It is no secret that one of our favorite things to shoot on a wedding day, besides the couple of course, are the details! Styling the invitations, making sure that the ribbon falls in just the right way to appear absolutely effortless, having the rings delicately balance on each other... the pay off is so satisfying when it all comes together to create a stunning image!
Shooting the details also gives us time to chitchat with the bride, and this is usually when the second shooter will capture the bridal party getting ready. This gives everyone in the room (bridesmaids, mother-of-the-bride, and most importantly, the bride herself), time to settle and become as comfortable with the camera as possible. An engagement session already warms up the couple beforehand, but jitters often reappear the morning of the wedding as it sinks in that this is the big day that they've been waiting for. We put the bride at ease while we capture all of the small, but important, details that the couple will want to remember.
So how do we do it? We'll give you the rundown:
In order to make sure we document the details in an efficient manner, we have learned through time and experience that prep work makes all the difference. What we mean by this is that we prepare the bride ahead of time in several different ways.
1. We make sure we are sent the invitations before the wedding. We then have time to see what color canvas, ribbon, and ring box will look best prior to styling the invitation suite. It's a real time saver and helps us to feel organized and prepared.
Invitations are also great backdrops for details! Don't think you just have to shoot the details by themselves; if you position them just right on the couple's card itself, you can produce a really special shot.
2. We also make sure that florals will be delivered early, that way we can include the bride's specific flowers in her invitation suite and detail shots to make the photos cohesive throughout the entire day, and so that we can style her bouquet itself with things like her shoes and jewelry.
If the florals aren't able to be delivered early, or they'll be sent straight to the church, that's okay! Often times there will be at the very least a tree or bush near the getting ready location that will have some form of florals or greenery. Get creative! Your bride will appreciate the extra effort.
3. Lastly, we ask the bride to have all of her details prepped and ready for us before we arrive. Again, this is a timesaver and helps the morning run much more smoothly. Often times we'll enter the room, and our sweet bride will right off the bat hand us a bag containing his and her rings, all the jewelry she'll be wearing, a garter if she has one, shoes, vow books, special perfume... the list goes on. Make you capture it all!
This biggest thing to remember from all of this is that practice makes perfect: you won't get any better at anything unless you actually do it! Maybe you'll be an absolute natural the first time to you try to delicately drape the ribbon, but probably not. Sometimes it even takes us a second, and we've been doing this for years!
If it just isn't working for you, keep playing with it. The more you move everything around, the more you'll be able to see everything from different angles and positions, and this will lead you in a better direction styling-wise. Obviously if it's the day of the wedding, you're on an established timeline, so you can't fuss with it for too long... If you're nervous about it or know that it isn't your strong suit (yet!), give yourself extra time and arrive even earlier than you'd planned.
What's in our Details Bag? We're glad you asked.
We have a very fancy (*cough* XL ziplock bag *cough*) that we pack all of our detail props and styling items into:
This includes ribbons, which we typically get from HoneySilk or Etsy, in a variety of colors and hues.
For the ring boxes, we've used both Mrs. Box, a high end brand, and Amazon. Regarding the latter, you can find options that are as affordable as they are beautiful.
The spools are from the arts and craft mecca that is Hobby Lobby, and the command strips, to hang a dress wherever you so please, can be found at virtually any store.
We also have an ever-growing collection of vintage stamps, scissors, bowls, you name it! They add a really unique, elegant touch that our brides adore.
Lastly, we take styling boards and mats every time. You can buy one, or you can make your own! They can be customized in color and texture, and make for extra fun backdrops for invitation suites and singular details. If you don't want to splurge and you also don't want to make one, even buying some larger pieces of fabric in basic shades (i.e. blush, dusty blue, and cream) to use as backdrops will elevate your work greatly!
Give it a try and let us know how it went!