for the bride + groom



My friends over at Basic Invite know how much I love photographing invitations to tie them into my couple's wedding photos in order to tell the story of their day! That's why they asked me to demonstrate how easy it is to get totally customized, high-quality, unique invitations all on their online platform.

Hopefully walking you through this process will take the unnecessary stress out of finding and customizing your perfect invitations!


  • PIN:  I started by pinning a bunch of images based on my favorite weddings to photograph: a moody cliffside wedding, a water-inspired beach wedding, an english garden-inspired wedding, a wooded mountain wedding, and a badass rockstar wedding.
  • USE YOUR BOARD TO FIND AN INVITATION YOU LOVE:  I found a common thread in the visuals I chose to use the overall vibe in order to find one of Basic Invite's designs that best fit the theme.


  • BASIC INVITE MAKES CUSTOMIZING EASY & AFFORDABLE:  If you aren't hiring a stationery designer to make one-of-a-kind invitations for your wedding, most likely you're turning to the web.  It's so amazing that Basic Invite can be 100% customizable in every way.  After playing around on their SUPER easy to use platform, I was able to change everything from the typeface to the layout (which was INSANE because I've never been able to do that with any other stationery website I've tried).  And what's crazier is I could change the color of any element of the design I chose: the background, individual petals on flowers, lines of text... ANYTHING!  With 180 gorgeous color options, I was able to get the exact look I wanted and it felt completely my OWN - down to the smallest detail - and I could see each change in an instant preview right there in the workspace.


  • MATCH YOUR COLLATERAL:  All of the invitation designs on Basic Invite are part of a set. That means you can order matching save the dates, enclosure cards, menus, programs, and even thank you cards to complete your look!
  • MAKE ENVELOPE ADDRESSING A BREEZE:  Now, I know designing a custom invite is super exciting, but I know you're dreading something...  Ah yes, the hardest part about invitations is making sure that the envelopes are properly addressed and stuffed for all of your guests.  That's why I highly recommend Basic Invite's FREE address collection service!  All you do is share a link with your guests to collect their addresses, all of the addresses populate on Basic Invite, then when you place your order, Basic Invite will print all of those collected addresses FOR FREE on all of your envelopes (which are all peel and seal by the way... so that your mother's poor tongue will thank you).  Plus you get to choose from over 40 different colors of envelopes and tons of cool paper inserts as well!  Gosh, like, seriously, Basic Invite, we get you have a bazillion options already! ;)
  • ORDER SAMPLES BEFORE PLACING YOUR ENTIRE ORDER:  What I thought was SUPER awesome is that Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of your ACTUAL invitation so you can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place your final order.  WHAT!?!  That's so so cool.  I ordered all of the invitations seen here as samples - and they look FLAWLESS.  Normally I would think, "Oh it's a sample, so the quality isn't going to be like the final product."  NO.  These samples were just as if I ordered the full set. Amazing print quality, paper weight and texture, and the colors were exactly the same tone as the instant preview I saw when I was customizing them online.  Awesome.


  • BECAUSE DETAILS HELP TELL THE STORY:  All of the little details you carefully choose for your wedding should all add up to telling a cohesive story that is in line with your Mood Board's vision and your overall vibe of your wedding.  And that's not just because it would be super pretty to do so.  Here's why...
  • THEY ARE IMPORTANT FOR SOLIDIFYING MEMORIES:  Details are important for your guests to be instantly immersed in the world you are creating for them during your wedding and serve as visual cues to how to act and feel.  That's why you spend so much time, money, and energy to get them just right!  As a photographer, my job is to document everything I can - photographing every last detail so you can look at your photos and see a time capsule of visual cues for you to tie to the fleeting memories of your day for years to come.
  • THINK BIG PICTURE:  By giving your photographer small but meaningful items to photograph with your invitation suite, such as loose flowers from your bouquet, a ribbon that ties in the main color of your wedding, the bottle of the perfume you wore that day, the tiny sea shells that were strewn on the center of the tables, etc - those things will not only instantly tie your photos together in a visual story and lend to a more thoughtfully designed wedding album, but also having photos of those small details will instantly evoke how you FELT and experienced the day every time you look at your photos.

Without these details, your invitation simply looks like a piece of pretty paper. It could be anyone's invitation.

Once you add in the details though, your invitation is given a place and a purpose; a story. You remember those shells on your tabletops, the watercolor accents you DIY'd all throughout your wedding with those paintbrushes, the dusty purple ribbon tied around every bouquet, and the driftwood that served as centerpieces for your wedding by the sea. The details are the chorus that provides meaning and lifts up the star of the show: your awesome, custom invitation.


This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, however all opinions and styled photos are my own.

Use the code 15FF51 today to grab 15% off everything site wide!
CLICK HERE to order your custom wedding invitations, guest bookbridal shower invitationssave the dates, and more!

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7 things to do,

7 days before your wedding day

Your best day ever is only a week away! Here are some tips to reduce your stress and prepare during your 7 day countdown.

These tips are for brides AND grooms! The biggest piece of advice I have for you two: Invest more in you than on any other thing for your wedding. If you're centered, relaxed, and stoked for your awesome party -- then it'll truly be the best day ever!


1. EAT. Seriously. Please eat. Don’t try to starve yourself to shed off one or two measly pounds in the final few days. Don’t start a new diet or change your exercise routine. The one pound you might lose this week won’t matter, but what will is having the energy to make it though the day without fainting or getting cranky! Eat healthy, well-balanced meals with lots of protein (and iron to reduce bruising).


2. RELAX YOUR MIND AND BODY. Relax. It’s such an exciting time of your life and there’s no reason to freak out. Remember why you’re getting married! Your whole wedding experience won’t be determined by your perfectly-calligraphied chalkboard signs. If you’re relaxed and positive, ready to soak in all the goodness with a smile on your face... that will make your day! You’ve already done all the hard work, so go get a couples' massage a few days before the wedding to loosen up your body and mind. The biggest investment you can make for your wedding is in your attitude. Get plenty of sleep so you can wake up relaxed and ready, and looking your best. It’ll be awesome.


3. BEWARE OF THE ORANGE. You're worried you'll look washed out in your dress, so you're going to get a spray tan. Don’t do it. For the love of God, don't. Cancel your appointment for your fake bake, spray tan, or tanning booth. Stay out of the sun to avoid burns. Now’s not the time to experiment with your skin tone. If you’re not normally tan, that’s OKAY! Your fiancé is marrying you & your natural glow, not an orange-tinted you. You're beautiful when you're not orange. Oompa loompa skin isn't for you, trust me. Have I drilled into your head enough that you’ll look orange? Because you will. Especially in your photos. 


4. DON’T CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE. As a rule, if you haven't done something for a month straight... 7 days before a very important day is not a spectacular time try a new thing. Don’t play intensive or contact sports (*ahem* grooms), don’t use new makeup or skincare products, don’t color or cut your hair, and avoid getting sick by avoiding enclosed public places as much as you can (such as malls, restaurants, day cares/schools, etc) and by getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.


5. ASK FOR HELP. Designate friends and family to help you with certain tasks. There is NO WAY you can handle or control everything all by yourself on your day. Your friends and family, especially your wedding party and planner, are there for you. Kindly ask them for assistance on little things here and there to make your life easier and stress-free. Remember to say thank you! Starbucks cards are always a nice little gift. Also, work with your vendors closely. Ask them for advice, help, and tips that pertain to their expertise. (For the florist: Where should we pin boutonnieres? For the photographer: How much time will we have for family photos? Will the reception lighting look good in photos? etc.) They are in the wedding industry, so chances are, they know a few things about weddings ;)


6. PREP & ORGANIZE. During the final week, gather all of your details in a box or bag for the photographer (include all of the pinterest-worthy goodies you’d like photographed: paper goods, ring boxes, ribbons, perfume, gifts, notes, shoes, etc), prep tips in labeled envelopes, separate out ceremony decorations from reception decorations, pack up gifts for your parents, bridal party, etc. The more organized and packed up you are before the day, the better. Make a checklist for you and for the people helping you. You won’t have to scramble at the last minute to find things or worry if you forgot your “something blue.”


7. CALL YOUR FAMILY! Remember your family. You are uniting two families with your marriage, and family takes your wedding seriously. Make sure families on both sides are aware of when and where you need them. Give them a phone call personally about a week before your wedding. Don’t text or email. Call them! Thank them for coming all the way to your wedding, and let them ask you any questions about the day, what to wear, etc. Weddings are a bit different now from when they got married, so walk them through your plans and chat about what you’re most excited about! Let them know if their family will be in the group portraits during cocktail hour and tell them where to meet up after the ceremony. Most importantly, catch up and ask them what’s going on in their lives. It’s best to do a full check in with them on the phone, because quite honestly you won’t be able to devote the time they deserve on your wedding day. If you have time, call anyone else you haven’t seen in a while to show that you care and are thankful they are coming.


Here's to a stress-free and happy wedding! Congratulations!




The tactile experience of handling photos is extremely important to me.  Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to sit go through all of our family albums for hours, especially my parents' wedding album. 

Therefore, providing my clients with a beautiful, special experience with their photos is crucial for me. I searched high and low to find the very best professional album creators out there. I offer premium leather, handcrafted and handmade albums produced in America. The look and feel of these albums is unparalled (and honestly quite unbelievable). 

Take a peek at Christiana + Chris's new wedding album! They chose a 30-spread, 10x10 black calf leather album with folded pages. All albums come in a black leather case.

I hate having photos hide away on the computer, so these albums by Madera are now part of every 2015 wedding photography package.

Here's to holding onto memories,

Happy New Year!