We asked some of our past wedding couples about what they wished they had done different for their wedding. One of the most common answers was they wished they spent more quality time with family instead of just trying to “survive” their wedding day. So often our couples’ families can tend to be distracted on their wedding day because they dont know what’s going on. A ton of missed moments could be avoided and quality memories could be made if good communication happened before hand! We want to give you guys some ideas of the type of conversations that could benefit everyone if they were discussed BEFORE the wedding.
No Phones/Pictures For Big Moments
Tell your family you want them to be present. You hired a photographer + videographer for a reason right!? Your family’s only job during significant moments should be to be present. That means during the ceremony, toasts, cake cutting and special dances their attention should not be on their phones or trying to get their cameras working. During social hour or fun dances they can take allll the pictures they want. But for those few moments, it’s so important they have their own memories preserved in their minds and leave the professional documenting to us! Alsoooo (just in my professional opinion) it’s not only frustrating to me when family members get in my way when I take pictures, but it also ruins the picture when your loved ones attention isn’t on YOU, but rather their phones. SO let your family (especially your extended family because this is who I see fall into their category the most) know that you don’t want them distracted and taking pictures when you hired someone perfectly capable of doing so.
If you are doing special dances, let that person know before the dance itself!!! I see this happen all the time where the mother of the groom didn’t know she was included in the special dance category so she’s nowhere to be found! Talk about this before! OR if you want to have fun dancing pictures and videos with your family on your wedding, tell them that! Recently we had a bride’s family tell us that they all agreed to 15 mins of their undivided attention to dance as crazy as they could at her reception. I just thought that was so sweet! Personally I think every family should make that promise! The bride had SO MUCH FUN and you could just tell she was so happy! It also made the pictures and video look like a party! This is a great way to avoid that awkward time where no one wants to be the first ones on the dance floor and leaves the newly wed couple standing alone.
Set Expectations + Remind Them Why They Are There
Okay this is going to sound kinda bad, but for this ONE day, YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THIER LIVES! Let them know that! They need to be there for YOU! It’s great that they want to talk to your guests, but they aren’t there for your guests (even if it’s other family). They are there for YOU! I see this happen a lot- the bride or groom wants to have a special moment with their parents, but their parents are distracted by other people and kinda blow off the couple. It’s sad and I don’t think family members intentionally do this. So before the wedding is the perfect time to let them know of your expectations.
This is more so as a help for your photographer BUT let your family know that the photographer has things under control. They have a system as to how they take the pictures. As a wedding photographer myself, I have a system for family photos to make them organized, quick and easy. Every once in a while I’ll have a family member come up to me and remind me to take pictures of the couple with their parents (obviously), OR that a particular extended family like an uncle + his kids are the most important people on your wedding day and they should be able to get their picture with you guys before everyone else. Not to be harsh or anything but these are examples that have happened MANY times. Just remind your family that there is a system in place and all they have to do is show up and we’ll organize the rest.
The absolute most helpful thing you can do for yourself is let your family members know a TIMELINE! A few days before your wedding, make a super detailed timeline for your immediate family. Like down to what time they need to be getting ready + leaving their house if you know they run late. Just highlight the events you want them to be a part of! The more people who know the plan the better! Nothing is worse than no one knowing what they are doing, then spreading the wrong information to more people. Resulting in pure chaos haha.
It sounds like a lot of work but you’ll thank us later if you have these conversations! Even if you just tell this to your mom and ensure she lets everyone know the plan that’s awesome! When events like your wedding only happen once, you have to try to make each moment count. These tips will help immensely!
Sarah + Austin Jones