wedding day family portraits | my approach

With wedding season and summer weather upon us, I thought I would take a minute to share my approach and thoughts on those all-important wedding day family portraits.

Family portraits are a must on every wedding day – as we all know it is not too often everyone is together, in a photograph, let alone all dressed up :) However, this portion of a wedding day can be stressful because of all the people involved. A little prep and planning can easily make your family portraits smooth and fun!

family portraits

wedding day family portraits by Picturesque photography wedding day family portraits by Picturesque photography


As your wedding day approaches, I will collaborate with you, the bride and groom, to form a photography time-line. Family portraits are typically completed in 30 minutes or less. My suggestion is to only do about 6 small groupings per side and stick to immediate family for your formal photographs.

I work quickly and take great care in capturing each grouping. Must-have images include (and are usually created in this order) . . .

- bride & groom with bride’s immediate family including spouses, kids and grandparents

- bride & groom with bride’s parents

- bride & groom with bride’s grandparents

- bride with siblings

- bride with mom & dad plus individual pictures

The process is then repeated for the groom’s side of the family. In addition, a favorite of mine to capture is the bride & groom with both sets of parents to show off your ‘new’ family!

on-the-day family portraits

Most people assume family portraits are taken on the church alter, however I always encourage capturing them somewhere else with a more neutral background. If we are blessed with nice weather, outdoors is wonderful for a few reasons – natural light is the most flattering, a neutral & natural backdrop, as opposed to the alter which may have a busier backdrop with distracting banners/colors, and last, outdoor photos give the bride & groom with their family a chance to enjoy a more relaxed environment, perfect for creating natural and gorgeous family photographs to cherish for years.

When posing each group, I want it to look natural, comfortable and joyful so there are no super specific posing instructions given. I will tell you and family members where to stand, to turn in slightly towards the couple, squish in tight (touching, arms around & hand holding are all encouraged!) and then I will check over hands, suit jackets, flowers and gowns to make sure everyone is looking great :)


wedding day family portraits by Picturesque photographywedding day family portraits by Picturesque photographywedding day family portraits by Picturesque photography

It is YOUR wedding day, so be sure to enjoy it and love those family members there to celebrate with you! I am always open to creating additional photographs such as more casual images with Mom (see above) or fun photographs with siblings. Another great keepsake is a ‘generations’ photograph – a bride with her mother and grandmother.



Every couple and their guests have an open invitation to grab me at any point to capture any special shots during the wedding reception – that is what I am there to do! I will be taking candids during the reception of course, but it is also a great time to capture informal photographs with friends or extended family members .

wedding day family portraits by Picturesque photography