Wedding Family Portraits – Who To Include & Who To Leave Out

Wedding family portraits – they’re simultaneously some of the most important photos taken on your special day and often the most dreaded part of your wedding timeline. Let’s be honest; we’ve yet to meet a couple or family member who eagerly anticipates these formal portraits. However, when all is said and done, no one regrets the time spent capturing these cherished moments. Family photos hold the power to freeze a moment in time with your loved ones, but they can also consume valuable time if not managed efficiently.

If you’re one of our wedding couples, you’re probably here because we’ve asked you to create a family photo shot list for your big day. And if you’re a bride or groom seeking inspiration, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! One thing we consistently hear from our couples and their families is how painless we make the wedding family photo experience. We prioritize efficiency in capturing these essential portraits, starting with education!

Below, you’ll find a sample family portraits shot list for your wedding day. As you compile your own list, consider these helpful tips:

1. Keep it Simple

  • No need for every possible combination of humans in formal portraits; focus on the most important people.
  • Consider taking less formal portraits with extended family or friends at another time during the day.

2. Time Management

  • Think about how much time you want to allocate to formal photos versus relaxation, personal moments, or mingling with guests.
  • If you prefer less time for photos, include only the most vital individuals on your list.

3. Extended Family

  • If you want to include extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), one group photo for each side of your family is efficient.
  • Individual shots with each grandparent are worth the time investment.

4. Communication

  • Notify everyone on your list of their role in family photos and the time and location.
  • Consider keeping them away from the bar until after photos to streamline the process.

Sample Wedding Family Portrait Shot List:


  • Bride, Groom, Immediate Family
  • Bride, Groom, Bride’s Parents
  • Bride, Groom, Bride’s Siblings
  • Bride, Bride’s Parents
  • Bride, Mom
  • Bride, Dad
  • Bride, Individuals with Each Sibling
  • Bride, Individuals with Each Grandparent
  • Bride, Groom, Immediate Family, Grandparents
  • Bride, Groom, Grandparents (one for each side/set)
  • Bride, Groom, Extended Family on Mom’s Side (optional)
  • Bride, Groom, Extended Family on Dad’s Side (optional)


  • Bride, Groom, Bride’s Parents, Groom’s Parents
  • Bride, Groom, Bride’s Immediate Family, Groom’s Immediate Family


  • Bride, Groom, Immediate Family
  • Bride, Groom, Groom’s Parents
  • Bride, Groom, Groom’s Siblings
  • Bride, Groom’s Parents
  • Groom, Mom
  • Groom, Dad
  • Groom, Individuals with Each Sibling
  • Groom, Individuals with Each Grandparent
  • Bride, Groom, Immediate Family, Grandparents
  • Bride, Groom, Grandparents (one for each side/set)
  • Bride, Groom, Extended Family on Mom’s Side (optional)
  • Bride, Groom, Extended Family on Dad’s Side (optional)

Feel free to use this list as a template while compiling your own family photo shot list. If there’s a special person in your life who isn’t family but deserves a place in these formal portraits, include them too! We hope this guide makes the process smoother for you.

Wedding family photos may not be the most exciting part of your wedding day, but they’re undoubtedly some of the most treasured. By efficiently planning your family photo session and keeping it focused, you’ll have more time to create beautiful memories and enjoy your special day to the fullest. Happy planning!

So you need some outfit ideas for your engagement shoot. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back! With our wealth of experience in engagement sessions and a unique approach to photography, we’re here to offer some unconventional yet confidence-backed advice. Your engagement photos should reflect your personality and style, so let’s dive into our favorite tips for outfit planning that ensures you’ll feel your absolute best on camera!

1. Wear What You Feel Confident In

  • Rule number one: Confidence is key. If you’re not comfortable in your outfit, it will show in your photos.
  • Don’t feel pressured to conform to a specific “engagement photo aesthetic” – be yourself!
  • Feeling like a million bucks is the goal; let that shine through in your clothing choices.

2. Wear Clothes That Move Well

  • Candid shots and movement go hand in hand in our photography style.
  • Choose outfits made of materials that flow gracefully to add an extra dimension to your photos.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must; you’ll be moving around a lot, and practical footwear ensures you can do so without worry.

3. What Colors Photograph Best?

  • While neutrals are a safe outfit bet, don’t feel restricted by them. Confidence trumps color choice.
  • Some outfit colors excel in specific settings – consider your location when picking outfits.
  • Be cautious with greens if your backdrop is lush with foliage to avoid blending in.

4. What About Patterns?

  • Avoid large or distracting patterns, which may not photograph well.
  • Small and tasteful patterns are fine but limit them to one person at a time.
  • Steer clear of closely spaced lines or stripes that can distort in photos.

5. How To Style Your Outfits

  • Coordinate outfits by starting with the more particular person’s attire and then building the other’s around it.
  • Use Pinterest for color palette inspiration and capturing the desired vibe.
  • Don’t forget about accessories – hats, custom jackets, or accent pieces can add flair and variety.

6. How Many Outfits Should We Plan For?

  • The number of outfits can vary, but two is a popular choice – one casual and one formal.
  • Consider changing outfits when changing locations to add diversity to your photos.
  • It’s better to have more options than you think you’ll need, just in case!

There you have it – every tip and trick from our toolbox when it comes to selecting outfits for your engagement photos. If you’re one of our couples, feel free to reach out for outfit advice anytime. And if you’re not one of our couples but want to be, check out the buttons below – we’d love to capture your special moments!

Looking for a Kentucky photographer? Contact us. We are based in Winchester and ready to create beautiful memories with you.

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