We're often asked about the etiquette around wedding photography, and we're delighted to say that, these days, there aren't too many rules about who should or shouldn't appear in your family portraits - it's really up to you! But one question that still gets asked is, "Should my sibling's boyfriend or girlfriend be in my wedding photos?" It's an issue that can cause hurt feelings if not handled carefully, so we thought it was about time we offered some advice on the subject!
Should my sibling's boyfriend or girlfriend be in my wedding photos?
As a general rule, we recommend including sibling's partners in your wedding portraits if a) they've been together a long time, for example, more than two years, or b) seem quite serious about each other. In this case, including them should feel natural, as they already seem like part of the family, and excluding them could cause tension. If the sibling and their partner are in a new or rocky relationship, things become a little more complicated. In this case, we recommend explaining the situation to your wedding photographer, who should be able to work out a subtle way to get some family portraits with your sibling's partner, and some without. There will be so many different people popping in and out of portraits on the day, that this is easily done, and your sibling's partner probably won't even notice. And if, in the worst case scenario, they do notice, you can always blame the photographer after the fact, saying that they misunderstood the wedding photo checklist you gave them.
Wouldn't it be easier to just exclude non-married partners?
In a word, no. Of course the format of your wedding portraits is entirely up to you, your partner and your wedding photographer, but leaving out an unmarried partner could cause unnecessary conflict, which is the last thing you want to have to deal with before, during or directly after your wedding. It's understandable that you might feel protective of your wedding portraits, and including someone who's essentially a stranger, or you don't get on with, can be difficult, but be realistic about how important these photographs are to you and your other half, and where they'll be used. Most couples don't end up framing the family portraits (it's really more of a parent thing!) and only include one or two in their wedding album, if they're having one. So you're probably not going to see those portraits all that often, except, perhaps, when you visit your parents' house (which will be more awkward for your sibling if they split from the partner in question, but that's their problem!). In short, including sibling's partners in your portraits is a nice gesture that generally pleases everyone, and the downsides are pretty minimal.
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