If you're nearing your wedding day, you're probably at the point in the planning process where you've pinned and saved all of the pretty detail photos that catch your eye. Some of the most eye-catching detail shots are those of flat-lays - which are staged photos, typically set up by the photographer, that can include all sorts of small wedding day details from your invitations to florals to jewelry, and more. Not sure what all you need to make sure you have the perfect flat-lay ready to be photographed on your big day? Don't worry - we've got you covered with some wedding day-detail advice from our very own ANA gal, Liz, our go-to girl for all things stationery, calligraphy, and *of course*, flat-lays. Liz is the owner & designer of Green Girl Design Co., and she's ready to give you her favorite flat-lay tips.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS THE POINT OF A FLAT-LAY? When you picture your wedding day, you probably picture it flowing in the order of events and being the perfect day from start to finish. When you think about your finished wedding gallery you'll get back from your photographer, you should picture it in the same way: a complete picture of the perfect day, flowing in order and encompassing every beautiful aspect of your wedding. Well, even before the day of, you started to set the tone for your wedding when you sent out your wedding invitations. These invitations probably encompassed your wedding colors, a bit of your personalities, and are consistent with the overall style of your wedding.
Now that the big day is finally here, your wedding photographer will take several detail shots that don't actually have "you" in them, in order to ensure that the whole day (decor, dress, cake, etc.) is captured. Your flat-lay photos will be some of the first photos you - and others - see when you look through your wedding album - and they'll be the first hint of the colors, flowers, and overall vibe that the rest of the gallery will hold. Your flat-lay can, and should, be unique and personal to you as a couple. As a stationer who designs wedding stationery with your personality and wedding style in mind, AND sets up flat-lays on an almost daily basis, I'm going to help you make sure you have everything you need for your perfect flat-lays: from the must haves to the extra details to the fun and special "personality" details.
THE MUST HAVES FOR YOUR FLAT-LAY DETAIL SHOTS.
The focal point of your flat-lay is your wedding stationery. You might not have opted in for all custom wedding stationery, and you may have even sent some things virtually, but if you have any extras of the following, these should be brought to your venue on the day of for detail shots:
Save the Dates
Envelopes - preferably addressed with hand-calligraphy if you had someone do this for your invitations.
RSVP Cards & any other inserts you sent out (detail cards, accommodation cards, etc.)
Day-Of Stationery (Programs, Menus, Table Numbers, etc.)
Your flat-lay isn't *just* going to be stationery, though. The stationery can be styled in all sorts of ways with other small details that encompass your wedding style, but the most important to include are:
Florals - your florist should have a few extra flowers for detail shots, or at least petals to use.
Jewelry - DEFINITELY all rings (engagement and wedding bands). Earrings are also common in flat-lay shots.
SOMETHING ELSE TO "FILL THE SPACE".
While not quite as necessary for a flat-lay, I always like to include some "filler details" to help bring the whole picture to life. My favorite "fillers" that look beautiful no matter your style are:
Vintage Stamps (my favorite shop to purchase these from is Little Postage House)
Ribbon in a color that ties your stationery & flowers together
Wax Seals + Envelope Liners - you may not have included these details in every invitation suite you sent out, but you can have them for your *one* invitation suite that you bring for photos. Deck out your envelopes with a beautiful envelope liner, a custom wax seal, and some calligraphy/envelope art for gorgeous photos.
A ring box/dish. Velvet ring boxes are my favorite, lately!
A pretty perfume bottle - if you're planning on having a "wedding-day perfume", definitely include this!
Shoes, Tie, other accessories - these are usually photographed in detail photos no matter what, but can also be included in a big flat-lay. Your photographer will definitely ask for these accessories for photos by your bouquet and dress, so let them know they can play around and set it all up together if you'd like!
Notes to one another/custom vow booklets
For my wedding flat-lay, we included some of our wedding favors, which were koozies with a sketch of our faces on them. Grab one of these or any custom favors, cocktail napkins, etc.
"PERSONALITY" DETAILS YOU CAN INCLUDE. My favorite personal detail I've seen in flat-lays is a few polaroids from throughout the relationship. This is a cute way to include memories from your time dating/engaged, and show your style a little bit if this feels *you*. Other fun or special things you can include are:
Keepsakes from relationship milestones (something from your first date, first kiss, anniversary, etc.)
Concert or travel ticket stubs
Family jewelry or keepsakes ("something borrowed")
Extra fun wedding accessories - sunglasses, tennis shoes for the dance floor, a grand-exit cowboy hat, etc.
"Something *you*" - something that represents your favorite thing to do together, your favorite movie, your favorite place you've travelled, etc.
SO - HOW DO I MAKE SURE I HAVE WHAT I NEED FOR MY FLAT-LAY?!
If you chose the route of designing your own stationery and printing invitations through an online wholesaler, then make sure to print a few extras. You'll want to have some to hold onto for years to come, and you'll want to give a couple to your planner/photographer on the day of your wedding. If you hired a stationer to custom design invitations, address your envelopes, and print day-of stationery, then make sure you request a few extras of each piece from them. Personally, I have so much fun supplying my couples with extra envelopes that are all decked out in calligraphy, vintage stamps, wax seals, etc. for styling of detail photos. Not only does it add to their wedding day photo gallery, but it also helps me as a wedding vendor to have beautiful photos of my work to share on social media. Whoever is creating your stationery will love the opportunity to have their artwork styled and photographed by a talented professional.
Talk to your wedding planner, day-of coordinator, photographer, maid of honor, etc. to make sure they know this is an important aspect of your wedding day-vision and trust them to bring it to life. Your planner & photographer may already have some ideas in mind for details to include in your flat-lay photos, and in my opinion, more details are always better! I am allll about the details, and if I'm your wedding-stationery designer, I'll make sure you have all you need and more for your dream flat lays!
A LITTLE ABOUT LIZ + GREEN GIRL DESIGN CO.
Hi y’all! I’m Liz & I created Green Girl Design Co. in 2019 after a lot of encouragement from some incredible women. My business came to fruition out of my passion for weddings & events, and creating beautiful things. Beyond making environmentally conscious stationery, I love to travel, explore different cities for the best food, and go on long walks with friends.
Green Girl Design Co. is a stationery design company on a mission to make events more about the memories and less about the waste. I try to be eco-conscious in all of my decision making when it comes to my business, and I’m constantly learning new ways to make a smaller footprint. I use 100% recycled or cotton paper for all printed stationery & encourage reusable signage in order to strive for more eco-friendly events. So let’s work together to make your stationery personal, creative, and considerate to the earth. I love to create fun, inspired, colorful, and personal stationery to help make wedding days special & full of joy! I believe that your wedding day begins with your invitations, and they play a vital part in setting the tone and theme of your big day. Come visit me at greengirlatx.com or on my instagram page!