Ahhhh bridal details, the key element to tying your wedding day together and telling the perfect story of your day. You probably spent many hours planning and selecting the perfect font on your invite or countless hours online looking at shoes that would match beautifully with your dress. It is now my job to pair each and every piece together in a way tell tells a story while keeping the colors of your wedding cohesive.
I also understand that wedding days are hectic and trying to remember everything can be a challenge. One of the biggest pieces of advice I give my couples on one of our final phone conversations is to have all your details in a box with our name on it ready and waiting for us when we arrive. This way when we arrive we are not disturbing you while you are finishing up hair and makeup touchups. The last thing we want is to come into your personal space with your closest friends and family asking for all of your personal items! This process has been a game-changer in how efficient we get the first part of the day documented and how much time we can dedicate to making each piece look perfect. Details shots do take some time to complete! From gathering a few extra florals from your florist, to choosing the right linen backgrounds to match your wedding colors, to placing your jewelry and shoes just right. We will be styling both the bride and the groom’s sets of details in the first forty-five minutes to one hour of arriving making a seamless transition to your getting ready photos.
Now before we start this entire process, we set our bags down and give you a big wedding day hug and introduce ourselves to everyone in the room. This is a crucial part of our day as we want to make sure we gain trust from your family and bridal party while we handle your most precious items.
Here is my list of items that I recommend going into each detail box. Feel free to come back to this post as a reference guide if you feel like you might be forgetting something.
You may not think that buying a gorgeous pair of shoes is important for your wedding but keep in mind we will be showcasing them especially if they are one of our favorite brands such as Bella Bella, Something Bleu, Jimmy Choo or another designer brand. If you plan on submitting your wedding, blogs such as Style Me Pretty want ALL the details to inspire their readers. Once you are in your gown, some of the most beautiful images are of you putting your shoes on. Having the perfect pair will tie all of those beautiful images together.
I know you probably won’t forget your rings but don’t forget to actually clean them! We will be photographing all 3 of them with close up lenses to show the intricate details so make sure they are clean and free of debris that may get into the facets of the ring.
A great tip to getting more getting ready detail photos is to wait to put these on until after the dress is on. Sometimes necklaces can get knotted or tangled in the transport process so give them a quick check before you leave the house. I have spent a good 15 minutes of precious detail time trying to get a tight knot out of a vintage piece.
Headpieces such as this one by All About Romance are becoming a big part of your overall look on wedding days. Often times they are hand made with beautiful detail making them the perfect special touch for close up photos.
Veil tip! When searching for the perfect veil try to find one that has a softer fabric and not more crunchy texture. The softer ones almost never wrinkle eliminating the need to be pressed of ironed saving you tons of precious time. They may cost a little more but they will definitely be worth it in all of your photos throughout the day.
One of my favorite yet often forgotten items. I love having the bride hold or spray on her favorite perfume just before she heads off to the first look. Often times the perfume you have was a gift of your absolute favorite scent. Seeing these images in your gallery can take you back to that memory right before you saw one another for the first time.
Tip! Make sure your bottle is full or almost full if we are going to photograph it. An empty bottle doesn’t showcase as well. Often times perfumes come in sets and you get a mini bottle. I love using the mini for detail flat lay photos with the rest of your items like the picture above
This is the one item that should not be overlooked. I have a love for paper goods. There is just something so elegant when it comes to a custom invitation set. I have worked with many calligraphers over the years and have learned so much about the process. From the hand-torn papers, to to the custom venue maps made by hand, down to the hand-drawn fonts and beautiful wax seals. The amount of detail is endless and I often find myself placing your personal items on top of these works of art. I do understand that custom stationery is a huge investment. If an entire suite for all of your guests is not achievable I recommend asking your stationary artist for one or two fully custom suites for your detail photos. (Trust me on this one.)
Invitation tip! If you can try to avoid tri-fold invitations they are extremely hard to photograph and often times don’t look good as much as I try to lay it out fully. I still get the main image on the front but the inside won’t always be visible.
Oftentimes the mother of the groom or bride will pull me aside and gently remind me that they have very special items that have been passed down in their families for generations. Have these items in your box so they are not forgotten about. The broach in the image above is from my sister’s wedding. It was a very special piece that belonged to her husband’s grandmother who has since passed. These are treasured items that deserve to be showcased on the wedding day.
When I get ready to photograph the dress and the bride forgets to bring her custom hanger, I die inside a little. I’m showcasing one of the most stunning pieces of the entire day and all I have is an ugly plastic hanger that it came with. I started carrying around 3 custom french market hangers from BHLDN in my styling bag so this would never happen again. If you haven’t seen these gorgeous hangers reminiscent of Europe please get your hands on one! They go out of stock a lot and oftentimes are not back in for a year due to their popularity. If you forget yours, let me know and I will take care of you!
I will keep this list short since we have spent so much time on bridal details but let’s not leave out the groom! They should have their own box of items as well.
Shoes cleaned and polished.
Cufflinks– let us know if you had any custom detail engraved on them so we can be sure to get an up-close image.
Tie or bowtie– Try to refrain from putting these items on before we arrive these make beautiful detail photos.
Socks- I only ask for socks if they are a custom funky pair that deserves to be showcased.
Favorite bottle of alcohol- Groomesmen oftentimes give the groom a custom bottle with engraving on their favorite bottle as a gift.
Pocket square or handkerchief – Bonus points if it has their initials on it. This really adds to the custom look and storytelling aspect.
Other items- engraved lighter and matches, specialty cigars.
I know that you may not have every item for styling and that’s ok! I have spent YEARS and hundreds of dollars investing in beautiful styling items such as ring boxes, linen styling mats, ring dishes and so much more. In my client’s questionnaire, I always ask what their wedding colors are so I can bring coordinating custom pieces to go beautifully with all your items.
TIP! Ask your florist for extra florals for your photographer so they can use them for flay lays. Most florists are more than happy to do so. It is another element that will showcase their work This is the key item that ties it all together!
I hope you have found this post insightful and useful when preparing your detail items for your photographer on your wedding day! We love reading comments so feel free to chime in on this post and tell us what your favorite detail items are!
Photographers, did you stumble upon this post looking for ways to maximize your detail photos that beg to be published? Below are a few bonus items you can add to your styling kit that are my absolute favorite!
Styling mats- Locust Collection
My Custom Dreamy details flat lay preset
French market hangers from BHLDN
Styling detail box to take with you.
Risers for styling paper goods
Poster putty to keep the invitation and paper good stay in place.
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