Family formals are usually a must - if only for granny! - but they can be as formal or relaxed as you like. I always plan a minimum of 3 minutes per group and try to place this part of the day either straight after the ceremony or at the beginning of the apéro, when everyone can be found easily. On your first draft timeline I will give a list of the standard groups in the order that is best for speed and efficiency. Think carefully about how many groups you need. This can be a long and tedious time of the day for you if you have to stand for twenty different combinations of friends and family! Remember that we can always take a tour of the apéro for more informal groups with people toasting and chatting.
The best locations for group shots are simple with trees or doorways in the background so as not to distract from the people you want to share your day with. Group shots ideally need a light location in the shade, to avoid squinting. If feasible I will scout this out for you before the wedding day, or show you what we are looking for during your pre-wedding shoot.
If you would like a full group shot, I need to be able to get a distance above everyone. The best results are from a first floor window, soon after the ceremony when everyone is still gathered around.