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Bringing Your Fairytale to Life - The Details



We get to talk about fun pretty stuff today!

After the last two posts in this series, which were hard, we finally get to delve into the day of the wedding and the payoff for all your hard work.

I know working on the timeline and the shot list is brutal. I've done it before. Actually, while sorting through clutter in preparation for spring cleaning, I came across my old wedding planner from 11(!) years ago. Wow, how things have changed!

I'm already babbling and off-topic. Sorry. It's just I'm getting ready to go on a retreat of sorts and I've got lists of to-do's going through my head and a clingy almost-two-year-old on my lap.

Anyway...we're talking about details today. Bridal details, groom details, florals, ceremony details, reception details. All. The. Details. Because I love details so much and those are the things that tie a story together.

So let's talk about how we, at Cyn Davis Photography, like to start our wedding work day.

THE Details

In the months and weeks leading up to a wedding, I get in touch with the couple to check in and to remind them of a few things. One of those things is to prepare their space. I always ask the couple to try to keep the room where they are getting ready uncluttered and to have all of their details in one spot.

When Rich and I come into a wedding, we find the couple, say hi, and introduce ourselves if we haven't met in person. Once we finish those formalities, we get right to work on arranging and photographing the details that have been set aside for us.

Here is a list of what I consider to be THE details.

  • Bride's gown

  • Bride's hair piece (veil, hair comb, tiara, etc.)

  • Bride's jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings)

  • Bride's garter

  • Bride's shoes

  • Bride's keepsakes (special charms, penny for the shoe, handkerchief, clutch, etc.)

  • The wedding ring trio (engagement ring and both wedding bands)

  • Perfume

  • Lipstick

  • Bouquet

  • Boutonniere

  • Groom's shoes

  • Groom's socks

  • Groom's tie/bowtie

  • Groom's pocket square

  • Groom's watch

  • Groom's cufflinks

  • Cologne

  • Invitation Suite

  • Vow books

Now, not every couple is going to have every single piece that I consider part of the details and that is completely fine. Consider this just a guideline as to what can be viewed as details that need to be grouped together for the photographers. Some couples will have pieces that are not on this list, which is also completely fine. Show me your unique details and I will get excited and shoot to my heart's content.


Here are a few helpful tips to keep things running smoothly:

  • When you enter your getting ready space, pick an out-of-the-way place to put all of your details (this applies to the grooms too)

  • Keep all of the smaller details in a bag or tote

  • If you want your lipstick or perfume photographed with the details, place them in the tote

  • Have your wedding attire all together, including special hangers and shoes

  • We recommend getting a special hanger for the wedding attire

  • Have all three wedding rings together with the bride at the beginning of the day.

  • If the florist has already dropped off the flowers, place them with the details

Typically, we photograph the bride's details first, as she is usually the first one to start getting ready, therefore the first one on site. While some of the bridal party is getting styled, we start gathering up the bridal details and usually take them to another spot on site to photograph them. We like to find open areas that aren't in the way of the wedding party, and we usually look for a good place to hang the dress. We photograph the dress first and then add pieces and arrange them in various ways until we're happy. When the groom arrives, one or both of us will go meet up with him and start photographing his details.

I especially love to combine the ring details with the flower details, so as long as I'm able to get the flowers in a timely manner, I always try to get a great ring and flower shot.

When we're done with our set ups, we return everything to their proper location and make sure the couple is aware that it's all been returned.

This is all dependent on the schedule and locations, of course. If the stylists aren't on site and the bride is getting made-up at a salon, we photograph the details a little later in the day. Usually, we get about a half hour to try to get all the bride's details and about 15 minute for the groom's details.


The Ceremony and Reception Details

We go into the ceremony location and photograph whatever decorations are set up, we do a wide shot of the space, and we try to do a shot of the outside if possible. For the reception area, we get closeups of the table decorations, full shot of the table, shots of the head table, shots of the Pittsburgh cookie table, shots of the guest book and of the cake, and of any other noticeable thing that will contribute to the wedding gallery. We don't typically photograph the catering food unless we are specifically asked.

Timing with photographing empty venues can be tricky. Each venue has their standard policy about when they allow people to enter, so it's not always possible for us to get in before guests do. If that ends up being the case, we work around the guests as we're able.

If you want to take a look at some weddings we've done that had a lot of great details, check out the blog post for Katie and Brad's Wedding or Tina and Scott's wedding. Both of these weddings had details for days.


If you'd like more information about how we photograph weddings and how we can document your story, contact us! We are nearly full for 2019 and already booking weddings for 2020.

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