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


Minted Real Wedding: Cassie & Scott in Aubrey, TX

Cassie and Scott, after a doozy of a wedding proposal in Aruba (involving Cassie passing out!), decided to tie the knot at The Grove, a stunning alfresco venue in Aubrey, TX. The couple sent out Minted save the dates (“Sweet Embrace” by Hooray Creative) and foil-pressed wedding invitations (“Engraved Flowers” by Phrosné Ras), then exchanged teary “I dos” before their 95 guests (including many of the groom’s family members who had traveled all the way from Australia).

Minted Real Wedding at The Grove in Aubrey, Texas

Bride and groom: Cassandra Tipps & Scott Mcguinness
Occupations: Professional figure skating coach (Cassie); PGA Tour caddy (Scott)
Based in: McKinney, Texas
Wedding dateNovember 14, 2015
Venue: The Grove, Aubrey, Texas
Number of guests: About 95
Minted save-the-date card:Sweet Embrace” by Hooray Creative
Minted wedding invitation: “Engraved Flowers” by Phrosné Ras
Wedding planner: Wendy Kay from Birds of a Feather Events
Florist: The Southern Table
Cake designer: Jar Cakery
Photographer: Apryl Ann Photography

How did you and Scott meet?
Scotty and I met at Christie’s Sports Bar in uptown Dallas. A girlfriend of mine and I went to the restaurant/bar to watch one of the Dallas Stars playoff games. (My friend and I were ice girls at the time for the NHL hockey team, so we were and are pretty big hockey fans.) We sat in a booth towards the back by ourselves, ordered food, and focused our attention on the game. Scotty and his friend were sitting nearby—his friend ended up saying hi first, but it didn’t take long for Scotty (who was pretty shy at first) to come over and sit across from me after my friend got up to go to the bathroom. We continued to talk and the game ended, and as we were walking out he asked for my number so we could hang out soon. The rest is history!

Tell us about the proposal!
Okay, so I have a story for ya… The second week of December 2014, I had a weeklong break from work, so Scotty and I took off to Aruba for a nice, warm vacation. (Little did I know he had already asked my father for my hand and bought a ring.)

The day that he proposed was a doozy. We had planned to go on a four-hour excursion to the south part of the island with a tour group; our first stop was a natural pool surrounded by volcanic rock. When I got in the water, I struggled with my flotation device and I remember kicking a sharp rock. I got out and one of our guides noticed I had cut my foot and was bleeding. Now, anyone who knows me knows I don’t do well in these situations—I sat down and suddenly felt queasy. While holding on to Scotty and trying not to pay attention to the guy cleaning me up, I passed out. Fell into Scotty arms. Out cold. I came to about a minute later and was very out of it. “Where am I? Why do I hear water?” The rest of the day was a slow one. Being bandaged up and very groggy, I told Scotty I didn’t know if I was up for dinner that night and he put absolutely no pressure on me to go, which I loved. Thankfully, I decided to suck it up and go out—we were in Aruba, after all!

Little did I know that Scotty had it all planned: a table on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset (I thought we just got lucky!). After dinner, it took forever for our check to come. Scotty went to “ask” for it and our waiter came over and suggested we take more photos. This was weird to me since it was dark by this time, but we stood up and suddenly the saxophone player, who had been playing for the restaurant, walked over playing “All of Me” by John Legend. Next thing I know Scotty is saying “I love you so much,” crying, and fumbling with this little blue bag (Tiffany!). He got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” I started crying and said “YES!” I kissed him, we hugged, and the all of the guests at the restaurant clapped and cheered. What. A. Day.

Minted Real Wedding at The Grove in Aubrey, Texas

Who made your wedding dress?
Wtoo by Watters

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
Fun. I loved seeing how different dress styles looked on me—big and poofy, slim and classic. I definitely wasn’t a “first dress” girl. It took me a little while to realize what I wanted. And my mom, who is a dressmaker, was there every step of the way to help me, as well.

Click through for more from Cassie and Scott’s wedding


FALL IN LOVE: Minted Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kiley Morgan, who wow’d us with a beautiful Fall Wedding board.

Fall marks the transition from the warm summer months to the chilly days of winter, treating us to a wonderful array of warm, organic colors that can make a lovely backdrop for any bride’s wedding day. Minted wants to help newly engaged brides plan their ultimate autumn wedding with a Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge!

Get all the entry details after the jump…

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Behind the Design: “Boho Ikat” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Nicole Armstrong of Penelope Poppy, who’s based in Pittsburg, Penn., shares the vision and creative process behind her brightly patterned wedding invitation “Boho Ikat.”

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was very inspired by the brightly colored bohemian weddings that I had been seeing and wanted to create a design that embodied that look and feel. The super bright colors are a bit of a departure for me but it was fun to explore different palettes and capture vibrancy. A good friend of mine was getting married the same time as I was creating this invitation and she was a big inspiration, too—she even helped name the design!

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
Sometimes I get inspired by an idea and sit down and start hashing it out. Other times I am sitting at the computer, knowing that I need to create something. I just start messing around with different ideas and there is a lot of morphing and transforming that happens as it begins to shape. When it comes to designing, I am a “feeler,” everything that I create is based on instinct, no so much the rules of design. To complete a project, I need to get it to a place where it just feels right to me.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
One of the biggest challenges with “Boho Ikat” was the color palette, I was concerned about getting it just right. I really wanted that vibrancy to come through and to have playful colors that complemented each other nicely without coming off like a rainbow tie-dyed shirt. That’s why I chose a palette of hot pink, teal, mustard/gold. I wanted to convey the fun spirit of a boho wedding and these colors worked perfectly.

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
Let me paint the picture for you: The wedding takes place in the desert, with mountains in the distance, lots of bright florals, succulents, cactuses, brass accents. The bride is wearing a floral crown and a lacey, bohemian-style dress and her groom is casual, maybe wearing a fun tie. Think: feathers, dream catchers, terrarium centerpieces, and macramé.

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I am a huge fan of brides who can pull off a completely cohesive event without being too matchy-matchy. Different patterns and colors. I love bridesmaids in mismatched bridesmaid dresses. It just looks so much more personal and interesting and less “cookie cutter.”

How did you come to design for Minted?
I loved designing wedding stationery and was so excited to find a community with such beautiful and inspiring work and couldn’t wait to become a part of it. I submitted pieces for my first wedding invitation challenge back in 2010. Six years ago! I love the company and appreciate the community and level of detail that goes into every aspect. Minted does everything with excellence and with a genuine and sincere work ethic—something I strive for in my own work.

More from Nicole Armstrong:
• “Boho Ikat” wedding invitation
• Nicole’s Minted Store (Penelope Poppy)
Nicole’s Website
• Nicole’s Instagram

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


Minted Real Wedding: Maria & AJ in Honduras

Maria and AJ, who met during graduate school, invited their 160 guests to Indura Resort, a beautiful oceanside resort in the bride’s native Honduras, for their destination wedding. The Washington, DC-based couple chose “Olive Branches” by Carolyn Nicks as their invitation and incorporated their Honduran and Arabic backgrounds to create a celebration that reflected their cultures, life together as a couple, and shared love of travel and good food.

Minted Real Wedding Indura Resort Honduras

Bride and groom: Maria & AJ
Occupations: Pediatrician (Maria); medical student with a PhD in Engineering (AJ)
Based in: Washington, DC
Wedding dateDecember 19, 2015
Venue: Indura Resort, Tela, Honduras
Number of guests:  About 160
Minted wedding invitation: “Olive Branches” by Carolyn Nicks
Wedding planner: Gladys Reyna from Agendas y Eventos
Florist: Musa Flores y Eventos
Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography

Minted Real Wedding Indura Resort, Honduras

How did you and AJ meet?
We met when AJ was getting his PhD and I was in medical school. We don’t actually remember meeting. We had chatted a few times here and there but things really took off after our friend invited a group of us over to her house to cook Arabic food together. We started talking more and shortly after that he asked me out.

Tell us about the proposal!
I did not see it coming that day. I was actually post-call from a long 30-hour shift and had napped for a few hours. AJ and I were supposed to go to dinner with my mom, who was in town helping me move to a new apartment. My mom left my apartment presumably to get coffee and AJ came up carrying a bouquet of flowers. He said a lot of wonderful things and got down on one knee in my kitchen, which is fitting since our favorite activity to do together is cook. We then ran downstairs to tell my mom and she pretended she had no idea.

Shortly after, a black car arrived and he said we were still going to dinner but to a different place. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going. We got in the car and drove until we pulled up to a small corner restaurant that I recognized as the place where we had had our first date. I got out of the car and to my surprise my dad was standing in front of the restaurant. He had flown up from Honduras for the occasion. I had called him right after the proposal and he pretended to be home while in reality he was only a few blocks away. I took a few steps and, to my even bigger surprise, AJ’s mom and sister were also there, who had flown in from the Middle East. We all then celebrated and spent the weekend together.

Click through for more from Maria and AJ’s destination wedding


Minted x The Mrs Box Styled Wedding Themes

As a bride, you treasure every second of your wedding day, cherishing all the beautiful moments (and mementos!) caught on film. Minted and The Mrs Box to show you how to capture all the stationery details of your wedding like a pro, telling the full story of your celebration that leaves you with a beautiful record to pass on for years on end.


DIY: Champagne Coupe Place Cards

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I recently discovered a cake-decorating store in my neighborhood and I can’t get enough of all the adorable cake toppers they have in stock! I saw these mini champagne coupes and immediately bought them all—they came in both clear and gold, but I love the look of the gold ones filled with pink cotton candy. At 20 cents each, they are a super affordable way to dress up your table for an upcoming bridal shower, bachelorette party, or birthday party. Cheers!

Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep

Click through for full instructions … 

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Minted Real Wedding: Melanie and Dien in Glen Ellen, CA

After a surprise proposal in the Bahamas, Seattle-based couple Melanie and Dien held a colorful, whimsical wedding at the B.R. Cohn winery in Glen Ellen. They chose “Dahlia Bouquet” by Alethea and Ruth as their wedding invitation and the talented bride made the ceremony programs, menus, and table-number signs herself. Keep reading for more from their alfresco celebration (you have to see the fun poufs at the reception!).

BR Cohn Winery Wedding | Melanie & Dien

Bride and groom: Melanie Apuyan & Dien Nguyen
Occupations: Mortgage industry (Melanie) and software sales (Dien)
Based in: Seattle, Washington
Wedding date: August 14, 2015
Venue: B.R. Cohn, Glen Ellen, CA
Number of guests:  110
Minted wedding invitation: “Dahlia Bouquet” by Alethea and Ruth (in the “Sherbet” color palette)
Wedding planner: Sugar Rush Events
Florist: The Monkey Flower Group
Cake designer: Crisp Bake Shop
Photographer: Margaret Austin Photography

How did you and Dien meet?
Through a mutual friend.

Tell us about the proposal…
The proposal happened on a trip to the Bahamas. It came as complete surprise! And he picked the ring out all by himself, I love it.

How did you find your wedding venue?
We researched wedding venues online first, then took a trip out to Napa and Sonoma to visit sites in person.

Who made your wedding dress?  
Claire Pettibone

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was surprisingly easy—it was one of only four dresses I tried.

Click through for more from Melanie and Dien’s winery wedding


Behind the Design: “Modern Marble” Wedding Invitation

Vancouver-based Minted designer Kelly Schmidt shares the vision and creative process behind her elegant, swirl-patterned wedding invitation “Modern Marble.”

Marble Wedding Invitation

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I wanted to design something classic but modern. I envisioned a piece that was artistic and painterly, yet sophisticated and chic. I had been playing around with marbled paper patterns for a while, in borders and backgrounds for different concepts. Through some experimentation I flipped from flat colour to foil and was immediately inspired.

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
When inspiration strikes, I usually start brainstorming and making lists, trying to get all of my ideas down on paper in a messy mind map of writing and small, simple thumbnails. I narrow down my ideas and create loose inspiration boards and notes, drawing from all types of sources: art, photography, interiors, colour palettes, patterns, and textures.

I am typically working on more than one project at a time and I hop around between them, which means I’m getting inspiration and influences from different places and applying them in ways I might not expect at the outset. I am all about experimentation and happy accidents with unexpected results. I use Photoshop and Illustrator heavily through this trial and error phase, saving many different ideas. It’s common for me to use hand-drawn or hand-crafted elements, which I manipulate digitally, sometimes extensively so. I go on feeling a lot, with what feels right. My end results are often drastically different from my original idea.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
While I was working on this design, I envisioned a professional, creative couple who frequent art galleries, cultural events and concerts. They are well traveled and adventurous with strong, traditional values. I imagine the wedding as a sophisticated and elegant event, with rustic greenery, a muted palette and soft romantic lighting.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love how weddings have become an opportunity for couples to create an event that is unique and filled with personal touches that make the day extra special. I love seeing all the different ways couples are incorporating metallic details into their weddings to make it their own. It adds a touch of elegance and can mix with any style; vintage, black tie or rustic.

I can’t talk about trends without talking about food and drink! Classic cocktails are at the top of my list. I love a good Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Mint Julep. We had a classic cocktail menu at our wedding and everyone loved it! Family style receptions are something I am really excited about. I love this way of eating (I can never decide what to eat because I like to try everything!) and I love that it’s becoming popular for weddings.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
I wanted a classic design and started out with very traditional serif typefaces, but then decided to experiment more with the type, mixing things up to create something more modern. I was torn on which direction to go. I always tweak and push my designs until all the elements feel right. The hard part is trusting that what I’m feeling in that moment will resonate with others as well (and that I will still like it the next day!).

Tell us about your workspace.
I often do my messy process work on the dining room table where I can spread out. If I’m doing production work, it’s more flexible so sometimes I’ll work at a smaller desk in our den, or go out to a local pub or coffee shop if I feel like I need a change in scenery. We just moved this past year so we are also working on turning one of our small rooms upstairs into a studio space where I can be a bit more messy with paint and exploration.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I had been following Minted online for a few years while considering the launch of my own wedding stationery line. I was curious but felt intimidated about entering challenges, because of the high caliber of work. Once I started entering challenges I learned how open, inclusive and supportive the community is, and I am so grateful to be a part of Minted.

More from Kelly Schmidt:
Kelly’s Minted Store
Kelly’s Instagram

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


Minted Real Wedding: Alyssa & Nic in Brooklyn

After more than seven years of dating, Alyssa and Nic (who first met on MySpace!) decided to make it official and tied the knot at the Brooklyn Courthouse with just their immediate family as witnesses. Later, they broke the happy news to friends and extended family by mailing marriage announcements (from Minted, natch!), then invited everyone to the Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg eight months later for a wedding reception and party. The celebration featured deep-red tones and French-themed details (a jazz band performed “La Vie en Rose” for the couple’s first dance; guests were given boxes of Ladurée macarons as favors) and the winery’s collection of vintage, mismatched china perfectly complemented the look.

Bride and groom: Alyssa Mozdzen & Nic diPierro
Occupations: Freelance IT tech, actor, and writer (Nic); literary agency assistant (Alyssa) and graduate student (she will be attending graduate school for writing in the fall)
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Wedding ceremony: December 12, 2014 at the Brooklyn Courthouse
Wedding reception: August 9, 2015 at the Brooklyn Winery
Number of guests: About 130
Minted wedding invitation: “Johannis” by Jack Knoebber (letterpressed)
Wedding gown: Rembo Styling, purchased from VeKa Bridal in Brooklyn
Florist: Faye + Renee
Musicians: Avalon Jazz Band
Photographer: Bia Sampaio

Brooklyn Winery Wedding Minted Wedding Invitation

How did you and Nic meet? 
Through MySpace! We’ve been together a very long time…

Tell us about the proposal…
We’d been together for more than seven years before deciding to make it official, so there really wasn’t a formal proposal. Getting married was never really something either of us were dying to do. We’re supremely happy together, and knew we’d spend the rest of our lives together regardless of whether or not we were married. But after crunching the numbers and deciding we wanted that official security of marriage, we figured we might as well! My parents had already planned a visit to New York in December, so we got married while they were in town. Nic’s mom signed as our witness, and we didn’t tell anyone but our immediate families. We broke the news to all of our friends and extended family in late January by mailing marriage announcements (using Minted!). It made the whole reveal so much more personal than simply posting something on social media. We got so many texts and phone calls after people opened their mail and saw the good news!

How did you find your wedding venues?
The Brooklyn Courthouse was purely for convenience: we live within walking distance! And we found Brooklyn Winery after doing some research on Brooklyn venues that fit not only our budget, but our style and size. Plus, they make it so easy by providing the food, wine, and a day-of planner to help assist coordinating all your vendors.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
My mom came in from out of town and my sister (who lives in Brooklyn as well) joined me in searching for the perfect dress. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted because I knew exactly what I didn’t want: no strapless, no ball gown, no white—I really wanted a blue dress. We must have looked at about five or six different locations over a few days, but found this one at the first place we looked, Veka Bridal in Brooklyn. The designer was Rembo Styling and it fit everything on my wish list: vintage looking, simple, unique, and, most importantly, a lovely shade of light blue peeking out through the white lace.

And what about your accessories?
I carried a book-themed clutch by Kate Spade. Since I didn’t have a bouquet, I wanted my clutch to have some significance, and since I work in publishing, that clutch was perfect.

Click through for more from Alyssa and Nic’s Brooklyn wedding

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