Second Shooting for Trenholm Photo at the Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach

Hello! How is your wedding planning going? I hope it’s going great and you aren’t stressing too much! To help reduce as much worry as possible for you and your photographer on the wedding day, here is something you can work together with and make it your own.

One of the most frustrating and often stressful times for couples, their families and photographers during the wedding day is the small window of opportunity for formals (family and wedding party mostly). These can be done beautiful and with very minimal stress if done as efficiently as possible.

As I hate for my own couples and their families to even stress slightly on one of the happiest days of their lives, I am fully invested in making sure their day is picture perfect. One motto I live by is: prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. As a wedding professional, it is my job to prepare my clients on what to expect from me and what to expect on their wedding day. We are a team, if you have a planner or coordinator, they are part of our team too. Our end goal is to have fun, make memories, and create gorgeous photos.

Formal Family Checklist created by Zee Anna Photography

I always send to my clients along with their contract, this check list and a fill in the blank timeline to help them plan their wedding day accordingly. I meet with them or their planner 4-6 weeks before their wedding date and finalize everything. I then study the time line and checklist before the wedding.

The checklist is organized in a way that reduces as much movement of the bride as possible. She is usually in her wedding gown and it usually takes more time to re-arrange her gown each time she is moved than if we just move people in around her. Your “photo usher” can be your planner, a close family friend, or photographer’s assistant (this you’ll have to discuss with your photographer first.)

I was inspired to create this list when a similar list was handed to me two weeks before one of my weddings when I first started photography. I loved how quickly we were able to organize and take all the formal photos with gorgeous light and still managed to get more couple portraits with the bride and groom. The best part? No one was forgotten!

I encourage you all to use this list and help yourself and your photographer out. The less stress in the world the happier everyone will be!

Here is the list in print:

Checklist of Formal Family Photos for Your Wedding

It is best to designate the role of photo usher to someone who can “rally the troops” when it is time to take photos (not in your wedding party, and not any of your parents). We will roll with the list to be the most efficient and do as much as possible in regards to additional formals.

Wedding Party:

B & G with flower girl & ring bearer (begin with children first – less stress and we can keep their attention better)

B & G with entire wedding party

B&G with entire wedding party sans flower girl and ring bearer

B&G with bridesmaids

B with bridesmaids

G with bridesmaids

B&G with groomsmen

B with groomsmen

G with groomsmen


B with flower girl

B with ring bearer

G with flower girl

G with ring bearer

B with each of her bridesmaids

G with each of his groomsmen

Immediate Family:

B&G with entire family

B&G with grooms family

B&G with bride’s family

B with her family

B with her siblings

B with her parents (2x if separated or divorced (for step parents))

G with his family

G with his siblings

G with his parents (2x if separated or divorced (for step parents))

Other Family:

B&G with grandparents (2x both sides)

B with her grandparents

G with his grandparents

Generational photos (Grandma/Mom/Bride & Grandpa/Dad/Groom)

B&G with God Parents (if applicable)

B & God Parents (if applicable)

G & God Parents (if applicable)

Time Permitting For Other Formals:

B&G with other family members and their families

Families with children must go first (same reason as flower girl and ring bearer)


You can also download the PDF here or click on the photo.

Quick Photo Tip: When shooting anyone next to the bride and her dress, ask the other person to “tuck” their foot under the dress. This will prevent any accidental stains or dirty spots on the hem if someone steps on it. 

Photo info: the Bride with the groomsmen: shot while second shooting with Austin Trenholm Photography at the Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach!