Question: How do I arrange family photos with a blended (divorced family)?- Christa Hudson
Answer: Dear Christa,
First off, the wedding planner in me wants to immediately rephrase your question to how does your planner or photographer arrange your family photographs for you on your wedding day. I cannot help but correct that, only because come wedding day this is your day and not something you should have to worry about it.
However, blended families are so much more common than they were 20 years ago. It's important to know that everyone in your family, regardless of any history, is there to support you on your day and despite the circumstances that sometimes do they should act accordingly in respect to you and your new husband. The majority of them time, things run perfect and all parties involved typically are beyond considerate. If you are concerned that this could be somewhat of an issue, there is always a delicate way to handle things both prior to and on the day of.
Here are a few tips and tricks to insure that your photography on your wedding day runs seamless.
1. Plan Ahead. If you have a planner, insure that they are aware of the circumstances entirely in advance, so they can create somewhat of a plan to insure a smooth experience for you and your family. If you don't have a planner, make sure you inform both your photographer, videographer and the onsite coordinator at your ceremony location. In addition, I would suggest filling in a non-confrontational family member or friend and asking them for a bit of assistance during the photography session following your ceremony or prior to. What this person can do is act as a mediator to make sure everything runs properly and alleviate any issue prior to one even beginning. Also, it can't hurt to communicate with certain family members if necessary and let them know the game plan for wedding day, as well as how important it is to you for them to be mindful of your feelings on this occasion.
2. Speak with your photographer to create somewhat of an outline/time frame on what pictures are important, with whom and in what order. This enables the photographer to proceed accordingly and not utilize any extra time during your session to map things out while leaving family members there to converse.
3. Always take extra steps just to be safe. In my experience it is always better to be safe than sorry. This day only happens once and it is so important to not let anything jeopardize your magic moments. To do so, find subtle ways to avoid tension or contact when necessary. If you have divorced parties involved, take pictures separately, take pictures with step-members, then take a few with the whole crowd. Your family will understand and be happy to do whatever you ask on this day. Also, there is nothing wrong with placing certain members on different sides of the shot if you feel it is necessary.
I hope this posting answers your questions and concerns, as always, please feel free to email if you have anything further.