Chances are if you are planning your wedding, you are no stranger to Pinterest! I know when Chris and I first got engaged I already had most of my wedding planned thanks to good ol Pinterest and all their amazing wedding inspiration that is updated by the minute. If you ever find yourself wondering how to get all those gorgeous shots into your own wedding gallery, I promise they will not happen without a little bit (or a lot a bit) of planning and coordinating BEFORE your big day comes.
Detail shots are always some of my favorite thing to photograph. When I first started shooting weddings I kept asking myself why I would never have all these elaborate shots to include into my couples gallery and honestly almost started to feel like I was selling my couples short! That’s when I started to have the “details” conversations with all of our brides. You would be amazed at what a difference it made! That fact of the matter is, if you don’t know what to have prepared for your photographer; you just don’t know! That’s when the Bridal Detail check list came to life.
Now if you are one of our Charolette Williams Bride’s; this is a conversation we will most definitely have during our week of video chat. But if you are not a CW Bride and your photographer does not talk with you about your details and how to prepare them; this blog post is ALL FOR YOU my sweet friend.
The first part of your wedding day is always so busy and crazy! Making sure you have all of these items prepared the night (or week) before your wedding day is the best bit of advice I can give any bride. The second key piece of advice I can give is to make sure your timeline allows enough time for your photographer to capture all these important elements before it’s time to get you into your wedding dress. I always suggest to have your photographer arrive and be ready to start shooting your bridal details AT LEAST one an a half hours before your first look.
If you are not doing a first look, I HIGHLY recommend considering adding it to your day! The extra time and photos you get with the love of your life are things you will never, ever regret. I actually just recently conducted a poll on my Instagram asking past brides who did NOT have a first look if they regretted not having a first look; and a wapping 80% said they would add a first look to their big day if they were given the option to relive their wedding day again. I definitely fall within this category myself, believe it or not.
Now on to the Bridal Detail check list ;). I understand that not ALL brides will have all of the listed items below, but these are just a few of the most common items that we photograph on wedding days. The biggest key is to include all the little things that are important to you and your love story. You’ve been planning this day for MONTHS (sometimes years) let’s show off every little detail that you’ve poured your heart, time and money into my friend.
One of the most important details of the day my friend! I always suggest to have this pretty little thing steamed and ready to go when your photographer arrives. I learned from experience to ALWAYS keep a nice wooden hanger on me for wedding days to hang your dress on. If you did not order a custom hanger for your big day, totally not a big deal when you are a Charolette Williams Bride; we got you covered. Your dress deserves so much more than to be hung on a wire or plastic hanger! I’ve found that most venues or hotels have much nicer hangers in the closet. Most times if you cannot find one, if you ask they can typically help find something nicer to hang your dress on.
Make sure you have all THREE rings together and ready to go for your photographer! A lot of times my brides and grooms start their day at separate locations; so it is super important to make sure all the rings are kept together for your detail shots. We promise to get them back to where they need to be before the ceremony 😉
It is always super fun to get a shot of all of the pretty dresses together 🙂
(pro tip, ask your brides maid’s to bring their dresses to the venue on nice hangers for this shot)
THE VEIL and HAIRPIECES
I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory! I try to get the hairpieces done first for my Brides so Chris can run them back over to you for the hair stylist to be able to use. A lot of the time I will use your veil for extra texture in your detail images; which just makes it so much more fun!
A lot of my brides only wear their heels for a short period of time before switching into something more comfortable! I’ve honestly had Brides who only buy their shoes for their images and NEVER even wear them for their wedding day. I laugh at this because I would do the EXACT same thing if we ever renewed our vowels.
PRO TIP! Wait to put all of your jewelry on until after your photographer is done with detail shots. It will make for more of a variety in your detail images.
Getting to show off each piece of jewelry to your kids and grandkids one day will be so much fun!
(handkerchiefs, heirloom pins, something blue, etc)
Remember grandmas pearls will NEVER go out of style 😉
Invitations, save the dates, or any other pretty details you sent out to your guest always makes for the prettiest flat lays! I always tell my brides to mail me out their save the dates and invitations so I can keep them foreverrrr 🙂 plus then it is one less thing they have to try and remember to bring on the day of the wedding!
BOUQUETS AND BOUTS
I am honestly OBSESSED with all the flowers. They add sooooo much goodness to your detail shots. My pro tip on this is to always ask your florist to have your Bouquets and Boutonnieres delivered by the time your photographer is set to arrive. I always reach out to my Bride’s florist and ask them to bring a couple of extra floating flowers for the detail flat lay. They more times then not have extra flowers left over and love getting to see their pretty blooms displayed in the detail shots as well. If you are not a CW Bride, I would definitely ask your photographer if they communicate with your florist before the big day, if they do not… I would personally ask the florist to give my photographer a couple of extra flowers left over for detail shots 🙂 Your florist will know EXACTLY what you are talking about!
GIFTS AND VOWS
If there are gifts exchanged between my couples I try to always get pictures of those before the busiest part of the day. I also like to get any gifts given to the bridal party 🙂 But my favorite is the letter exchange between my couples. It always gets me in the feels.
BONUS: GROOM DETAILS
I know, I know this is named “Bridal Details”; but your man matters too!! I always like to get separate images of the grooms details and also combine the both of yours to give a variety in your images! Plus it is also a beautiful way to show off all your hard work and planning. Here are the details I always ask my brides to collect from her honey BEFORE the big day. It makes it sooooo much easier if all the details listed above and below are kept together. Then your photographer can get them back to where they belong before they are needed.
Shoes cleaned and polished
Tie or Bowtie
Favorite bottle of alcohol
Pocket square or handkerchief
Well there you have it friends!! My official Bridal Checklist. Feel free to comment with any questions, I just love getting to help ya’ll plan and prepare for the best day of your life. Tell me below if this was helpful and what other Tips with Charolette you would like to see on the blog!