It’s unequivocally the best, and by that I mean easiest for everybody involved. Time to take family photos during your wedding day is an hour to an hour and a half before the ceremony. Make a list. Make sure you know exactly what photos you’re taking. If you have only one or two photos that involve a huge number of people, and those people are only needed for one or two shots, tops. You can take those ones after the ceremony. But all the little ones with your parents and your spouse’s parents and siblings, and all the ones where there’s going to be a lot of little groups. The best time to do it is before the ceremony. You can have those people come early, have them come to the ceremony location, and however long your photos are going to take, ask your photographer. And their photographer can tell you how long it’s going to take based on how big your list is and how reliable those people showing up on time you believe them to be. But aim to be finished with your photos a half hour before your ceremony. And that’s the easiest, easiest time. I recognize that in order to do this, you’re going to have to do a first look where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony so that they can stand next to each other and all these family pictures. If you’re willing to do that, put your family photos before the ceremony. You will be so glad you did. Because after the ceremony, all you have to do is photos of the two of you. And depending on what the rest of your schedule is, you can be kind of opportunistic about that and get creative. Interesting stuff in the evening when the light’s prettier. The big family photos are just about organizing people. They’re barely about photography at all, except the photographer just needs to make sure the lights even and they’re framed right and everyone’s looking at the camera. So it is way more important that the people in the photos are in a good mental state before the ceremony. They’ve just put their makeup on and they’re looking fresh and they know it and they don’t need a lot of touch ups and they also haven’t had a drink yet. They’re very easy to organize. Stress free. Do it before the ceremony. It’s what I’m going to do for my.
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