The day you get married is really unlike any other day of your marriage. It’s packed full of moment after moment after moment of memories. There are huge swings of emotion and sometimes the most unexpected thing will end up being the highlight of your day. I’m often asked “What’s your favorite part of a wedding?” The reality is, I don’t have just one answer for that. It really depends from wedding to wedding. I can say, that having shot over 400 weddings, a few trends have emerged and I’ve seen some patterns bubble up that I always look forward to documenting and being present for. I’ll be writing about one of these per month and I thought I would kick it off with one you might not expect.
My favorite moment of a wedding day is…. Family Photos!
That’s right, baby. I LOVE family formals. (I even wrote about how to have great formals a few years ago.) These are your people. This is your tribe. These images are so full of history and depth it’s impossible to not love them. This is your chance to laugh and cry with those who have known you the longest. It’s the time all your people look their best and these photos are the ones that will be put in frames and looked at for years and years to come. These are the images that end up on the kitchen counter, in the hallway, and above the fireplace. The thing is, sometimes in all of our planning and prepping for the day, they get overlooked. They become an item in your 76-Things-To-Do-On-Your-Wedding-Day-Checklist.
[ ] 4:30 Bridesmaid Photos
[ ] 4:45 Family Photos
[ ] 5:00 Reception
Just realize that that little block of your wedding day is one that many couples are not present for. I mean, they are there. They show up. They smile, pose, and hug. But, really, they are looking towards the next moment. The reception, the ceremony, the alcohol at the reception. :) They are not fully present and aware of how special these moments can be.
Need proof? Take a look.
This is typically what you think of when you hear family photos. Bride with parents. Check. :)
But, you’ll quickly realize there is so much more happening.
1st family photo where all the kids are married.
That super tender moment you have with your dad.
A mother who has raised 4 boys into grown men.
Sometimes things get a bit more fun.
Example: A photo of what this family typically looks like. ;)
Siblings are the best!
Sometimes the photos are not even about you.
That moment when a grandkid spits up on your grandparents.
I LOVE to pull the bride or grooms brother/sister and their family aside. It typically takes about 30 seconds and BAM! They get a new photo to hang on their wall.
How about one of your parents. Who NEVER get dressed up. Who NEVER get photographed. Here they are, looking good and in love.
Or how about that picture with your grandparents who have been married 57 years and you have not even been married 57 minutes?
Let’s fast forward to 2020.
Six years from now when you go home for Christmas and you have a three your old little girl, she will be at PaPa & NaNa’s house looking at the tree. She will stare at all the gifts under it and then she’ll notice a photo hanging on the wall of her mom in a white dress. She will look at it for a while, then she will ask her NaNa about the photo. And then your mother will tell her all about how beautiful her mother was on her wedding and how wonderful the day was.
And THAT moment, in the future, will be magic. And it will all be possible because you took a few moments on your wedding day to be photographed with the people who love you the most.