Family Pictures

Family pictures mean so much to our loved ones, so we like to have a game plan for this part of the day to give them a great experience!

We love meeting your families!

tips for success:

Most of our couples choose to have their family pictures taken in front of the altar at the church. In these cases we bring in extra lighting to give your images that formal style, note this does take a few minutes to setup and teardown. Some couples prefer their family portraits to be taken outdoors with a more informal feel - if is something you have your heart set on, let us know and we can work with you to choose the best location and timing for it!

Choose your location for family portraits

We will need to know if the church has any restrictions on how early you can get inside and how long you can stay afterwards since this can affect the amount of time we have for family formals. There are often other events taking place at the parish (confession, evening mass, funerals, other events, etc.) We do need to limit the number of formals so that we can comply with the church's guidelines and to ensure we have plenty of daylight remaining for your newlywed portraits.

Check with your church for any time constraints

We're confident that we can get through all of the combinations in our sample list within 45 minutes *if all family members are present and accessible when it is their photo turn. You're welcome to customize combinations in any way you desire, but we ask that you keep the total list under 25 combinations. If your total is greater than this then you will need to schedule more time for family pictures. Please work with us to determine how much additional time will be needed based on your photo list requests.

Set aside enough time for portraits

Please let us know in advance if there are any family dynamics that we should be aware of on the wedding day! For example, deaths in the family, divorce or remarriages are particularly helpful to know so that we can be respectful, sensitive, and pose your family groupings appropriately. 

Let us know of any sensitive family dynamics

This person has a copy of the photo list and is in charge of making sure that your family members know when they are up next. You will be amazed at how efficient and smooth family pictures can be with the right person in this role. We recommend hiring a day-of coordinator or choosing someone to lead this process, such as a personal attendant. Avoid selecting your parents for this role. While we love them, parents often get into host mode and caught in conversations with relatives and friends attending the wedding that can distract them from the tasks of a photo wrangler. Personal attendants, ushers, and aunts often are great for a role like this.

Designate a Photo Wrangler

Family pictures do not need to include every single possible combination. We think it is important that you think about which groupings are most important to you as a couple first, then share the list with your parents to find out if they have any hidden expectations or requests. To limit there being too many photo requests during family portraits that could derail the timeline, please let your families know we are happy to also do other informal groups together at the reception. When they ask us, we'll encourage them to gather them together and tap us on the shoulder when they're ready to take the picture with you!

Set and manage family expectations

  • Bride and Groom
  • Couple + Priest/Celebrant
  • Couple + Bride's Grandparents (Mom side)
  • Couple + Bride's Grandparents (Dad side)
  • Couple + Bride's Siblings
  • Couple + Bride’s Siblings with their families + Bride's Parents
  • Couple + Bride’s Parents
  • Bride + Mother of the Bride
  • Bride + Father of the Bride
  • Couple + Both Sets of Parents
  • Groom + Mother of the Groom
  • Groom + Father of the Groom
  • Couple + Groom’s Parents
  • Couple + Groom’s Parents + Siblings with their families
  • Couple + Groom's Siblings
  • Couple + Groom’s Grandparents (Dad's side)
  • Couple + Groom’s Grandparents (Mom's side)
  • Couple + Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
  • Couple + Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins on Bride's Mom Side
  • Couple + Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins on Bride's Dad Side
  • Couple + Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins on Groom's Mom Side
  • Couple + Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins on Groom's Dad Side
  • Couple + Bride's Godparents
  • Couple + Groom's Godparents

Extended Family + Other Special Relationships

Immediate Family (Parents, Siblings, Grandparents)

sample list

Communicate the Plan

The success of family portraits comes down to everyone being present and accessible when it is their turn for photos. We want to make sure all of your combinations are captured and to do so as efficiently as possible.

Let family members know when they need to arrive for family pictures. It's best to tell them to arrive 15 minutes earlier than you need them to be there so that they have time to park, walk to the photo spot, and go to the bathroom if needed before we begin. 

Note: ALL family members should arrive at the beginning of the designated family picture time. Regardless if they are in the second half of the list, this ensures that if someone has to run to the bathroom or needs to step out for a minute, we can keep the family picture process going as efficiently as possible and will jump ahead down the list if needed

Tell family members to go directly to the front pews when they arrive. Often times family naturally stop to talk in the narthex or gathering spaces, but it is most helpful if they come directly into the church so that we can begin right on time. 

2-4 weeks before the wedding

Your photogaLlery


Emergency Kit
Vendor recommendations
Sample timelines

catholic wedding tips
hair + Makeup trials
dress fitting 


tips + tricks
feeding vendor team
cocktail hour
cake cutting
special exits


Out of sight time
timing & logistics
Nuptial blessing
receiving lines
aisle Reveals


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