Let’s assume that half an hour has been allocated for groups and another half an hour for portraits and casual pictures of the wedded couple. Some photographers like 90 minutes for these 2 sessions but it can be kept to 60 minutes + any travel time, if the lists of required pictures are not too long. If you have an early wedding, you may choose to permit a bit more time, just to take some pressure off this section of the day.
Scenario 1: Church wedding, with nice, large church grounds or parkland next to the church and most importantly, at least an hour between the end of the wedding service and the start of the next at that church. The reception may be a hotel, hall, club or a public house. In this case it will make sense to make the group portraits at the church, followed by confetti, which may have to take place at some distance from the church door or even beyond the gates of the church. After this, there will be couple portraits and some travel time.
Scenario 2: Civil service at a hall/bespoke wedding venue, where the grounds are well suited for portraiture and other forms of photography. The venue likes to serve a drink to the guests immediately after the service and perhaps some canapés. The worst thing we could do here would be to insist that the guests immediately put down their drink and canapé, no sooner as having been served. Therefore it makes sense to make portraits of the wedded couple at this time, to give the guests half an hour. Then upon return from the ‘couple portraits’, we can make the group pictures.
Scenario 3: Civil service at a location with grounds but reception drinks served at a separate reception. In this case it makes most sense to make the group portraits first. Then the guests can go ahead to the reception and receive their welcome drink and in some cases, book into hotel rooms, whilst the couple have their portraits made.
Scenario 4: Civil service at a small register office, with little or no garden, followed by reception at a large hotel. Typically the confetti is thrown here. Then everyone departs for the reception. Couple portraits may be made here and perhaps somewhere en-route, if there is a sensible beauty spot between the two locations. Then the groups are made at the hotel gardens or even inside.