Styling and photographing invitations is my favorite part of the wedding day.
It is one of the details in the final presentation of the wedding gallery that paints picture of the initial wedding story. Couples have spent so much money on having their beautiful paper goods made, so it is always a very careful consideration that I style their invites and paper goods to the best of my ability.
We teamed up with VS Invitations for a guest blog post and used some of their invites to talk through our process!
I like to think of the wedding invite as a tangible art piece that introduces the guests to the venue, style and overall vibe as well as brining the initial excitement of what is yet to come.
While it may look pretty flawless and effortless to create a styled wedding suit, styling wedding invitations and paper goods is a ton of work and I have invested countless hours in perfecting my eye to seeing balance in my flat lays. Not to mention my styling kit I arrive with on the wedding day is packed full of necessary tools to help me perfect the styling process.
Here is an inside look at my process on how and why I style wedding invitations.
1. The styling of the invitations
When styling invitations the first thing I look at is color and design. The initial question I ask myself is what are the 2-3 main colors of the invitation? Pin pointing the colors helps me to decide on what type of styling board I will style the invitations on and what other complimentary colors I can add in to allow the invite to pop. Another big factor when styling is the design. I ask myself what is the overall vibe and style of the invitation? Is it modern, vintage, simple, elegant, flashy or timeless? This also helps me to bring in other props like stamps, floral element or other fun props to tie into the wedding story. Prior to the wedding day I have couples send me two invitations. This gives me time to examine the invites and see what styling elements I will need ahead of time. If the invite has any designs on the back side of the invitation I can use the second invite to show that off in the final image.
2. Choosing a Styling mat
I have invested in purchasing styling mats from Olive and Oak, Heirloom Bindery, Blumehill Studios and more to create a diverse library of styling mats to choose from. When finding these styling mats I am sensitive to the shades and textures that will add to my styling collection.
When choosing a styling mat for my paper goods I am very thoughtful to the necessary elements in the styling process and what they communicate. Different textures and colors create different moods in the photograph, so paying close attention to these details are imperative in tying in to the rest of the wedding gallery. For example what type of feeling do you get when you look at linen verses velvet?
3. Florals for flat lays
I love floral element! Weather it is styling the shoes or the rings I almost always love how dreamy and beautiful florals and greenery can add into the details. Florals can add pops of color and bring romance to the invitations. With floral being careful not to overwhelm is important. I am always sure to use florals sparingly as they can take over if over done.
Flowers are a great way to tie in to the wedding gallery as well as bring your attention to different areas of the image. I like to think of it as guiding my viewer to key points in the image.
4. Styling Tools
Styling tools are super important to achieving a professional and beautiful image. I love using risers in my flat lays to create dimension in the flat lay. Often times I find the key element of the invitation suite and be sure to place it in the center and prop it up. This brings the viewers eye directly to the point of interest, the main invite. I don’t always place my entire invitation flat lay on risers. I prefer to see the invitation at different levels giving a dynamic range to the image.
Another styling tool is a more curated approach. I like to speak with my couples and find out
What little added props I can bring in. For example, a vintage compass was the perfect prop for sailboat wedding invitation flat lay. I am always searching for different color ring boxes and cute little props that can add to the character of the flat lay.
5. Photographing the final product
First I examine my light source. Where is my light coming from? It is super important to place your stationary set up next to a window in indirect light so the main light source is coming in from the side. You will need a white board or bounce to bounce the light in the direction of the window to fill in any shadows from the one directional window light. I sometimes intentionally invite shadows into my flat lay because I think it creates a moody look but no shadows almost always looks cleaner. Then photographing top down as parallel to the flat lay as possible is best. After I get my main shot of the entire flat lay I go in for close ups on the details. I like getting close ups of the flat lay to sometimes add to a blog post or a wedding album.
For more on tips to prepare for your wedding day click here