My wedding photography style is to focus much more on how the days events unfold rather than trying to manufacture the day by forcing people in strict poses. I take that approach into every part of the wedding day- the getting ready shots, the bridal party shots, the ceremony, and even the family formals. So for your family formals I will have a list of all the groupings you have come up with and then my assistant will call out each group. I will then direct anyone that needs specific instructions…like, “Grandpa! Turn in towards the couple a little bit more and act like you love them!” But for the most part I’ll just tell everyone to get really close to one another and look at me. This way we’re getting these shots done quickly and painlessly so you can get to your cocktail hour and hang out with your guests. And don’t worry, I’ll find the perfect location for these photos unless you have a location you’d like to take them at.

And if your sister decides to give you a smooch or your mom gives you a big hug before we take the family photo I’ll be sure to capture that moment as well. Because, again, I want to document what truly happens at your wedding. 

*Below I’ve added a mock family formal list for you to reference but remember this is your wedding so make it yours*

Minneapolis wedding photography family photos

Minneapolis wedding family photos

Minneapolis wedding photographer family photos

Minneapolis wedding photography family formal photos

Minneapolis wedding photography family photos

Mock Family Formal List-

Bride/Groom, Bride’s parents

Bride, Bride’s parents

Bride/Groom, Brides’ parents and siblings

Bride/Groom, Groom’s parents

Groom, Groom’s parents

Bride/Groom, Groom’s parents and siblings

Bride/Groom, Bride’s parents, Groom’s parents

Bride/Groom, Brides’ Grandparents on mother’s side

Bride/Groom, Bride’s Grandparents on father’s side

Bride/Groom, Groom’s Grandparents on mother’s side

Bride/Groom, Groom’s Grandparent’s on father’s side


Some couples choose to stop there on their list and shoot more images with their immediate family by adding groupings such as just the siblings, individuals with each family member, etc. And then other couples choose to add aunts, uncles, cousins, and special guests to their list. There’s not a perfect list- just be conscious of the amount of time you’d like to take photographing family formals. The above list will take about 15-20 minutes.