The morning of a wedding can often be chaotic. Hair and makeup artists are in a (oftentimes small) room, trying to make sure everyone is ready on time, bridesmaids and groomsmen are running around trying to find where they placed [insert dress/bag/card/other item here], and the bride’s jewelry that the photographer needs to take photos of…oh, where is it? In short, it can sometimes feel like walking into a war zone- but with preparation ahead of time, it doesn’t need to be that way!
Why Photographing Wedding Details is Important
Details are essential to capturing and telling the story of your wedding day. Imagine reading a book that spends zero time describing how a character looks or what a setting feels like. You’d finish that book pretty quickly! In the same way, wedding day details help set the stage for telling your story. Today I’m sharing my list of items that I provide for my clients to have ready when I arrive to photograph a wedding. I call this the wedding details box, but in reality it can be a shopping bag, or just a corner of the room that’s been allocated to corral all of these items together. The idea behind it is this: when I arrive at the getting ready venue, I grab the box of details, then mosey along to find some yummy light and start snapping away. This has multiple benefits: 1) It saves you time and stress because you’re not hunting around for any forgotten items that are probably buried under everyone else’s stuff, 2) I am able to work through your details in a systematic manner because I’m not hunting down any missing details, and 3) remember that scene of chaos I described at the beginning? I try to not contribute to it by staying out of the way as I capture your details. Win-win-win. So without further ado, my list of wedding details that every bride and groom should have ready for their photographer.
What to Include in Your Wedding Details Box
Wedding Gown on a Beautiful Hanger
You paid a lot for that beautiful dress, and probably suffered through a fitting or two to get it just right. Have your dress steamed and hanging for your photographer. Bonus points if it’s on a beautiful hanger- I love this one from BHLDN, but any clean, wooden hanger will also do in a pinch.
Veil and/or Hairpiece
A beautiful wedding veil is wonderful to photograph in itself, but it also serves as a lovely backdrop for all of your other wedding details. Hairpieces often get forgotten the day of the wedding because- well, people are paying attention to the bride rather than the back of the bride’s head, so be sure to have this ready along with your veil!
Yes, all three of them! If you have a pretty box or ring dish you’re partial to, don’t forget to include that as well.
Be sure to include ALL of the sparkles!
Gifts and/or Notes
If you plan on exchanging gifts or a note with your significant other before your first look or ceremony, we want to document this sweet moment!
Remember how I mentioned capturing all of those details that set the scene? Let’s not forget our other senses! Plus, those perfume bottles are so itsy bitsy and beautiful in photographs.
Bouquet and Boutonniere
If you can have your flowers delivered to your getting ready location, that’s ideal for detail shots. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, and we’ll grab the shots we need later, but florals make for some beautiful detail shots.
Sentimentals/Old, Borrowed, and Blues
If you’re incorporating some sentimental items, be sure to include these in your box. Perhaps it’s lace from your mother’s wedding gown, or a cake server that’s been passed down in the family. Likewise, if you’re including “something old, something, new, something borrowed, something blue,” include these in your box as well!
Bow Ties/Socks/Cuff Links
Groom- you get some loving too! Go ahead and have your tie or bow tie, a fun pair of socks, and any other accessories ready the day of. If you are getting ready in separate locations, let’s chat about the best way to have these items ready.
A beautifully calligraphed envelope and all of the paper goodies are a must! I typically like to take these home, so please save TWO sets for me (so that I can photograph the front and back simultaneously). If you have any vintage stamps or other paper lovelies (menu, program, etc) go ahead and throw a copy of these into your details box as well.