Creating a Family Shot List


One of the most important, yet most often overlooked, part of your wedding day is constructing the family timeline. This is a separate document from your Day Of timeline, but equally as important!

A few months before your wedding day, sit down with your fiancé and think over all the formal photos you will want. Think aunts, cousins, best friends. You will want a written list of these names, and the exact order and combinations. Depending on whether or not you decided to do a first look, this could all happen during cocktail hour. The last thing you would want is for your guests to miss out! With this list, your guests will have enough time to enjoy your beautiful wedding without the stress, and be ahead of your day of timeline. If you are opting to do these photos after the first look, keep in mind how much time you have to keep the bride tucked away before guests arrive. 

Here is an example of what your family timeline will look like:

Christina & Danny with everybody

Christina's family:
C&D with bride’s immediate family
C&D with all family
C&D with bride’s parents
C&D with bride’s siblings
C&D with bridal wedding party
C&D with full wedding party
C&D with uncles/aunts/cousins from bride’s side.
C&D with bride’s grandparents
C with parents
C with immediate family
C with Grandparents
C with best friend(s)
C with all friends
C with wedding party

Danny's family:
C&D with groom’s immediate family
C&D with all family
C&D with groom’s parents
C&D with groom’s siblings
C&D with groom wedding party
C&D with uncles/aunts/cousins from groom’s side.
C&D with groom’s grandparents
D with parents
D with immediate family
D with Grandparents
D with best friend(s)
D with all friends
D with wedding party

Extra Photos:
Christinas’s Grandparents Alone
Christina’s Parents Alone
Danny’s Family Alone

Remember, these are the formal photos. You will have time during cocktail hour and the reception to get photos with friends and other family members in a more causal setting.

Finally, make sure to assign a family member or best friend that knows the names and faces of most people on the list. They will be calling out names off this document and helping to keep it organized. Your photographer might not have been acquainted to certain family members, so corralling the right people can sometimes be difficult. I have found the most effective way to get the job done is by a recognizable face. 

Happy Planning!