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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Minted Elopement: Kim & George in Malibu, CA

After secretly tying the knot during a family vacation to the Oregon Coast, Kim Carey (who is a Minted designer herself!) and George Cox III returned home to Southern California and were surprised with an elopement dinner thrown by friends at the Malibu Cafe. The couples’ pals Lydia Campbell and Minted designer Renee Pulve planned a festive reception with bright pops of red and blue, all inspired by the couple’s retro style.

The couple: Kim Carey and George Cox III
Occupations: Pharmaceuticals Regulatory Affairs (Kim), Animation Production Coordinator (George)
Based in: Ventura, CA
Elopement date: September 5, 2015
Elopement location:
 Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, Oregon
Reception date: September 19, 2015
Reception location: Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch, Malibu, CA
Number of guests (reception): 10
Photographer (ceremony): Stephen Grossman
Photographer (reception): Renee Pulve
Reception party planners: Renee Pulve & Lydia Campbell
Dessert: Sprinkles Cupcakes

How did you and George meet?
I was looking for advice on buying a pen tablet for my computer. A friend put me in touch with George, who is a skilled digital artist.

Tell us about the proposal!
It was Christmas 2012 and George gave me a gift that was actually a puzzle to figure out. Gift #1 contained the hint “Will.” Gift #2 had the hint “You” and so on… For the last clue, he presented me with a blue topaz ring that I had picked out ages ago and thought he’d forgotten about.

Please tell us about your elopement!
We had a small, secret ceremony in Oregon with immediate family only. We had been looking for just the right place for over two years when George’s parents invited us to join them on their vacation to Oregon. When we realized that Ecola State Park was where they filmed The Goonies, we knew that was the spot. Then, our friends threw us a surprise “elopement dinner” at Malibu Cafe three weeks later.

1.  “Rustic Retro Surprise” wedding reception invitation, custom-designed by Renee Pulve/Smudge Design.

2. Mason jars were painted opaque white and filled with brightly colored paper blooms. “For the wedding ceremony, my sister cut a bouquet for me at an organic farm,” says Kim. “And then for the dinner party, my friend Lydia recreated the flowers in paper.” The dinner tables at Malibu Cafe were topped with black-and-white runners hand-sewn by Lydia to match the groom’s shirt.

3. The happy couple George and Kim. Their retro style inspired the party theme and invitation design.

4. Guests enjoyed colorful cupcakes from Sprinkles for dessert.

5. Renee and Lydia decorated the restaurant space with a colorful bunting banner that spelled out the newlyweds’ names. “Up Up and Away” bunting banner by Kelli Hall for Minted.

6. Blue handkerchiefs purchased from Hobby Lobby served as napkins at each place setting.

Where did you get your dress? 
I was looking for something retro and a little different to go with George’s retro style, and found my dress on Modcloth. I also created a fascinator to wear the day of the wedding that incorporated my late father’s “U.S.” pin from when he was in the Air Force in the 1960s.

What were some of your favorite reception details?
The invitation (a Renee Pulve original, designed to match our wedding attire), the Minted banner with our names, and the paper flowers. Lydia also sewed a table runner that matched George’s retro wedding shirt.

What were some of your fondest memories from the day? 
Having so many of our closest friends in one place.

Any advice for brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
Listen openly to people’s well-meaning advice, but in the end, do what is right for the two of you.

Additional Resources:
Retro starbursts in small jars: Hobby Lobby
Tabletop clipboard (holding photo of Kim and George): Michaels
Paper straws: Minted
Cupcake toppers (used on straws): Minted


More Minted Real Weddings:
Whitney & Kadmiel in Chicago
• Emily & David in Annapolis, MD
• Kelly & Andrew in San Clemente, CA
• Diane & Kaelem in Toronto
• Megan & Leo at Carondelet House, Los Angeles
• Leah & Mike at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM
• Grace & Michael at Reif Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
• Julia & Deric at Escala, Seattle
• Shelby & Douglas at Castle Hill, Keswick, VA

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Minted Real Wedding: Whitney & Kadmiel in Chicago

Ever wonder what a bridal gown expert chooses for her own wedding day? Whitney Harris, a bridal consultant at Vera Wang in Chicago, wore a stunning mermaid gown by the designer for her springtime wedding to Kadmiel Christmas. The couple exchanged vows before their 185 guests during an interfaith ceremony, followed by dinner and dancing in the ballroom, all held at the elegant Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago.

Chicago Wedding at The Blackstone Hotel

Bride and groom: Whitney Harris and Kadmiel Christmas
Occupations: Bridal Consultant at Vera Wang Chicago (Whitney); Owner and Managing Director of Adon Solutions (Kadmiel)
Based in: Chicago
Wedding date: March 21, 2015
Wedding venue: The Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel, Chicago
Number of guests: 185
Minted wedding invitation: “Dapper Amper” by Snow and Ivy
Wedding gown: Vera Wang
Hair & makeup: Kate Johnson of Kate Johnson Artistry
Florist: Juliet Tan Floral Design
Decor: Art of Imagination (chuppah and lighting)
Cake: Sugar Hills Bakery
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie

Chicago wedding at The Blackstone Hotel

How did you and Kadmiel meet?
We met at a fundraising event I was hosting in August 2011 and exchanged business cards.

Tell us about the proposal!
Kadmiel decided to propose at his 40th birthday celebration that I had planned for him (it wasn’t a surprise). It was a Gatsby-themed bash at the Public Hotel in Chicago. The proposal was a complete surprise—Kadmiel got down on one knee after he blew out his birthday candles and gave a speech in front of all our family and friends. I was stunned and had no clue he was planning to propose—I was very emotional and love that the speech and reaction was filmed on a friend’s phone.

Who made your wedding dress?
“Olympia” by Vera Wang, from the Spring 2015 collection. I also wore a veil that my grandmother wore on her wedding day 56 years ago. My grandmother, mother, and aunt have all worn it at their weddings.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
I’m a bridal consultant and I made sure to consult my team! Most brides only consult family, friends, and their Pinterest board; I also had a team of colleagues to chat with about it.

Click through to read more of Whitney and Kadmiel’s wedding story

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Giveaway: Win $1,000 for Your Wedding!

Did you know that Minted just came out with wedding websites? Yep! The wedding invitations you know and love are now available with stylish website designs to match. So, instead of struggling to build a site from scratch, you can choose one of our beautiful, easy-to-navigate templates, then quickly upload photos and wedding details to loop in your guests, in no time flat.

To celebrate our new wedding offering, we’ve partnered with one our fave blogs Wedding Chicks and are giving away $1,000 in Minted Weddings credit to one lucky bride-to-be! The contest concludes on September 27, 2015; you can enter to win on our Instagram. Good luck!

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Wedding Thank-You Card Etiquette

Thanking friends and family members not only for their thoughtful wedding gifts but for also being part of your special day is an absolutely essential pre- and post-wedding task (yes, engagement party and shower gifts require a thank-you card, too!). While a gracious note seems simple enough, there are some key things you need to keep in mind. To help you get it right, here are the answers to the most frequently asked wedding thank-you questions.

Wedding Thank You Card Etiquette and Ideas From top: “Woodland Initials” by Lehan Veenker; “Olive Branches” by
Carolyn Nicks; “Dahlia Bouquet” by Alethea and Ruth; “Woodland
Romance
” by Hooray Creative; and “Bookbinder” by Jennifer Wick

Who gets a thank-you note?
Everyone who has given you a gift at any of the wedding festivities (the engagement party, bridal shower, wedding).

How long do I have to write them?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have a year’s grace period (sorry!). For gifts received during the engagement party and shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities; for gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding; for gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank-you note within three months; and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.

I want to feature a wedding portrait on the card but we haven’t gotten photos from our photographer yet. Can we wait until we’ve received them?
Your thank-you notes are a great opportunity to show off your first pictures together as husband and wife; however, if personalizing your thank-you cards with a wedding photo means missing your deadline, use an engagement photo instead.

What should we write?
Make sure your thank-you note feels warm and genuine (definitely avoid generic phrases and wording!). Address the gift giver by name and mention the present and what you’ll do with it, along with a personal detail. For example: “Thank you so much for the juicer, we’ve been wanting one for a while and have already come up with some new recipes! We’ll have to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action. And thank you for coming to our weddingwe loved dancing with you at the reception!”

Do text messages or in-person thank yous count?
While a face-to-face thank you is always important, a proper thank you must be on paper; texts and emails don’t count. Also, even though typing them out might be easier, wedding thank-you notes should always be hand-written.

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DIY: Watercolor Wedding Fans

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

Summer weddings are in full swing and if you’re holding your ceremony or reception outdoors, then it’s thoughtful to think of ways to keep your guests from melting beneath the blazing sun. These sweet handmade fans are easy to make and perfect for cooling off; paint them in your wedding colors and you’ve got a pretty handmade element to add to your wedding décor.

Click through for the full tutorial

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What to Include on Your Wedding Website

The goal of every good wedding website: Give guests the details they need to prepare for your wedding—and get them pumped to join you for your celebration in the process. To help you pull it off, follow our handy guide to everything you should include on your wedding website.

Everything You Need to Include on Your Wedding Website

THE ESSENTIALS
• A warm welcome and a photo
Welcome guests to your wedding website with a favorite of yourselves and a heartfelt message letting your guests know how ecstatic you are to see them. After all, this is probably one of the only times you’ll have all your loved ones gathered together in the same place at the same time.

• Wedding date, time, and location
Kind of a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many couples forget to include this vital wedding-day information.

• Schedule of events
Most guests just want to be told where they need to be and when, so be sure to include details on the ceremony and reception start times, as well as extra events like the after-party and morning-after brunch. But only include the events where everyone is welcome to avoid any unexpected drop-ins!

• Travel information and accommodations
Think about what you’d need to know in order to plan a trip and provide this info to your guests so they don’t have to do lots of legwork: lodging suggestions (and any negotiated hotel room rates); a list of local airports, train station, and car rental companies; maps and driving directions; public transportation information (including car services like Uber and Lyft); and venue parking details.

• Online RSVPs
These days, more couples are opting for online RSVPs instead of traditional mailed response cards, so choose a wedding website template that includes built-in RSVP management. (Bonus: You’ll save on reply cards and return postage!)

• Contact information
Let your guests know how to reach you if they have questions or want to send their congratulations.

• FAQs
It’s nice to have a catch-all section devoted to any questions guests may have. This is the place to include helpful notes on attire suggestions, whether children are invited (since some guests don’t know the ins and outs of envelope etiquette), a list of reputable local baby-sitting services, whether you will provide transportation to/from the celebration. Think about all the questions you ask when you go to other people’s weddings and try to include the answers to make life easier for your guests.

NICE TO HAVE BUT NOT CRUCIAL
• “Our Story”
Chances are not all of your guests know how the two of you met and when you decided to get married, so devote a section of your website recounting your love story and the proposal.

• Wedding party information
Many couples opt to include a section with a brief bio of wedding-party members describing how they know each person.

• Registry
Printing registry information on your actual wedding invitation is usually not advised by etiquette experts, so your website is the perfect place to include these details (be sure to supply links that allow them to click through to shop).

• Sightseeing suggestions
If many of your guests are traveling to your city for the first time or if you’re hosting a destination wedding, then they will appreciate suggestions on local sights and attractions. Provide a helpful guide to the area by making a list of your and your groom’s favorite spots: restaurants, coffee shops, hair and nail salons, local tourist attractions. And if the area has special significance to you, let guests know! For example, if you met, went on your first date, or even got engaged near the wedding venue, those can be fun facts to share.

• Photos
If you had engagement photos taken, this is a great place to display them. But don’t go overboard: One of guests’ biggest gripes about wedding websites is the never-ending photo gallery. So pick the best ones from your engagement session and a few favorite snapshots of you and your fiancé, and you’re all set.

Ultimately, remember that your wedding website is a tool to make life easier for your guests. Choose a design that is easy to navigate (bonus points if it’s easy to read on mobile, too!); focus on their needs and try to anticipate any questions they may have. Your guests will sincerely appreciate it.

What to Include on Your Wedding Website

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Minted Real Wedding: Emily & David in Annapolis, MD

A Southern belle and her Marine Corps fiancé met through mutual friends in the fall of 2012 but it wasn’t until a year later—after their pals convinced them to reconnect via Skype—that their relationship took off. After getting engaged in 2014, the couple exchanged vows in the chapel at the Naval Academy, followed by dinner and dancing at their waterside reception venue.

Are you a Minted bride? If you’d like to submit your wedding for consideration, please email a brief description of your celebration and a link to your wedding photos to heather@minted.com.

Minted Real Wedding: Emily & David in Annapolis, MD

Bride and groom: Emily White and David Piekut
Occupations: Advocacy Manager for Fight Colorectal Cancer (Emily); Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps (David)
Based in: Pensacola, FL
Wedding date: May 02, 2015
Ceremony location: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
Reception location: Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis, MD
Number of guests: 130
Minted wedding invitation: “Modern Classic” by Annie Clark
Wedding gown: Allure Couture
Wedding planner: Roxanne Ladd, Behind the Scenes Events
Florist: Rhonda Kaplan
Catering & cake: The Main Ingredient Catering
Photographer: Krista A. Jones Photography

Minted Real Wedding: Emily & David in Annapolis, MD

How did you and David meet?
We love the look on people’s faces when they ask us where we’re from and we answer separately, “New York City” and “A really small town in South Carolina.” Meeting each other and falling in love must have been destiny because so many things had to fall into place just right for it to happen. Luckily, my best friend (and maid of honor!) knew what she was doing when she introduced us. Her (then-) boyfriend attended the Naval Academy and David accompanied him to South Carolina for the USC vs. Navy football game in September 2012. They stayed at our apartment for the weekend and David and I spent hours talking in the kitchen. A year later, our friends convinced us to catch up via Sykpe and the next thing I knew, I was buying a plane ticket to visit him in Annapolis.

Minted Real Wedding: Emily & David in Annapolis, MD

Click through to read more of Emily and David’s wedding story…

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Elements of Style: Modern Maritime

Set sail on your newlywed adventure with a wedding celebration full of chic nautical details: knotted rope, mariner stripes, and windswept florals.

1. SEND // this wedding invitation
Set the tone with stationery featuring subtle nautical theme (“Rope Ampersand” by Jill Means for Minted).

2. WEAR // these bridesmaids outfits
Dress your attendants in a chic two-piece: strapless tops paired with white-and-navy striped skirts.

3. CUT // this cake
Asymmetrically stacked tiers decorated with edible oyster shells and pearls are a nod to the seaside setting.

4. CARRY // this bouquet
Ask your florist to incorporate various sea grasses for a textured, windswept look.

5. DISPLAY // these table-number cards
A traditional monkey’s fist doubles as table décor and a clever card holder.

6. SERVE // this wine
Yes way rosé: We love the idea of serving bottles of this pretty pink wine during cocktail hour.

Photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


More Wedding-Theme Ideas:
Wedding Trend: Painterly Pastels
• Wedding Trend: Citrus Punch
• Wedding Trend: Island Escape
• Wedding Trend: Dark Florals
• Wedding Trend: Delft Blues
• Wedding Trend: Bold Brushstrokes

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