How to Choose a Photo for Save the Dates

You’ve gotten your engagement photos back from your photographer and are stoked because – it’s time to order your save the dates! The excitement quickly turns to overwhelm as you realize how hard it’ll be to choose ONE photo. Where do you even start? There are so many favorites, because you guys look totally adorable and your photographer did an amazing job. How do you choose the perfect photo for your save the date cards?

First things first, if you’re wondering what save the date cards are – let me explain. Save the dates are usually sent about six months before the wedding to announce to guests to, well, save the date! Often, a photo is included with some basic details about the wedding. Read this post for more information on what save the dates are and if they’re necessary for your wedding!

Gold Foil Save the Date Card

When it comes to choosing a save the date photo, I recommend keeping these four things in mind:

1. Quality

A picture taken on a phone doesn’t always work best for printing. If you’re working with a professional photographer, they’ll provide high quality files that are made to print – with at least 300ppi. Your designer will be able to quickly review the file to make sure it will print nicely. Having a good quality photo for your save the dates is important!

Along with the overall size, choose a photo with good lighting and that’s distraction free. The focus should be on the people in the photo, not the things going on around it! I recommend a picture where nothing important is close to the edges. When a design goes to print, there’s a margin of error accounted for and if anything (like your head!) is too close to the edge, there is a chance of it getting cut. A photo where there’s plenty of safe space on the sides works well!

2. Negative Space

Photos with negative space make for the best save the date designs, in my opinion. This means that there’s room on the actual photo for a design to lay without conflicting with the photo itself. A good example is a picture where the couple is on one side and there’s a muted background on the other, perfect for laying out information. Check out these examples for inspiration!

Custom Save the Date

3. Faces are Featured

This is more of my preference, but I like to mention it because it’s often not considered when choosing a save the date photo. There are so many great photos where the couple (or even just one person) is looking down, away, etc. I adore photos from behind of a couple holding hands, but these don’t work best for save the dates.

Why? Because your family and friends want to see your pretty faces when they get your save the date in the mail! Save the dates usually only include first names, so there’s a possibility of confusion if your face isn’t showing. Think about it!

4. Matches Your Theme

Your save the date is the very first detail guests receive for your wedding day – try to keep it within the same overall feel as the rest of your wedding! Having a laid back, non-traditional wedding? Pick a photo that gives that vibe. Will your wedding be black tie? Choose a picture that represents a formal affair.

Hopefully these tips help you narrow down the perfect photo for your save the date! If you’re still having trouble choosing, you can always add a second photo to the back of the card or do a collage style design.

Save the Date Ideas

Still in doubt? Send your favorite options to your designer – we’ve done this before and are happy to give our opinion on which would work best. I love getting to see your engagement photos and helping you choose one!



  • Save the dates should be mailed no less than six months before the wedding date. Plan on mailing earlier if you’re having a destination wedding, wedding on or near a holiday, or inviting a lot of out of town guests.
  • Order save the dates based on the number of addresses on your guest list rather than the number of guests. Each household only needs one and by counting guests you’ll likely order way more than you’ll actually need!
  • Save the date cards should include the bride and groom names, location of the wedding (city + state is fine), and the date of the wedding. If you have a wedding website it can be added.
  • If you’re inviting a person and allowing them to bring a plus one, address the save the date that way. For example, Miss Susie Smith and Guest.
  • To make sure guests know that the save the date isn’t the actual invitation, you can state “invitation to follow” on the card.

Ready to order your save the dates? Get in touch with me today!


Lush Lavender Wedding Inspiration

It’s been a while since I have done a styled shoot and I must say – I think this is my favorite to date! Katie of Katie Tiller Photography organized an awesome vendor team to execute her lush, lavender wedding vision at one of North Georgia’s newest (and brightest) venues! Circle B in Tunnel Hill, Georgia is a photographer’s dream with white walls, tall ceilings, and huge windows letting in tons of natural light.

Georgia Wedding Venue

This invitation suite was created based on a custom design I did for one of my best friend’s weddings. I modified it a bit to fit the geo theme Katie envisioned. The soft lavender watercolor give a romantic feel and the gold toned fonts glam it up a bit. I might be biased, but I think it fit pretty perfectly with the other details from this faux wedding day!

Lavender Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite

Watercolor Wedding Invitation

From the colorful, lush florals to the artfully designed cake to the gorgeous Hayley Paige gown – and everything in between, this lavender wedding styled shoot is one for the books! At least the magazines, because it was published in North and Peach. See full vendor list and links at the bottom of this post!

Lavender Floral Bouquet
Circle B Venue

Lavender Wedding Bouquet

Lavender Wedding Cake

Romantic Lavender Wedding Invitations

Are you feeling inspired by this lavender styled shoot? You can order a sample of these wedding invitations right here!

Dusty Lavender Wedding Invitations and more purple wedding inspiration!

Vendor Dream Team:

Venue: Circle B | Florist: Blooming Hites | Photography: Katie Tiller Photography | Cake: Cake Envy | Invitation Suite + Menus: oh my! designs | Coordination: Like the Dazzling | Makeup: Megan Quintana Artistry | Hair & Bridesmaid: Alexis Chatt | China Rentals The Prissy Plate Company | Hand lettered signs & agate slices: Sweet Goldie Bee Designs | Jewelry: Mickey Lynn | Dress Rentals: Wedding Angels Bridal | Gown: Blush by Hayley Paige


Modern City Skyline Wedding Invitation Design

Creating a skyline wedding invitation has been on my “design bucket list” for a while. Whenever I visit a new place, I always get a little magic twinkle feeling seeing a city skyline! Although I’ve never truly lived downtown, I suppose I’m a city girl at heart.

Atlanta Skyline Wedding Invitations

There’s something romantic and exciting about a skyline. Whether the sun is rising, setting, or the moon is out – seeing a skyline flicker in the light is my absolute favorite!

These invitations were created with a modern, rooftop wedding in mind. I kept it classic using only black and white, but used a fun script font to add some pizzazz!

Modern City Skyline Wedding Invitation

I wanted to keep it close to home by using the Atlanta skyline, but this design can be customized for a variety of major cities including my other two favorites – New York City and San Diego!

For Atlanta, I added the ferris wheel detail to the information card. I’d love to get creative on what landmark to add for a different city’s skyline!

Modern Black and White Wedding Invitations

Modern Wedding RSVP Card

Using this invitation suite would be the perfect first impression to guests of a modern or classic big city wedding of any season! Interested in customizing these for your big day? Order a sample or fill out my questionnaire to get started!

Styling + Photography: Shelby Tsika Photography


Vendor Series: Valuable Information from a Wedding Florist

When wedding planning, a lot of brides can feel totally lost on where to start when it comes to choosing a florist – and flowers! I’m excited to have Jackie, owner and lead floral designer at Blooming Hites, sharing her advice and the story behind her business.

Jackie is not only a talented florist and amazing business owner, but a sweet friend! We met at a networking event and later bonded over margaritas. She is great at keeping it real and brides LOVE working with her because of her gorgeous visions and fun personality. Read on for her most valuable floral tips for any bride-to-be!

How long have you been working as a florist?

10 years (WOW – time flies when you’re having fun). I started when I was a teenager, and my first “flower” job was down the street from my house at a flower stand in Coronado.

What started your interest in working in the wedding industry?
I always joke that Barbie and Ken got me into the wedding industry. Actually, who am I kidding. It’s 50% true. I can vividly remember always marrying Barbie and Ken outside in my yard and putting on these lavish (kid-like) weddings for them. I tend to give them credit because that’s the earliest memory I have falling in love with all things weddings. The other 50% is the blessed gift of flower design and connecting them with wedding couples. I have a strong passion in the connection between flowers and people. Being a part of a couples wedding day and seeing their reactions to flowers and the entire wedding day backdrop is the sweetest reward I can think of. It’s definitely drive for my company.

Lush Hanging Floral Installation Wedding Table

How can a client best prepare for an initial meeting with you?
There are four essentials I would suggest here. First: Pinterest Board. Pinterest Board. Pinterest Board. :) And if not Pinterest, having a little bit of inspiration of any type helps when heading into a consultation. Clients aren’t expected to know flower names – if they do, it’s really impressive. All they really need to know is what they like and don’t like so I can guide them to the right palette/theme suited for them.

The second essential, wedding couples should have a wedding date and a venue/location for their date. The third, having filled out my questionnaire as best they can helps out tremendously. Last but not least, keeping an open mind with budget because flowers cost more than anyone would think. (Read our blog post on exactly where your wedding floral budget goes right here!) For example, our wedding flower base cost starts at $4,000 in order to assist the average wedding wants and needs.

What types of things should couples consider when choosing a florist for their wedding?
I would suggest to couples focus mainly on personality. Finding a florist with a personality and skill set you respect and admire will make the planning process and day of execution run smoothly. I would also recommend wedding couples to not let budget guide your florist choices. It might sound like I am a bit of a broken record on this topic, but you don’t want to miss out on an amazing wedding floral experience just because the quote was a little high initially.

I love to work with my clients in helping match their flower wants to their budget. For example, if a couple is set on garden roses but they aren’t within their budget, I’ll help guide them toward alternatives (like regular roses or another type of rose they might find pretty). I tend to always quote for a client’s dream wedding in the initial proposal. If the quote is out of their price range, I’ll work with them in scaling it back to fit what they aren’t willing to give up.

Atlanta Wedding Florist

Can the client expect to hear from you between the time they book your services and their wedding day?
Of course! I’m in a healthy amount of contact with my clients between booking and their wedding day. If they want to have a follow up after the initial meeting, I can schedule one in. I’m happy to hold their hand as much as they want. As for our event design head to toe package, we include day-of wedding managing design with vendors.

What role do you play on the actual day of the wedding?
Great question and one I love to be asked. For wedding day flowers, my team and I are there setting up two hours beforehand. The whole time I’m setting up I’m so anxious to see the wedding couples in their “I Do” wardrobe. Seeing them dressed up and watching their special day coming together is magical. In some weddings, we do room flips. If that’s the case, we will stay to flip the room from ceremony to reception. If clients want us to come back at the end of the wedding to clean-up, we can do that as well. My clients who book my wedding event design management package, we are there day-of wedding managing all design elements with vendors.

What is one piece of advice you can offer for making the most of the floral budget?
Reusing flowers within the wedding is a huge money saver in a floral budget. I always love discussing recycling options that wedding couples can do within their ceremony and reception. For example, couples can opt to transition their bouquets from the ceremony to the reception by placing them at tables or in the bathroom. Another favorite is reusing the pillar arrangements from the ceremony and into their reception by decorating the escort table or buffet.

Blooming Hites Floral

What trends for 2018 weddings are you loving?

This year, I really like that wedding couples are choosing to do more hanging installations. A few other trends I’m loving: non-traditional ceremony decor (like arches) and geo-shape centerpieces.

Is there anything else couples starting their wedding planning should know about flowers?

Don’t settle on wedding flowers by cutting them from or taking them out of your wedding budget. Beautiful blooms help accent and elevate an entire wedding atmosphere. Also, couples should know that there are plenty of pretty alternatives for certain flowers they want but aren’t in season during the time of their wedding.

Atlanta Wedding Florist

You can find Jackie on her website here (make sure to sign up for her newsletter!) and on Instagram here. Blooming Hites Studio and Boutique is located in Downtown Roswell – stop in to browse gifting and some pretty paper from yours truly.


Photo credits:

Kenzie Packrall, Shelby Rae Photographs


What to Include on Your Wedding Website

First things first, you’re probably wondering: “Do I really need a whole website dedicated to my wedding?” I say yes – a wedding website is the perfect place to house all the details of your big day. It’s set up for your guests as a resource and one-stop-shop with links to everything they might need: your wedding registry, hotel accommodations, and more.

Wedding Details Card

Along with the invitation and RSVP card, I recommend that couples add an insert card for extra wedding day details. On this insert, include whatever information is most important to your wedding day – maybe you have specific parking instructions or instructions for booking a hotel room in your reserved block.

The rest of the information? Add it directly to your wedding website and list the link on your insert card. This way, your guests aren’t overwhelmed with all the information at once and can check out your website when they have a chance.

Most of the couples I have worked with recently used TheKnot’s free website template. They have many themes, colors, and feels – choose something that represents your overall wedding! If you want something a little more customizable, I love the look of Squarespace sites. The Every Girl put together a great tutorial on how to set up a website on Squarespace for your wedding right here!

Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to input all the fun stuff! Set aside a couple hours for this task, but don’t stress – setting up your wedding website can definitely be done with a glass of wine nearby and your favorite TV show on in the background. It doesn’t have to be perfected immediately, just make sure you have link set up when ordering invitations to give to your stationer (that’s me!) Review and finalize your website right before mailing invitations.

Wedding Website Details

So, what exactly should you include on your wedding website?

The Front Page: All the Important Stuff

Yep, all that important stuff! Your names, the date, the location, and the time. Bonus points for a pretty picture of you two! That was easy, right?

The Wedding Day Details

Have a specific page for the details – you can reiterate the information from your insert card and include anything else that wasn’t listed. This is the place to inform guests of a suggested dress code or specify “adults only” if you’re having a child-free event. Other details could include reception information (if it’s different from the ceremony location), parking instructions, etc!

Wedding Website Invitation

The Travel Information

It’s likely that at least some guests will be traveling from out of town to attend your wedding. Set up a travel page on your wedding website with details they might need. Recommended accommodations, and any group/discount codes, can be listed here. A travel page is also a great place for directions, transportation, or airport info.

One idea I’ve stolen from my creative couples is a “things to do” list for out of towners. This could include local favorites – restaurants, shopping, or attractions that would be fun for your new to town guests.


Use this as an option, not a replacement for traditional RSVP card. Putting an actual paper RSVP cards is someone’s hands really reminds them to reply back. With just a link, it is easy to forget. There’s also the issue that guests who aren’t tech savvy won’t be able to get online to RSVP. Note: I do not recommend an online RSVP if you’re having a formal or black tie wedding!

The Registry

It isn’t polite to include registry information on the invitation or any of the accompanying insert cards. Even though it is expected for couples to create a wish list, putting that information with the invitations is considered a no-no. Read more wedding invitation mistakes you didn’t know you were making here.

The workaround? Include registry information on your wedding website, which is listed on the insert card. You can even directly link to the actual wedding registries on your website and make it super easy for guests to gift you!

The Love Story

OK, this is honestly my favorite part of the wedding website. Everyone has a great love story – that moment that you meet, when you begin dating, and of course – the engagement! Some are simple, some are complicated, some are long, some are short, but the story behind the love is something fun to share with your guests.

Couples I’ve worked with have gotten super cute and creative writing their love stories! My favorite is when there are two versions: “his” and “hers” (or his and his or hers and hers because we’re all inclusive here!) to compare. This adds an element of humor and I can’t get enough of these!

The Pretty Pictures

Your wedding website is an awesome place to show off your beautiful faces! Include some professional engagement shots along with fun photos taken throughout your relationship. Let the photos tell their own story of your favorite trips and memories together!

The Party People

Don’t forget to add your bridesmaids and groomsmen to your wedding website! Extra points if you attach photos for each person. List your relationship to each person and even a fun fact about them. Your guests likely don’t know each person on both sides of the bridal party, so this is a neat way to “introduce” them and get the party started early!


Excited to share your finished wedding website? Post the link below in the comments!

(Photography: Shelby Tsika Photography, HS Neckers Photography)


Vendor Series: Working with a Professional Wedding Makeup Artist

I hope you’ve found the wedding vendor series helpful! Scroll back to check out my previous posts from wedding planner Kecia Wilson and wedding photographer Katie Tiller – both all full of knowledge and tips to finding and hiring the right vendors for your wedding!

The series continues with Megan, The Owner and Lead Makeup Artist with Megan Quintana Artistry. Megan is a published makeup artist, esthetician, and total sweetheart. She’s mega talented and I’m thankful she took the time to share her best advice on all things wedding makeup. Read on to learn about her business journey and number one tip for glowing wedding day skin!

Tips From a Professional Wedding Makeup Artist

What started your interest as an artist?

Honestly it all started as a kid. I would get lost in my mother’s vanity! I was attracted to all the colors and watching her apply blush and lipstick. I also became the friend who was always doing everyone’s makeup for school dances or girls nights. I was and still am infatuated with the looks of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren. So classic, beautiful, and bold. From the striking cat eye to that perfect red pout, I wanted to be glamorous like them, so I practiced. A LOT!

How long have you been in the wedding industry and specializing in bridal looks?

I have been in the industry for 6 years, but I started specializing in bridal beauty in 2016 after my own wedding. I got my first makeup job at Bobbi Brown in 2012. I steadily grew with the company and started working in the second stand alone studio in the country in Raleigh, NC. I left Bobbi Brown in 2016 to pursue my own business and bridal has been a main focus ever since!

What should brides look for when choosing a professional to do their makeup for their wedding day?

When you’re looking to hire a makeup artist for the most photographed day of your life, I recommend you to do your research! Whether online or through word of mouth, be sure to look through the artist’s professional portfolio and ask yourself if you love their work. Check their reviews and read about past brides experiences.

Another SUPER important detail is scheduling a trial before the big day. The trial will not only allow you to be insured of their skill, but you can see if you get along with your artist on a personal level. I believe you should be surrounded by friends on your wedding day, not strangers! Something I pride myself on is in my bride’s reviews they explain that I have an easy going demeanor that completely kept them at ease on the day of their wedding.

When you’ve invested in the perfect dress, the perfect venue, and the photographer to capture every moment of the best. day. ever, hiring me as your makeup artist will give you the luxury of enjoying that mimosa and chatting with your best girls with no stress.

At what point in the wedding planning process should a bride inquire about booking with you?

The best time to book the wedding day is 6-12 months prior to the wedding day. Personally I receive inquiries from brides on a daily basis, so I always say if you know you definitely want me to be a part of your day, I recommend booking sooner rather than later!

How do the other wedding details (the dress, season, colors, theme) affect the style of the overall look?

The other wedding details help me get to know my bride’s own personal style. It helps me determine and guide her through creating the perfect look for her wedding day. In my eye, each season also has its own style and colors schemes to begin with. In the spring time you often find pastels, or bright colors, whereas in the fall you will find rich, jewel tones shades throughout the wedding. This of course doesn’t go for everyone, but it is a definite trend I see!

This all goes back to the importance of a trial. These are things we talk about in our 90 minute appointment. For example, a lot of my fall brides are not afraid of a bolder lip. The weather is getting cooler, the sun isn’t out as long, it calls for a little touch of extra color. For my brides who would rather play up the eyes instead of the lips, a warm, smokey smokey eye is very popular. My spring brides tend to tend of natural, effortless beauty with glowy skin. Some will add a pop of color on the cheeks and lips to give a fresh appearance. All  of the little details all play a part in the wedding day to give a beautiful cohesive look!

Are there any tips you give brides to keep their skin in top condition in the days leading up to the wedding?

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! The most important thing to do for your skin is drink a lot of water, and have a daily skin care routine. Bonus points for seeing an esthetician and setting up a regiment leading up to your special day. One facial a month can do wonders and your esthetician can help you set up a regimen tailored to you!

What skill or service do you offer that allows brides to feel comfortable and/or enjoy the getting ready process to the fullest?

I send out a questionnaire to my brides with their contract. It asks them fun questions like, what is your favorite music? What is your favorite drink? That way I can personalize their appointments to keep them at ease and feel absolutely comfortable. When they show up I have their drink of choice ( whether it’s coffee, tea, champagne, diet coke) waiting and their favorite music playing!

Are there any misconceptions about your industry that you’d like to make sure brides understand?

I believe the biggest misconception to the uninformed is that we charge to much for “just putting makeup on.” Beyond the art, there is also science involved, and education. The behind the scenes is, well it’s behind the seeing eye. When we are asked to negotiate our pricing, we are being asked to negotiate our livelihood. There are days of back and forth emails of planning and writing contracts. There are hours of sanitation, setting up, breaking down, packing up for a onlocation job. There are thousand and thousands of dollars spent over the year to keep our kits up to date, fresh, and restocked. We also have bills to pay! I believe makeup artists have the ability to transform their clients. We can give confidence to someone where it was lacking and truly make them shine in front of a camera or in everyday life. We help create the best version of one’s self and I believe that to be priceless!

Are there any makeup trends for 2018 weddings you’re loving?

Personally, I’m not to crazy about the current trends. Ice blue, glitter highlighter is not here to stay. I do believe beautiful, natural, glowy skin will always be in. Personally a classic red lip and a winged liner will always be a favorite look.

You can find Megan on her website,, and on Instagram @meganquintanaartistry (photo by Rowan Media & Design)

Photo Credit:

Luke Crawford Photography, Sydney Bruton Photography, Brandi Sisson Photography, Krisandra Evans Photography


Modern Green and Navy Invitations for a St. Patrick’s Day Wedding

I met Lauren after college through a mutual friend. She never hid her obsession with St. Patrick’s Day and one year I even joined her in Savannah to celebrate the holiday. I’m not sure if it’s because her birthday falls close to the date, or because she lived so close to Savannah (where they do it big!) in college, but her love for the day was real.

All the stars aligned when March 17 fell on a Saturday this year as she was engaged and planning her wedding. It seemed like a no-brainer that she’d get married on one of her favorite days of the year! A St. Patrick’s Day wedding was in order.

Green and Navy Wedding Invitations

We’ve worked together on shower invites for several of her friends and I was honored that she choose me to design her wedding invitations!

Lauren wanted to incorporate green (duh), but didn’t want the invitations to be holiday cheesy. Based on her inspiration, I created a clean, minimalist invitation design. She wanted to do something a tad bit different than what was trending, so we used a classic text font for the names – I adore how these turned out!

Modern Wedding Invitations for a St. Patrick's Day Wedding

The invitations were paired with green envelopes and we added a floral patterned liner to the mailing envelope, since it was a spring wedding after all!

Want to customize these invitations for your own wedding? Colors, fonts, and wording can be changed to suit your needs! Complete my invitation questionnaire here to get more information.

Styling + Photography by Shelby Tskia Photography