Does your wedding invitation actually matter? Is it a detail worth investing in? A lot of couples consider their invitation as just a piece of paper during the planning process and only realize it’s value once the wedding day has come and gone.

As a professional wedding photographer, I’m sharing why you should think about the meaning behind your invitations and the importance of how it all comes together on your wedding day, especially with your photos!

I’m Shari Anne, a San Diego wedding photographer serving the undeniably romantic at heart. I have a heart for service for serving couples with genuinely timeless and eloquently classic imagery, but my heart of service doesn’t stop there. As someone who appreciates education (and let’s be honest, life hacks too!). I’ve wanted to serve couples with more than just photographs. And over the years I’ve spent working in the wedding industry, I’ve noticed more and more that many of you have so many questions throughout the planning process. And I’m sure at times, it all makes you feel a bit overwhelmed in how and what to plan for.

So that’s why I’m here, to be a beacon of light, by sharing my knowledge and experience in the industry, alongside great Professionals that I have the amazing opportunity to work and collaborate with, in hopes of helping you navigate and answer some of those questions and providing reasoning behind their importance. Because again, let’s be honest here, we don’t know what we don’t know… right?

So without further ado, let’s dive into the in’s and out’s of why that extra invitation suite is SO important! 

Making sure to order an extra suite

Let’s start with an example. In registering for your wedding, when it comes to dining sets and other gadgets and gizmos to complete your home, it might be suggested to you that you “order an extra one, just in case” (am I right!?!) Well I’m sure you’re wondering then, so why the extra invitation suite? Is it just a backup for the just in case? Well the answer to that is, no.

That extra invitation suite isn’t meant as a backup or just in case, it has a purpose on your wedding day, and here’s why…

Your extra invitation suite is utilized for styling some of your wedding day details into a cohesive image, sometimes referred to as a layflat or flaylay (what i’m referring to are those beautiful inspirational wedding images that you’ve been pinning on Pinterest since the minute you got engaged!). 

Dusty Blue and Grey Wedding Invitation

Well, photographers like myself, will include an image like this in your gallery to begin the storyline of your wedding day. So, when placing your order with your stationer, it’s a good idea to ask for an extra set that you can give to your photographer to capture with your special wedding heirlooms and other wedding day details like your perfume, jewelry and shoes! (I don’t know about you, but I seriously love all the pretty details!)

How/when to get it to your photographer?

Okay, let’s talk wedding day timeline details! I’ll preface this by saying that every photography brand will vary, so this will ultimately depend on who you’ve booked and it’s a good idea to talk to your photographer on the best time to have your invitations to them by. 

When I work with a couple in planning what your photography coverage will look like on your wedding day, we have several check-ins and planning sessions leading up to the big day. One of these sessions is a details call, where we go over some of the finer details of the day such as what photos are important to you, if there are any special family heirlooms to be photographed and so on. And then comes in the request of putting together your “Wedding Day Details Box”. You may be wondering what that is, so let me explain…

Your wedding day details box is a designated box where all of your details (including the groom’s!) are kept. It’s best to have this, so that your details are easily accessible the day of and your bridesmaids aren’t frantically running around your getting ready space trying to find your details for the photo and video teams – or accidentally leaving it behind in the midst of all the celebrations and gatherings happening before your wedding day. 

Modern Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Pro Tip: Grab a glass of wine (or beer!) and spend an evening setting aside all of the special details and heirlooms that you would like photographed on your wedding day. Once you have all of your important details gathered, pop online to Target or The Container Store and grab a fun details box to keep everything in. So that day of, you can just hand the box over to your photographer and know that’s where everything is, including that extra invitation suite that you ordered from your stationer!

Why is having an image of my invitation suite important?

Ultimately, the celebration of your nuptials is something you’ll be looking back on throughout the years and chapters of your life that unfold long after you spend the day celebrating with all of your closest family and friends. 

As I mentioned before, at the beginning of the day, as a photographer, I will typically start by styling and incorporating all of your special details into an image that shapes the storyline of the two of you and your invitation suite is the anchor of what ties all of these details together. 

Many of these details that get incorporated into the image are heirlooms, old and new that have or will be passed down throughout the generations of your family. Documenting them, just like documenting people, is just as important on your wedding day, as an image like this serves as a way to honor your family heirlooms. And your invitations, just like photographs eventually over time become one of those heirlooms that you’ll be looking back on and sharing, as they are the details of the day that documented the story of your two families becoming one and the start of your life together as Mr. and Mrs. 

Learn more about Shari Anne on Instagram + Facebook


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