The decision of how many group shots to have is different for everyone but to guide my couples I have made a list of what I consider the main group shot list for most couples.....
1. Full Group (& full group confetti shot)
2. Married couple & bridal party.
3. Married couple & Bridesmaids
4. Married couple & Groomsmen
5. Bride or Groom and friends (e.g just the bride and bridesmaids or all the girls / besties etc)
6. Other Bride or Groom and friends (e.g just the Groom and groomsmen or all the lads etc)
7. Couple & one set of parents (can do one with couple and one with just the daughter / son)
8. Couple & other set of parents (can do one with couple and one with just the daughter / son)
9. The first bride or grooms family (either immediate or full)
10. The second bride or grooms family (either immediate or full)
Specials shots you may also want to consider.
* Nans and / or Grandads.... If you have a special grandparent you may want to have a photo just you and them.
* Long distance relatives / friends - this may be covered off with the other photos above but if people have spent a lot of money to come and watch you be married, you may want to ask for a special photo with then.
* Your children, of course if you have children we will get some special pics of you with them. Normally just before we head off to do couple shots.
There is no real right or wrong answer when it comes to group shots, and the list above is just a guide. There are many factors to consider - in winter weddings guests may get cold waiting around for group shots, plus light is also limited, so it is more important than ever to make sure you are only keeping people waiting as long as they need too. Also think of mobility. If there are people that are going to find it difficult to stand or get to the prettiest areas for group shots discuss this with the photographer, so you can work around the best options to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible for the group photographs.
Hopefully this list and small bit of advice has been helpful for any brides considering their group shot list. Remember on the day people may wander off to the loo when you do the full group shot, or people may wander to the bar just as they need to be called - it happens! Having a toastmaster or appointing a family member / best man (someone or two people who knows both sides of the family is best) to call the shot list with the photographer can help things run smoothly, and ensure you all the important shots you want.