Minted Real Wedding: Brittany & Jesse in Tuscany

Following a romantic proposal during a family trip to Mexico, Brittany Sturrett and Jesse Olson decided to host their nuptials in the Tuscan countryside. In front of their 60 guests, the Brooklyn-based couple exchanged vows at Villa Medicea de Lilliano, a beautiful 13th-century villa that was once a hunting lodge used by the Medici family. Following the intimate ceremony, guests made their way to the alfresco garden-party reception amid groves of lemon and olive trees.

The couple: Brittany Sturrett and Jesse Olson
Occupations:
Fashion and wedding photographer (Brittany); Executive Chef at NoMo SoHo Hotel (Jesse)
Based in:
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Wedding date: 
June 9, 2017 (City Hall to make it legal); July 3, 2017 (our Big Italian Wedding)
Venue: 
Villa Medicea di Lilliano, Grassina Italy
Number of guests: 60
Invitation suite: “Al Fresco” by Haley Warner
Ceremony program: “Al Fresco” by Haley Warner
Place card: “Gold Bars” by Fig and Cotton
Favor tag: “Botanical Name Plate” by Shiny Penny Studio
Menu card: “Field” by Toast & Laurel
Wedding planner: Alise Taggart
Florist: Annalisa di Federico of Isa Events
Catering & Rentals: Guidi-Lenci
Cake: Tuscan Wedding Cakes
Makeup Artist: Sandra Lovisco from My Wedding Mirror
Bridesmaid dresses: Reformation
Groomsmen tuxedos: The Black Tux
Music: Slightly Out
Lighting/DJ: The Alma Project
Cinematographer: Cinematictide
Photographer: Paula O’Hara

How did you and Jesse meet?
We met at a restaurant that we both worked at—it was called A Voce and was located in Columbus Circle in Manhattan. He was a Sous Chef at the time and I was a front-of-house captain. 

Tell us about the proposal!
We had a family trip planned for Mexico. Jesse had the ring on him the whole day and was trying to find the perfect place to pop the question! The day was filled with swimming in cenotés, zip-lining, climbing pyramids; he ended up doing it after a family dinner. We all took a walk down the beach and I remember looking up and seeing the bright full moon; at the same time, I could sense my family slowly backing up. I turned and looked at Jesse, just as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! There were a group of people around us clapping after I said “Yes!” and the rest is history.

How did you find your wedding venue?
Our amazing cake designer Melanie! We had a cake tasting and she asked us what we were envisioning, and when we told her she knew just the place for us to check out!

Why did you decide to host a destination wedding?
We wanted it to be a trip our closest friends and family could check off their bucket list. Just a big vacation and event to share all together.

What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
Our “first look.” Hearing and saying our vows to each other for the first time. Sitting down at the end of our long table amid the Tuscan sunset, seeing all of our friends and family enjoying themselves and smiling.

Who made your wedding dress?
Mark Zunino. 
We went to Kleinfields and it just worked out perfectly!

What did Jesse wear?
A tuxedo by Kooples.

Any advice for couples who are starting to plan their wedding?
Pinterest boards!! They saved my life and put everything into perspective.

How did you choose your wedding invitation (“Al Fresco” by Haley Warner)?
It was the perfect pick for our olive-branch wedding theme.

What was the process like working with Minted to make your stationery vision come to life?
Great! The colors and process was so easy, and I love the quality of paper.

Click through for more from Brittany and Jesse’s wedding

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Minted Real Wedding: Samantha & Mitchell in Montara, CA

After a romantic marriage proposal at her family’s lake house, Samantha Starkey and Mitchell Milner decided to plan a destination wedding in Northern California. The couple, who met during a documentary filmmaking course in India, scoured home-rental sites, hoping to find a private property that would accommodate a wedding. As chance would have it, a listing for Villa Montara—an architectural, rustic-modern home located 20 miles south of San Francisco—popped up and the couple jumped on the opportunity. And on a breezy, blue-sky afternoon in October, the couple exchanged vows in front of their 90 guests on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific.

minted-wedding-invitation-beach-wedding

Bride and groom: Samantha Starkey and Mitchell Milner
Occupations: Wedding videographer (Samantha) and account manager (Mitchell)
Based in: Carlsbad, Calif.
Wedding date: October 7, 2017
Venue: Villa Montara, Montara, Calif.
Number of guests: 90
Minted wedding invitation: “Oceans” (foil-pressed) by Wildfield Paper Co.
Wedding details card: “Elegant Angles” by Peony Papeterie
Wedding response card: “Mountain Sky” by Summer Winkelman (hand-cut by the bride)
Wedding planner: Katie Linter at First Comes Loves Events & Design
Florist: Meg Catherine Flowers
Caterer & cake: Salt & Honey Catering
Cinematographer: Canvas & Lightedited by SJ Videography
Photographer: Betsy Blue Photography

How did you and Mitchell meet?
Mitch and I met during a documentary filmmaking course traveling through India.

Tell us about the proposal!
My family has a lake house I grew up going to in Indiana and that we still visit every summer. This particular summer Mitch was unable to go (or so I thought). I arrived at the lake house, and was immediately sent on a scavenger hunt around town. At the time, I was thinking Mitch was just sorry that he couldn’t make it and set up this fun gift for me. At the end of the scavenger hunt I found him in the middle of the lake on a floating platform decorated in lights and flowers!

Since you’re in the wedding industry yourself (Samantha is a wedding videographer), what were your main priorities in planning your own nuptials?
I didn’t want to get caught up in the details, or to overdo it. I know how easy it can be to be upsold on so many things during the wedding planning process, and then suddenly realize you’ve lost the original vision. With that said, my priorities were keeping it beautiful and as simple as possible!

Did you encounter any hiccups along the way?
My only advice is to not wait to the last minute for the smaller details. For example, I did my programs about a month before the wedding and the blue I picked wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I didn’t give myself time to customize it further.

Minted real wedding, Montara, CA

How did you find your wedding venue?
I originally found it on VRBO. It’s a rental house, unfortunately the owners just sold it though!

Who made your wedding dress?
It was by Flora and was the second dress I tried on. 

What did Mitch wear?
A navy suit from Nordstrom.

What did your wedding party wear?
Bridesmaids wore mixed dresses from Show Me Your Mumu and the guys rented suits from The Black Tux.

Click through for more from Samantha and Mitchell’s wedding

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Minted Real Wedding: Jane & Jonathan in Seattle

After getting engaged in New York City, Jane Song and Jonathan Kim decided to tie the knot in Seattle, where the bride’s parents live. “We were expecting many wedding guests from Asia,” Jane says, “so we thought Seattle would be a convenient location.” Knowing they wanted to marry in a historic venue, the couple stumbled upon The Admiral’s House, a stately, former naval residence with panoramic views of Elliott Bay and the city skyline. The couple chose “Gallery Abstract Art” by Alethea & Ruth as their wedding invitation and worked with a Minted designer to customize the colors to reflect Seattle’s lush-green setting.

Minted Real Wedding Seattle

Bride and groom: Jane Song & Jonathan Kim
Occupations: Tax attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Jane); Digital Engineering Director at Media Kitchen (Jonathan)
Based in: New York City
Wedding dateAugust 15, 2015
Venue: The Admiral’s House, Seattle
Number of guests: About 110
Minted wedding invitation: “Gallery Abstract Art” by Alethea & Ruth (in a custom green colorway)
Minted ceremony program: “Old Post Road” by Jennifer Wick
Minted menu: “Watercolor Wreath” by Yao Cheng
Minted place cards: “Watercolor Wreath” by Yao Cheng
Minted favor tags: “Monogram Bouquet” by Lori Wemple
Wedding coordinator: Krisanna Elizabeth
Florist: Botanique Flowers
Caterer: City Catering Company
Cake designer: Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Photographer: Belathée Photography

How did you and Jonathan meet?
We met at Tufts University, where we both attended (Jane: class of 2010; Jonathan: class of 2008). We met one fall evening during which we ended up in a wild goose chase with a mutual acquaintance, and ended the night by ordering pizza with a group of friends. We started dating the following summer when we were both interning in Seoul.

Tell us about the proposal!
We had just returned home to Manhattan after a trip to Boston and Cape Cod in August 2014, where we did all of our favorite things (visiting old haunts, a trip to Fenway Park, and dwelling in our love for New England). I was in PJs and on my laptop, sitting on Jonathan’s couch. Out of the blue, he asked me to marry him and whipped out a ring—it was lovely and casual. Then we went to eat at the Odeon (an old-timey French bistro in Tribeca), where I couldn’t stop crying into my frisée salad (which will forever be remembered as the “engagement salad”). We ended the day celebrating with friends at the Ace Hotel.

Minted Real Wedding Seattle

Who made your wedding dress?  
It was an Enzoani dress that was customized with a bolero. I also wore a pair of multicolor flower-patterned Manolo Blahniks.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
I wanted a classic lace dress (my inspiration was Charlotte’s second wedding dress in Sex and the City), and my dress was the first dress I tried on. I ended up trying it on in two different stores—in New York City as well as in Chicago—so I thought it was meant to be.

How did you find your wedding venue?
We decided to get married in Seattle because that’s where my parents live, and where I was planning on studying for the New York bar exam during the summer of 2015. It is also the halfway point between New York (where Jonathan was) and Seoul (where his parents live). We were expecting many wedding guests from Asia, so we thought Seattle would also be a convenient location.

It was very important to our families that the venue be: (1) immaculate, (2) conveniently accessible for our out-of-town guests, and (3) have good feng shui. Jonathan and I wanted a historic venue rather than a hotel wedding; I visited a few venues in Seattle after we got engaged but had to return to law school in Chicago. I stumbled upon The Admiral’s House website and learned it was a historic naval admiral’s home that was recently converted into a venue. My parents went to visit the site, sent us pictures, and we fell in love with the location (in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle), how cozy and private it felt, and its gorgeous location on top of a hill with an outstanding view of the Elliott Bay and the Seattle skyline. It just felt right. My dad loved that we were high up, “close to the sky.” We also thought it was good luck that the available date in August was August 15, the national liberation day in Korea.

Click through for more from Jane and Jonathan’s wedding

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Minted Real Wedding: Anne & Chris in Healdsburg, CA

Minted’s very own creative director, Anne Donnard, envisioned a romantic, Secret Garden-like feel for her wedding to fiancé Christopher Bogart. The couple found Barndiva, a farm-to-table restaurant in Healdsburg, Calif., which proved to be the perfect setting for their alfresco celebration. Foil-pressed wedding invitations by Minted (“Floral Crown” by Lori Wemple) set an inviting tone, and the couple’s 92 guests were treated to an evening of poignant vows and toasts, delicious food and wine, lush florals, and plenty of sweets, dancing, and merriment.

Healdsburg wedding at Barndiva

Bride and groom: Anne Donnard & Christopher Bogart
Occupations: Creative director at Minted (Anne); director of supply chain management (Christopher)
Based in: Oakland, CA
Wedding date: April 15, 2017
Venue: Barndiva, Healdsburg, CA
Number of guests: 92
Minted wedding invitation: “Floral Crown” by Lori Wemple
Florist: Home Sweet Flowers
Cake designer: Moustache Baked Goods

How did you and Chris meet?
We met through a mutual friend who set us up on a blind date. Chris and I had lunch at The Grove in San Francisco and then wound up going for a long walk in the neighborhood. It was a date that lasted well beyond lunch.

Tell us about the proposal!
My parents came to visit for Labor Day weekend last year; Chris got to my apartment ahead of me and the plan was for all of us to have dinner together at my place. When I got home, Chris and I went up to the roof to watch the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, and as we were admiring the beautiful sunset, Chris got down on one knee. It was actually the same place where we had our first kiss!

Barndiva Healdsburg CA wedding

Who made your wedding dress?
It was a style called “Kinsley” by Angel Rivera.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was actually the first dress I tried on and I bought it that day! Dress shopping was an amazing experience—I went to Kingsley James, a salon in Walnut Creek. We toasted with champagne and hoped that everything would be as simple as getting the dress!

Where were  the bridesmaids’ dresses from?
Jenny Yoo

Did you incorporate any meaningful family traditions into the wedding day?
I wore the earrings that my mother wore on her wedding day; also, my sister, who was my maid of honor, and I wore pearl necklaces—the pearls were from earrings that our grandmother wore on her wedding day.  

Click through for more from Anne and Chris’ wedding

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Behind the Design: “Happy Day” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Angela Marzuki, who’s based in St. Charles, Ill., shares the vision and creative process behind her bold and modern brushstroke-patterned wedding invitation “Happy Day.”

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I am very inspired by abstract artwork that invites an emotional response and is open to individual interpretation. “Happy Day” was a way to blend these different ideas to create a modern, unconventional wedding invitation that still evoked the joyful nature of a wedding.

Describe your creative process—from initial idea to end result.
I always begin a new design by exploring and brainstorming multiple ideas simultaneously. This step is usually messy and far from glamorous—I sketch ideas, swatch out colors to visualize new combinations, and sometimes simply create a list of words. These steps often lead to a more concrete concept, which I pursue further by sketching a layout to include type and refining the artwork. Next comes scanning or uploading artwork, tweaking colors if needed, and refining the type even more. This is also when I start thinking about the design’s versatility and what any complementary pieces may look like.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I initially thought I would paint the background with acrylics—I usually love seeing the textural brushstrokes. But once I started, it wasn’t matching the vision in my head. I wanted something more flat, with a color palette that remained very matte. I switched over to creating the entire background digitally on my iPad Pro, and that gave me the exact look I had been envisioning.

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
While creating, I imagined a completely white, modern venue—an art gallery or loft space with minimal decoration so that color would really pop. But I think this design would be equally at an outdoor event in, say, Palm Springs. Poolside perhaps!

Angela Marzuki | Happy Day wedding invitation by Minted

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love the trend of not following trends (gasp!). I truly think the best weddings are ones that reflect the couple, that embrace and celebrate their individual style regardless of what is currently considered on trend.

How did you come to design for Minted?
I came across an ad for Minted on a blog back in late 2010 or so. I had studied art for most of my life before pursuing what was perceived to be a more stable and conventional career path in college. Feeling rather unfulfilled, I was looking for a way to get back to my more creative roots. I started entering challenges in 2011 and, after a few months, I realized this is truly what I should have been doing all along. Designing for Minted has really brought me full circle in many ways.


More from Angela Marzuki:
• “Happy Day” wedding invitation
• Angela’s Minted Store
• Angela’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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Minted Real Wedding: Laura & Joshua in Cleveland, NC

For their rustic North Carolina nuptials, fashion blogger Laura Leigh Bain and her marketing exec beau Joshua Elliott chose a floral-patterned invitation (“Classic Floral” by Alethea and Ruth) to send to wedding guests. Following an alfresco ceremony, the celebration moved indoors for dinner, dancing, and additional merriment (complete with a s’mores station!).

Minted Real Wedding, The Arbors Events

Bride and groom: Laura Leigh Bain & Joshua Elliott
Occupations: Fashion + lifestyle blogger at Louella Reese (Laura); marketing account executive (Joshua)
Based in: Charlotte, NC
Wedding dateOctober 15, 2016
Venue: The Arbors Events, Cleveland, NC
Number of guests: 135
Minted save-the-date: “Jotted” (foil-pressed) by Ashley Hegarty
Minted wedding invitation:
 “Classic Floral” by Alethea and Ruth
Wedding planner: Paris Prusak
Florist: Lily Greenthumbs
Cake designer: Honey Butter Bakery 
Photographer: Faith Teasley

How did you and Joshua meet?
We met in our marketing classes in college. My roommate actually introduced us and we worked on a group project together.

Tell us about the proposal!
Joshua planned an incredible day from start to finish, taking me to different places where we had very monumental dates. It ended with the proposal in a sweet park near his home that we frequent often, followed by a surprise dinner with all of our family. All of the details can be found on my blog Louella Reese.

Minted Real Wedding | The Arbors Events

How did you find your wedding venue?
I spent hours searching online for rustic venues in the Charlotte area. After a lot of research, we went through my list of venues and chose four we wanted to visit. The Arbors Events was the last one on our list and we knew the search was over the second we pulled in.

Click through for more from Laura and Joshua’s wedding

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Minted Real Wedding: Christen & Timothy in Maui

Though Timothy Dayton had been a family friend for years, he and Christen Huff had never crossed paths. That is, until Christen’s brother’s wedding. The pair began dating and after two-and-a-half years, Tim surprised Christen with a bedside proposal on Christmas morning. With Christen pregnant with their daughter, the Southern California-based couple decided to host an intimate destination wedding in Maui and planned their celebration in just four months. Guests were sent letterpressed invitations (“Inline Type” by Hooray Creative) printed in navy and pink, and the couple tied the knot in front of their 67 guests during an alfresco celebration complete with bold colors, vibrant florals, and tons of tropical touches.

Maui Wedding at Sugar Beach Resort

Bride and groom: Christen Huff & Timothy Dayton
Occupations: Registered nurse (Christen); owner of a commercial fishing business (Timothy)
Based in: Ventura, CA
Wedding dateApril 23, 2016
Venue, catering, cake: Sugar Beach Events in Kihei, Maui
Number of guests: 67
Minted wedding invitation: “Inline Type” (letterpressed) by Hooray Creative
Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy
Welcome bags: Waller Designs
Wedding planner: Amy Nichols Special Events
Florist: Wild Heart Floral & Event Styling
Photographer: Kathleen Geiberger Art

How did you and Tim meet?
We met at my brother’s wedding. Tim has known my mother and brother for many years, but our paths had never crossed.

Tell us about the proposal!
We got engaged on Christmas morning. We had a house full of people who had stayed with us during the holidays and everyone knew what was about to happen but me. Tim surprised me on one knee me at 6 a.m. at my bedside. I was hardly awake.

Maui Wedding at Sugar Beach Resort

Why did you decide to marry in Maui?
Tim and I knew that if we were to get married in Ventura our guest list would be way too large. We wanted something small but not too small, and we both love tropical, warm weather. Our wedding was planned in four months so it also had to be within the United States. Maui just worked!

How did you find your wedding venue?
Amy, my wedding planner, has a friend who’s also a wedding planner based in Hawaii. We asked for suggestions and, based on capacity, we found Sugar Beach Events.

Click through for more from Christen & Tim’s wedding

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Wedding Inspiration: Pantone Color of the Year Greenery

The color experts at Pantone recently announced their “it” color for 2017: a bright, vibrant hue called “Greenery.” They describe the color as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew.” From bridal bouquets and wedding cakes to invitations (natch!), we’re loving how “Greenery” effortlessly translates into a lush, nature-inspired celebration. Here are a few of our favorite ways to incorporate the color into your nuptials.

Pantone Color of the Year - Wedding Ideas

1. Bridal Bouquet: Opt for a full, textured arrangement with simple white blooms and an emphasis on fresh greenery like eucalyptus leaves and trailing ferns.

2. Ceremony Backdrop: DIY your own ceremony or photo booth backdrop by attaching small bundles of fresh greenery to twine with clothespins.

3. Reception Centerpiece: A grouping of potted ferns in different containers makes for an elegant-yet-unexpected tablescape.

4. Wedding Cake: Decorate a simple fondant-covered confection with a handful of sculptural ferns.

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Take the Perfect Holiday-Card Photo (with your phone!)

How is it mid-December already? If you’ve been putting off your holiday cards (procrastinators, unite!), don’t fret—there’s still plenty of time to pull off a stylish Christmas card or holiday greeting. And if you weren’t able to book a professional family photo shoot, no worries. Just use your smartphone’s camera and follow these tips from professional photographer Edyta Szyszlo to stage a successful DIY shoot (no one will know the difference!).

Last Minute Christmas Cards: How to Get Great Family Photos with Your Phone

1. Find natural light.
Natural light allows for more even skin tones and better image quality. Avoid being “backlit,” which happens when the brightest light is behind you, and instead, seek shade (no more squinting eyes!). Also, be sure to ditch the flash (because let’s face it—no one looks good with a harsh light in their face!).

2. Phone a friend.
Ask a friend or family member to take your picture—smartphones have better image quality when using the forward-facing camera.

Last Minute Christmas Cards: How to Get Great Family Photos with Your Phone

3. Think: Selfies!
However, if you can’t recruit a friend to play photographer, then it’s perfectly fine to go the selfie route—they’re great for a fun, candid feel. Be sure the person with the longest arm is snapping the photo (or use a selfie stick!) and shoot from above for a more flattering look. Pro tip: Use the camera’s shutter shortcut for better hand positioning.

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Behind the Design: “Joyful” Wedding Invitation

Chicago-based Minted designer Carolann Belk Parran of Pink House Press shares her vision and the creative process behind her hand-lettered wedding invitation “Joyful.”

hand-lettered wedding invitation

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was in the middle of planning my own wedding, so I thought about what words I would want my guests to associate with my wedding from the moment they opened their invitation. I knew I wanted to do something fun with typography, so I decided to give the word “joy” the most prominent and central role so that the happiness of the couple could really come through. 

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
Knowing that I wanted to do something typographic for this design, I first decided on the wording and which words to make most prominent. I sketched out the design making the words “joy” and “marriage” largest, and filled in the empty spaces with the floral filigree. To finalize the design, I scanned in the words and floral pieces that I wanted hand-lettered, and positioned complementary fonts for everything else.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I wanted my hand lettering to look clean and smooth because I was mixing it with fonts, and that’s always difficult when moving from pen and paper to digital. I used the help of my Wacom tablet to digitize this design, but just purchased an iPad Pro and am excited to play with that to make the digitization process easier in the future!

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
I envisioned this invitation for a sweet Southern belle whose spirit exudes the title of this design, “Joyful.” And with such a long season for outdoor weddings in the South, the floral-inspired filigree would perfectly suit an outdoor celebration (like my own!).

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love that more and more couples are breaking from tradition or are putting a new spin on an old tradition to make their day more personal. And now that guests tend to be more spread out and have to travel farther for weddings than in the past, I love adding in a little local flavor in the form of wedding favors, décor, welcome bags, or food and drinks!

hand-lettered wedding invitation

Tell us about your workspace.
I was excited to get my very own home office when I moved to the Chicago area last year! I now have lots of storage space for my printers and presses, and a large desk where I can spread out my pens, brushes, and tablets. But realistically I usually meander over to the couch to work by the TV.

How did you come to design for Minted?
I had heard about Minted through the grapevine and knew they held design challenges, so when I had a little spare time from my then-day job I decided to submit a little watercolor illustration I did on a Sunday afternoon. I always think the best worst thing to happen in my Minted experience was that this very first entry got picked, because it made me think that winning challenges would be easy (spoiler alert: it wasn’t!).


More from Pink House Press:
• “Joyful” wedding invitation
• “Evergreen Wishes” holiday card
• Carolann’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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