I have a confession to make.

My mom was super passionate about me having Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. I figured there was very little that she didn’t let me decide throughout the wedding planning process, and I do really love wedding details, so I thought carefully about them and picked my four items – it just so happens that two of the four didn’t make it down the aisle. Neither did my veil, for that matter.

I intended to have them with me, I truly did, but circumstances happened and they didn’t make it. My garter, which had my something blue attached, would. not. stay. up. so I gave up and took it off all together. The gorgeous antique butterfly broach on my bouquet was sharp. It poked me one too many times during pre-ceremony portraits, and back into the box it went. And my veil, well, that one we just straight up forgot. It would have been too windy for it anyways.

Sorry mom.

But, they are all in my details pictures, which is what I’m actually talking about today. I just had to get that confession/apology out of the way first.

When I say that I love the details that go into a wedding day, I really love them. I think they show so much love, give little insights into what a couple is passionate about, and give a small glimpse into the overall feel of the day. Wedding invitations are also one of the first things that give your guests insight into what your day will be like, so getting to see the invites come full circle from being mailed out to being photographed on the wedding day really makes it come to life for me.

I don’t normally show a ton of the detail photos on our social media pages just because they are so individual to each couple, but as I was going through the Schorn wedding album the other day, I kept finding myself downloading them. All of their photos were stunningly gorgeous, but their details photos had my Type A heart fluttering because they were so coordinated throughout the entire day, they ticked alllll of my advice boxes, and they gave a glimpse into who they are as a couple. So, I figured it was only fitting to talk to y’all about how to get the best detail photos of your wedding day and what to put in your details box.

First and foremost, what’s a details box?

I call it a details box because that’s how I kept my detail items together for my photographer on our wedding day. As I was packing up all of the personal items and decor pieces to bring to the venue, I used a smaller plastic crate to place anything I thought would be helpful in the details photos. I learned some lessons in the process, which I’ll get into with my advice about how to get the best details photos, but some things that you might include in your “box” are:

  • 2 copies of your wedding invitation suite, including your save the date
  • wedding shoes
  • wedding jewelry
  • your something old, new, borrowed, and blue
  • perfume bottle
  • your vows/vow books
  • letters or gifts for one another
  • ring boxes & wedding rings
  • ribbon in a coordinating color
  • marriage certificate
  • grooms tie & cufflinks
  • items you’re using during your ceremony
  • custom wedding hanger
  • heirloom items
  • jewelry dish

You don’t necessarily have to have them all in a box together, but it will be much easier (and quicker!) for your photographer on the day of the wedding if you have them all set aside in one place. I put them in a box because it was easy to move and kept them safe, then after our photographer was done with them my coordinator and I got them where they needed to go for the actual wedding, or back in the box for safe keeping. I also had the box labeled on the outside with everything that was in it, just so we didn’t lose anything since so many of the items were tiny. A lot of photographers have a list of items they recommend bringing for flat lay photos, so be sure to ask them for it if you’re wondering what you could be missing on your own list. It might also be worth asking them if they bring a styling kit to the wedding – if they do, you might not need to worry about some details (like ribbon, ring boxes, etc) so you can splurge on something else you’d love to keep.

Beyond just having the actual items and trusting your photographer to take great photos of them (remember, you hired them for a reason! Trust their process, but let them know if there are certain photos you have to have), there are a couple of things you can do to help ensure that you’ll have beautiful – and meaningful – detail photos of your day.

Ask your florist for some loose flowers. 

Most of the time, your florist will have some left over stems from one of the arrangements they finished putting together at your wedding venue. Be sure to ask them in advance if they would mind leaving you some leftover loose flowers for your wedding photographer to incorporate into your detail pictures. It’s a small thing that packs a big punch because it not only bring some added dimension to your flat lay pictures, but it will also bring in elements from other parts of your wedding day.

Pull other details from your wedding day – if they’re movable. 

If you have a custom sign, personalized koozies, escort cards, place cards, a fun small detail on each table setting, a family heirloom cake server, a custom bottle opener, or any other little little things that you took the time to put together and bring to your wedding, I recommend going ahead and pulling them to put by your details box. It won’t take long for your coordinator to take them back to their appropriate home after the photos are done, but it gives your photographer more options for things to incorporate into the pictures. Let them know ahead of time that these aren’t necessarily things that have to be in the details photos (since ideally you’ll get photos of them where they actually belong) but that you wanted to go ahead and have them pulled so they would have the option to personalize your photos a little more.

Address an invitation to your wedding venue. 

When your photographer is taking photos of your wedding invitation suite, there’s often a photo that will include the addressed envelope (especially if you used calligraphy or pretty stamps on your envelopes). While a lot of people will use a fake name/address, I personally think it feels impersonal when you’re going back through your photos and see that. As an alternative, I used our own name and address on ours. It worked for our album and personal use, but it’s still a *little* sketch because it’s not a photo I would want to publicly put on my Instagram or Pinterest. The Schorns, however, addressed theirs to The Chandelier and I loved it. You chose your venue for a reason and it’s somewhere that will always hold a special place in your heart, so I think it’s a great idea to have it literally spelt out in your album, while also having the added benefit of not being an address you need to keep secret.

Keep the bridal suite clean and picked up. 

I know, it’s hard. There’s so much going on that day and you’re spending a ton of time in the bridal suite, so the tendency to have bags, water bottles, makeup, and everything else spread around the room is hard to avoid. But, if you have your bridesmaids spend a few minutes picking up and placing everything in a corner before pictures get started, I promise you’ll be so happy you did. As a little side note with it, make sure that the items are also out of the way of the mirrors. I can’t tell you how many gorgeous photos I’ve seen in front of the full length mirror that end of having a bunch of stuff in the reflection. Pictures like the one of Katelyn on the couch or all of the bridesmaids shoes lined up aren’t possible unless the bridal suite is picked up.

When planning, think about other spots to pull your details together. 

Pulling little touches of your details into other spots on your day can make a big impact. The flowers in some of the flat lay pictures are the same type of flowers dotting the swing in front of the chapel. The ribbon on Katelyn’s bouquet is the same ribbon that’s on the dried flowers of the memory bouquet. Having little touches of consistency will tie all of your photos together on your wedding day without making everything seem too matchy-matchy. It also gives your photographer additional potential photo locations for your detail photos. For example, if you have florals laid out on the table at the altar in the chapel, that’s a great place to utilize natural light and a pretty surface for flat lays, with just a touch of those florals in the background of the photos.

Make things personal.

There’s nothing in the world that will make your detail photos more beautiful than having them personalized to you. Take time to incorporate things that are important to you because you’ll want to be able to look back and remember them. Whether it’s a monogramed ring box, a jewelry dish that your great grandmother used, a Bible that’s been passed down for generations (or a brand new one that you’re planning to use as your guest book), a truck you straight up love, a license plate with your new last name, cuff links with your alma mater, or a letter that you hand write to each other, make it personal. Whatever it is, make sure that when you look at your detail photos you see your wedding and your relationship come to life.

Finally, give your photographer time. 

If you only allot a few minutes to squeeze in the details photos, there are things that 100% will not get photographed. If you could care less about details and would prefer to get more photos of y’all hanging out during hair and makeup, that’s okay! But if you want the gorgeous detail shots and want to capture every little thing that you spent time curating, you have to give your photographer time to get those photos. The wedding day goes by so fast and there are so many moments to capture, so I know prioritizing things will be different for every single couple, but be open and honest with your photographer so you make sure that you’re walking away with the photos that you want.

When it comes down to it, I think I just like all of the little details of wedding days so much because of the stories that they tell. Even if things don’t go as planned, they’re still things that you put thought into and narrowed down the literal thousands of choices to that item, which is special. I also wanted to mention that it’s okay to bring things for your detail photos just for your detail photos. Have a killer pair of heels that you’d love in pictures, but know that you won’t last more than 5 minutes in them? That’s okay. Bring those heels for photos and wear those flats all night. Love the fluffy garter but don’t want to actually keep it on? No one will know. There are no rules on your wedding day, and it’s something I wish I would have embraced more throughout the planning process. If you want to do something – just go for it. Your wedding day only comes around once.

Katelyn and Adam Schorn’s Vendor Spotlight

Photography by Virginia Ann Photography

Floral and Coordinating by Touch of Whimsy Design and Coordinator

Hair and Makeup by Jax Studio

Getaway Car by Exotic Limos

Bridal Dress from Bridal Connection

Groom’s Suit from Men’s Wearhouse