Photographing Sentimental Wedding Details

So much goes into planning a wedding, and the small details aren’t always so small.

Before the wedding, ask your couple what is important to them. Will there be items present that are particularly sentimental? I’ve had multiple cases where an item was passed down from generations, or from loved ones who have passed away. It is critical to make art from these pieces (unless the client does not feel it would be appropriate).


 

In this photo, this hand mirror was given to my client by her late mother. Her mother did the cross-stitching, so it was important to show that in the image. But not only that, the ring beside the bride’s was custom made from her mother’s wedding ring, so having everything together in one image was really beautiful.

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This shot was important to my bride because the rosary was gifted to her by her best friend who bought it while visiting the Vatican, and the jade pendant was worn by her grandfather in Vietnam. She kept both on her bouquet all day.


 

Not every important detail is an item, and not everything needs to be exact. This bride said butterflies reminded her of her late sister — and so much of her sister was present at their wedding. While, yes, this is technically not a butterfly (it’s actually a moth, or a Nymphalis californica), they had been present all weekend prepping the venue for the big day, and they brought the bride a lot of joy. It was important to capture a shot of one for her, as it was appropriate to the day.


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Both taken from the same wedding, the denim heart on the boutonniere was cut from the groom’s late father’s favorite jacket, and the tattoo is of the two men walking together in the woods, something they did often.


So before you just get focused on pretty things, ask about the details that are sentimental and meaningful to the couple. It may be something you can put into a ring shot, it may be on their body, it may be a part of nature. Whatever it is, document it with intention and love, and they will cherish those photos forever.

Cortnie Davis