When is a formal not a formal? A new take on wedding group photos

One of the biggest dilemmas facing today’s couples when getting married is whether to do any group photos (or formals as they are traditionally known), and if so, how many to do.

For many of the parents, and older generations, the formal photos are one of the main aspects of a wedding that they look forward to. The photos are beautiful keepsakes to remember the day and to show the family all together (which we all realise doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should). However, today’s couples want to enjoy the wedding day, mingle with friends, and not stand for formal photos for an hour.

I recommend keeping the combinations to under 10, and if possible, to make them a little less formal so everyone can enjoy them. Here’s an example from a recent wedding:

Hoath House Wedding Photographer - Kirsty & Andy-1

When Kirsty and Andy first mentioned they would be having hay-bales at their wedding for guests to sit on during the drinks reception, I asked what they thought of us using the bales for people to sit on for the group photos. They loved the idea, and despite rain the day before and on the actual day nearly scuppering the idea, we managed it, and I think the result worked very well. People look more relaxed, the image has a more friendly and less formal atmosphere to it, and it’s how I would love to do all my formal / group photos going forward.

Obviously some couples choose a more traditional wedding and want to keep the formal photos very much formal, and I’m very happy to accommodate them; I will always shoot weddings to my couple’s wishes, but at least this shows people there is an alternative, and one that works very well.

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