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Wedding flatlay checklists: So you’ve been looking around at all your favorite photographers’ portfolios, and one thing you noticed is the gorgeous photos of all the bride and groom’s details – jewelry, invitation suites, and heirloom items. I truly love all parts of the wedding day, but designing and photographing the flatlay is one of my favorites. I always do them right away when I arrive for your wedding, and ideally I take an hour to style & shoot everything.

But what’s the process of getting these items gathered? Is it stuff you bring? Is it stuff your photographer brings? Well, it’s both. I bring a styling kit with several colors of ribbon and some linen mats for a clean background if I need them. I have tiny scissors and some antique stamps, and a couple neutral ring boxes. But those things are meant to just be an accent to the more personal items that you want to remember about your day! These images will probably end up in your album, and you may not want a bunch of photos of my stuff around your invitation.

I share a wedding flatlay checklist with my clients during the planning process so they are sure to think about it in time to gather a few more items if they want to, and usually put a reminder right on the timeline too. And today, I’m going to share that checklist with you too!

Wedding Flatlay Checklists


  • Extra florals*
  • Dress
  • Dress Hanger
  • Rings (cleaned – engagement ring & wedding bands)
  • Shoes
  • Veil
  • Bouquet
  • Ring
  • Hair pieces
  • Jewelry
  • Invitation Suite (2 full sets with envelopes)
  • Any other paper stationary you may have, like program cards or menus
  • Vows Book
  • Gift/letter for the groom
  • Special gifts she is giving or has received (i.e. matching hand mirrors for all the girls or the new bracelet that her mom gave her)
  • Any other sentimental keepsakes/family heirlooms you would like to include

A really sweet way to incorporate something very personal is to have your calligrapher write your first dance song’s lyrics or part of your personal vows to each other on a pretty card that matches your invitation suite.

*IMPORTANT: I would love to have some of the florals you’ll be using throughout your wedding day. If your florist will supply me a small bucket or box of extra pieces so I can incorporate those in your detail shots, that would be so marvelous!


  • His shoes
  • Socks (if they’re special)
  • Cufflinks
  • Tie or Bow Tie
  • Pocket Square
  • Boutonnière
  • Vows Book
  • Ring
  • Watch
  • Gift/letter for the bride
  • Special gifts he is giving or has received (i.e. matching flasks for all the guys or the new cufflinks that his dad gave him)
  • Any other sentimental keepsakes/family heirlooms you would like to include


Outside of the basic lists above, try to think about some other small things that would coordinate with your decor. There are SO many great inspo photos for flatlays on Pinterest. Don’t feel like you need to have it ALL, but some looking around might give you some great ideas for things your photographer could incorporate. I’ll bring the things I have in my flatlay kit, but some other accent pieces you could have available are:

  • medium-to-large confetti in your wedding colors
  • wax seals and the seal stamp you used
  • silk or velvet ribbon on a coordinating wooden spool
  • fancy pen or letter opener
  • a stock of the special stamps you used on your invitations
  • velvet ring boxes in your colors (try to get ones that have removable lids)
  • matte silver, matte gold, or wooden trays/ring dishes (whatever you think will go best with the vibe of your decor)
  • tiny bottles of champagne that coordinate with your wedding colors
  • a yard of luxurious fabric like silk or velvet in your wedding colors
  • a pretty book that is meaningful to your relationship and coordinates with your wedding colors
  • cigar(s) and/or cigar box, if smoking cigars is a part of your life or part of your wedding day
  • extras of whatever smaller objects you are using in your wedding (Ex: if you are using pomegranate halves and blueberries in your deep red & navy centerpieces, save some for me for the flatlay! Or if your wedding favors are tiny jars of local honey with a little honey dipper, throw a few of them in the bag with your other detail items)
  • calligraphy card with part of your first dance’s song lyrics or part of your personal vows (ask your calligrapher to do this in a way that compliments/coordinates with your invitation suite)


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Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer. Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, El Dorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and beyond!

Wedding Flatlay Photography


Planning A Positive Wedding Day

6 Tips for planning a positive wedding day

I got married on a hot & rainy Texas day in 2005, and that feels like a lifetime ago. I didn’t have a wedding photographer (ironic, I know), but the photos my grandpa took of me in the little office area in the little white Cumberland church remind me how calm and unbothered I was about that or anything else. I don’t remember caring about the weather (besides thinking that rain on your wedding day is good luck), the food, the decorations, the cake, or any family drama at all. To be fair, our wedding was a very small and modest occasion – I mean, we were 18 and had nothing but love – but my lack of nerves wasn’t because there wasn’t anything to worry about, it was a part of my habitual & intentional prioritizing of positivity & peace.

As a wedding photographer now, I’ve been told that I actually bring positivity and peace to my clients’ wedding days! What a compliment! There are so many things about wedding planning & the wedding day that can be stressful and hard and believe me, I’ve witnessed my share of breakdowns and freak-outs. It’s really no wonder though; most people are not at all accustomed to the feeling of being responsible for all the moving parts of a large event (which is why you should hire a planner, but we’ll talk about that more in a sec) and it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with anxiety about everything going perfectly. I get it; you spend a lot of time, energy, and money on your wedding, and you want to enjoy it! You want to walk away that night with a full heart from all the sweet and fun memories you just made, so let’s talk about how to achieve that.

1. Before the Planning Begins

Planning a positive wedding day starts before you even start planning. It’s so easy to jump right into planning once your partner proposes, but try to take a few breaths before you jump into wedding colors and reception playlists. Spend a few weeks catching yourself staring at the sparkles in your ring & getting butterflies when you say the words “my fiancé”. Use that time to set yourself up into the right mindset for planning! Weddings are a celebration, and you’ll enjoy the process of planning it if you’ve already decided to not sweat the small stuff. Mindset is so powerful, it can totally make or break anything you do (and that’s a fact). Talk with your partner about this too! Figure out each others’ expectations (do you want to prioritize romance and mood and your partner wants to prioritize fun and partying?) and set boundaries (like if you already know your great aunt “Meddling Melba” will be a problem).

When you feel settled, start pulling together your wedding plan. And if you’re following my advice to the letter, that means your next step is finding an awesome wedding planner!

2. Hire a Wedding Planner

I know what some of you are thinking: “I’m a great designer, I can make it beautiful myself!” or “My sister is so organized, we can totally handle an event with 100 people!”

Let me stop you right there. Yes, I have had plenty of gorgeous weddings and weddings that run smoothly without a planner. Some people are truly gifted enough to design and execute a large event with no (or little) past experience, and if that’s you, that’s wonderful! But if you’re not sure that’s you, you’ll save yourself (and your sister, mom, or whoever is responsible for coordinating on the wedding day) so much stress and you’ll enjoy the event so much more if you go ahead and include an amazing planner in your budget right from the start.

Great planners are so much more than good designers that are organized. They are event experts that know exactly who the good vendors are in your area (and who to avoid), they are well connected, they’re invested in helping you have the wedding of your dreams, and they know exactly what it will take to achieve it (or they can smartly suggest alternatives if something is out of reach because of budget or other constraints). On the wedding day, planners know how to wrangle all the moving parts and put everything in order so all your planning wasn’t in vain. They know when each vendor will arrive and exactly where they should go, they have tons of experience with improvising if something goes wrong, and they’ll even load your car at the end of the night while you’re celebrating your last few dances with your friends.

3. Find Vendors You Can Trust

With or without a planner, having vendors that you trust is a major part of making it easy to have a positive & stress-free wedding. If you hire a DJ that had some bad reviews but he was the cheapest, I guarantee the stress of wondering if he’ll show up or do a good job will be in the back (or front) of your mind all the way up until your wedding day. If your great uncle has a nice camera and says he can probably make a killer wedding video for you, and you’d rather hire a pro videographer but don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I promise that will be something that will bring negativity to your wedding. It will be the same for any vendor: DJ, florist, band, bartender, caterer, cake artist, videographer or photographer. Find professional vendors who are experts in their fields, have excellent reputations, and make it obvious online how much they care about their clients. Read reviews like it’s your job!

(If you’re looking for a photographer you can trust, I’m your girl! I also send my clients a list of other types of vendors that I know & trust, to make it easier to plan!)

4. Intentionally Surround Yourself With Positive People

In our hearts, we all know which people in our life bring us up and which ones bring us down. On your wedding day, plan to be surrounded by positive, encouraging, and pleasant people as much as possible. If you know your mom or sister tends to be a Negative Nelly, talk privately with a couple of your most positive bridesmaids or groomsmen about how you’d love to have extra support and encouragement on your wedding day (enough to drown out any negativity that may creep in). It’s amazing how purposeful smiles and silver linings from people you love can counteract the funk that negative people might bring to the atmosphere!

5. Accept that Something Might Go Wrong

This is a big one. Even with all the planning in the world and the best vendors with the most experience, something still may go wrong at your wedding. The officiants’ mic may randomly stop working during your vows, it may start pouring during your outdoor ceremony (never trust Spring in the south), or a guest may bump into your champagne tower and send it all crashing to the ground moments before toasts are supposed to begin. Any of these things would be a bummer, but remembering that the ultimate goal of the day is to get married & have a good time with your family and friends will help you brush off any big or small disasters and get your smile back quickly. And as the hosts, you and your partner set the mood and dictate how much merriment people feel at your wedding, so do your best to have a great attitude (I don’t want you to have any regrets)!

6. Have a Plan B

Lastly, having a backup plan for any parts of your day that could go sideways will give you so much peace and make it so much easier to stay positive if you have to go off course from your original plans. If you’re working with a planner, they’ll be your #1 person to go to and make a plan B with. But while you’re planning, don’t forget to include your vendors by making sure the backup ideas will work with their services too! Once you’ve ironed out a solid plan, tell your bridal party and immediate family and prep them for what might happen if it’s raining or if there’s, you know, a global pandemic or something.


I love my clients so much, and I consider it to be a part of my job to make sure their wedding experience is the best and most stress-free that it can possibly be. I know that the things I’ve explained here will help anyone that implements them, and you can read that in my best teacher or mom voice (whichever makes it feel more convincing to you). Happy planning!



Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer. Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, El Dorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!

Planning a Positive Wedding Day!


Making Your Wedding Family Formals List: If you’re like most couples, you might not have thought too much yet about making your family formals list. And that’s okay! This is a topic that I’ll bring up with you automatically, closer to your wedding date (…if I’m your wedding photographer) so we don’t forget to have a list made. But make no mistake – while I may be nonchalant about when we make this list, I am decidedly a stickler for being sure we definitely do make it at some point before your wedding day.

Because honestly, family photos can be one of the most important but most chaotic parts of the day. So let’s try our best to prepare you, okay?

Making Your Wedding Family Formals List

First, decide whether or not you want to do a First Look before the ceremony. If you are, that opens up some options for timing! A lot of couples do things in this order before the ceremony: first look, wedding party photos, then family photos. Each of these things will take approx. 30 minutes (if we do a few bride & groom portraits along with the first look).
If you’re not doing a first look, we’ll do your family photos immediately after your ceremony. Then your wedding party photos, then your bride & groom portraits.

(for more pros, cons & my thoughts on doing a first look, check out this blog post)

Second, write down your groupings. Now narrow it down to 10. If you can’t quite get to 10 while you’re making your wedding family formals list, just get as close as possible! Each grouping will average 2-3 minutes, so 10-15 groupings is 30-45 minutes (I know that seems like a lot, but when Uncle Frank is in the bathroom and your sister forgot and went on to the reception so someone has to go track her down, you’ll see). It’s smart to budget a little extra time!

That being said,  I am not a stickler for sticking to the list when we have extra time. For example, if I take a photo of you and your parents and you ask to take one with each of your parents individually, of course we’ll do that if there’s time & they’re both already standing right there. This step is just about prioritizing your groupings so that we are sure to get the most important groupings if we’re in a time crunch!

Third, take that list and order it so that we start with groupings that include small children and/or any elderly guests or guests with health or mobility issues (to minimize the number of times they have to hop in and out of photos).

1. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents, grandparents, sister/brother-in-law and their 2 kids
2. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents & grandparents
3. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s grandparents
4. Katie, Katie’s grandparents
5. Katie, Tommy, Katie’s parents

Additional Tips

Boom, your list is done! I have more to say on this topic though, so this post isn’t quite over. Here are a few more tips for, you know, handling family photos well.

  1. Let your photographer know if there are special family situations that you want them to be sensitive to, like divorce, death, new relationships, etc. If I’m your photographer, you can rest easy knowing that all this is covered on my world-famous wedding questionnaire. I’ll send it to you when you book, and we’ll finalize it a few weeks before your wedding when we’re working on your timeline. If I’m not your photographer, don’t forget about covering this important step with the person you’ve hired!
  2. Designate a guest or family member to be my list helper! Choose someone who knows all (or at least most) names/faces on the list and is loud. I’ve found that people with teaching jobs in their daily lives are great in this role! You can send them the list before the wedding, or I can just send it to them when it’s time for these photos.
  3. If we’re doing the family photos after the ceremony, you can ask your officiant to announce for your immediate family on both sides to stay. Or better yet, a few days before the wedding, you can start a group text with everyone who needs to stay and have a designated person send a reminder text right after the ceremony ends. “Hey everyone, meet on the east side of the chapel!” is much more quick and direct than 2 dozen family members wandering around asking each other where they’re supposed to go. And particularly if you have certain extended family members who need to stay but others who don’t, this technique can help ensure there’s not anyone who stays and then awkwardly isn’t in any of the formal groupings!



Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer. Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, El Dorado, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!

St. Louis Wedding Photographer

COVID-19. It’s a topic many of us have been stewing over all year; vendors and brides alike. (If you’re me, it’s been COVID-19 & wedding photos). Or…maybe stewing isn’t the right word? Substitute stressing.


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