5 Ways to Cruise Through Family Formals

Family formals are the most stressful part of the day. Especially if you are not prepared. 

Here are my 5 tips to take memorable pictures with less stress.

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1. Make a plan.
Usually this means telling that aunt who is always late, to be there 30 minutes before she actually needs to be there. Also, make sure out of town family has a way to get to where they need to be!

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2. Know what you want.
I usually suggest that family formals are for immediate family only. Grandparents, parents, and siblings with their families. I know that different people have different traditions (like all extended family at the church altar) and I am totally flexible with that. My solution is to take the photos of aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc at the reception. The DJ can call people to the dance floor and BAM it's done!

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3. Inform your planner or photographer of family drama.
All families have drama. But I do not necessarily know your drama. It is impossible for me to know that your grandma really does not like your groom's sister. I can't know that grandpa just passed away so I should stop asking where he is. And please, oh please, let me know if anyone has divorced. It is so awkward for me and everyone else if I tell someone to get close to another and they are not on speaking terms. Save us all the awkwardness.

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4. It's okay to be bossy.
In fact, I will probably ask you to be bossy. You know your family. I don't. Sometimes I need you to direct people and yell at them to come over. They will listen to you much better than they will listen to me.

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5. Trust your photographer's plan.
The way that I shoot families, is that I go from a big group to individuals (that way I can get people on their way). It is the best way I have found to keep things on schedule and flow well. I do my best to not move the bride until I have to.
Whether I am taking your formals or someone else, trust that they know best!

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