Wedding Advice – Get Relaxed Group Photographs At Your Wedding

Fun Wedding Photography – How To Achieve Relaxed Group Photographs At Your Wedding


Every engaged couple would like their group photographs at your wedding to look as natural as possible. What I have found from being a Surrey wedding photographer is that one of the most underestimated, but I think vitally important part of the day is sometimes over looked. The dreaded group shots.  When you are planning your wedding you can spend endless nights searching for ‘creative wedding photography’. You find these gloriously effortless group shots and are left wondering how all those smiling faces look so natural. Surely they were really stressed? Perspiring after organising all their group shots? How are they still smiling?


creative wedding photography surrey


Well what if I tell you that it is all possible and there needs to be no stress involved? I always make time for group shots. I believe these images are some of the most significant images that a wedding photographer can capture. This is why I make time for them. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about having a documentary style approach to wedding photography. But sometimes you need a formal photograph, let’s face it. These are the ones that you’ll show your grandkids one day or stick up on your mum’s mantle piece.


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We’ve all been there at a wedding with a photographer shouting orders at you. When all you just want to do is enjoy the canapés and catch up with your friends and family. I get it. I’ve been there. Getting into group shots can be rushed, laborious and a down right pain to do. Especially when you have a time restricted drinks reception.


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However i’ll let you into a few golden rules. These rules prove group photographs at your wedding do not have to be stressed and dreaded. They can actually be something to look forward to and here is why:

1.] I don’t shout.

It is your wedding day and there is no need for raised voices and harsh tones and…

2.] I’ll let you in to a secret. If you want relaxed looking group photographs, you’ve got to plan for them.

A seasoned wedding photographer can capture everything. Ranging from group shots, room details, candid guest pictures and couples portraits in an hour of reception time. However, this time restriction can be stressful for your photographer and the knock on effect is that you might feel some pressure.


bride stand with bridesmaids in front of gorgeous traditional Swedish red barn


One of the most frequently asked things I get from my wedding couples are “Can we have lots of natural looking candid photographs of our guests”? The other one is “Can our group photographs looks relaxed and un-posed”?  I love these questions because my bread and butter are natural looking candid shots. I adore them because I get to be in the action and surround myself with your wedding party. It’s fun and you get lovely honest moments captured in camera; but you cannot achieve these scenes in 10 minutes.

The key is planning ahead for relaxed and natural looking group photographs on your wedding day. Below are my three golden rules.


Leave Enough Time To Get Your Group Photographs


The golden rule is that you have got to allow a good amount of time, especially if you only have one photographer. An hour and a half of reception time is great. If you had two hours, boy that seriously is the jack pot. This gives you enough time to talk to your guests, mingle, have a glass of bubbly, a canapé and breathe. It also gives your photographer time to get the necessary shots they need.  It allows your group photographs to be arranged in a calm and collected manner. I always ask couples to assign key people or ushers and bridesmaids. This is so that they spend time rounding up the people needed for your list. As they do this you can wait in the same place, with a glass of bubbly!


creative and fun groomsmen portrait


Plan Ahead For The Amount Of Groups With Your Photographer

The second thing you need to do is cap how many group shots you allow; the more group shots you have the more time it takes up of your reception. It is really as simple as that. This allows the group images to be easier to co-ordinate. Limiting your groups allows you to have more fun composing your important people. These can be in traditional arrangements or incorporating fun, creative set ups if that is what you are in the market for.


Edgy and stylised groom portraits Surrey wedding - group photographs at your wedding


From experience I find that up to 10 combinations work best when arranging people. Be specific with who is in them with your photographer before hand. This is so that you don’t leave anyone important out. The more groups you have, the more time you will spend setting them up and the less time you will have to eat canapés. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to do something different. I never assume that wedding parties want to get silly, but if that is what you are after I will always oblige!


creative wedding photography surrey, bridesmaids and ushers arrange themselves with unique and silly poses


Have Confidence That Your Photographer Will Capture Everything


The third thing that you need to be able to do is trust your photographer. I won’t put you in any positions or places that you do not want to be photographed in. I will always search for a place where the light is right. This is so that you and your bridal party are not squinting in to the sunshine and creating horrible shadows. As a photographer I am not going to put you in an unflattering surroundings. You will not be placed where you can see fire exit signs and unappealing décor. I have your best interests at heart and so will any other professional who cares about their job.  


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I will be there to capture the natural moments and the planned ones in-between. Hopefully these are just a couple of helpful tips that will allow you to plan your wedding reception. The aim is to achieve calm and relaxed looking group photography you have been dreaming about. With all my advice my biggest golden rule and one that you have to take notice of is:




For goodness sake have fun. Smile and embrace it. The day will be gone in a flash. Follow these golden rules in the knowledge that you have planned enough time for some fun and relaxed group photographs.


charming pastel pink british summer wedding party - group photographs at your wedding


So there you have it, my creative wedding photography guidelines 


If you are interested in my Surrey wedding photographer services please do email me or check out my Instagram. I would love to hear about your wedding and all of your plans! However if you are in the market for planning your wedding and are looking for some inspiration head on over to Ellen and Tom’s Outdoor Surrey Wedding or Katie and Jon’s Elegant Great Fosters Wedding. 

Alternatively I have just published my favourite images of 2018 in a blog post so if you would like to see my selection from last year then pop on over!

Jesse x