The wedding invitation is one of my very favorite details to photograph on a wedding day. I love how a wedding invitation introduces guests to the style and color palette of a wedding long before the big day. It can create such a wonderful sense of excitement for your guests! Something I truly enjoy is when my couples send me a copy of their wedding invitation before the wedding because I get a sneak peek at the style of the wedding, too, and I get so excited for the wedding… and, let’s be honest, for shooting the wedding invitation flat lay.
The very first thing I do when I arrive on a wedding day, is head to where my bride has gathered all of the wedding day details she’d like me to photograph, and that always includes the wedding invitation. It’s such an integral part of telling the story of the day, and it’s the perfect way for me to start capturing the elements that make a wedding day so unique. I always spend about 45 minutes with the wedding details, and about a third of that time is used for the wedding invitation flat lay. What’s a flat lay, you ask? Well, you’re about to see plenty of examples, but basically it’s a an overhead photo of your wedding invitation styled with other special items of the day. Not all flat lays are made alike, though, so today I wanted to share some tips so that you can have a beautiful wedding invitation flat lay for your wedding album.
Order loose stems from your florist
Please have florals specifically for your invitation flat lay, PLENTY of florals! You can request single stem flowers directly from your florist to include in your wedding invitation flat lay. It may cost a little extra but it won’t break the bank and it’ll absolutely be worth it and the florals will match those in your bouquet or in your bridesmaids bouquets! Make sure that your florals are delivered by the time your photographer arrives to your prep location. I cannot stress this enough. I photograph the wedding invitation flat lay and other wedding details as soon as I arrive so that I can then transition to photographing your bridal prep. (You will have to put on many of your wedding day details such as your engagement ring, jewelry, etc., so it’s impossible for me to photograph your wedding details at any other time of the day.) Wedding days are jam-packed and there is just no time later on in the day for me to lay out my styling kit and give your special items the attention they deserve. Additionally, when I arrive is when the florals will be looking their best!
Here are three sets of images that give you a visual of what your flat lay would look like without florals and then with florals added. First, I photographed a beautiful leather invitation by Lace and Belle, complete with response card and details card. That image is on the left. Then I added on a few personal items and peach florals to complement the wedding colors and it made such a big difference! You can see that image on the right:
On the left is another gorgeous invite suite by Lace and Belle. It’s beautiful, but doesn’t this flat lay look more beautiful with the florals added on in the image on the right?
In my last example, I photographed a lovely invitation from Minted. Look at the difference once I added on a few florals, generously shared with me by Narcisuss Florals that day. Also the calligraphy (by The Jess Press) and vintage stamps (sourced by DeeKay Events) my bride had that day were on point!
Include the full invitation suite
A one-piece invitation will look lonely if it’s not accompanied by the rest of the pieces that make up the invitation suite. An invitation flat lay looks so much nicer and allows for more creativity if you include your wedding invitation, response card, details card, and envelopes. You can also include additional paper goods such as your wedding program, menu, and seating cards. If your invitation has a back, include two copies so that they can be photographed together, showing two perspectives of the same item. Check out these full invitation suites by Lace and Belle:
Make the most of your envelopes
First, go for the envelope liners! Even if you don’t do envelope liners for every single guest, it’s nice to have a few made even if just for your parents, grandparents, siblings, and your wedding invitation flat lay. Second, have your calligrapher or stationer make you two envelopes for our wedding invitation flat lay. This way, your envelope liner can be shown off in the same image as the the front side of the envelope. Bonus Tip: Have your calligrapher or stationer use the venue name and address for the envelopes that will be used in your flat lay. This way, you can draw attention to the special place where you are getting married. Check out this wedding invite flat lay with two envelopes. (Credit: Lace and Belle)
A stunning envelope liner, beautiful florals and LETTERPRESS. Need I say more? Credit: Christa Alexandra Designs
Simple, solid gold envelope liner to complement the gold monogram. So elegant! (Credit: Lace and Belle)
Not only does this next flat lay contain the invitation and two envelopes, but it also contains the wedding program (both sides). I loved this suite from one of last year’s weddings, made by the bride herself!
Yet another example of how lovely an invitation flat lay looks when I can show off both the envelope liner and the calligraphy on the front of the envelope:
Love neutrals? Check out this suite for a white wedding! Credit goes to Smitten on Paper. That envelope liner was one of my favorites from last year’s weddings!
This color scheme was so pretty for a fall wedding:
The invitation below had the prettiest floral motif! Credit: Perfectly Invited. And isn’t that envelope liner just stunning?
Find complementary items
In my flat lays, I include some of the special items that have a role in your wedding day: engagement ring, wedding bands, ring dish or ring box, jewelry, hair piece, perfume, garter, etc. A note on the rings: It’s really important for me to photograph all of your rings – engagement and wedding bands – at the time I photograph the rest of the details so I can incorporate your wedding invitation and florals in the photos. We will figure out how to get the wedding bands to your best man before the ceremony, I promise.
You may also want to include items that go well with your wedding style. No one knows your vision better than you! If you find a nice tray or ribbon that helps set the tone for your wedding, include them with the rest of your wedding day details. If you love a classic and timeless wedding, you may also want to look into incorporating vintage stamps, wax seals, and heirloom items. All these items can add such beautiful texture, depth, and dimension to your flat lay.
This tray that my bride found to complement her wedding invitation suite will always be a favorite! Credit: Art Paper Scissors
When you meet your other half on Tinder, hehe. Credit: Art Paper Scissors
Another beauty by Crisp by Britt! One word: vellum!!!
A big thank you to Crest Florist for these beautiful stems!
A little watercolor inspiration from Paper and Flora:
Organic silk-dyed ribbon can soften an image and add beautiful texture. Credit here goes to our friend Lisa at Art Paper Scissor.
Love the greenery motifs in this invitation by Minted:
Another beautiful invite by Art Paper Scissors:
My jaw dropped open when I saw this envelope liner! A drawing of The Ashford Estate in the envelope liner. Gah! Credit goes to Little Black Dress Paperie for this one:
Something I loved about this wedding invitation suite was that it included two versions – one in English and one in Polish! What a nice way to incorporate the bride’s culture! I also love that the wedding day florals were inspired by the winter floral motifs in the invitation. Thank you to Martinsville Florist for the beautiful florals for this one!
Share your photography timeline with your videographer
All of my wedding collections include a custom wedding day timeline and it’s so important to share it with the other vendors, especially with the videographer. This way, we can make adjustments if needed. Depending on the approach and style of your videographer, he or she may need the wedding day details just as much as I do – or they may not need them at all. If your videographer does focus on the wedding day details in the same way that I do, this is something that we need to plan ahead for. It’s never good when both photographer and videographer arrive at the same exact time on your wedding day and both expect to focus on the details first. If this happens, we will, of course, work together, but if we know ahead of time how much time each other needs with the details, we can plan ahead, stagger our time better, and things will go much more smoothly.
I hope these tips are helpful to you! If you’re looking for more inspiration for your wedding invitation and flat lay, check out the images below!
A beautiful suite by Scout Design Shop:
Provide your photographer with plenty of natural light
The best detail shots will have beautiful natural light. Make sure you are providing your photographer with a spacious area to work by a window. If you’re getting ready at a hotel and your makeup artists will need the spots by the window, then ask one of your bridesmaids if your photographer can photograph your details in their room, which will likely be empty at that time. Your photographer will be thankful for a quiet, spacious area to get creative with your wedding day details.
Looking for more inspiration for your wedding day details? Click the button below to get my Guide to Beautiful Wedding Details including my must-have checklist for both you and your groom and some tips to ensure you have everything you need on the morning of your wedding.