Details...the small things can make all the difference on your wedding day
A slightly different, a little bit long, but hopefully very useful post from me this week brought about by an ongoing debate with some photographers (myself included) in the use and need of detail shots at a wedding.
Now, I realise that this could already sound dismissive, but hear me out. Wedding flowers, wedding favours, wedding stationary….they all make up the small details that make your wedding day really personal to you. There are so many things and so many ways of doing things….you could go the DIY route, which is a lovely and very personal touch, but there is a LOT of time consumed doing this when it could well be better spent doing other wedding planning things! But you could rope in family members with a particular talent and get them to make contributions to your day rather then buy you a present you may not actually need.
Or you could hire a specialist! To be fair, for obvious reasons, this tends to be the route most people go down and it has a lot of advantages….albeit there is one large disadvantage….cost. But….you get a personal touch with an expert eye and detail and the labour taken from your hands. It’s very attractive!
So, why would I photograph the wedding details? It’s an interesting one. Of course those details mean a lot to the couple, so yes, they would like them recorded. Some photographers just don’t bother, saying it’s not their job to photograph static things…they are looking for moments, moments and memories. I GET that. Totally. But for me, taking wedding detail shots is a matter of seconds and I have it in the bag for the memory of that day to carry on long after the wedding flowers have been thrown away, the wedding stationary drawn on by the kids etc. To me it adds to the story, as the story isn’t just the day, its the prep, the build up, the whole package. And all those details mean a lot.
There is another reason though….and this is entirely a personal one and for this, I am sorry…..but not sorry!
If I take photos of the details from a wedding and then I get to put those images somewhere, I will always link back the originator of those details. That way they get free advertising out of me, but then they can also share and request the photos from me so they get free marketing material and I get the kickback of the exposure and potential referral. Everyone wins really. It would be silly not to take photos of the wedding details really.
But….and this is the crux….way back when I first started, I did a few weddings where the details were an afterthought and you know what? The images were bland and the wedding didn’t stand out. I did my best and yes, there is an element to say I was just starting out and learning my craft, but I can only work with what is in front of me and when there is little to photograph or make a feature of, then it’s quite a sad situation all round really. It’s not for me to say that that isn’t what the couple wanted, of course not. But the devil CAN be in the detail and it can make a lot of difference to the ambience of the day. Especially if you are doing themed weddings, or have certain things that are special to you and want those recognised on your big day.
So, get creative. Speak to professionals, seek their advice, get ideas, give them your thoughts, collaborate and see what is best for you on your big day. It will make a big difference to you, your guests, to me as a photographer for you and on a personal note and you would be helping many small businesses along the way. EVERYONE wins really.
There are some incredible people out there doing superb services for wedding details. I for one would just like to give a bit of a shout out to some of the wedding suppliers I know and have worked with who are absolutely top of their game. Without them, a wedding would be very blank, that’s for sure.
First and foremost, the flowers tend to be one of the most important and biggest wedding detail concerns for all involved. But leave it to a talented wedding florist specialist and the results can be spectacular. One of the best out there is Becky from Feather and Ferns. She’s fun, bubbly and always out to help, but her creations are quite beautiful. Give her a shout if you want something a little different.
The other would be Suzy from Flowers by Suzanne Randell. A master of her craft, from big to small and a really lovely person to boot, she is another at the very top of her game.
For something a little alternative, you can’t go wrong with Jo from VV Raven. Jo isn’t just a florist though…you can also hire her for actual event and wedding styling on top of her floral creations. A real all rounder who gives you something different.
Lastly, but certainly not least, some couples think that buying flowers for them to be ultimately thrown away is a heck of a waste of money. Well, there is an alternative in that artificial flowers nowadays are really quite something. Natasha at Ferris Heart Sloane is my go-to recommendation on this as her creations definitely had me taking a second look to check whether or not they were actually real or not! Her stuff is good, she’s good and if it sounds more like your thing, check her out.
An interesting one this. Would you consider music as a detail at your wedding? Some don’t. They see it as an added extra, a luxury, or for later at the reception, a necessity. Well, it IS a detail. Anything that isn’t the venue, the meal, the dress and suit, the rings, ceremony etc is probably a detail really. So I will throw them in, why not. Incidental music, music to walk down the isle to, the DJ (if you’re having one)….they all make up the ambience and atmosphere of the day. And if I can, will always try and take photos of who is doing what really. It’s tricky sometimes as there isn’t always someone there on view, or they don’t want to be in front of the camera, but if there is anything there, I will always try and give them a shout. But although a “detail”, for sheer atmosphere and ambience, you can’t go wrong with music……what wedding have you been to where there wasn’t music? Eh?!
A real personal touch is to have a live string band to play background music or music to play you down the aisle to. And one of the best are the Ariella String Quartet. An award winning group who consist of highly talented musicians who cover all ranges of music and willing to learn anything you would care to suggest. We had a string quartet play at my own wedding for my wife to walk down the aisle to and with the music choices, it brought so many to tears and really gave the day that touch of “special”. Check these guys out, they are very, very good.
Live bands are always a great addition for evening entertainment, but do your research. Some can really get the party going, others can just be there to plod along. You really want to get what you want from the day and if you want to raise the roof, you really won’t go wrong with The Epics. I have only had the pleasure of seeing these guys perform once at a wedding and oh my word…..exceptional! The place was bouncing more like a gig than a wedding. Absolutely what you want from a wedding band, so check them out.
A detail? Well, if it’s not the main meal or anything else, then you will want extra….the evening hog roast, the burger van etc….but one that stands out for me is Sweet Ally Scoops Vintage Ice Cream Van. Fun, eclectic and yes, probably more summer orientated, but it’s a lovely touch, right?
With so many weddings doing the “alternative” thing or moving away from the more traditional wedding (my kinda wedding!), then brides are becoming more and more conscious of the styling that goes into the various looks for the alternative wedding and boho wedding etc. So bridal accessories are very much part of this and one of the best is Rachel Sokhal of Rachel Sokhal Bridal Accessories. Bespoke details and accessories designed and created by Rachel herself. Well worth a chat to see if she can bring that bit of magic to your wedding! I bet she can!
YES! Of course its a detail! Many couples are forgoing the cake but it is still seen by the vast majority of couples as a necessity, a tradition, however non-traditional your wedding is. Two cake creators stand out for me….Jess at One Part Love is a good place to start as I have personal experience of her creations…she made the cake for my wife’s 40th birthday and it was spectacularly delicious and looked amazing. AND she gave great customer service to boot. Jess is lovely, very in demand and does a superb job!
Nina at Meadowsweet Cakes is another cake maker who is in high demand with her modern interpretations of wedding cakes and again, as I have exhibited at wedding fairs with her, I have managed to have a taste of her work and oh my word its good. Check her out! She’s also really lovely so for either of these guys, you won’t go wrong!
Want to bring this altogether but have no idea how to? Well, there is the option of getting someone to put together all this detail for you and bring the theme in and make it your own. An outside expert eye is always a good way to go and if you’re especially going down the slightly quirky and alternative route then you can’t go wrong with Ellie at Rose and Dandy. Offering so much more than just design, she hires furniture, consults in floral design, you name it. She brings that little bit different and quirky and would do a great job for your “out there” wedding
These things are a big deal at the moment. Of course they are! They can be specific just for you, look great, give personality and light up a dance floor! What is there not to like? But, you need to be careful. There are letters out there that aren’t “bespoke” to you, or of the highest quality and you don’t want them to be unsafe, unstable, looking shabby or unreliable. Always go to a reputable distributor or hire company and the very best out there, in my eyes, are The Letter Hire People. Tailored service, delivery and two of the nicest and most wedding savvy people you will meet, these guys have really high quality, bespoke lettering for any occasions and you just won’t go wrong. Give your wedding that little bit extra!
So there you have it. A few reasons why the details make all the difference and I hope I have managed to point to a few people who I trust and know their work and are at the top of the business. Even if these guys aren’t for you, I hope this blog has made you think a bit more to help you decide on the direction of your wedding and what you want from it. I would be happy to photography it all!
Still taking bookings for 2019, although these are filling up fast and 2020 and 2021 is open too! So, get in touch, let’s chat about your big day, tell me all the details and see if I can be that person to capture it all for you!