Why Having a Family Formal List is Important
So, let's start with....what's a family formal list?!
Well I'm so glad you asked...because I'm going to tell you all about it and let you know why you should have one for your wedding.
A family formal list is a list of ALL the family members and groupings you would like formal photos with after the ceremony.
One of the things that are super important to your parents is getting the photos of your family all together on your wedding day. Usually this will happen after your ceremony and depending on how big your family is, it shouldn't really take more than about 30 minutes.
Here are a few tips to making this process go smoothly.
1) Let your family know beforehand that they will need to stick around for family photos!
Maybe make an announcement during your rehearsal dinner or pick a cousin to be in charge of letting your relatives know to stick around after the ceremony for photos. This makes the whole process a lot easier for everyone. That way, we aren't sending someone to go look for Uncle Bob who is outside of the church chatting up his cousin Rick.
2) Ask your parents for who they would like to have photos with
This is an exciting time for your parents as well. And sometimes, it's one of the few times a lot of family will be gathered at the same location. Having your parents input on what photo groupings they would like to see will you help you out in the long run. You won't have to hear mom go "Oh....I so wish we had taken a photo with your Aunt Susie!"
3) Designate a helper!
Preferably someone in the bridal party that won't be a part of the photos and who knows your families pretty well. This will help us out if we need someone to go find a missing family member for us!
4) Make sure to let us know of any family situations that could make for an uncomfortable moment
Are mom and dad divorced? Do they not get along? Let us know! Does your Uncle Matt not get along with your Aunt Margaret? Has someone passed away? It's good for us to know of these things ahead of time so we can make a mental note to not place your mom and dad together if they don't get along super well.
5) Use names, not just "mom & dad"
Not only does this make it easier for us to call out groupings. (Marcus will have the list and call groups out and have a group on deck). But it let's your family feel a little more important on your big day.
We bring the family formal list with us to your wedding and reference it during this time. We make notes of family situations and we check off the groupings as they are photographed so we don't miss anyone.
But....at the end of the day, your wedding day will go on marvelously. If we didn't happen to get a grouping or Uncle Steve decided he needed to go to cocktail hour before sticking around for family photos....DON'T worry about it. We will have plenty of time at the reception for photos we may have missed.