Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Simona Cavallaro, who lives and works in San Jose, Calif., takes us through the creative process for her modern, brushstroke-patterned “Abstract Union” wedding invitation.

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I love combining contrasting trends together in interesting ways. Here I wanted to create something that felt chic and sophisticated with a fresh and unexpected look. I think the result is classic with a twist.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
This design is for the couple that wants elegance but with an unexpected twist. Maybe the wedding venue is an old urban loft instead of a ballroom. Or the couple opted to use succulents instead of flowers at the event. I want my design to set the tone and hint to guests that there will be something special at the wedding.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I feel like weddings are becoming less about tradition and more about what makes a couple unique. Personal touches are apparent all throughout the details of the ceremony and reception which makes weddings feel more bespoke, no matter the budget. I guess I would call this “the anything goes trend.” And I love it!

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Describe your design process, from initial idea to end result.
Here is my typical process: A fantastic idea pops into my head while I’m driving, sleeping, showering, or doing something else that prevents me from writing it down. I repeat the idea in my head until it no longer makes sense, then I forget it altogether. I finally get to my workspace, clear my mind, relax, and start playing with paint on a blank canvas. Usually I’ll get a totally unexpected result that will naturally spark a new—even better—idea. And I just go with it.

In this case, it was the combination of rough brushstrokes and organic dots that really spoke to me. Once I finish painting, I scan and start working with the art on my computer by pairing it with typography. I really believe that type can make or break my designs, so I probably spend way more time setting type than any other part of my design process. The final thing I do is get feedback to make sure I’m not completely off with what I’m trying to achieve.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
The most challenging thing with this design, and probably most of my others, was narrowing down the color options. I love playing with color and being limiting to only six different palettes is really hard! But I tried my best to choose a broad range that will appeal to different couples.

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
I like to say that I have a mobile or traveling workspace. I have a designated space set up for working, but most of the time I find myself getting more work done if I’m open to moving around. Sometimes a coffee shop can be the most productive place in the world, other times my dinner table might become my painting studio. The couch, the floor, my patio, even a picnic table at a park have all been my workspaces at some point. The more open I am about how I work, the more opportunities I make for my creativity to build.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I was at a point in my life when I needed to nourish my creativity or I would burst. Minted allowed me to do just that. I was able to create and design based on my inspirations and talents, join an amazing network of designers, make new friends, and literally infuse my life with the creative fuel it was craving.

More from Simona Cavallaro:
Simona’s Minted Store
• Simona’s Website
Simona’s Instagram

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

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Roundup: Wedding Invitations & Matching Bouquets

Looking for some bridal bouquet inspiration? Take cues from your wedding invitation—the colors, featured flowers and greenery, and overall look and feel are the perfect reference points for your wedding-day florals. Check out three of our favorite wedding invitations paired with their beautiful bridal-bouquet counterparts.

Modern Greenery Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Simple Greenery
Laurel of Greens” by Jennifer Wick for Minted
Bouquet: Bay laurel leaves and astrantia, created by Coco Rose Design
For an elegant-yet-understated look, skip the showy blooms in favor of something simpler, like a cluster of tiny astrantia blooms surrounded by fresh, fragrant bay laurel leaves.

Pink Peonies Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Garden Romance
 “Garden” by Lori Wemple for Minted
Bouquet: Peonies and sweet peas, created by Southern Blooms
Lush deep-pink peonies and fluttery sweet peas make for an ethereal and utterly romantic combination.

Tropical Bouquet with Pink Proteas

The Look: Escape to the Tropics
 “Tropical Love” by Elly for Minted
Bouquet: King proteas, stock, ranunculuses, and tillandsia, created by Delovely Creative
Hosting a wedding in the tropics? Or perhaps you’re drawn to palm fronds and tropical flowers? Either way, incorporate modern, unexpected elements into your bouquet, like these striking king proteas and wispy air plants. 

Photos: Caroline Tran (simple greenery), Joey + Jessica Weddings (garden romance), and Blush Wedding Photography (escape to the tropics)

More Wedding Ideas:
Wedding Trend: Modern Maritime
Wedding Trend: Dark Florals
• Wedding Trend: Citrus Punch

More from Minted:
Wedding Invitations
Save the Dates
Wedding Websites 


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Winners: Become the Face of Minted Weddings

We asked our wonderful customers and fans to submit their favorite engagement and save-the-date photos for a chance to be featured in Minted’s newest wedding stationery collections. Amazingly, we received a whopping 3,630 submissions (way to make our jobs difficult!) and are so pleased to announce the winning shots. Check them out below, along with notes from our editors on how they selected the winners. Congratulations to all!

Minted Weddings Model Winners“Adorable! We loved this playful-yet-candid moment captured
in this stylish couple’s engagement photo.”

Editor’s Award: Best Photo
The couple: Tennessee Gist & Collin Hauser
Based in: Dallas, TX
Photographer: Ellen Wildhagen

Minted Weddings Model Winners“This shot feels like a magical stolen moment. The city lights, her chic jacket, the bustling background—no wonder this was the top-voted photo!”

The Award: Top Voted
The couple: Pedro Pacheco & Bruna Camargo
Based in: Novi, MI
Photographer: Remy Roman

Minted Weddings Model Winners“These sweet lovebirds are so dapper! Their elegant outfits combined
with those rich, fall colors are perfection.”

Editor’s Award: Black Tie Couple
For the couple with the best engagement photos with a formal feel
The couple: Anh Do & Vu Nguyen
Photographer: Christine Farah

Minted Weddings Model Winners“We loved the contrast between their crisp, stylish outfits and the soft, hazy
Eiffel Tower behind them. So evocative and romantic.”

Editor’s Award: Best Destination
The couple with the most breathtaking destination engagement photos (from beaches to mountains to getaways abroad)
The couple: Keith Barry & Paul Vouriot
Photographer: Brian Wright of French Grey Photography

Minted Weddings Model Winners“Smoke bombs?! Such a genius way to add some color and drama to your engagement photos.”

Editor’s Award: Most Creative Couple
The couple with the most unique engagement photos, like we’ve never seen before
The couple: Sarah Mohammadi & Ryan Platt
Photographer: Brogen Jessup

Minted Weddings Model Winners“This sweet shot feels very natural and in-the-moment, and made us feel all warm and cozy!” 

Editor’s Award: Baby It’s Cold Outside
The couple with beautiful engagement photos set in the fall or winter to complement our latest autumnal and wintry designs
The couple: Molly Horn & Johann Lepasana
Photographer: Jessica Mernin of Jessica Lindy Photography

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

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Minted Real Wedding: Dawn & Tommy in Los Angeles

When a wedding industry pro gets married, you know it’s going to be one helluva party. And that’s exactly what happened last August, when San Diego-based wedding photographer Dawn Parker married her police-officer beau Tommy Charles. The couple chose 440 Seaton, an industrial warehouse in Los Angeles’ Arts District, as the site for their nuptials, and added decorations to help “bring the outdoors in,” with loads of lush greenery, wood surfaces, antlers, and globe lights.

440 Seaton Wedding in Los Angeles

Bride and groom: Dawn Parker & Tommy Charles
Occupations: Wedding photographer (bride); police officer (groom)
Based in: San Diego, CA
Wedding date: August 22, 2015
Wedding venue: 440 Seaton, Los Angeles
Number of guests: 190
Minted wedding invitation: “Modern Botanicals” by Natalie Nakai
Wedding gown: Anna Campbell
Wedding Coordinator: Jen Krueger Design
Florist: Flowers by Hilary
Cake: Susie Cakes
Photographer: Lauren Scotti Photographer

How did you and Tommy meet?
Through mutual friends at a game night.

Tell us about the proposal!
Tommy took me to Balboa Park in San Diego and proposed in front of the botanical gardens. All of our family members were hiding and watching from a bridge across the reflecting pool.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was amazing. I found my Anna Campbell dress at The Dress Theory in San Diego. It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love!

Los Angeles Wedding at 440 Seaton

Click through for more from Dawn and Tommy’s celebration


DIY: Herb-Infused Honey Favors

If you’re hosting a party or gathering this spring—afternoon brunch, Easter luncheon, or even a wedding!—then consider giving guests jars of herb-infused honey as a take-home favor. The idea was inspired by a spring brunch I recently styled that featured the colors and textures of pollen and rose quartz, and these DIY honey jars were the perfect complement to the party. Your guests will be delighted by the fresh, bright notes of the herb-infused honey. Not to mention the fact that they look downright beautiful on the table.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Minted Real Wedding: Angela & Brian in Aspen, CO

Angela Simmen and Brian Kelley, both resident physicians, first met while working in the same hospital. “We would catch each other’s eye while passing each other,” says Angela. After a romantic proposal during a ski trip to Colorado, the Michigan-based couple decided to host an intimate destination wedding and chose The Little Nell in Aspen for their celebration. Upon arrival, their 60 guests boarded a gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain to watch the couple exchange wedding vows, with stunning mountains views and changing leaves as their dramatic backdrop.

Aspen Wedding at The Little Nell

Bride and groom: Angela Simmen & Brian Kelley
Occupations: Resident physicians (her = OB/GYN, him = surgery)
Based in: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wedding date: September 26, 2015
Wedding venue: The Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Number of guests: 60
Minted wedding invitation: “Delicate Dots” by Ashley Hegarty
Wedding gown: “Cassidy” by Amy Kuschel
Wedding planner: Bluebird Productions
Florist: Prema
Cake: d’Elissious Cake Studio of Aspen
Photographer: Rachel Havel

Aspen Wedding at The Little Nell

How did you and Brian meet?
We would catch each other’s eye while passing each other in the hospital, but it was an epic Halloween party that finally brought us together!

Tell us about the proposal!
February 16, 2015! It happened on the gondola during a ski trip to Keystone, Colorado. We had the gondola to ourselves, and I noticed Brian was acting a little strange. Midway up the mountain, he got down on one knee. Of course, I bawled the rest of the way up. It was perfect. Our friends Russell and Lindsay had gotten in the gondola in front of us and were ready to snap engagement photos at the top of the mountain. We loved having them there to share that perfect day!

How did you find your wedding venue The Little Nell?
Courtesy of my amazing older sister, Jen. Brian and I knew we wanted a small destination wedding and Colorado appealed to us for so many reasons. My sister started looking online right away and sent me the link to The Little Nell five days after our engagement. We booked it within a week!

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
My mom Rosie and my sister planned a full two days of dress shopping in Atlanta. We never made it past the first shop, Kelly’s Closet, where I found my dress!

Aspen Wedding at The Little Nell

Click through to read more of Angela and Brian’s wedding story


Roundup: A Guide to Modern Rings

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a collection of gorgeous, sparkling rings for the love of baubles! Traditional rings are a thing of the past—women have never been bolder in their selection of signature jewelry. Whether you’re married and looking to add on to your stack or you’re a bride-to-be, on the hunt for something unique, or just a gal celebrating your own success, this modern ring roundup is for you. Currently, I am obsessed with colored diamonds, style-defining shapes, and anything rose gold. Happy shopping!

1. The Mrs. Signet, Nora Kogan, $795
2. Diamond Wings, Erstwhile, Catbird, $12,980
3. Supreme, Menashe & Sons Jewelers
4. Eclipse, Vale Jewelry, $1,250
5. Paloma, Nora Kogan, $2,400
6. Odile the Swan, Supreme, Catbird, $2,350
7. Supreme, Menashe & Sons Jewelers
8. Open Element, Savannah Stranger, Twist, $2,540
9. Eva Fehren, Twist, $5,775
10. Mandrel Studio, Twist, $10,566

More Valentine’s Day Ideas:
• DIY: Felt Heart Mask
• DIY: Bon-Bon Candy Bowls
• Recipe: Painted-Heart Sugar Cookies
• DIY: Valentine Mail Bag

More from Minted:
• Valentine’s Day Cards
• Classroom Valentines
• Valentine’s Day Stickers & Accessories 

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Wedding Invitation Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners for our Suite Love Wedding Invitation Challenge! Couples who are soon to say “I do” come to Minted to find original, awe-inspiring wedding invitation designs that will help set the tone for their wedding. We looked to you, our talented community, to create designs that were fashion-forward and trending-setting. You all wowed us with the freshest risking taking designs we’ve seen yet. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Based on the strength of submissions to this challenge, we selected one designer to receive featured placement in email, catalog, and on-site placement on Minted’s website.
Congratulations Melanie Severin

For the design that best lays the groundwork for a sophisticated, classic wedding
Elegantly Lined” by Robin Ott Design

Runners-up: Darling and Dashing” by Alston Wise
Flourish” by Jennifer Postorino | “Valencay” by Chocomocacino

For the most creative and innovative take on a wedding invitation
Adagio” by Moglea

Runners-up: Prism” by Kelly Ventura
Anthropology Museum” by Amy Payne | “Steampunk” by Katie Zimpel

For the best gender-neutral design that will appeal to both men and women
NYC Style” by Jana Volfova

Runners-up: Bold As Love” by Design X Five
Gold Bars” by Fig and Cotton Paperie | “Simply Dapper” by Jessica Williams

Click through to see more special prize winners of our latest wedding invitation challenge

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Adorable Real-Life Wedding-Proposal Stories

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered some of the most romantic wedding-proposal stories we’ve heard, all shared to us by our wonderful Minted customers. So, get ready for some serious “Awwws” because whether you’re close to getting engaged yourself or nowhere near walking down the aisle, you’ll love reading about strangers falling in love and how their happily-ever-afters began.

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Behind the Design: “Adventure Awaits” Save the Date

Bangkok-based Minted designer Elly Liyana gives us the scoop on how her popular “Adventure Awaits” save-the-date came to be (so perfect for nature-loving couples!).

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was brainstorming ideas for a project I was working on and wanted to incorporate drawings of natural landscapes with some portrait illustrations. Then, since many couples are gravitating toward an outdoor or rustic wedding theme these days, I thought I might be able to also feature these landscapes in an upcoming wedding challenge.

Please describe your creative process, from initial idea to end result.
I visit wedding blogs to have a look at the kind of wedding styles that are trending at the moment. I immerse myself in the whole wedding vibe as if I am a bride-to-be! I look for what I would like and I write all my ideas on paper and then start playing around with watercolor.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I think the biggest challenge was trying to create something fresh yet still consistent with current trends. Also, I’m new to watercolor—I usually paint with oils so it took a lot of trial and error before I was truly happy with it. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new for the challenge.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
Nature never gets old. I’m also loving the modern abstract painting trend. I’m not an abstract painter but I appreciate the style because I know just how difficult it is to paint abstract art.

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
My workspace is small and messy most of the time. My desk is next to a balcony—I prefer to paint during the day when there’s a good amount of sunlight. I’ve got a clear view of the city and the skyline from that spot, it’s relaxing.

How did you start designing for Minted?
My sister told me about Minted in 2009 and encouraged me to participate in the challenges; my first submission was for a wedding invitation challenge. It’s great to see how Minted has come such a long way, and how many of the wonderful designers have grown in their work. They truly inspire me to design more.

How does it feel knowing that couples from around the world are incorporating your save-the-date into their wedding?
It’s incredible! I’ve gotten some really sweet emails from brides-to-be saying that they have been looking for something like it for a long time and were so happy to have found it for their wedding. I’ve always wanted my art to reach a variety of people and it’s such a great feeling that my work is part of such a special occasion.

More from Elly Liyana:
• Elly’s Minted Store
Elly’s Website
Elly’s Instagram

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

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