We’re often asked by brides, “What all should I bring to be included in my flat-lay?”

Now, maybe you’re not sure what exactly a flat-lay is, so we’ll begin there! A flat-lay is when we artisticly style various meaningful details and then photograph them.

Now that you’re up to pace, we’ll talk about—

  • Why Have a Flat-Lay?

  • What Should I Include?

  • How Should I Get Those Things to My Photographer?

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Why Have a Flat-Lay Photo Taken?

Photo example of a flat-lay

Photo example of a flat-lay

To understand the “What” to include in your flat-lay, let’s begin with the “Why?” Flat-lays are a nice way to bring together both your style as well as your legacy, all in one spot as a keepsake that lasts beyond your wedding day.

Flat-lay photos go nicely to help define the mood and to help set the story of your wedding day and what led up to who you and your fiance are, and why that’s worth communicating to your children one day.

What Should I Include In My Flat-Lay?

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Now, on to the “What?”! We suggest including whatever might be included in the old saying, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue” .

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Of course, you don't have to include something blue, but the main point stands: include things that are meaningful and speak to your relationship with your history, your relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and your future.

Some good examples include the following:

  • Your invitation suite (we recommend bringing at least two envelopes for styling purposes)

    • Be sure to store any bendable materials in between cardboard or some way that prevents bending! That way it actually “lays flat” : )

  • Save the Dates

  • A sentimental ring box

    • If you don’t have a ring box that you’re in love with, ask your photographer! They might have something like a Mrs. Box you can use!

  • Rings

    • If you want to have all your rings photographed, make sure that you have both your and your fiance's ring with you!

  • Jewelry

    • Your earrings, necklace, etc.

    • This includes heirloom jewelry!

  • Decorations and other items you’re using during your wedding day

    • Your menu, program, and small items that will be used to decorate the reception area

  • Your veil

  • Your shoes

  • Your bouquet

  • Your perfume

  • Your Groom’s boutonniere

  • Floral trimmings

  • Ask the florist for these! They usually have some leftover trimmings that your photographer can use to style with.

  • Any other sentimental items

    • We’ve seen items such as: gifts to your bridemaids/groomsmen, old pocket watches, sentimental handkerchiefs, heirloom saucer and mug, and more! Feel free to be creative!

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And remember, if you and your groom would like a flat-lay of his things, a lot of the same items apply! Some others you may consider for your guy are:

  • His shoes

  • Dress socks

  • Tie

  • Boutonniere

  • Any custom gift such as cuff-links, a watch, bourbon, etc.


When and Where Should Flat-Lay Details Be Photographed?

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For us as a husband wife wedding photographer team, we typically follow the same game-plan every time. We both arrive at the girls’ getting ready. After we introduce ourselves, Jeff begins taking candids while Michele styles the flat-lay. Once the flat-lay is ready, Jeff switches over to take photos of the flat-lay while Michele gets some more candids and prepares for the bride to get into her dress.

Once the bride is getting into her dress, Jeff typically switches over to the Groom to get candids and his details styled.

With that said, we’ve even done details after the wedding day. This is nice because we can focus more on candids during the day, and then have more time to style when the timeline isn’t so critical!

Bonus Points: Keeping Your Details All Together!

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In order to make things run smoothly, we always recommend putting all your small details in a ziploc and a small show box. You can place your larger details and the shoe box in a larger bag so they’re ready to hand to your photographer!

Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has been helpful to you as you prepare for your wedding day! Tell us in the comments below if you have any suggestions for things to include in your flat-lay!

We love hearing from you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@jeffandmichelephoto.com if we can help with anything else!

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