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  • Writer's picturePurple Kite Photography


Chalk board with white lettering Order of the Day be Love Heart Lettering


Have you ever been to a wedding where you find yourself waiting around for ages while the wedding photographer tries to round up everyone into those line-up shots?

Group photos have long been a wedding album tradition. But times are changing and more and more couples are going for a more relaxed and candid approach to their wedding photos.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't have these traditional photos if that's what you want. It's your wedding, after all, and you get to make the rules. But it's worth considering whether you really need all those images or if you're just doing them because it's what people expect. Will they be going on your wall, a wedding album or in a forgotten folder?

Instead, why not think about having a few select posed shots that really capture the essence of your day? Or you can ask your photographer to focus on capturing natural and candid shots of your closest loved ones. Trust me, those are the kinds of photos that will truly bring back all the special memories from your wedding day.

Sarah Whyte, owner of Purple Kite Photography, sitting on a bridge in Hertford, Hertfordshire

Hi, I'm Sarah!

I love being able to document the raw emotions and excitement of a wedding day and take pride in delivering stunning images that my couples will cherish for a lifetime.

I create a calm and relaxed atmosphere for my clients, ensuring that they feel at ease and enjoy every moment of their day.

Although I'm based in Hertford, I'm not just a Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer. I can travel all over the UK (and beyond) for your Wedding!



Your wedding photos are so important! They will hold all the precious memories from your big day and will be the one thing you'll have left once it's all over.

These days, many engaged couples are more into creative wedding photography. They want something that truly captures their unique personalities and often prefer more candid, documentary style photography. That's probably why the traditional terms like 'formal wedding pictures' or 'group wedding photos' can sound a bit dated.

But to be honest, no matter how unique your wedding may be, most newlyweds still want a few classic group photos. I mean, how often do you actually get the chance to have everyone you love gathered around you at one time? In years to come, when you look back at your photos and some of your loved ones are gone, you'll be so thankful for those moments captured.

Bride in cream silk gown surrounded by 5 bridesmaids in pale blue dresses all laughing and holding their bouquets up


Group photos can be more time consuming than you’d think and your guests will not thank you for making them hang around for any longer than they have to. Let’s face it, they’d rather be enjoying the drinks reception, and so would you!

Remember your photographer is with you all day, so there will be plenty of other opportunities to capture you and your guests throughout the rest of the wedding reception in less formal ways.

If formal group photos are a must for you, think carefully about how many you would like. Your photographer will be happy to take as many as you want, but bear in mind these will take time! I would recommend having no more than 10 different groups.

Rounding up guests for group photos can feel a bit like herding cats, so expect each photo to take up to 5 minutes - checking names off a list and gathering up family members who have wandered off to the loo, or the bar! So if you want 10 photos you can expect this to take up to half an hour!

I can usually get through them much quicker than that though, if these guidelines are followed:

  1. Start with the whole group photo. This means that everyone knows the photos are happening and no one has yet disappeared to the bar or to change into their comfy shoes, or moved on to the reception venue, if different.

  2. Make a list of groups you want before the day. Have a list of group shots written out in advance for your photographer to work through, to ensure an important shot doesn’t get missed.

  3. Work through the list in a sensible order. Start with the larger groups then work backwards through the smaller groups. Eg; begin with the large extended family group, then immediate family, followed by just parents. It's far easier to ask people to step out of the photo than it is to find a missing uncle or cousin who has disappeared to the loo or bar! Your photographer will be able to advise you on the best order to do these.

  4. Enlist someone to help! The photographer will not know who everyone is, so it's very helpful to assign someone from the wedding party to help round up the guests for group photos. Choose someone who knows lots of your guests and has the confidence to approach people and make sure they're ready for their turn. If the next group is ready and waiting while your photographer is shooting the current one you will get through the list so much faster.

  5. Keep to the list. If there are other people you'd like captured, or would like a more casual photo with, just make your photographer aware. There will be plenty of time for more photo opportunities throughout the rest of your day.

The whole wedding party shot

A great way to make sure you get a photo of every single guest.

With a large wedding party it can be tricky to ensure that you can see everyone clearly in a whole groups photo. A good photographer will scout around the venue and advise you on good locations, but it's worth thinking about this when you view the venue.

For the best group photos you want the photographer to be up high looking down at everyone, or to have your guests on a slope or staircase, so you can see all the faces. On one level it can be a challenge to organise everyone so that nobody ends up hidden at the back!

Whole Wedding party group photo, Parklands Quendon Hall
Whole Wedding party group photo, Parklands Quendon Hall

Essential Group Photo List

  • All the guests together

  • Couple & family (each side separately)

  • Couple & Parents (Both sides, then each set on their own)

  • Couple & Grandparents

  • Couple & Wedding Party

  • Couple & best mates

Every family dynamic is different, so this list may not suit you perfectly, but it is a good place to start. And of course feel free to add to the list as needed.

Let your photographer have a copy of your group photo list in advance of the wedding day so they can make sure they have it with them to work from and make sure no-one gets missed.



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