FLATLAY STYLING TIPS AND TRICKS
Hello Friends and Happy Friday!
Today on the blog, I will be introducing you to “flatlays” and everything you need to know on how to expertly style a flatlay. I recently put together a flatlay marathon with Sun & Sparrow Photography and we had such an amazing experience styling together! I am so happy that I can share some thoughts and tips from our experience as well as on achieving a beautiful styled flatlay.
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 me 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.
WHAT DO I INCLUDE IN MY FLATLAYS?
For my Brides, the details that I love to include 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 my 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, 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 of love you get in your chest, 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 FLATLAY ITEMS TO INCLUDE?
I loooove to add loose florals from your wedding. Flowers always seem to dress anything up, so I like to see your luscious and beautiful bouquet photographed, 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 are a fun addition, especially when they say “Bride” and “Groom” or “Mr” and “Mrs” or when 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? I 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.
WHERE CAN YOU GET MY FAVORITE ITEMS FROM?
I am a huge fan of silk ribbons; some of my favorites would be from Ling’s Moments, Silk & Willow or Fringe + Rose. They each have so many different varieties to choose from and their quality is superb, it will literally last you a lifetime!
You can work with a calligrapher or invitation designer to include bridal escort cards. Some of my favorite mediums would be vellum, handmade paper, eucalyptus leaves, marble or agate slices. Different printings can be fun too; letterpress, gold foil, pointed calligraphy nib or vinyl.
Who are my favorite calligraphers?
I am of course obsessed with ring boxes! There are many options out there. You can choose velvet, glass or wood. You can have a square, hexagon, octagon or oval ring box. It can be a single size (fits one ring) or double size (fits 2 rings). My favorite ring boxes are from StylingArchives, Lacebyrd and Voeu du Coeur.
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. I love brooches, tiny china plates, skeleton keys and lockets with old fashioned pictures of your parents or grandparents.
AND A TIP FOR FELLOW CREATIVES
This is for all of the photographers, creatives, designers/planners, I 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, too. My #1 favorite styling surface to use is by Chasing Stone. It is big enough to lay all of my items on, it is lightweight, 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 over your shoulder.
And there you have it, guys! These are my tips for flatlays as well as where to get all of my favorite items! Thank you for joining me on this Flatlay Journey! Stay tuned for what is to come!
With love, naomi
INCREDIBLE FLATLAY MARATHON VENDOR PARTNERS
Photographer: Sun & Sparrow | Styling Surfaces: Chasing Stone | Vintage Props (Trays): Provenance Rentals | Paper Goods: Shine Wedding, Sam Allen Creates, Blushing Calligraphy, Paper Mint Press & Written Word Calligraphy | Rings: Kobelli | Ring Boxes: Lacebyrd & Koyal Wholesale | Silk Ribbons: Silk & Willow & Ling’s Moment | Publisher: Wedding Chicks