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1. List everyone by first name.
First names help us locate Uncle Greg at the bar when he's gone missing.
2. Set limits.
Coordinate with your photographer beforehand and talk about timelines and what is a must-have. And, more importantly, align with your partner -- do you both want only portraits with your parents and siblings, or do your third cousins need to be included as well?
3. Consider a first look.
This allows for family portraits before the ceremony as well. That said, if like the idea of seeing your partner for the first time down the aisle, we totally understand and are happy to make that happen.
4. Give your family a schedule.
Especially if you are capturing family portraits before the ceremony, even one missing person can derail the session. Reminders the day before and asking them to arrive 15 minutes early always helps avoid any no-shows.
5. Grandparents and children first.
If someone has a short attention span or needs to go sit down, let's make sure we put them at the top of the list.
6. Ask the officiant to announce that family and wedding party needs to stay after the ceremony.
Otherwise, wrangling them all back from the bar and appetizers is no easy feat.
7. Assign a photo wrangler.
This person should be assertive, loud, diplomatic, and know most everyone in both families. (We love that almost all our couples immediately know who to ask.)
Finally, for reference, here is our sample family portrait list: