Practical wedding tips from the other side of the lens, by Liam Smith Photography
Words & Images by Liam Smith
Genuine emotion touches the soul and allows one to be completely and utterly immersed in a moment. Collectively sharing joy and happiness with a congregation of brand new acquaintances. Here are a few tips and tricks I for getting the most out of group photographs. Everyone wants them, however it is the one thing that guests continually cite as the one thing that they dislike about a wedding day. I make a point to all couples; make sure that this part of the day is timetabled and organised as efficiently as possible. When done correctly, group photos can actually be a lot of fun and present opportunities for great candid moments.
Efficient organisation saves a lot of time
If you’re not organised and efficient on a wedding day, the time will evaporate. The day does fly by at an amazing rate, one minute you’re enjoying a cup of tea in your pyjamas. Blink, and you’re getting ready for your first dance. It is imperative to organise the smaller details of the day efficiently to make sure you get the most out of your wedding. First off, make a list of all the group photographs that you would like and the combinations of people in them. Secondly, consider your elderly guests. It is pragmatic to arrange any group photographs with any grandparents etc. first so they aren’t stood for prolonged periods of time.
The more people know about your agenda, the better.
If at all possible, print the timetable for the day on an order of service. Alternatively send out as a group email/Facebook post to all guests. A contributing factor to loss of time during this period is confusion from the guests on where they need to be. This leads to guests going to the bar or bathroom and time being lost waiting for them. Make sure everyone knows where to be at what time for all parts of the day, not just what time to arrive for the ceremony.
Give the group shot list to ushers.
Ushers need jobs, chances are between the group of them they will know who the vast majority of the guests are. If they have copies of the shot list, they can help identify people in the crowd. This is a much more personable approach to organising groups. Your guests will feel a bit more special that you have singled them out and requested to have a photograph with them.
Honestly, do you really want them?
This is an important question to ask because I feel norms should be challenged. Consider what value they have to you. How you will use them and who else will benefit from them in the future? I often encounter the phrase “because nan will want them”. I would always advise to be true to yourself and make decisions that reflect your wants. If you want formal photographs then use the advice above and go for it. If not, it’s completely your choice, which by default, makes it the right one.