How to get the most out of your wedding photos and film

By Charlie.

Although we like to candidly capture your wedding day as it unfolds, we know that a lot of people still like to have group and family photographs, along with a few other planned shots. We try and make these as fun and relaxed as possible and I’ve written this post to try and help you get the best out of them.

When it comes to writing your group shot list it is hard not to get carried away and end up with a list as long as your arm, this post is designed to help you think about what images you *really must have*. Posing for group shots is often the least favourite part of the day for a lot of people so we do advise couples to keep this portion of the day as short as possible so that you can get back to enjoying yourselves.

We always aim to capture everybody candidly throughout the day but if you want to guarantee that everybody gets photographed then it’s good to start with a large group photograph of all guests straight after the ceremony before people start wandering off to the bar or to get changed (it happens, often!).

Miskin Manor Wedding - When Charlie Met Hannah

The Group Shots – things to consider

On average you need to allow 2-5 minutes for each group photograph as it can take a while to gather people, longer if it’s raining! You can see how it could easily get very time consuming. A list of over 10 group shots could easily take the best part of an hour so if you do want that many then make sure you allow adequate time between the ceremony and dinner.

Here are a few of our top tips to helping this part of the day run smoothly:

  • Allow more time than you think you’ll need, this part of the day always takes longer than people expect!
  • Nominate one of the wedding party or a family member to be the ‘people gatherer’. Ideally this person will know most of the guests and have a loud voice!
  • Give this person a copy of the group shot list that you’ve given your photographer.
  • Start with the biggest group and let people fall away once they are no longer needed, rather than the other way around.
  • Do the group shots early, before too much alcohol has been consumed!
  • Less is more. Ask yourself: “Will this photo end up on my wall?”. If the answer is no, and you are only having it because you think you should, cross it off. It’s your wedding day, do what makes you happy!

There’s no such thing as a standard wedding but a more common group shot list would be something like this:-

  • All of your wedding guests
  • The couple with each extended family
  • The couple with their parents/immediate family
  • The couple with any children you may have

Often the next few are the ones where we can get a bit creative and have some fun…

  • The wedding party
  • Person A with their wedding party
  • Person B with their wedding party
  • Some couples opt for certain friend shots e.g. with their best friends like Kelly and her best girls in the image below.

Vanity Fair style group shot

Something along those lines shouldn’t take long and then everyone can get back to having fun!

If you want to make the group shots even more fun, you could keep back some confetti to use, do some shots together or even buy smoke bombs.

We’ll always help you set them up, we’ll make them as painless as possible, but don’t overthink it – often the favourite shots are the ones in between…

Relaxed Wedding in Italy


If you plan to have confetti then it’s definitely go hard or go home! We recommend taking loads, at least enough for each guest to grab a big handful plus extra. Go for bright colours, lightweight so it floats down rather than drops, and always biodegradable!

Confetti Wedding Photo

Let’s talk the ‘must have’ shots…

If there is a particular shot you absolutely MUST have then please tell your photographer beforehand. But do remember that there is only so much your photographer can control. With that in mind, when the celebrant announces the first kiss please please please hold your first kiss for a few seconds! And maybe go in for a second, the guests love that!

Becky & Tom First Kiss at Sugarloaf Barn

If you have booked us for your wedding (yay!) we do our utmost at every wedding to capture all the details, all of the ‘big’ moments (getting ready, exchanging the rings, the first kiss etc.) and all the little in between moments that make your day special.

Destination Wedding Photographer

Although we mainly concentrate on capturing the moments as they happen naturally, we will also capture the little details you have carefully selected for your wedding. When it comes to things like cutting the cake we will capture you when you are actually cutting it, rather than setting up a posed shot. Real moments all the way! These moments often look even better in the wedding film if you have one.

The Portraits…

Or as some of our couples like to call it, the best part of the day! Seriously! The wedding day can be overwhelming so it’s nice to have a little breather and we will hang back and let you enjoy the “alone time” as it’s often the only chance you’ll get all day!

When Charlie Met Hannah - Sugarloaf Barn WeddingWe will normally take you away for around 10-20 minutes after your group shots are done, and if we get a gorgeous sunset we will whip you back outside for 10 minutes in the evening for what will likely be the favourite images from the day! These images don’t have to take long and we don’t spend a lot of time posing you, just stand back and let you say “We did it!”.

We hope you find this useful when it comes to planning your shot list for the day, if you need a hand planning your shot list feel free to give me a shout! Meanwhile, Hannah has written a helpful post discussing why you should consider having a wedding video, she’d love you to have a read!

Charlie x