When couples plan their family formals list, I encourage them to keep the list short and simple. Bride and groom with bride's family. Bride and groom with groom's family. Bride and groom with bride's grandparents. You get the idea. Smaller groups mean quicker formals, and the couple doesn't need to spend an hour smiling at the camera. I mostly suggest it to keep them from getting overwhelmed and exhausted.
However, Lisa and Ryan had 11 groups of formals, with about 8-17 people PER group, and they completely ROCKED IT on organizing it all beforehand. *virtual high five, you guys* We only spent about 20 minutes taking group photos!
Before each wedding, I write up a cheat sheet with all the necessary information I need to know. Here's what their formals list looked like:
Here's how they organized it.
1. They printed out each group of formals containing the group number and the people in the group on small, invitation-sized cards. For example, Group 10 had Lily, George, Minh, Elaine, Janice, Michelle, Kalvin, and Kristy.
2. Each numbered group card had one person's name in bold. The person with the name in bold was then the "group leader" and was responsible for collecting their group members, which shouldn't be too difficult since each group was unique to each other (USC friends, Mother's side 1, etc).
3. Before the ceremony (I'm not quite sure when these were handed out), these cards were given to the respective group leaders. These group leaders then knew their responsibility when it came time for group photos.
4. Lisa and Ryan's awesome officiant and close friend helped by calling out the next group as I was finishing up with the previous group.
Great job, Lisa and Ryan!