Top tips for group portraits at weddings

Top tips for group portraits at weddings

Top tips for group portraits at weddings

Your wedding is possibly (definitely) the most important day of your life and whoever’s by your side when you say your “I do”s should be in your wedding photos. Even if you elope, Mum and Dad will want a portrait for the wall to show their friends at their dinner party. 

Group photos are an essential part of your family’s history. Particularly as we grow older and we start to lose family members, having a group portrait from a special day is a beautiful way of keeping absent friends close. We have other mementos from our wedding day, but somehow that piece of wedding cake in the freezer doesn’t pack quite the same punch as a beautiful photograph on the mantelpiece. 

The problem with group shots is that if you’ve handed us a list of twenty or so group photos, we could be there all day. And that’s a shame, as you’ve got a wedding to enjoy! Ticking this particular wedding box can mean you missing out on celebrating with your friends, your family and that all-important first glass of fizz. 

So here’s some tried and tested expert advice and suggestions on how to tackle the group shots effectively. 

Here are our top tips for group portraits at weddings.

Top tips for group portraits at weddings

1. How about one big group shot?

So, first thing to remember is this: once the Champagne corks are popped, you’ll be AMAZED at how swiftly your guests disappear into conversations / the toilet queue / the bar / etc.

One big group shot before anyone disappears into the wedding can be a great way to get this particular box ticked. Even if you decide against a full group portrait, there are other ways we can capture every guest at your wedding. For example; your Confetti Shot can cover lots of guests.

There are other options too: we can capture everyone sat at their seats in the reception, or during the cocktail hour. The only thing I don’t recommend is taking photos while people are eating. Nobody likes a photo of themselves eating…

2. Appoint a ‘Group Photo Chief’

Choose your most reliable best man or maid of honour and give them a copy of the groups list. They’ll probably be better able to put names to faces than your photographer, and round everyone up ready for the next photo.  This allows your photographer to focus on ensuring everyone is looking great for their photograph. 

3. Leave enough time

If we’ve got a few essential group photos to get through, then we need to schedule them in. Usually, group shots are taken during the cocktail hour (that part between your ceremony and dinner). 

4.Write your list in advance

Sit down with your fiancé before the wedding and work out who you want in each shot. Be realistic. Ask yourself why you want these photos: will they really go on the wall? In the album? If the answer is “no”, then why spend time taking the photo in the first place? Then send us your list of group shots a few weeks before the wedding, then we can start to line up the next guests and keep things moving at a lick. The day itself can be stressful, so it’s a good idea to get this sorted beforehand. 

5. Think about your groups

For what it’s worth, I suggest you go with a combination of the following groups (depending on your preference): 

  • Parents – both sets or individual families 
  • Siblings – with parents, or just with bride and groom
  • Grandparents – we can do all the grandparents together, or incorporate them into the parent photos
  • Best Girls – your Maid of Honour, bridesmaids and flower girls
  • Best Boys – your Best man, Ushers and page boys 
  • Best People – Whole wedding party including parents

Top tips for group portraits at weddings

6. Warn your guests

Tell those who are needed for group photos that they’re going to be needed! It’ll get things going a little quicker.

7. Rope in your celebrant

Ask whoever’s marrying you to make a quick announcement about group photos, what time they’re going to be, who’s required etc. Drop this in at the end of the ceremony and make the most of having everyone’s rapt attention. 


Please believe me when I say that if you try to get formal portraits of every cousin, aunt, uncle, work colleague, and so on…you’ll be there forever. And you’ll miss your wedding. The day is just twelve short hours, don’t waste a moment of it!

If you’re organised and have a bit of a plan, we can do some brilliant group shots in around twenty minutes, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the best day of your life. 

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  1. Thanks for sharing such great and helpful tips. As a wedding planner, I really like the way that you describe all the things. It is helpful for the photographers to make the event great and successful by following those things.


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