At pretty much every Indian and South Asian wedding, after the ceremony, guests line up to take photos with the happy couple at the mandap/altar. And unless it’s organized and thought-through, things can get a bit chaotic and precious time will be lost on an already jam packed day. That’s important not only because you don’t want the rest of your day to fall behind schedule, but also most wedding venues have policies around time allotment for the ceremony space. If they have another event to setup for they might ask you to vacate the area or they might charge you for overtime.
FYI – at most venues the time allotment for Indian wedding ceremonies is between 4-5 hours of actual event time, meaning you get additional time for setup and tear down. That’s a good amount of time to have a baraat, ceremony and serve lunch, but it doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for anything to fall behind schedule.
A post-ceremony group shot list will be very helpful for you, your photography team and wedding coordinator as they can help move things along efficiently without compromising on what you want. We created this Post Ceremony Shot List Template Word doc so you can edit and customize it, but we also have it as a pdf as well, Post Ceremony Shot List Template pdf. Download one or both – whatever you prefer.
Creating the shot list is simple. Start by listing all your groups of family and friends i.e.
- each set of parents
- each set of siblings
- extended relatives
- wedding party
- best friends
- work friends
- friends by geography
- <insert hobby> friends
- family friends
You know your peeps and you will set up the groups.
2. Once you have the groups, then detail who will be in each photo.
3. Enter the email address and phone number of each person on the list into the template. You might be thinking, why wouldn’t I just use Google docs for this. Because staying organized and getting people to respond will be a whole job in itself.
4. Order the shot list i.e.
1st photo: immediate family photos
2nd photo: extended family
3rd photo: friends
5. Set up communiques and let these people know that they’re expected to stick around after the ceremony. We suggest reminding them multiple times: i.e. 2-3 weeks before the wedding, week of the wedding, day-of the wedding. Have the designated family members in charge, responsible for sending out the emails/notifications. Ideally these emails are pre-written and setup in their drafts folder (I know I’m getting detailed and technical, but then this wouldn’t be thorough guide if I did’t include specifics), so all they have to do is click send. Just to nerd-out a little more, there are plug ins in Gmail like Boomerang for Gmail that let you pre-schedule emails too. That way these reminders could be pre-set and you can just forget about them and tick that to do item off your list.
You might also consider creating Whatsapp groups for each group in the shot list. That could be fun because people are more likely to respond and you’ll have a lot of fun and funny messages to wade through the next day.
Why not designate friends, like bridesmaids and groomsmen, to rally people for photos instead of family members? I was talking to a friend recently and she shared that she and her husband flew to the East Coast for her cousin’s wedding. The Maid of Honor (MOH) was designated for this exact task – gather friends and family for post-ceremony photos. When my friend and her husband tried to join the family photo, the MOH was kinda rude and told them they were not invited for the photo as it’s “family only”. Taken aback they explained who they were and it was just awkward and unpleasant…and totally avoidable. Even your bestest best friends might not know whom all the family members are…that’s why I recommend designating a family member.
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