You did it...you're officially married! Now that the wedding ceremony is behind you, almost everything is fun from here on out. Of course, the first task to conquer is the (sometimes dreaded) family portraits...and these can be both long and tedious without the proper preparation!
I often hear a lot of negativity surrounding family portraits because yes, they can take a long time and yes, they can be stressful. But I view these as a vital part of the day that should not be overlooked. For Nathan and me, lots of family not only came to our wedding, they helped out as well. Taking a picture with the most important people in our lives was high on the priority list for us. These are loved ones who have sacrificed time, money, and whatever plans they could have made to be with us on our special day. Taking a picture with them gives them honor and recognition for all they have done.
For that reason, I tackle the family portrait challenge with joy. Before the wedding day, I will get a list from you of all the groupings you want to have captured. My best advice is this - limit the portraits taken directly after the ceremony to immediate family only. It's tempting to want a picture with every single aunt, uncle, and cousin you have - and I don't think there is anything wrong with that! But keep in mind that every extra pairing will take an additional 3-5 minutes away from your reception, and that time can add up quickly.
I always recommend taking pictures with mom, dad, siblings, and grandparents directly after the ceremony. Other relatives are incredibly important, but all of those group pictures can be taken at the reception when the timeline is more relaxed and we have extra moments to gather everyone around. If I have a list of each picture you want and your family is anywhere nearby, we will make sure to honor every relative that you choose.
So after the ceremony take a breath, relax, and smile for pictures with your closest family - then get ready to party at the reception! And fortunately, if you have the first look already finished, that's all you will need to worry about it.