styling your invitations

Unless you have an awesome photographer who also happens to have some styling chops chances are you may end up missing out on getting some amazing photographs of your invitations. I actually don’t even have a professional photograph of my wedding invitations…it’s just not something I thought to bring to my wedding and give to my photographer (who was awesome btdubs). Trust me, there are a thousand other things to be concerned with on your wedding day- making sure your photographer gets an amazing shot of your invitations is probably not going to be very high on your list. BUT I can also say that if you don’t get a good shot of your invitations you will regret it. Take it from me- the girl with no invitation picture.

This is something I try to make sure I take care of for my brides. And for the past year I simply made sure I got their invitation and passed it along to the photographer…this approach has left me disappointed on more than one occasion. Several times I ended up with strange backgrounds, a weird arrangement, and one time I had photographers who completely forgot to get the shot at all.

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

This is one of my favorite set of styled invitations EVER. These are Amanda’s, who just so happens to be one of the co-owners of 100 Layer Cake, so it shouldn’t be shocking that everything about her invitations is perfection. What is actually most interesting to me about this is that if I single out and just look at her invitation I don’t love it…but by the time you add in all of the other components, the hot pink background, the gold confetti, it’s pretty much my favorite thing ever. So here is my advice to make sure that you end up with a perfectly styled invitation photo that will forever memorialize those invitations you spent a lot of time and money on.

1. Tell your photographer. Mention to your photographer ahead of time how important getting a great photo of your invitations is. Tell them, e-mail them, call them, send a telegram, make sure they know! Most photographers will ask you for a must-have photo list. Put this on the list.

how to style invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

2. Do the leg work for them. Play with your invitation before your wedding day- get all of the pieces- the invitation, inner envelope, outer envelope, RSVP, program, menu, etc. Also get some props- anything that looks good with your invitation or goes along with the decor or theme of your wedding day. Play around with different configurations- look on Pinterest for styled invitations that you like and emulate that. Take Iphone pictures of your top 3 or 4 favorite configurations.

3. Get Creative. Even if you didn’t hire a calligrapher to do every invitation- maybe have them just do one for the photograph. Or ask an artsy friend with cool handwriting. Go to a coin and stamp store to find some cool vintage stamps to put on the envelope. In a perfect world you would have all of your invitations looking like perfection, but even if it’s just not in the cards for all of them you can make that one be extra special. I won’t tell anyone. As for props…anything can be a prop- a cool rock, a ball of yarn, a leaf, a hankie….you get the idea.

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

3. Make a packet. Pack all of the photos of your favorite configurations, the paper components, the props into a little box and ship that sucker off to your photographer. This will allow them to take the photos of your invitations whenever they want- there is always a lot going on during the wedding day and the photographer has to constantly make sure they are at the center of all the action. Having everything they need to photograph your invitations before the wedding means that they can take their time and get it just the way you want. 

Here are some different configurations Paige and I played around with when we shot the invitations for the beach boho shoot. We did this on a separate day so we weren’t frazzled and could really enjoy it. I know I’m a total weirdo, but this was such a blast for me. #dontjudge

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design

It’s all about options, options, and more options. You never know what will look best in the photograph so just play and have fun. And here’s my favorite…

Beachy Boho | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

I also really love how the styling of Phoenix’s birthday invitations came out. We did these about five minutes before the party started so not quite as relaxed, but lucky for me my family runs about 30 minutes late to everything so we had plenty of time.

how to style your invitations | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

This second one is actually my favorite. I worked on the invitations before I had nailed down all of the details for the party so I had no idea the color scheme of the party was going to be so much turquoise and obviously the invitations have NO turquoise in them. It was an easy fix by adding in a napkin and some of the painted army men…makes it a lot less obvious that the invitations are all earth tones.

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Happy styling!

{Image Credits: 1 100 Layer Cake, 2 The Paper Paramour, 3 Lucky Luxe, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 Jennifer Laura Design, Awake Photography, and Lil Rhino Paper Co.}

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