April 17, 2020
When I arrive on your wedding day, the first thing I will do is find you and give you a gigantic, oh-my-gosh excited hug! It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of, and I love sharing in your excitement that it’s finally here. Gosh, I can feel myself smiling as I write this! After the giant hug, some joyful introductions, and stashing my gear somewhere, I immediately get to work photographing your wedding details! You totally know the shots I’m talking about– the photos of the invitation suites, jewelry, and so on! Aside from the people who are there to celebrate your wedding, these details are the most important things at your wedding.
Now, I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but here’s why: your wedding details are all symbolic and incredibly meaningful. Your rings are representative of the promise you are making to one another, and in some cases, they are even family heirlooms (brb crying). Your something old and something borrowed are from beloved family members or friends who feel like family. The invitation suites you choose reflect the effort and excitement of the day, and will live on in scrapbooks for many a generation. Veils, earrings, necklaces, ties, cufflinks… all these play a special role in your day!
Believe it or not, I usually need about an hour setting up and photographing the detail shots (don’t worry–we will make sure we have time set aside for it when we do our timeline consultation!). These items are beautifully sentimental, and they deserve intentionality when styling and photographing!
To help move things along and optimize the time I get to spend on these prized images, here are some things you can do to help! Oh, and make sure you order your custom invitations from my favorite local stationer (that’s fancy talk for invitation suite designer), Anna Howe Design. All the invitation suites in this post are her work!
On your wedding day, it’s incredibly important that you delegate. Okay, I’mma say that again.
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY, YOU NEED TO DELEGATE.
That’s honestly one of the biggest reasons a planner is so helpful. If you find a planner you love and trust, it’s a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Your planner can and will manage everything perfectly, leaving you free to enjoy your day and avoid the decision fatigue! I digress.
All that to say, ask one of your bridesmaids (could be your maid of honor, if she doesn’t already have a full plate) to collect all your details and have them in one place (a shoebox works great!). When the photographer arrives, she can have everything ready to go, which will save us so much time, and prevent me from having to ask you three hundred questions. Whew!
Which details, you ask? Here’s a list of ideas, but make sure you include anything you deem special.
That may seem like a long list, but use your best judgement. For example, if your groom isn’t wearing special socks, don’t include them in the collection. You do you!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to pick fibers out of prongs right before taking detail shots. While I don’t mind doing that and I’m happy to help, the result is less time for me to shoot, and fewer images for you to treasure. To help ameliorate this and to make sure your jewelry is ready for its close-up, clean all your jewelry thoroughly the week of your wedding! Obviously, the closer to your date the better, but realistically, you’ll be super busy with so many things that this will not likely take precedence. Just squeeze it in whenever you can! (Pssst… if you’re a groom-to-be reading this… surprise your bride-to-be by showing up, ready to scrub all the things. Earn yourself some brownie points!)
Often times, including fresh blooms and greenery in detail photos does wonders to elevate the image. Sometimes, photographing the invitation suite and jewelry alone looks pretty plain and lackluster. To avoid this pitfall, ask your florist if he/she is willing to bring a few extra, loose blooms (florists sometimes have some leftover blooms since they order in bulk that likely won’t get used otherwise) on the day of the wedding. If the florist requests additional compensation for the additional blooms, it might be worth it! Talk to your photographer (me? :)?) about it.
Check out the difference! Don’t the images look naked without the extra flowers?
The best location for flat lays and detail shots is in a white room with bright window light. This is what helps the invitations to have clean colors and crisp edges in the images, providing that magazine-like appearance that you’ve seen all over Pinterest. If you happen to come across the perfect spot, make sure you tell your photographer! She’ll likely do a happy dance and give you a big hug!
If you’re looking for a venue with several such spaces in their getting ready suite, check out this blog post to hear about my favorite!
So what do you think? Do you have any questions about flat lays and detail prep? Drop a comment below or email me here and we can chat!
Again, HUGE THANKS to Anna Howe Design for the invitation suites! I had so much fun playing with them. Brides, she’s your go-to if you want custom invites, which makes your suite extra special while you also get to support an incredible local business. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.
Stay well, y’all!