I love telling stories. And what a better way to frame your love story than with the beautifully crafted details on your wedding day?
After photographing many weddings, I realize my heart leaps when I see a detail that is creative and unique to who my couples are. In seeing that detail at your wedding, I know something more about you. That detail is so much more than a detail. It’s an entry point into your story.
I realized the power of this only a few weeks ago. I was talking to my brother’s fiancee about wedding ideas. We were talking about beautiful distressed picture frames and stringing pictures of them, and the color scheme. Then, when I asked her about their ideas for Save the Dates, I realized there was something missing in all of the planning. We had talked about seafoam green, DIY picture frames and christmas lights, but we hadn’t once talked about them. Any couple can have a seafoam green wedding, with DIY picture frames and christmas lights. I came up with an idea to include guitars into their engagement shoot and their reception, because my brother plays the guitar, and that has been apart of their relationship. And something clicked.
That something that “clicked” for me is what will “click” with anyone that sees something personal on your wedding day.
The personal details make every other detail more beautiful. Why? Because the wedding becomes yours, and becomes connected to the rest of your story. It helps your guests to celebrate you. And as your photographer, it helps me to capture you.
So here are some creative ways my couples have entered into their story on their wedding day. I hope it inspires you to tell YOUR story with details!
1. CHOOSE A PERSONAL LOCATION
I know this may sound simple, but many couples choose to have their wedding at locations that are meaningful to them and their story. Suddenly, these locations aren’t just pretty places, they touch hearts to know they are a part of what you love together.
For example, you may choose to marry in the church you grew up in. This couple chose to marry at the Fordham University Chapel where Jen went to college. It’s awesome to know she passed this building for years before entering into it with her future husband!
And this couple loves golfing! Patrick loves it and goes on many golf outings during the year. In fact, one of Colleen and Patrick’s first dates was at a mini-golf course. It’s only fitting that their reception would be at the beautiful Garrison Golf Club.
2. GIVE PERSONALIZED GIFTS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!
Sometimes couples choose to open their wedding gifts the night before, at the rehearsal dinner. But I always LOVE it when they open them on the wedding morning. The notes they read are precious, and evoke such beautiful emotion. And the gifts add to telling their story, because they are so personal.
For example, this couple married at FEAST at Round Hill, but their entire lives together are in New York City. They wanted to bring in details about the city into their wedding, so when they exchanged gifts, he bought her a bracelet with a subway map on it; she bought him cuff links with a subway map on it. I wonder if they planned that?!
3. USE PHOTOS OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS
This is something that most couples do, but I’ve seen it done in such creative ways! When you put photographs of family members, you tell your family history, and the larger story that your lives are a part of.
This couple created a table with their photo in the middle, and photographs from her family and his on separate sides. It turned out beautifully!
Another thing that couples love to do is put charms or actual photographs on their bouquet of family members they want to honor that would not be at their wedding. This bride’s father had passed away, and holding his picture was a way to keep him present in her heart. So beautiful!
Of course, guests LOVE to see photos of you at your reception! Whether you create a sign in book, print canvases or prints, whether you prop them or string them, it’s a beautiful way to help your guests have a glimpse of your lives together thus far on your journey.
I loved that this couple used photographs from their engagement session to keep with their theme of “Fall in Love!”
4. BE CREATIVE WITH OTHER RECEPTION DETAILS
There are so many ways to tell your story with details at the reception, and it’s not just limited to your photographs! You can use the seating charts, table centerpieces, the cake or cake topper, and even reception games, to tell your story.
This couple used their seating chart creatively! Their wedding theme was “tying the knot,” and they gave each guest a handmade knot bracelet. They had made knot bracelets while backpacking in Patagonia, to symbolize their love and commitment to each other. So they gave one to each of their guests!
This couple used the story of their geography in their wedding details. The groom was from Alabama and the bride was from New York. So they made travel postcards for each of their guests, and theirs had NEW YORK / ALABAMA on it. They also used elegant details like cotton, not only on the seating chart, but at each of the centerpieces. And finally, they had a bluegrass band to give their music a Sweet Home Alabama feel!
This couple loves to hike and travel together, so they decided to create unique centerpieces for each table with places they have been. Each table had the location, with a hand-painted centerpiece to represent it, and a candle inside. A fun way for guests to learn about their travels!
This bride is the middle child and has two sisters; it’s only fitting that she would place “Middle Sister” wine bottles on each table!
This couple loves to hike and travel, so they created a rustic cake with a topper that really looks like them – ready for their next adventure!
This couple loved to do crossword puzzles together, so they created a crossword puzzle for their guests to do at their seats during their reception!
5. USE YOUR STORY TO CREATE A WEDDING THEME!
I love this one! I have seen some couples create a whole theme to their wedding day, that they tie in to every detail they can. This couple’s theme was “A Toast to Us.” They love champagne, and they love to pop a bottle together on a romantic date or with their friends. They have many pictures toasting together. So they decided to make that their theme. You can see their cake topper was a couple popping a champagne bottle, Patrick wrote her a card called “A Toast to Us” that he gave with her gift, and at the reception, they created a board with pictures together surrounded by corks from champagne bottles.
They even took this theme into their formal pictures! They asked me to take a photo of them toasting to each other. They also bought champagne bubbles to give to each member of their bridal party, who blew them at Kari and Patrick to create some sweet photos.
I hope this post inspires you!
All wedding details are stunning – the dress, the rings, the invitations, the shoes… But to me, the details are even more beautiful when they are tied to your story. Anyone can have a fall wedding in the woods with the same color scheme you dream of. Anyone can have a summer wedding on the beach. But no other couple will have your story – guaranteed So use it to create something beautiful!