I know that planning a wedding is a crazy experience. You’re expected to flawlessly throw the largest, most complicated party of your lives, while not knowing anything about the inner workings of weddings before the day you got engaged. I started this series because I wanted to provide a way for brides and grooms to navigate the system with ease and clarity. A way to answer some of those questions you’re dying to ask, but don’t know how to ask them. Got a topic you’d like me to talk about? Post a comment on any Tips for Clients post, and I’ll add it to my list! xoxo, E.


Seattle Wedding Photography

Can we talk about family photos? I want to come out and say how much I love them, even though they’re not dramatic or “blog worthy”. A lot of photographers don’t talk about them, and we don’t usually blog them. They’re not documentary, they can’t be made into something epic and wonderful, there usually aren’t rainbows or sunsets, or impromptu moments, because toddlers and 85 year old grandmothers don’t wait around for lighting and multiple takes. Although, I’ve seen laughter and tears, beautiful moments and wonderful stories come up during family photos.

Why don’t we like them? It’s hard to get all your family members together, they’re often done quickly, and most couples don’t want to do them anymore. Is this because we’re not blogging them? Is it because they remind us of the old wedding photos, where all you had were a couple posed images? I don’t know. Unlike details and dresses, they can’t be replicated, so most wedding blogs don’t want anything to do with them. And it’s true that my parents’ wedding album has a bunch of posed photos in it, but there are also beautiful candid shots. Plus, it’s those family photos that brought everyone to tears at my parents’ 30th anniversary party. Why? Because in those photos are my grandparents, and my uncle. People we love so very much, but who are no long with us.

Why Family Photos Matter // Emily Wenzel Photography

But they are so very important. The majority of my husband’s family lives overseas. So, those family photos with his grandparents and aunts and uncles? Priceless. That’s the last time all our family has been together. Over four years. Even with our trips to visit them, we haven’t had them all together since our wedding.

Even if your family all live in the same town, even if you see them every week for a family dinner, these photos are important. You don’t know how life will change, you don’t know who will move, or leave. These are a beautiful snapshot of your family at that point in time. They may not be the most special photos today, or next week. But in five years, ten years, or twenty, those will be the ones you love the most.

Small Wedding Greenbluff // Emily Wenzel Photography

I strongly, strongly, encourage you to take the time to do family photos. I am a master at getting them done as painlessly and quickly as possible. And, if you’re like Erin & Andrew, and you have a smaller wedding, I suggest doing a huge, entire group, photo. I’ve done these with groups of up to 120 people. We usually do one where everyone is smiling at me, and then one like this. Because shouldn’t everyone have a photo of their wedding guests cheering for them on the wedding day?

Look at all that love and joy. Don’t you want this too?