French Country Shoot

french country flat lay.jpg

French Country


This French country inspired shoot incorporated dusty blues, romantic calligraphy, and delicate handmade paper. What's not to love?


Hosted by Venue 311 in Plantersville, Texas, this shoot was a double header - meaning there were two different themes. I have another blog post dedicated to the other theme, which was Jewel Tones. 

the inspiration

Coming up with design inspiration for shoots is equally exhilarating and frustrating. It's exhilarating when you have an idea that you've had sitting in your mind, ready to execute; it's frustrating when you've got a creative block the size of Mount Everest. 

In the case of this shoot, I was already toying with some concepts to incorporate into my semi-custom line (which hasn't yet launch as of writing this post), so coming up with design inspiration wasn't hard. 

I had recently purchased some samples of Arpa paper, which I'd never used before, and was very eager to use it for this shoot. If you're not familiar with Arpa, the standard invitation size sheet is about 6x8", so there's a significant amount of space to work with. 

Around this time I was also playing with wreaths/crests in different shapes than the typical closed circle. I wanted to evoke an organic, messy feel, yet remain elegant and luxurious. Something about loose botanical illustrations just call to me for some reason. I love wandering ivy and unkept jasmine plants, so I also wanted to incorporate both of those into the illustration somehow.

Wreath Illustration

piecing it together

There were some elements that I knew I absolutely had to have in this suite:

  • handmade paper
  • classic envelope liner
  • some kind of itinerary booklet
  • fine art enclosure
  • modern, elegant calligraphy

I work with handmade paper probably 70% of the time when I do styled shoots, and I knew that I had to use it for a French Country themed shoot, so I got out everything I had. Unfortunately I didn't have a complete collection of everything I needed, so I had to pull from some different sources in order to create all the pieces that I wanted. 

For the main invitation pieces, I used Arpa sheets and envelopes, and for everything else, I used Fabulous Fancy Pants handmade paper. Because I wanted something classic and timeless for the envelope liners, I decided to find images of artwork that are now public domain. I love watercolor, so I used a watercolor piece for one and an oil painting piece for the other. 

Itinerary and Fine Art Enclosure

I figured that the more pieces of paper I could use the wreath on, the more worthwhile it would be to create one, so I made sure to include it on both the itinerary and as a fine art enclosure. The itinerary is my favorite part of the entire suite. 

Finally, instead of using a traditional script, which I think many would when designing something Parisian, I opted for a more modern, elegant calligraphy style. 

This is a style that I had been working on for a while - it has a very slanted angle but isn't aggressive looking. I also used this style for the Jewel Toned shoot. 

More Photos

To see more from this shoot, click here.

Melody Tait