in the same room, often for the first time in years.
So don't be nervous or worried of what we'll think, we have definitely seen and heard it before, many times! Make a note of it on your details form (we have a little space just for this!) so that on the day we can help make things run a little smoother (and not put our foot in it!!) and just remember everyone there loves you and wants you to have an amazing day, so this is usually when people are on their best behavour and get along!
We hope that these few tips help plan out your Group shots in a way that makes the most of your time together on the day and if you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your day then just give me a shout!