How to Photograph Wedding Invitations Like a Pro!

Kelley Williams Photography

Let’s face it. Taking pictures of pieces of paper just isn’t the same as capturing an adoring couple on the biggest day of their life.

But there is a difference between good stationery photography and GREAT stationery photography – and whether you’re a professional wedding photographer or a stationer looking to expand your image portfolio, I’m here to let you in on all of my secret tips for achieving swoon-worthy photos of stationery!

o1 – Choosing a Surface

This should be obvious, but I’ll go there anyway – ya need something to put your stationery ON before you photograph it. Now, what that something is…well that’s up to you.

Here are a few helpful hints when selecting a backdrop for photographing stationery:

  • Choose a neutral color that compliments the colors of the invitation. Bright & bold is OK as long as it still allows the invitation to shine!
  • Avoid super-busy patterns, they just eat up those invitations and the photo becomes all about the pattern.
  • Texture is always welcome, but make sure it doesn’t compete with the invitation vibe. A busy texture plus a busy invitation only make for stressed out eyeballs.
  • It should be relatively flat – iron out any wrinkles and make sure you have a clear, well-lit space to lay it on
  • Avoid using shiny materials, as they also compete with the invitation for your eye’s attention.

You’ll want something about 2′ x 3′ to give your invitations enough room to breathe. And here are a few of my favorite items to use as backdrops for photographing my stationery:

  • White poster board (the not shiny side works best)
  • Upholstery fabric – it’s usually fairly sturdy so I don’t have to iron it too much and comes in mild colors/patterns/textures that compliment a wide range of invitation color palettes
  • Velvet, suede, & velour – have a rich feel, also don’t require a ton of ironing
  • Muslin – very inexpensive and has a linen look, it will force you to become best friends with your iron
  • Vinyl photo backdrops – you can find them in a variety of colors and prints (marble is my favorite) on Amazon
  • Styling mats – fabric mats that you can just roll out as needed. They’re a bit of an investment, but pick a few key neutral colors and you’ll be set for life!

My styling mat collection

02 – Laying Out the Invitation

The absolute BEST thing you can do to elevate your flatlay photography is, well, elevate everything!

Seriously, do not just flop the invitation pieces on your styling surface and call it a day. Instead, put something underneath each piece to give pieces different heights and create some visual interest. I usually use acrylic table number stands, washi tape, or my kids’ LEGO bricks, but honestly anything flat and rectangular will do the trick (pack of gum? sure! deck of cards? yasss! that little plastic box your SD cards came in? perfection!)



03 – Make Sure Everything Is Straight

There is nothing that irritates my brain more than a slightly askew piece of stationery. Yep, I’m that person.

Just take a few test shots and make sure everything looks straight and evenly spaced out. Sometimes things look good when you’re viewing it in 3D with your eyes, but it’s super obvious something went awry when you see it in 2D.

A few other tips on laying out your stationery:

  • If you’re using your iPhone, take advantage of that grid you can put over your photos and use it to make sure you’ve got everything lined up.
  • Sometimes stationery isn’t perfectly flat, so don’t be afraid to gently bend it if there’s a bit of a curve to it.
  • The invitation piece should be the focal point, so put it in the center and with the most elevation. The other pieces can fall in around it, slightly lower.
  • Arrange pieces the way we read – left to right, top to bottom (in case you were wondering…) – to keep things pleasant for your viewer’s eyes and brain.

04 – Tell A Story

Ok, finally to the fun part – accessorizing your flatlay! You want your flatlay to tell the visual story of your couple and their wedding. The items you add to your flatlay help tell that story, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

Here are a few of my favorite styling goodies I always keep stocked in my styling kit:

  • Ring boxes
  • Silk ribbon (variety of colors & thicknesses)
  • Velvet ribbon
  • Shells and beach glass
  • Tiny acorns and pinecones
  • Bride and groom place cards
  • Fancy scissors
  • Extra stamps
  • Wax seals

Of course florals are ALWAYS a beautiful choice and add so much visual interest to the flatlay. Just make sure whatever you’re using doesn’t compete with the invitation and that it all still flows from left to right and top to bottom.

Plopping a pair of shoes next to the invitations in a flatlay is just about the biggest pet peeve there is among stationers (besides chicken stamps and paper shortages). Shoes with stationery don’t bug me that much personally (especially if they’re really good shoes), but how about we just don’t do it so everyone’s happy, mkay?

05 – Find the Light

Try to photograph your work in an area with lots of diffused natural light. Avoid direct sunlight because you’ll end up with lots of crazy shadows. Low light will make your invitations look dingy or force you to increase the exposure to a point where the text and artwork on your invites gets washed out.

I also recommend investing in a few Lightroom presets to give your photos a cohesive look and simplify the editing process. You can also make your own presets!

Enjoy Your Beautiful Photos!

You’ve got all the tools for a successful stationery photo shoot, now go take some photos and watch the compliments roll in on your beautiful flatlay photography!

Need Flatlay Accessories?

Shop our collection of place cards, escort cards, and Styled Seconds to add to your styling kit!

Creating Stationery for a Styled Shoot!

Amber Lynn Photography

So you’re doing a styled shoot! Yay!

As someone who created stationery for 13(!) styled shoots last year, I’ve learned a couple things…and because I love you (and I wish someone had told me all this stuff a year ago), I put it all into this handy guide! Read on for all my styled shoot stationery tips and tricks you’ll want to know before you dive in!


We’re starting off the basic question you might be too embarrassed to ask! If you’re new to the wedding industry, styled shoots are basically pretend weddings that allow wedding vendors to show off their creative ideas and talents. Everyone creates beautiful things, a photographer works their magic, and a beautiful “wedding” is born.

Ashley Ludaescher Photography


You’ll have to talk with the person coordinating the shoot, but the usual end goal is to get published in a wedding publication, which gives all of the vendors some exposure. Sometimes vendors just want photos for their website & marketing, to highlight a new venue, add to their portfolio, or because they’re bored out of their minds (thanks COVID!).

Ashley Rae Photography


Before I get started on any designs, I love to have a quick chat with the shoot coordinator to hear about what they have in mind for the shoot. This gives me a good idea if I’m the right fit and it’s something I want to invest my time and money in. There are plenty of styled shoot horror stories out there (and I’ve had a few interesting experiences myself), so it’s important to have clear expectations, on both sides, from the beginning. Here are a few important things to ask:

What is the goal of the shoot?
Do you have a mood board or Pinterest page for this shoot?
Who are the other vendors?
When can I expect to see photos & how may I use them?
Can I see some examples of styled shoots you’ve done in the past?

If the shoot coordinator is having trouble answering any of these questions, I usually take that as a red flag. I also try to steer clear of anything being thrown together in 2 weeks or less (unless it’s with vendors I know and trust).

Some stationers also require the shoot coordinator sign a contract, which is a great way to ensure you and your stationery don’t encounter any styled shoot snafus. You can find a great (and affordable!) Styled Shoot Agreement from Holly at Sablewood Paper Co.

Once we determine I’m a good fit for the project, I get into the fun stuff – all the nitty gritty details of what style of stationery they’re looking for! You’ll definitely need to know the color palette and overall style of the shoot so you can create stationery that accentuates all of the other components.

I also like to check in with the coordinator to see if there are any details they want me to include in the stationery, like a specific date, venue, ceremony time, or meal choice. Most coordinators are super-flexible and give me free rein to create, but it’s always best to check BEFORE you design a whole suite.

Here’s my list of questions I ask the coordinator:

  1. What pieces do you need?
    • Invite
    • Details/map
    • RSVP card
    • Envelopes/liner
    • menus (quantity?)
    • place cards (quantity?)
  2. Do you have any specific requests for:
    • Couple’s names
    • Wedding date/time
    • Venue
    • Wording formality
    • Menu items
    • Place card wording (“Bride”, “Mrs.”, names, etc.)


This is the fun part! Styled shoots often leave lots of room for stretching your creative wings, so use it as an opportunity to test out that new idea you’ve been mulling on, to showcase something you do really well, or a new item you offer!

Kelley Williams Photography


Obviously check with the shoot coordinator on this one, but I’ve given you a basic list of what I usually include down below. The main thing to remember here is that the photographer will be taking pictures of your suite while it’s laying flat. This means if you have anything on the back side of your suite, you’ll need to include an extra piece so the photographer can get both sides in the same photo.

Oana Foto

Here’s my checklist of items I send for a styled shoot:

  • Invitation front (and back, if needed)
  • RSVP card front (and back, if needed)
  • RSVP envelope, addressed & stamped
  • Details card/map
  • Outer Envelope front, addressed & stamped
  • Outer Envelope liner (not folded)
  • Stacked invitation suite with wrap/ribbon/wax seal/etc.
  • Menus
  • Place cards

PRO TIP: I also like to include a handwritten thank you note to the coordinator and a handful of business cards that she can pass out to her clients.


Short answer: probably not. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Sometimes there is a budget that allows for vendors to at least get reimbursed for materials – but this has only happened once in the 13 shoots I did last year, so don’t get your hopes up.

Since you’re likely not going to make any money directly from the shoot, you’ll want to consider the value that you will get. For example, you’ll have the opportunity to network and develop some great vendor relationships (that can lead to referrals for everyone!).

You’ll also end up with photos of your work to use on your website, social media, and marketing materials. Just make sure you properly credit your photographer’s (and everyone else’s) work! If those photos get published, then you give a little boost of exposure that certainly can’t hurt!


Kelley Williams Photography

If you’re able, it’s always fun to attend the shoot and see how it all comes together! You can also walk your photographer through your suite pieces and point out anything you’d like them to highlight.

If you can’t attend the shoot, feel free to share anything the coordinator and photographer should know via email and even take a quick photo of your suite laid out for inspiration.


No matter what the goal of the shoot, you’ll need to wait for the photographer to actually edit the pictures. If you’re trying to get published, you may not be able to post any of your work or the photographer’s photos on social media, so be sure to check on the publishing plan with the shoot coordinator before hitting the “Share” button!

Loveridge Photo & Film


I’m about to give you a little tough love here, so hike up your big person undies. Styled shoots are SO much fun and it’s easy to get swept away by all the gorgeous photos, but more than likely, even if your styled shoot happens to get published, it’s not going to bring you instant stationery fame and success.


Here’s the good news, though! Styled shoots are a great way to gain experience and build your portfolio! If you’re just starting out and haven’t had many (any?) paying clients yet, styled shoots are the perfect way to experiment without the pressure of impressing a couple for the biggest day of their lives. Use this as a chance to play with printing logistics, test out a new paper or vendor, or get creative with that wax seal!

Kelley Williams Photography

My favorite part of the styled shoots I’ve done is all of the wonderful “friend-ors” I’ve met! As I mentioned, styled shoots are an awesome way to collaborate with planners, photographers, and other vendors you admire and are such a fun way to network. Who knows, you may get your next client as a referral from someone who loved working with you on a styled shoot!

How I Use Dubsado for Proofs!

I’ve been using Dubsado for about a year now and it has completely changed the experience I’m able to provide for my clients. I used to send PDF proofs and contracts my clients had to print, sign, scan, and email back (yuck). Now I’m able to send professional-looking documents, contracts my clients can sign digitally, and keep everything in one organized spot in their Client Portal – which makes me look good (on a computer screen?).

I gave you an overview of some great Dubsado features in this blog post, but today I wanted to take a deep dive into how I use a Dubsado questionnaire for my proofing process!


Dubsado questionnaires are so versatile that you can really use them for anything, but I love using them to guide my clients through the proofing process. If you’ve ever done any sort of proofing, you know it can get confusing! Between all of the back and forth, changes, and trying to help your client visualize the amazingness you have in your head, it can turn into a dumpster fire FAST.

That’s where Dubsado comes in! I use the questionnaire to show my clients a mockup of their invitation and each piece individually, so they know exactly what they’re getting. Being able to show my clients digital renderings really helps them visualize how the suite will come together!

Side note: if you want to learn how to create beautiful mockups like this to put into your Dubsado Proof Questionnaire, head over to Design by Laney for her Stationery Mockup Tutorial!

Before I started using Dubsado, I was sending PDFs of each piece of the suite, which meant my clients had to download them, look at them, go back and forth between the PDF’s and their email with their list of changes, and…whew. It was just annoying all around for everyone.

Now I have it set up in Dubsado so each piece has a space for my clients to easily make notes and provide feedback, or approve the proof for printing. I can even set up a subcontract for clients to digitally sign before we send those documents off to the printer. Here’s a sample Proof Questionnaire I used for some custom stationery.

Easy peasy for the client, even easier peasier for me! Once I’ve made their requested changes, all I have to do is copy the questionnaire, upload the revised images, and send it off – something I can do in about 5 minutes!

Dubsado has plenty of amazing features that have me thanking my lucky stars every day that I decided to purchase it last year. You can test it out for free on three clients and when you’re ready to purchase, you can use my discount code, LOOKGOOD, or click this link for 20% off (PS: I get a little discount when you use my code or link too! Thank you!) And you can purchase during their birthday week, Feb. 22-26, 2021 for an extra discount! Woo hoo!

Happy Dubs-ing!