Ought to a sibling’s long-term boyfriend or long-term girlfriend be in your loved ones’s marriage ceremony pictures?

Martha Stewart Living


Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Family wedding photos can be a difficult part of the day, especially when you’re dealing with divorced parents or half-siblings who you barely know. But when that happens, a diplomatic wedding planner or photographer can keep everyone in the loop. A more complicated problem? The decision of whether or not to include the significant other of an unmarried or engaged sibling in the snaps – ultimately, it is entirely up to you to make a decision, and it is a situation that can be easily hurtful if not is handled properly. Should you be a stickler and decide whether or not you said “I’ll do”, the determining factor? After all, nobody wants any group photo to be tarnished by the presence of someone who is no longer family, but if they tie the knot down the line, you’ve left them out for no reason.

Tricky right? To help you overcome this dilemma, ask yourself the following questions.

Related: Follow these tips to make sure family portraits go smoothly on the wedding day

How well do you know her

If your sister has been with her boyfriend for 10 years and he attends every family celebration, would you exclude him from the photos because they are not married? What if they had kids together? Would you ask your sister and the kids to pose, but not him? Then think about it: if your sister got engaged after a brief romance, you would include her fiancé on the shoot even if you only met him twice and didn’t remember his last name. Don’t justify your decision by a person’s title – friend, fiancé – but rather how much they are part of the family.

Do you consider yourself married?

Some couples have a fully engaged relationship – they even refer to themselves as husband and wife – but prefer to keep the government off and never get married. If there are two people in your family, they will likely be hurt if you choose to ban the illegitimate “spouse” from photos.

The story goes on

Does it make sense to take photos with them and take some without them?

Group shots are actually pretty flexible and the cast of characters is always changing. Adding and removing people shouldn’t be a big deal for a professional photographer. For example, suppose you want a photo of your siblings: first, your photographer will only take photos of the siblings, then the siblings with their spouses, fiancé, fiancé, and non-engaged partners.

Should you consider including data?

Your concern should only be long-term relationships. Casual dates shouldn’t be featured in family photos, and we’re sure you – and your siblings – would agree.