Looking Past the Pretty Picture

A quick internet search for wedding invitations will yield thousands of results. Some invitations will be shown with their full suite, including front and back sides, envelope liners, vintage stamps, enclosure cards, and even beyond that, some are dramatically styled with props like lace, ribbon, flowers, etc. and then professionally photographed. At the other end of the spectrum, some sites don't use photographs of their invitations at all — instead they use the digital JPG files of the invitation proof.

While the styled photos are stunning, there can sometimes be a disconnect in determining what it is you really like about the invitation. On more than one occasion, a bride has contacted us with a photo of an invitation they like, and said she would like something “like that.” Side note: while we are happy to use a photo or sample for inspiration or for typeface/color ideas, we will not copy another designer’s work. But then when we, as designers, isolate the invitation design itself, sometimes it isn’t what the bride wants at all, and they discover what they really fell in love with was the look of the whole photo and don't even really like the design or layout of the invitation after all.

We recently styled a professional photo shoot for some of our favorite and most popular invitations, but we always make a point to ensure the invitation itself remains unobstructed, so that while the whole photo is beautiful (we might be biased) you can really focus on the design of the invitation.

When browsing different styles of invitations, we encourage you to really break down the pretty pictures, focus on the design, and ask yourself these questions: 

  • Can you identify the actual invitation in the photo?
  • Once the invitation itself is isolated from the props used in the photo, what do you like about it, specifically. Maybe it's the general layout/flow of the invitation, even if it isn't shown in your colors? Is the paper or ink just the perfect color even if you don't like the overall design? Is it the font/typeface you're in love with? Maybe you're in love with the envelope liner? If you took away the props and embellishments, would you still like anything about the design and layout of the invitation?

This will help us decipher your style and preferences much more quickly, and we can pull all of your favorite elements together to create your perfect custom invitation suite.