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wedding flatlay for October wedding in orange, yellow, red,and black

Everything You Need (and Don’t) for Your Wedding Flat Lay

I love a good wedding flat lay. Why? Wedding flat lays allow me to showcase all the pretty little details that make each wedding unique. In other words, it’s the entirety of a wedding day in a single image.

Through wedding flat lays, I can effectively tell the day’s story. This also preserves the memories for the wedding couple. Also, these images enhance wedding albums as well! And for me, the photographer, it is a valuable marketing tool for websites and social media platforms. I mean, the end result of wedding flat lay photos are P R E T T Y photos.

wedding flat lay in white, black, and green
Elegant Black and White Flat Lay at The Trillium Venue

What are Wedding Flat Lays?

You’d probably recognize a wedding flat lay if you saw one, but the actual term might be something you’re not as familiar with. A flat lay is one of the most popular wedding detail shots. While “detail shot” can refer to anything from flower arrangements and macro ring photos to place settings and cakes, a flat lay differs. As your wedding photographer, I carefully plan this photo using your wedding stationery, accessories, and other personal items.

How? I arrange items on a flat surface, such as a styling mat or clean floor, and photograph them! Easy right? The goal of a wedding flat lay is to create a visually appealing and cohesive composition (AKA, a great photo) that tells a story. This photo can highlight the theme of the wedding and document the smaller, often intricate (or overlooked) details that are a part of the wedding day.

Some common details in a wedding flat lay include wedding accessories, shoes, bridal bouquets or loose flowers, invitation suites, wedding rings, and other decorative items or sentimental objects. Let’s dive deeper into these items below!

celestial wedding flay lay in burgundy and navy blue
Celestial Wedding at The Press Room Knoxville

What I Need

Having all your flat lay essentials IN ONE PLACE makes it easy for me! I can swoop in the bridal or groom suite, access the items, and get to shooting! I recommend keeping all your details in a shoe box or bridal bag. Anything you wish to have photographed in the room should be in one area of the room and simple to find (such as your bouquet and wedding dress). Once I am finished, I can quickly return the items to the places they belong to!

Further, consider cutting off tags or removing any stickers from your items. This will also allow me to quickly photograph your details in enough time to stay on track with the wedding timeline.

Wedding Flat Lays for LGBTQ+ Wedding
Revamped Railroad Station Plays Host to Intimate Wedding

What You Need

While the specific items can vary from couple to couple, the overall items rarely vary. Here are some common wedding items to consider!

  1. Wedding Invitation or Invitation Suite: Wedding invitations serve as the “base” of any good flat lay. Be sure these paper products are in pristine condition. You might consider adding other items from the invitation suite to complete the stationery theme, such as the RSVP card or envelope. Other items may include extra envelopes, stamps, and invitations (especially if details are on the paper’s backside).
  2. Bridal Accessories: Gather your bridal accessories such as shoes, earrings, veil, jewelry, and any hairpieces.
  3. Wedding Rings: Include engagement rings and wedding bands. Ring boxes in your chosen color are also a great addition! If you don’t have any, don’t worry! I have a few to supply, or I will use your rings without a ring box.
  4. Bouquet or Loose Flowers: Keep the bridal bouquet near the other details. We also love to use flowers or greenery from your florist. If they have extras, I will gladly take them!
  5. Perfume or Fragrance: It’s routine for a wedding couple to choose new scents for their wedding day! Perfume bottles add a personal touch to the flat lay. You can select any perfume you like, although aim to pick a bottle that complements your color palette and can easily be laid flat.
  6. Heirlooms or Sentimental Items: If you have any heirlooms, such as grandmother’s pearls or grandpa’s pocket watch, I want to include them!
  7. Additional Details: Vintage stamps, antique hand mirrors, handkerchiefs, fabric, and ribbons are just a few options that can enhance the details for flay lay photos. 
  8. Vows or Love Letters: Including handwritten vows, vow books, or love letters to each other. Honestly, these personal details are my favorite!
elegant white and blue wedding flat lays
Black and White Wedding with Epic Party Vibes

What You Don’t Need

While there are no strict rules about what to include or not include in a wedding flat lay, it’s essential to consider the overall aesthetic. Here are some items you might choose not to have in your wedding flat lay.

  1. Personal Items: Avoid adding items like medications, personal hygiene products, or other items that may not be aesthetically pleasing or relevant to the wedding theme.
  2. Unnecessary Paperwork: Avoid including unnecessary paperwork or documents that don’t contribute to the theme or story of the wedding.
  3. Oversized Items: Large or oversized items can overpower the flat lay, making it challenging to create a balanced photo.
  4. Tacky or Out-of-Place Items: Consider the overall style and theme of your wedding. Items that don’t match the aesthetic or feel out of place should be left out.
  5. Distracting Colors: Be mindful of the color palette and ensure that the items you include harmonize with the overall color scheme of your wedding.
  6. Garters Are On The Way Out: It is now rare for a garter to be used in a modern wedding flat lay. Consider keeping it out, especially if you are not including a garter toss at your reception.
What You Need (and Don't) for a Wedding Flat Lay
Fall Wedding Lay Flat at The Trillium Venue

A Few Final Words

Whether you decide to have your wedding photographer create flat lay photos on your wedding day is entirely up to you. There is no requirement to include this in your timeline.

But, if you decide it is worth it, do it WELL. Be prepared for me to ask for those items when I arrive at your wedding venue and have them available.

Whether you decide to do a flat lay or not, I would love to be a part of your wedding day. Please review my other Tips on a Wedding Day and contact me for a quote!


Natural light + honest photographer for all humans.


Knoxville, Tennessee



Office Hours: M-F 8am-5pm | S-S 12pm-5pm

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