Wedding Group Shots: Formal or Informal?

April 07, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
What pops into your head when you think of wedding group photographs? Boring? Time-consuming? Would rather be enjoying your first glass of bubbly?

Formal group shots have been part and parcel of wedding photography since people started taking photographs at weddings. Having a photographer who can organise them quickly and effciently, allowing guests to relax is important, but so is someone who can think outside of the box and create something different if the situation allows. I want to show you a variety of group shots that may help you decide which you prefer on your day.

First up: traditional formal group shots. The first photograph is one of eight groups shot right outside the church. Time taken: less than 10 minutes for all groups. The second photograph was the entire wedding party and made use of the fine weather and bandstand. Time taken: 5 minutes.


To make life easier when organising groups, your photographer will need a pre-arranged list of groups (normally around 8-10) and some assistance in gathering the right people (ushers it's your time to shine!)

However, groups don't always have to be the traditional stand in a line that you may envisage. Some locations can offer some unique opportunities. The rocks in the first photograph below caught my eye and having the boys staggered gives a nice depth to the image. The stunning painting in the second photograph gave a great background, helping it stand out.

*UPDATE!* This next 'Vanity Fair style' group shot worked out really well. The pillars and steps added more depth and interest and the variation in height with some sitting and some standing or leaning help create a striking image (this was shot at the awesome St Donat's Castle, Wales). This sort of group shot is becoming more popular as it is possible to have really powerful group shots that stand out from the standard formals.




A great group shot should reflect the personalities within it. This next pair of pictures again made thoughtful use of the location and more importantly shows they are genuinely happy! Having fun whilst taking portraits always helps as it generally makes those on the other side of the lens more relaxed leading to more natural photographs.

How about some group shots that are a little more informal? These of the girls captured them having fun and just being themselves. 


And to finish with: two documentary group shots of the boys. Natural and completely unstaged. These have a very different goal in mind: telling the story of events as they happen. I love the first one, reminds me of The Beatles.

So there you have it. A variety of group shots that show you don't have to go down the traditional route. Everyone is different so why be stuck with just having ordinary group shots? A photographer who understands your requirements is essential. If you like my approach why not get in touch or head over to my website to see how I go about capturing the rest of your day.

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