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Wedding Details Shots: What to Include

Couples put a lot of work into planning their wedding day, right down to the font on the place cards or the number of flowers on the cake. That’s why I love wedding detail shots so much– they highlight the careful planning and special care put into every single aspect of the couple’s big day. I mean, there are TONS of things that the couple won’t remember as time passes–unless it’s photographed! Which is why it’s important that you’re documenting ALL of the right things as their wedding photographer. 

When I first started photographing weddings, wedding details shots were some of the most nerve wracking to me. I did tons of research to try and find out what to include and what not to include. I had questions like “How do you make a flat-lay aesthetic?” and “what does the word composition even mean?” And honestly, I didn’t find very much help online, so I learned everything by doing. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of having to capture wedding details shots, or you’re wondering how you can improve your wedding details shots, then keep scrolling to learn more!


First up are the wedding accessories– these are usually smaller pieces, like shoes, jewelry, a tie, the boutonniere, perfume or cologne, and of course, the rings. If possible, ask the couple if they can have the floral bouquets delivered to the wedding suite at the beginning of the day. Florals add a wonderful layer of texture and depth that pairs perfectly with accessories in wedding details shots! I also recommend bringing a simple background board as a backup– just in case there isn’t a simple white or dark background to use!


Here are the items I recommend including:

  • Shoes
  • Jewelry (necklace, bracelet, earrings etc.)
  • Rings- engagement ring & both wedding rings
  • The tie & cufflinks
  • Boutonniere
  • Perfume and/or cologne
  • The “something blue/borrowed/old/new” things
  • Flower bouquet
  • Veil
  • Family heirlooms



The invitation suite is one of the best ways to showcase the wedding theme and small details. Ask the couple to provide you with a copy of their invitation suite, usually containing their save-the-date, invitation, and possibly a ceremony program. Incorporate everything, from the decorative elements & inserts right down to the envelope that the suite was mailed in. These are the small details that will make a huge difference! I like to combine the stationary and accessories detail shots together, because adding the stationary creates another level of dimension in the shots. If the couple has a very comprehensive invitation suite, highlight it on its own! 


Here are the items I recommend including:

  • Save-the-date
  • Invitation
  • Ceremony Program
  • Location map
  • Envelope, ribbon, wax seals, etc.


The Venue

The venue is another really important part of the wedding day, and definitely not something that should be skipped over in wedding details shots! Try and get to the ceremony venue before guests arrive, so that you can capture the scene uninterrupted. I love taking both wide-angle and close-up detail shots, to really set the tone for the rest of the photos! Pay special attention to the altar, any arbors or arches they have set up, any wedding signage, aisle details, and the chairs before anyone sits down. This is a scene that the wedding couple will likely never see– by the time they arrive, the chairs will be full and they may be too excited/nervous to remember much! 


Here are the items I recommend including:

  • Ceremony venue- wide-angle shots to capture the whole scene
  • Altar, archway, doorway, arbor
  • Floral details
  • Wedding signage
  • Chair set-up
  • Aisle details

The Reception Area

The reception area usually has tons of personality, so it’s the perfect place to get some really meaningful wedding details shots! Make sure to head into the reception venue before guests start arriving. Otherwise, the party can get in the way of that perfect details shot! The reception area has a ton of details you’ll need to check off your list–Take a look below for some ideas!


Here are the items I recommend including: 

  • Decor
    • Wedding signage
    • Guestbook table & guestbook
    • Gifts table & gifts
    • Seating chart
    • Family heirlooms/photographs
    • Party lights/chandeliers/unique light fixtures
  • Florals
    • Table floral arrangements
    • Decorative floral arrangements
    • Sweetheart/couples table floral arrangements
  • Dance Floor
  • Tables
    • Table setting
    • Dinner menu
    • Place cards/table numbers
    • Table centerpieces

The Food & Drinks

At the end of the day, I’m a food girl through and through. However, capturing food, especially if you haven’t done it much, can be pretty intimidating. If the food is served buffet-style or family-style, it can be especially hard to make the shot appetizing. Instead, try arranging several of the food items on a plate yourself (then eating if after). That way, you can manipulate the food a bit without worrying about the guests! If the wedding has a bar, featured cocktails or wine, or anything uniquely drinks-related, be sure to grab some wedding details shots of the bar area as well as individual signature cocktails! And of course, don’t forget the cake (or whatever other sweet treat the wedding couple have decided on)! The cake is one of the highlights of the entire wedding, and it’s important to treat it as such! 


Here are the items I recommend including: 

  • Bar 
    • Specialty drinks
    • Cocktail Menu
    • Wine/Beer menu
    • Wedding glasses (if engraved or unique)
    • Cocktail servers/bartenders
  • Food
    • Appetizers
    • Entrees (on a separate plate if buffet-style)
    • Dinner Menu
    • Snacks/refreshments
    • Wedding Cake
    • Dessert Table


The most important thing to remember is to think about what types of wedding details shots your couple will love! Including these types of images with candid and posed shots of the wedding couple, wedding party, and guests will create a beautiful well-rounded wedding gallery to deliver to your clients. 


I hope these photos of some of the details shots from one of my recent weddings helps inspire you for your next wedding! Want more wedding details shots or to keep in touch? Follow me on Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes and wedding photography tips!


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If you’re looking for more wedding photography tips, click here for more blog posts written just for you!


Talk again soon!


Xoxo Shelby


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