Updated: Apr 17, 2022
One of the most popular wedding photos today is the group photo. Having a visual reminder of everyone who attended your wedding is priceless, and more couples are asking for this every day. Your photographer will of course be getting everyone into place on the big day, but a bit of planning ahead of time will make their job easier and take a lot of stress off the couple's shoulders at the same time. So here's a few tips and best practices from the wedding coordinator perspective to make sure this picture goes off without a hitch!
There are really three viable times in the day for when you actually take the photo. The biggest key is to take the photo when as many guests as possible are together in one place. This keeps from having people miss the photo altogether, and means that you or your photographer don't have to go crazy tracking down individuals who may be scattered around the venue.
End of the ceremony: This is a great time to do the photo because it's the only time that everyone is truly in the same space. No one is in the bathroom or at the bar, since they've all just been sitting to watch you say your vows. It's probably the easiest option as well, because you and your new spouse can just stop at the end of the aisle, all your guests can turn to face the photographer, and then SNAP!
Between ceremony and cocktail hour: If the group photo needs to take place somewhere other than the ceremony space (for instance, the porch at Highland Manor is hugely popular for this photo), now is the time to make that happen. The officiant and/or DJ can announce exactly where the guests need to go for the photo before they leave the ceremony area, and the wedding coordinator can be in that place to act as a visual guide to get them there.
During the reception in conjunction with another event: How well this one works out is a function of the number of guests and the space where your reception is taking place. If it's a large group inside a building, your photographer may need to be up on a ladder to capture the whole group. In terms of timing though, it's important to do this at the same time as another event such as toasts or cake cutting. This ensures the most people are in the room to get in on the photo, because everyone wants to be there for the big events during the party. Be sure to discuss this ahead of time with your coordinator and photographer so that any additional equipment that may be needed is on-site for the day.
Picture courtesy of Steven Miller