Inviting Less Stress Into Family Formals

Even just the title of this blog post gives me a little of anxiety.

Easily one of the most stressful parts of any wedding day for me is family formals. I love your famitl and I love celebrating with you guys, but often times during the time that we have allowed for family formals…. I’ll be honest, your family stresses me out… and if I’m being really honest here… stresses you out too! I try to do my best beforehand to send over timelines, details, questionnaires, etc. to try and alleviate some of the stressors of this part of the day, but if I could URGE you, even plead with you, today I’m sharing 3 tips on what YOU can do as the bride to prep your family for this part of the day BEFORE the big day arrives.

  1. Let them know that you have sent your photographer a list of people YOU want photographs with during this time.

  2. Let them know that the photographer doesn’t know everyone like you do… we may have n our list “Bride and Groom with Granny Sue,” but really Granny Sue likes to go by Nana.. GREAT… but we don’t know that. We only know what’s on the list1

  3. Let your family know to stay put. They may have had their photo taken, but that DOES NOT mean they are done. The LAST thing we want is 20+ family members just up and keabting and heading to the cocktail hour as soon as their photo is taken and then we have to take more time to go and round them up from the cocktail hour. Trust me if you stay put the sooner we get to go to the cocktail hour… trust me… at this point in the day all I wanna do it go to the cocktail hour too! (ps just a little sidetone - this goes for the wedding party too!)

If your photographer doesn’t invite you to send them a list of people you want photos with during family formals prior to your big day, here’s some examples of what the prep work looks like for my brides:

Yes, that looks like A LOT of work, but I promise you it HELPS (most of the time) when you complete these steps + let your family know what to expect beforehand. We’ll all be better in the long run for it!

Whether you are a photographer or former bride yourself, do you have any tips on making family formals less stressful? Drop them in the comments below!