Weddings require a great deal of planning, but one area I’ve noticed that gets neglected in the planning process is photos. That’s right, you need to plan ahead for your photo session. That’s because during the rush and excitement of the wedding event, important photos of people you want get forgotten.

Most photographers will be sure to include the parents in photos with the bride and groom, but most will never think to inquire about doing a shot of say the groom’s dad with his brothers and sisters who are present at the wedding.

A wedding is the perfect place to take these kinds of photos of family groups. Everyone in the family has gathered for the big event, many times from far flung regions of the country and everyone is dressed up and looking their best! The wedding may be the first time family has gotten together. Maybe your dad hasn’t seen his siblings in years. Or your mother and her parents. If the opportunity to take these group photos is passed over because nobody thought much about the importance of this fleeting opportunity, the photos won’t be captured. And it’s these type of photos that often turn out to be the most important and most appreciated of all the photos taken at the wedding.

Unfortunately, the one thing no wedding photographer can do is look at a group of total strangers and figure out how they interlock with each other! That is why I send couples an email before the wedding requesting this sort of information, so that I don’t end up missing anyone of importance and you won’t have to try to remember this information on an already stressful day!

Capturing these special photos is also easier if you can make sure that the people who are going to be included in these group photos are told to be available for the photos being taken when the other traditional groups are done.

You will not want to be trying to pull these groups together at the reception, because getting them all together at the same time at the reception is often one of the most difficult things you’ll do on your wedding day. It is better to avoid doing these photos at the reception altogether, if possible and get them done early in the day.

Also, be sure that all the people to be included in your photos know to stay in the room the photos are being taken until all the groups are done. If someone slips off because they think they are through being photographed and it turns out that they are needed for an impromptu additional last minute group request, everything grinds to a halt until someone tracks them down and brings them back.

Just a little photo pre-planning helps keeps things running smoothly and ensures I capture the photos and people you want to remember on this wonderful, crazy day!