June 9, 2022


Michelle Behre


For Brides

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Wedding Planning Tips: Family Formals

Are you planning your special day and are one of your biggest items to tackle is the family formal list to hand off to your wedding day planner? Let’s begin providing a few of our go-to photography tips on family formals to ease this process at the time of your portraits from New Jersey Wedding Photographer, Michelle Behre! Below are a few wedding day family formal tips from New Jersey Wedding Photographer!

Notify family they will be photographed

If you are planning for a first look we recommend to notify your immediate family of the scheduled session time. Following extended family immediately thereafter, notify family members. As we custom build wedding day timelines we recommend to notify all parties to keep organized ahead of schedule.

Announce extended family at your ceremony

Prior to and following your ceremony, request for your officiant to notify guests and extended family they will be photographed. Apart from this, request for family to stick around moments following the ceremony.

Create a list and provide to photo team for the day of

While creating your family formal list, we recommend to start with the largest groupings first. We will then work our way down to the smaller groupings to photograph all of the possible combinations. Family can be notified to stick around with an announcement. We will work from our portrait list to capture the combinations in a speedy in efficient manner. Your family formals will move as quickly as possible in effort to get you and your family to cocktail hour!

Communicate with your photographer

We highly recommend do educate and clearly communicate with your photographer in regards to your family and their needs. Clear communication will make this process as simple as possible and as easy as possible. Does a family member/friend have an ailment such as a handicap issue? We want to take them into consideration. Do you have a few sensitive issues and groupings to create in an attempt to prevent any complications or awkward situations? Each family is unique and we want to accommodate you to the best of our abilities to make this process as easy and efficient as possible. We recommend to communicate with Michelle on these sensitive issues. We can best aid in this process to make your wedding day family formals as easy as possible.

Schedule appropriately

Have a lengthy family formal list and a first look? First, I recommend scheduling immediate family portraits prior to the ceremony. Following the ceremony, plan on photographing extended family formals during cocktail hour. If you are hosting a traditional timeline, it is essential to capture your combined wedding party, extended family formals, and work our way down to combined immediate family following the ceremony. Last but not least, bride and groom pics are scheduled thereafter. Without a doubt, I highly recommend to extend your cocktail hour by 30 minutes so you can enjoy your cocktail hour.


Have these few family formal tips assisted you and eased your mind about your busy, big family portraits on your wedding day? Do you have a huge family that you want family formals with and also want to enjoy your cocktail hour? This is your day and you can have the best of both worlds! Chat with Michelle on her go-to wedding day family formal approach and schedule your consultation to chat all about your wedding day, today!

Michelle Behre is based in Northern New Jersey and specializes in romantic, timeless, and sophisticated weddings.  Her fine art photography style is the perfect blend of editorial and documentary photography. Michelle Behre Photography captures the excitement as the champagne pours to your picture-perfect bridal details. Are you engaged and planning your wedding? We accept a limited amount of weddings per year. Inquire to learn about our New Jersey Wedding Photography services and availability.

Inquire today to learn all about our New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania wedding photography services. We can assist you in photographing your romantic engagement session and your wedding day! Inquire with Michelle for availability and more details, today!

Learn all about how to plan your wedding day timeline and find inspiration for your wedding day color palette!

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