Customizing Laravel validation JSON message format

By default laravel gives a good enough JSON format for validation errors but what if you want to customize it?

#Original JSON format
    "message": "The given data was invalid.",
    "errors": {
        "email": [
            "Please enter email address."
        "password": [
            "Please enter password."

But for this particular project I decided to change the format to this.

    "success": false,
    "success_code": 400,
    "message": "Please enter email address.",
    "errors": [
            "field": "email",
            "message": "Please enter email address."
            "field": "password",
            "message": "Please enter password."

To achieve this I created a ValidationException handler function in app/Exceptions/Handler.php which helped me catch all the exceptions raised as a result of failed validations.

 * ValidationException
 * Parameters did not pass validation
 * @param ValidationException $exception
 * @return \Illuminate\Http\Response 400
protected function handleValidationException(ValidationException $exception)
	$errors = $this->formatErrorBlock($exception->validator);

	$first = '';
	if (!empty($errors) && !empty($errors[0]))
		$first = $errors[0]['message'];

	$json = new \stdClass;
	$json->success = false;
	$json->success_code = 400;
	$json->message = $first;
	$json->errors = $errors;

	return response()->json($json, 400);

Next I created formatErrorBlock that would loop through all the default error block created by laravel and format them as required.

public function formatErrorBlock($validator)
	$errors = $validator->errors()->toArray();
	$return = array();

	foreach ($errors as $field => $message) {
		$r = ['field' => $field];

		foreach ($message as $key => $msg) {
			if ($key) {
				$r['message'.$key] = $msg;
			} else {
				$r['message'] = $msg;

		$return[] = $r;

	return $return;

Notice the if else block in foreach loop. That is because Laravel at times returns multiple errors for a single key hence, I post-fixed the further messages with it’s respective array key.

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