Charlize + Luis – Traditional Mexican Fiesta!
While details aren’t everything, I’ve discovered throughout my 15 years as a wedding photographer that they are very important for setting the tone of the day. As you can see, Luis and Charlize put a lot of time into planning their reception space and it absolutely paid off! Details don’t need to be extravagant, but they should match your personalities and your relationship. Which takes us to number one:
Details are just another way to make the day more YOU.
Everyone has different tastes, styles, and aesthetics. Bringing those preferences from the two of you should create one perfectly YOU day. It’s the small things from your past: like a letter written, a gift given, or an experience shared. Some examples of these I’ve seen are movie or concert tickets, Lego pieces that resemble each other, a special guitar from a loved relative, a family heirloom, a special necklace. Honestly, the sky is the limit. What feels like you belongs, no matter what it is. I had my deceased sister’s wheelchair at my ceremony, my grandmother’s perfume bottle during getting ready photos, and my husband’s late grandmother’s golden watch. It made the day a little bit more special and kept the people we loved that weren’t able to be there close to us all day.
Your details can be rooted in your history, or just something that makes you laugh. To see these all put together in one place in your photos really brings your wedding images to life. They pull the full story together and allows you and future generations to have a clear picture of who you two were at that time in your lives. Time changes everything—do what you can to remember that important time in your life.
You don’t get to see a lot of what you planned and paid for on your wedding day.
Let’s face it: wedding days are busy, and they are even busier when you’re the couple. You spent months putting this day together, laboring over the smaller aspects of the day to the largest event of the day. And when it arrives, you can’t be in a million places. When you get your wedding images back, you want to relive the night and the special memories you created. You’ll get to scroll through so many things you didn’t see on the wedding day. You’ll see moments you didn’t know happened. That’s because what I focus on throughout the day is telling a story—your story of your wedding day!
The story starts with you two, but it doesn’t end at you two. These stories include so many moving parts, important people, and behind the scenes moments. And stories have lots of small details that really end up being important to the storyline. The details help give us a full picture—and that’s exactly why they become important.
In the end, It truly comes down to trusting the people you hired, and the family members or friends that you are relying on. As a photographer, my job is to not only capture the events of the day, but the small things; like a quick kiss on the hand while walking down the aisle as newly-weds, or your dad’s tiny tear during your dance with him, or the quiet moments before the ceremony. These little moments make up the entire day.
There are obviously highlights, like getting married, toasts, or the cake cutting. But what ends up meaning the most to you is the small, intimate details of the day that could easily be forgotten in the chaos. This is the same for your small, physical details—the small things that built your relationship, little mementos that you carried through life, inside jokes that always make you both laugh. Bring ‘em. I promise you won’t regret it.
You may be wondering what details I’m referencing, and the best part is, it’s whatever you want them to be. Here’s a few examples from past couples that range from traditional to unique! Just to name a few…
- Save-the-dates or wedding invitations
- Jewelry – earrings, necklace, anklet, bracelet, crown, etc.
- Wedding dress
- Wedding rings
- Ring boxes
- Ring pillow
- Flower girl’s basket
- Bow tie/tie
- Vow books
- Wedding day gifts
- Perfume/cologne bottle
- Cake topper
- Cake cutting utensils
- Lipstick tubes
- Party favors
- Table settings: plates, silverware, cups, wine glasses, napkin, napkin holder
- Any engraving, patches in suits, embroidered dates/names, etc.
- Fortune cookie fortune
- Lego characters
- Disney’s Mickey Ears
- Wine bottles/glasses
- Family Heirlooms
- Climbing Gear
- Pocket watch
- Wax seals
- Bobble heads
- Special scarf
- Vintage car/furniture
- Neon signs
Now, I’m not saying you need to spend a small fortune or even a large amount of time finding the perfect details. If these types of things stress you out, I promise, it’s not worth the stress. Focus on other priorities instead! If details aren’t your thing, your day will still be perfect because it was created to celebrate who you two are, and who you two are together. In the end, that’s far more important than any detail.