5 Must-Have items for your Wedding Detail Shots

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Hey, there bride-to-be! Let me take this opportunity to share with you what I think are the 5 Must-Have items for your wedding detail shots. Detail shots are one of my favorite parts of the wedding day (usually the first thing I do!) because it seriously gets my creative juices flowing and gets me all giddy about what’s to come.

What are detail shots? They are the preamble of your wedding day, the beautiful items that begin to tell the story of your day. It’s the display of some of the things in which you have put your creativity (and money!) and a wonderful addition to your wedding album (not to mention a gorgeous introduction to your wedding blog (I blog every wedding!)

I always encourage my brides to prepare a box or a bag a day or two before the wedding with all the things that they want to be included in their detail shots. If you wait until the day of, most likely you will forget a thing or two! This box or bag is ready for me when I show up to their “getting ready” location (bridal suite, hotel room, or their homes), and that way there’s no time to waste. As soon as I get there, I start designing my flat lay (that’s the name we photographers use for these types of shots), and the more variety I can incorporate, the more high-end it will look!

Keep reading and see what are the top 5 must-have items you need for your detail shots:

1. The rings and ring box

Having all three rings (your engagement ring and both wedding bands) for details shots is a must! There are so many ways I can use the rings to create beautiful flat lays, but my favorite is to capture the engagement ring in a custom ring box (whether personalized or in your wedding colors -or both!), and also on top of your bouquet or another element of the day (check out this store for pretty boxes). The rings are the first thing I photograph and then I give them to the mother of the bride or the maid of honor to make sure the best man has them before the ceremony. Make sure your rings are polished and camera-ready!

2. Your invitation suite

I tell my brides to mail me an invitation suite when they mail them to their guests because it gives me an opportunity to plan the flat lay in advance and decide if I need to bring a styling mat (a neutral-colored cloth mat if I need to balance the colors); and I also ask them to save a complete unsealed, unmailed set that I can use for the flat lay the day of. Whether your invitation suite has 1, 3, or 7 pieces (that includes envelopes, RSVP cards, ceremony details, etc.) I can make a beautiful composition by using many elements of your day.

3. Your flowers

When I show up at a “getting ready” location and see that the flowers are there, I make a little squeal noise of happiness. Why? because incorporating the bouquet in the detail shots gives the image such a pop of color and life! You probably spent quite a bit of money on your flowers, and you know that they don’t last, so what’s better than capturing them in their glory when they are still so fresh and untouched? I also ask the brides to request a few loose flowers from the florist so I can use them to design the flat lay. I obviously can’t pick a flower from the bouquet, so having extra flowers that I can remove the stems and lay them flat is super helpful.

4. Your jewelry and sentimental items

Do you have a piece of special heirloom jewelry, or a locket, or small pictures of your special relatives that you want to be incorporated in your photos? This is your chance! I love playing with the design of my flat lays by adding earrings, bracelets, or any other sentimental item that can be immortalized in your wedding photos.

5. Your wedding dress (and veil if any) and shoes

My 5 must-have lists will not be complete without your dress and shoes! I encourage my brides to get a pretty hanger (and even personalized) to help display the beauty of their dress. I then try to find a neutral and clean spot to hang it (with the help of someone from the bridal party) and capture all the dress details, close-ups, and full length. I have also used the veil as the background for the flat lays and it gives it such texture and dimension that it’s hard to tell what the original surface was. If the bride ad bridesmaids are getting ready in the same location, I also try to capture all the dresses together. As for the shoes, look how awesome it looks to add them to the photos! My brides love seeing them displayed next to the other items from their day,

6. Other things you may want to consider

Do you have a fancy perfume you’ll be wearing that day, or your bridesmaids’ gifts, or special letters for your spouse-to-be? Bring them as well! You will be so glad to see them in your wedding gallery as always a beautiful reminder of the details that are usually forgotten.

I hope you find this list helpful to plan what you need to bring for me (or whoever is your wedding photographer) so we can capture the details that matter the most to you!


  1. Maria Schiavone Porter says:

    I absolutely love every single “detail shots” Gloria took on my wedding day. Now I can sit down and not only see all my beautiful ceremony and family pictures but also see all my little secrets, such as the perfume I was wearing, my groom’s cammo socks, my daughter’s Convers, those details that no everyone notices but they are important to the bride. I love those pictures as much as I love my portraits. Like I always say “Gloria is magical” she can turn a simple ring box into a dream come true!

    Maria Porter

    • Gloria Greenfield says:

      Thank you SO MUCH, Maria! You put so much thought into your details that I had to capture it all for you! You really took this part of your wedding to the next level! Lots of love to you and Justin! <3

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