Today’s insightful gust post comes to us from Chris McLaughlin Photography, based in Denver, Colorado. Enjoy!

All the months of preparation and planning have led to this very moment. The ceremony is now over and you two are finally married! Time to celebrate! Not quite yet. At least not for you. No, for you, it’s time for family pictures. The family formals are still an integral part of the wedding day. These are the classic pictures of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, (and that foreign exchange student that used to live with you), all lined up and smiling (except,of course, for the flower girl who is blinking and the ring bearer who is looking somewhere else). Do not fear. While your trusty photographer snaps away, here are few tips you can use to help take the sting out.

Read the full post after the cut!

1. Let Your Family Know Who You Want Included Ahead Of Time.

Sure, mom and dad probably know they need to stick around to be photographed at some point. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and even Grandparents may be a different story. It is best to play things safe and let everyone know who you would like included in the pictures before the wedding day arrives. That way, you are less likely to be hunting down Uncle Bob while grandma is left melting in the sun, waiting. The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are great opportunities to remind all the key players. It also may be a good idea to send out an email or make a call in advance to catch those who won’t be in attendance at the rehearsal.

2. Have The Officiant Remind Everyone Before Dismissing Your Guests.

Just after you two make your grand exit down the aisle as a newly minted married couple, request that your officiant act as a guide and let your guests know what to expect next. Something simple like, “As the cocktail hour begins, we ask that family members now make their way over to the fountain for pictures” is all you need.

3. Hide For A Moment After The Ceremony.

Just after the ceremony finishes, find a place to hide away from your guests while they are dismissed to the cocktail hour. Take a minute for yourselves. You’ve earned it. This way, you won’t get caught in any long conversations and can make your way to take pictures as soon as necessary. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time left to mingle. The sooner those family pictures are finished, the sooner the food is served, the music starts, and the party begins! Your guests will thank you!

4. Pick ‘Family Wranglers’ Ahead Of Time.

Along with informing the necessary family ahead of time, choose a point person for each side of the family that can handle ‘wrangling’ everyone needed for pictures. (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen can be great choices – just make sure the people you choose aren’t easily distracted themselves or you will be wrangling them instead!)

5. Get That Signature Drink And Plate of H’orderves Delivered.

Don’t let your guests have all the fun. Ask a groomsmen to snag a drink and plate of h’orderves for you and your new spouse while the photographer gets the family organized for photos. Your photographer will thank you later. Your higher blood sugar will make for better smiles and brighter eyes! Just make sure the chosen groomsman also brings napkins… and maybe a breath mint!

Chris McLaughlin is an international wedding photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Adventurous, fun, and maybe a little sarcastic, Chris has been shooting weddings for 6 years.

For more information about Chris McLaughlin Photography, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to his website.