Group Shots

Fun, Formal or F*ck It Let's Party

Untitled photo

We've all been there. The sun is beaming down, your faith in how long you're going to be able to wear your new heels is waning, your prosecco glass is dry, and it's what feels like an hour into group shots.

Now it's time to plan your own wedding and you really don't want to be that couple to your guests, but you do still want some with parents, siblings, granny, friends and Uncle John who you've not seen in years. File another decision to make in your spreadsheet - weep that it's yet another thing to sort out. 

  • Untitled photo
  • Untitled photo
  • Untitled photo
  • Untitled photo

So what is the right thing to do? You wanted candid, natural images, but do group shots go against all that? Will they be awkward? Will anyone be insulted if I leave them out?


This one is probably one of the harder choices for couples to make. I always suggest keeping it simple and stick to the Wedding Party and Immediate Family. It's a popular option for many couples and can be a very positive decision to make for your wedding.

By having group shots with only the Wedding Party (that's bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls etc) and Immediate Family (that's parents, grandparents, siblings and their families) you can avoid any difficult conversations with the wider family and friendship groups.

It also means that the amount of time we spend on group shots on your day is significantly less - and I can turnaround over 10-15 shot combinations over in less than 20 minutes. 

Untitled photo

Untitled photo


This one is very straightforward. The best time to take group shots is definitely within the first 30 minutes of your drinks reception.

No matter how many combinations we have or who we have to photograph, by doing it within the first 30 mins of your reception everyone is generally in one place and hasn't gone walkabout yet. There's no rushing off to find them or panicking because you haven't found your sister for the sibling combo.

By getting all the group shots done within 20 mins, it means your guests can all return to the party as soon as possible.

I also organise your group shot list into the most efficient order.

This means if your mum is in multiple photos, I'll group those combinations together so that your mum doesn't need to hang about or I don't need to go back and forth to get her for each individual shot.

Entire Group Shot

This can be a great way of getting a photo of everyone you've invited without having to have individual group shots with them. Of course there'll be plenty of candids, and I always aim to capture at least one image of every wedding guest, but it's great to have one photo with everyone in it.

Depending on the wedding party size, this is best done at the start of your drinks reception before everyone wanders off. Venues that have a staircase or a vantage point for me to take a shot from are even better.

Untitled photo

Untitled photo

Silly or Serious?

How about just smile?

While I'm very happy to take some silly group shots, the best ones tend to be those with just natural smiles and some loving looks exchanged.

I tend to steer clear of super serious shots, and I'll usually lighten the mood with a few of my choice dad jokes to get everyone mid-laughter for those natural expressions of joy.

When it comes to group shots, I usually take 3-5 frames per combination, meaning that if you blink or are caught mid-expression then it doesn't matter too much. That said, don't blink too much please!

Do We Need Them?

There's no obligation to have any group shots. I'm perfectly happy to skip them entirely and continue my candid coverage of your day with some romantic couples portraits thrown in.

If you're the kind of couple who really don't like group shots at all, please just say. While I always offer them as an option, don't feel frightened to tell me you'd rather not.

Remember, your galleries will be full of natural, candid images of your wedding guests enjoying the party.

Untitled photo

If you're still unsure or need some ideas for possible combinations, just get in touch at any point! I always ask for the group shot list 4-6 weeks before your wedding, so you've got plenty of time to figure out which ones are the most important to you. And of course, if you've got a little furry friend who might be joining us then let me know about them too!

© S.G Mark Photography | S.G Mark Photography is the trading name of Cyclops Consulting Ltd | Registered in Scotland | Company Registration SC437474 | 113 St John's Road Edinburgh EH12 8AT

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In