Wedding Tips and Tricks

What is a Flat Lay and How do I Prepare a Detail Kit?

flat lay. black and white. invitation. wedding details.

What in the world is a flat lay and how do I prepare a detail kit? Believe it or not, you’re not alone in this thinking! We as photographers forget sometimes our lingo may not translate to everyone, but that’s ok, because I’ve got the answers for you!

               So, what is a flat lay? A flat lay is simply anything that can be laid on a flat surface and photographed from above. coffee cup. flat lay. morning details.This even applies to things outside of the wedding industry. In fact, you’ve probably taken these types of images yourself and not realized it! If you’ve ever taken pictures of your food or your coffee in the morning, you’ve taken a flat lay picture. What elevates these images is when they are “styled” – which we will discuss a bit later – and makes them really stand apart.

               Sticking to what applies in the wedding industry, these types of images typically apply to your wedding details. Meaning the beautiful design of your table setting to the unique items of your look, these images capture the personal touches of your day. You probablytablescape. pink wedding details. place setting. eating at a wedding. won’t see your photographer capturing these images though, but they will definitely be included in your final gallery. Trust me, in 10 years when you look at some of these images, it’ll bring you right back to that moment and you’ll feel all the emotions all over again!

               How can you make sure all the details are included? You put together a detail kit! We’ll go into detail in just a second on what to include in this kit but putting it together ahead of time will really help! You can use a shoe box or even a basket, but you’ll want to include as many things as you can. As you are packing for the day, just pack those things separately so they are all in one place and easy to hand over to your photographer. You put so much hard work into making this day truly amazing, so my job is to make sure I show off all your hard work and tell your wedding day story. Having everything together will not only make your photographer’s heart happy, but it’ll create less chaos on that day. So, let’s take a look at what to include!

               Basically everything! Anything that is considered personal to you and your spouse or anything that represents your wedding day. Check out this list below for an idea:

detail kit. wedding details. bride and groom. wedding.

  • Invitation Suite – envelope, invitation, RSVP card, detail card, map, embellishments, suite wraps, menu cards, place setting cards
  • Bridal Details – veil, hairpieces, earrings, necklace, bracelets, engagement ring, wedding band, heirloom rings, shoes, bouquet
  • Groom Details – tie/bowtie, cufflinks, watch, wedding band, belt, specialty socks, shoes, boutonniere
  • Heirlooms – jewelry, bibles, cutlery, toasting flutes
  • Unique Items – extra floral pieces (just a handful works), something handmade, handkerchiefs, memory items (i.e. gifts for each other or parents), anything else that is unique to your love story

If you’d like a PDF of EVERYTHING to include, click here for a downloadable PDF!

               You mentioned something about “styling” earlier…. That’s right! I did! Styling your flat lay is taking the image to the next level. For instance, when taking photos of a table arrangement, we want everything straight, clean, and in frame so it wedding details. styled photo. blue and white wedding. bride and to make sense. Seems like little things, but it truly elevates the photo. We don’t want to misinterpret the way your wedding looked, but sometimes we must move a few things around to fit the image we are trying to create. We may also want glasses to be half full, candles lit, napkins folded, and floral pieces completed. This is all part of our styling process to create beautiful images for you. But don’t worry, you don’t need to help with this part, we generally know our way around venues to accomplish a completed look! Styling your more personal items (see list above) is a bit different. By taking everything in your detail kit and adding our styling embellishments we brought along, this process creates images with a uniqueness to show it all off. This part of our styling process can take some time, so make sure to allow your photographer the opportunity to create for you.

               What if these images aren’t important to me? That’s a fair statement but let me tell you why you want to do them anyway. When you spend months and sometimes years planning one of the biggest days of your life, you’ve probably thought about every little detail like ten different times; that’s a lot of hard work and though! That reason alone should be why these images are represented in your gallery, but let’s dig a little deeper. Your something old is great-grandma’s bracelet, years pass, and great-grandma’s bracelet got lost, what do you do? Don’t worry! You have a picture of it from your wedding gallery tounique wedding details. wedding details. bride and groom. black and white wedding. flat lay. help look for it! Now you’re on your 25th wedding anniversary and you want to do something sentimental to commemorate the day. So let’s recreate your wedding day look and take some romantic pictures! But wait, you don’t remember exactly what you looked like and what jewelry you had on? That’s ok! Pull out that wedding album (yes! Definitely get one printed!) and see what you looked like and every detail that pulled your look together. You’ll make your spouse of 25 years fall in love with you even more! Still aren’t convinced you need them? That’s ok! Your photographer will probably still catch shots of your details to help tell the full story of your day, they just may not put a lot of emphasis on styling these pieces. A little trade secret though, we as creatives really LOVE this part of your wedding because it gives us a chance to create a little magic that completely represents you! So the more you give us to work with, the better these images will come out!

               To come full circle, flat lays and detail kits help us capture a complete story of your day. Sometimes this can be over the top and full of details or it could just be a simple shot of your wedding rings on your bouquet. Either way though, I guarantee there will be some detail images in your gallery. What kinds of things will you include in your wedding day detail kit?

rings in bouquet. wedding details. ring shot. black and white wedding. bouquet. bride and groom.