elizabeth gelineau



Mobile bay area wedding photographer

Bridal Details Checklist

The Organized Bride

April 17, 2019

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The Organized Bride Series

Two wedding bands and diamond engagement ring on wedding invitation.

I begin every wedding day by photographing bridal details. After I arrive and greet everyone, this is the first thing I ask for. The time dedicated to bridal details is my warm up time. It’s when I’m figuring out what the light is like in the getting ready room. It’s when I’m getting a sense for how things are flowing that day. Is everything running on schedule, or do I sense that there is any stress? This “detail” time may seem insignificant, but it is SO valuable to how I approach the whole rest of the day! Beginning the wedding day without photographing the bridal details would feel like starting a tennis match without warming up. Focusing on the inanimate objects helps me to focus on what lies ahead.

But what am I photographing during this time that’s labeled “Bridal Details” on the timeline? I consider “Bridal Details” to be any small element that the bride will either wear, or carry with her as part of her wedding day. This typically includes the wedding gown, veil/hairpiece, shoes, jewelry, garter, wedding bands, engagement ring, and bouquet, as well as the bride’s something borrowed and/or something blue if it’s not covered by one of those other items. Additional items that I love to photograph along with these details are the invitation suite, wedding program, the bride’s perfume bottle, and custom ring boxes! These additional items help to fully capture the feeling of your wedding day. They also help to tell the story of your day in your wedding album!

The Benefit of Adding Extra Elements

I love when my brides bring extra elements for me to incorporate into their bridal detail photos. This helps make the detail shots even more personal and editorial. Vintage trays, ring boxes, and ring dishes are all wonderful additions. I also love when I have a few extra stems of greenery to work with. Some florists will leave these when they deliver the bouquets. Silk ribbons are a fabulous addition to bridal detail photos. They help connect all the smaller elements to the colors of the wedding. One spool is really all you need!

One tip for extra elements is to make sure they’re relatively small. Larger items will pull attention away from your small details, so select items that will compliment, not distract from your bridal details. If you gather a few items, your photographer can select what will work best for styling the detail shots.

Vintage tray filled with a boutonniere, perfume bottle, ring box, rings and handwritten letter.Blue monogrammed Mrs. Box ring box with vintage gold ring.Maison Louis Marie No 04 perfume bottle

Preparing the Bridal Details

Gather your bridal details together before wedding day. Most items besides the wedding gown and veil will fit into a tote bag or small box. Having everything grouped together (with tags removed from jewelry!) will save a lot of time. It takes quite a bit of time to style and photograph the bridal details. If you have to search for the items when the photographer arrives, you’ll eat into the time for photographing those special items.

Getting a photo of the bridesmaid dresses hanging can be particularly time consuming if the dresses aren’t already steamed, hanging on the matching hangers and in one place. It’s even better if they’re already hanging in a room with a lot of natural light as these blue dresses were! If you’re not getting matching hangers for your bridesmaid dresses, I will typically only photograph the bride’s gown hanging in order to save time for the other details.

Grey and white wedding invitation suite with white boutonniere and gold shoes.Blue suede shoes

Groom Details

Grooms can have special details too! Groom details typically include: the boutonniere, cuff links (if they are personal or custom), the tie, a watch and sometimes the shoes. If the bride and groom are getting ready at the same location, I will photograph all the details at the same time.

Brackish bowtie in wood box with gold wedding band on the lidMen's watch with letter addressed to my groom and white and blue thistle boutonniereBrown leather shoes and colorful socks with beer theme and pink bowtie Brown leather shoes with blue tie, silver tie clip and blue vow book in flatlay style

The Bridal Details Checklist

Dress + Veil: Sometimes I photograph the dress first and sometimes I do it last. It depends on the getting ready room and if I need to move things in order to get the dress shot. It usually takes me longer to find a great spot to hang the dress than it does to actually photograph it! Wedding day tip: Steam the dress the night before, but don’t stress about a few wrinkles. They rarely show on camera. The same is true for the veil!
White wedding dress and blue wedding shoes in the bridal suite at The Pillars of MobileWhite wedding dress hanging from an iron chandelier in a white chapelWhite wedding dress hanging on gold mirror at The Battle House Hotel
Shoes: I usually pair these with the dress photo and with your smaller details. I love seeing the different choices of footwear on wedding days. I am a girl who loves shoes!
Blue wedding shoes, white bouquet and lace veil sitting on a vintage blue velvet chairLace Toms wedding shoesWhite Badgley Mischka bridal shoes with blush pink ribbon
All Three Rings: I love to photograph the wedding bands and the engagement ring together. The detail that I am most often missing on wedding day is the bride’s wedding band. Keep all three rings (your wedding band + his wedding band + your engagement ring) in the bridal suite with your other details. Your Maid-of-Honor can always be in charge of getting your wedding band to the Best Man when we arrive at the ceremony location.
Set of gold wedding bands stacked on top of wedding invitation with blue text
Invitations & Programs: The invitation suite sets the tone for your wedding day and usually incorporates your wedding colors. I love styling a flatlay using several of the smaller details. The invitations are a great base element for those types of photos. I especially love photographing the wedding rings on the invitation!
If you’ll be having your photographer photograph your invitation suite, be sure to bring a copy that has not been mailed so that it will lay as flat as possible. If you’ve invested in calligraphy, see if your calligrapher can address an envelope just for photos. This is not only a nice keepsake to have, it also lets me capture that beautiful detail that you invested in!
Vow Books: If you’re writing your own vows, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased vow books for your wedding day. These definitely belong in your bridal details box if you’re using them! The groom’s vow book can be delivered to him along with the bride’s wedding band before the ceremony. Just make sure you’ve written those vows down the night before the wedding!
Florals: The bride’s bouquet is something I always photograph, but having additional florals like the groom’s boutonnière, or a flower crown are a wonderful addition to bridal detail photos. If your boutonnières won’t be at the same location where the bride is getting ready, ask your florist if you can have a few extra loose floral, or greenery stems for detail photos!
Extras: Silk ribbons, ring boxes, antique trays and other special heirlooms can really add another personal element to your detail photos. I sometimes bring neutral ribbons with me to add into shots, but I love, love, love personal elements like a monogrammed ring box or a vintage tray.
This is what it looks like to photograph bridal details! Thank you to my friend and some-time second photographer, Debby, for taking this behind-the-scenes photo!
I love sharing tips for getting organized with all things wedding day! If you’re a bride-to-be and enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments!


  1. Carrie says:

    Just found this post and it is super helpful! Trying to plan my detail photos and these are so good! Thank you!!

  2. […] Details. Lighting highlights memorable details! When shooting your details (shoes, jewelry, perfume, etc.), […]

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