Group shots (depending on your way of thinking) arean integral part of the day or a necessary evil. If your thinking is of the later, it is largely due to experiencing a photographer at a past wedding who hasn't managed their time efficiently. Group shots that are done swiftly,and with minimum fuss, can play a vital part in piecing together the story of your wedding day.
Take Hugo Burnand's recent royal wedding photographs as an example.
Of the 3 images realised,it was the last group picture of the bride & groom with the children that turned out to be everyone's favourite shot. There was a degree of posing,but it looked natural and captured the children's oblivion to all the pomp & ceremony going on around them...Hugo Burnand has since explained that he only had 4 minutes to grab this shot,which dispels the commonly held belief that group shots take up huge amounts of time.
The main reason for couples dreading group shots is the fear of being stuck in the same place for ages, forcing a smile akin to Chandler Bing on friends, but it need not be this way.
Each wedding is different,and though there are sometimes requirements to be factored in (ie - parents are separated) but my view is the majority of the group photographs should take no more than 20 minutes to achieve
There are a group of shots that i always make sure i capture (i have listed them below) These images are your archive,and as the years go by these will be you reference to remind you of the guests in attendance.
Bride & Groom with: Brides Family(all) immediate (siblings & grandparents) parents (with & without grooms parents) Grooms family (all) immediate (siblings & grandparents) parents Friends (lads & lasses separate then together) Bridal party (bridesmaids, best man & ushers)
If you wanted more groups photographed -ie sisters/brothers, nans, favourite uncles, stag/hen nights ect,then instead of rooting you to a single spot we can get these done in a more informal manor, utilising the various surroundings of your wedding venue.
Time is so precious on your wedding day, and alongside the groups we need to be sure to get the natural reportage style shots of everyone enjoying themselves, alongside those lush pics of the bride and groom.
Good organisation of your group shots is the key to making sure you have plenty of time to quaff that bubbly with all your favourite people