Hello Loves! We hope we can put a bit of light into your hearts this afternoon! Today, we welcome Naomi of Bowties & Bouquets to the blog as we go behind the scenes of Specialty Flatlay Styling. We recently put together a flatlay marathon and had such an amazing experience styling together. We are so happy that we can share some thoughts and tips from our experience.
What is a Flatlay?
A flatlay is essentially a compilation of items laid out on a flat or leveled surface and photographed from above. They tell a story, evoke emotion and remind you of a memory.
Flatlays are so important to us because of the memories and feelings of nostalgia that they create. A flatlay isn’t merely just a photograph of your wedding items. Often times, it contains details about your wedding day, it holds heirlooms passed down from generations, it has a special gift that you received from your partner. Yes, it does contain beautiful details from your wedding, but it is more than that. A flatlay encompasses all of the heirloom items and special wedding details that will fade or die — never to be seen or worn again.
So, let’s talk about what we include in our flatlays.
For our Brides, the details that we love sharing consist of your beautiful wedding dress on a romantic hanger, beloved wedding shoes, that special ring he picked out just for you, a ring box, the gift of perfume & more. For our Grooms, we love to include cuff links, your watch a loved one gifted you, wedding shoes, socks, your necktie, well-loved cologne. The special heirloom items we include are the jewelry your grandmother passed down to you, your handwritten vows, a love letter, your veil, any special details you may bring from past dates, your hand selected wedding invitation & save the date.
It may feel like some of these items aren’t heirlooms and that’s because as of right now, maybe they aren’t. Maybe you just purchased them recently, well in 20 or 30 years when your children are looking through your photo albums, they absolutely will be heirlooms. These photographs are to preserve that memory, that feeling you get in your chest of love, that smile that starts to creep up on your face as you are reminded of the best day of your life, the day you pledged forever to your best friend.
What are my favorite items to add to a flatlay?
We loooove to add loose florals from your wedding. Flowers always seem to dress anything up, so we like to photograph your luscious and beautiful bouquet, his gorgeous boutonniere and any extra loose florals your florist sends along. Silk ribbons add a little bit of whimsy to the flatlay, we arrange it in a flowy way to add movement. Escort cards a fun addition especially when they say “bride” and “groom” or “mr” and “mrs” or it has your new last name, it’s always beautiful to see that up front and center. Having your beautiful sparkly encased in a velvet ring box just gives me all sorts of excitement and can we talk about seeing your rings together? We love that moment; it feels so official and it ties your union together. Laying your invitation out on a vintage tray or styling surface is the best! Sometimes invitations get thrown away so having this photographed and captured is the perfect remedy for that. You’ll never lose this keepsake when it’s inside a photograph.
Here is where you can get some of our favorite items from.
We are a huge fan of silk ribbons from Ling’s Moments. They have so many different styles to choose from and their quality is superb, it will literally last you a lifetime!
You can work with your calligrapher or invitation designer to include bridal escort cards. Some of my favorite designs would be vellum, letterpress, wood or acrylic. Different mediums can be fun too, like eucalyptus leaves, agate slices, seashells, marble, etc. Who are my favorite calligraphers? Honest Type, Lortz Lettering, Paper Mint Press, Written Word Calligraphy.
We have always been so obsessed with ring boxes. There are many options out there. You can choose velvet, acrylic, or wood. You can have a square, hexagon or round ring box. It can be a single size (fits one ring) or double size (fits 2 rings). My favorite affordable ring boxes are from StylingArchives and Lacebyrd.
If you’re looking for antique items, you can rummage through your grandmother’s drawer to find heirloom items or you can head to a local antique store to find something that fits your fancy. We always love lockets with old fashioned pictures of parents or grandparents.
Now this is for fellow photographers, creatives, designers/planners. We love using styling surfaces to get those really pretty flatlays. Why do I use a styling surface? Not all venues will have a clean and bright space for you to lay all the items on. Sometimes you’re dealing with carpet or wood or uneven tones. A beautiful flatlay consists of having a bright, light surface. The surface must be large enough to lay all of your items on. My favorite styling surface to use is Chasing Stone. It is big enough to lay all of my items on, it rolls up for easy transportation, it is easy to clean in case you spill perfume or pollen and it comes with a bag so you can just throw it in your car.
And there you have it, guys! These are our tips for flatlays as well as where to get all of our favorite items! Thank you for joining us on this Wedding Wednesday!
with love from Tiffani (from Sun & Sparrow) & Naomi (from Bowties & Bouquets)