As you will all probably know, I honestly believe that your wedding photography is the single most important part of your day. This is not me being biased because I am a photographer but your photographs are what hold your memories and quite frankly the only thing you will be left with once the day is over. Choosing the right photographer who fits your style and personality is an integral part of your wedding planning.
Over the past few years styles of photography have changed massively and what a couple expect from their photographer has also changed. Nowadays people are a lot more interested in creative photography and they look for a photographer who can capture their essence. The traditional style of photography is being taken over by a much more relaxed and candid style of photography. However, in my opinion, regardless of how creative the photography, group shots still hold their importance. There aren't many occasions where you will have all your loved ones around you at the same time so you should still be making that list of important group shots you'd like to capture :-)
First and foremost, don't have too many. The last thing you want is for your guests to be hanging around bored whilst you're off taking photographs. I usually recommend an hour for taking group photographs and the couple shots. Sit down together before the wedding and be realistic when deciding on your group photographs. If they won't go in an album or be printed then do you really need it?
Leave enough time. Providing you don't have a really long list, group shots should take no more than 30 minutes, that then leaves a good 30 minutes to take couple shots before heading back to your party. You will need a member of your wedding party to help organise the group photography. Your photographer isn't going to know who everyone is so delegate this job to an usher or a bridesmaid, that way it will run much more smoothly. Prior to starting the group photographs, make sure everyone who is a part of them know where and when they will be needed. Another, hugely important part to making sure the group photos go to plan is to make sure everyone is looking at the camera! Before I take a group photograph, I tell everyone to keep looking and smiling into my lens until I take my camera away from my face... there is nothing more frustrating than when you come to edit the wedding photographs and you are going through the group photographs and in every photograph someone looking away, playing with their hair or not smiling!
Lastly, use this opportunity to get creative! Once you have some of the more traditional shots you can get really creative with some group shots, and most importantly, have fun!!