After months and months of planning, your wedding day is fast approaching, and you are so damn excited to see all your hard work and planning come to life! Beyond finally getting to marry the love of your life, one of the most exciting parts of your day will be seeing everything you've been working on, and envisioning, come together in real life, all in one place, to create your dream wedding day experience. You've poured hours of your life into doing the research, buying the wardrobe, ordering the stationary, and now you finally get to see it all pay off. It would be a genuine tragedy to put in all this work, and then not get any quality pictures of any of it. And yet, so many couples don't think or know about the logistics of getting these gorgeous detail shots they see all over Instagram and Pinterest, that they then miss out on getting these incredibly significant details captured. The good news is that there is one super easy, stress-free step you can do before your wedding day even starts to ensure you're getting the detail shots you deserve.
The secret to perfect detail shots on your wedding day is this: buy a box.
Seriously, buy a box. Or, if you're thrifty, repurpose a box you already have and designate it your "Day of Details Box." Then, a week or two before your wedding, you're going to want to put everything in this box that you'll possibly want pictures of or that can be used as accents to detail shots. This means put your wedding shoes, your partner's wedding shoes, jewelry, watches, hair pieces, veils, cuff links, stationary - literally any personal detail that can be held - in the box. Putting all of these details in the box serves two functions: 1. It creates a box of details for your photographer to quickly and easily pull from to create gorgeous flat lays and detail shots, and 2. It helps you rest easier knowing all your details are packed and ready to go for your big day, removing the stress of having to scramble to make sure you have everything the day before or morning of your wedding.
Now, if all you came here to read was what the big secret is, now you have it! A box! If you're still interested in learning some tips for your box, a complete list of items for your box, and a bonus tip to ensure your photographer captures all those details that don't fit in the box, keep reading.
Tips for Your Box
- There's no such thing as "too small" or "silly" when it comes to your wedding or the details of your wedding. If you're debating putting something in your box, put it in your box. All you risk by putting something in your box is having a picture of a detail that you don't look back on often, versus missing out on a picture of a detail you'll now never have a record of.
- Include your entire stationary suite in your box, not just your invites. Stationary helps build your wedding experience and fills in the gaps in your wedding day story. Any and everything that you have printed for your wedding can and should go in your box - including invitation envelopes. If you're having a hard time picturing what a complete, stationary suite looks like and why it's important to include in your box, check out Papira Design and Letterpress for some great inspiration.
- When building your box, don't forget to include your partner's accessories! This is the number one mistake my couples make. Because, most likely, you won't be getting ready with your partner, you forget to include their accessories or sometimes intentionally leave them out so that they have them to get ready with. While it is so sweet that you're trying to put your partner's needs first, remember that they too deserve to have their details captured, and if you don't put their details in the box your photographer will have to run around your venue (wasting time) tracking them down and gathering their details from them. If, however, it's simply illogical to keep all of your details and all of your partner's details in one box, then there's the next tip!
- Create a separate box for you and your partner's details. This is a great option if 1. You don't want your partner to see your details prior to your wedding, and 2. If you and your partner are getting ready in separate locations or at the same time. Creating two separate details boxes will ensure that everyone has easy access to the boxes they need, without having to give one partner the short end of the stick and miss out on getting their details captured.
- Start putting together your box two weeks prior to your big day and add things to it each day. The week of your wedding is stressful. Starting your box a week early helps reduce that final week stress, and gives you something small to enjoy in the gaps between planning and then experiencing your wedding. Start your box off with the bigger details that won't be needed or potentially changed (like your stationary and shoes), and then add in your smaller remaining details each day.
- Ask your florist for extra petals or greenery to add to your box. You won't need a lot, but even a couple extra petals or one or two sprigs of greenery can add a rich, personal touch to your detail shots.
- Assign someone to be in charge of your box, such as your mom or person of honor. This person will be in charge of making sure the box gets to the venue, has everything it needs, and can deliver it to the photographer as soon as they arrive on site. Whoever you assign to be in charge of the box, make sure they're someone you trust to not be forgetful, and make sure they know their role prior to the morning of your wedding.
A Complete List of Items for Your Box
- Rings - both wedding bands and engagement rings
- Cuff links
- Tie clips
- Tie and/or bowtie
- Pocket square
- Veil and/or hair accessories
- Perfume and cologne
- Entire stationary suite
- Save the Dates
- RSVP cards
- Ceremony programs
- Extra flower petals or greenery
- Extra ribbons or lace that match your dress or venue decor
- Personal notes or mementos
- Ring box
- Anything else that is significant to you, your partner, and your wedding day
If you've stuck around this long - thank you! Here's two simple bonus tips to ensure your photographer captures all your details in your box, and all your details that don't fit in your box.
- Schedule your photographer to arrive 20-30 minutes prior to when you will need them to start taking pictures of you. This will be different for every wedding, but if you want them to arrive 20 minutes before you finish hair and makeup, have them actually arrive 40-50 minutes before you finish hair and makeup so they can get all the detail shots of your box, as well as all the detail shots that don't fit in your box. If you have a small box and a small venue, 20 minutes should be plenty of time for your photographer to capture it all. If you have a larger venue and box, 30 minutes may be necessary.
- Hire me as your photographer! If you've read this far you trust what I'm telling you. Why try to relay all this info to another photographer when you can work with someone who you already trust to make sure all your details are captured perfectly? So, let's make it official and bring your wedding photography dreams to life together!