Why It Works: Invitation Suite Styling Tips


One series we're really excited to share with you on our blog is our design series called "Why It Works". Every so often, I will be giving you tips, insight and inspiration on how to style or design something specific. Today it's all about invitation suites!

As designers, it's important not only to be able to conceptualize an interior space or event, but it's also vital to be able to put the pieces together in a well-styled and pleasing manner. One seemingly small detail of a wedding can be easily overlooked, but it actually plays a huge role in setting the tone for the big day! Invitation suites are an informative and often beautiful element of the wedding day puzzle, and one that is not to be forgotten. 


Invitation suites include the invite and envelope, RSVP card and envelope, and possibly directions or a map to the location. Remember, this is the first thing guests will see to give them an idea of what the day is going to be like, so it's the perfect time to set the mood for the day. When styling an invitation suite for photos, I try to do the same thing, so when combined in a wedding album, or published online or in print, the photos tell the full story of the celebration. In order to do this, I think about a few things:

- Include elements from the wedding to tie into the invitation suite vignette. For this California kumquat shoot, I knew we needed to tie in the kumquat to our suite photos. Also appropriate would have been a coordinating flower, small dessert if there was one, the rings, ribbon, etc.

- Try many different shots and set ups. Ashley and I love to start big (include many items in the photo) and work our way down to a more minimalist shot. 

- Layering items gives dimension and interest. Adding a curled, free flowing ribbon or a piece of greenery helps capture more of a complete story.

- Negative space is key, as with all design. If there is too much going on, it will feel cluttered and the eye won't know where to land. As Joan Fedoroshyn once rightly said, "The design of negative space can be just as important as the positive image."

- Making sure the paper elements are straight on with the frame is a good idea. It's much harder to fix in post-processing!

- Your image should be balanced. This doesn't mean it needs to be symmetrical, but having equal distribution of balance, no matter which way you slice up the picture, is crucial to creating an aesthetically pleasing vignette. You can see we did this below by layering the invite on top of the envelope (which has the prettiest liner, might I add!) and aligning it to the right of the frame. Then I placed the kumquat branch on the bottom left side, to help fill in the left corner. If any of the three elements were removed from this photo, it would be unbalanced.


DETAILS: Calligraphy & Illustration: Kaitlin Parisho Designs, Photography: Ashley Slater Photography, Design: Michaela Noelle Designs

Stay tuned for the rest of this beautiful inspiration shoot revealed in a few weeks on a big wedding publication.

What invitation suite styling techniques to you use and love?