Hello Lovelies, Naomi from Bowties & Bouquets and Tiffani from Sun & Sparrow here! 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, 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 items to add to a flatlay?
We love 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 are a fun addition, especially when they say “Bride” and “Groom” or “Mr” and “Mrs”. 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.
You can work with your calligrapher or invitation designer to include bridal escort cards. Some of our favorite designs would be vellum, letterpress, wood or acrylic. Different mediums can be fun too, like eucalyptus leaves, agate slices, seashells, marble, etc.
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 love lockets with old fashioned pictures of parents or grandparents.
Whether you're a photographer or a Bride, we hope that these flatlay styling tips help you! Flatlays create lasting heirlooms and preserve your wedding memories. If you're a Bride, consider asking your photographer to add in Flatlay styling to their services!