Hope this Helps! – Invitations Pt. 4

Design Styles

If you’re engaged to a person who has totally different design preferences than you and you’d like to test the strength of your love for one another…just wait until you have to pick out invitations! It is a great test of compromise and budgeting skills! As I mentioned before in part 1, a lot of invitation companies sell each piece individually. That means you not only have to negotiate with your partner on the design of the invitation but on which and how many pieces are really needed for your wedding. Now, given an unlimited budget, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to find something you BOTH like. But here’s OUR problem.


Ciara’s style is like this:

Vintage Fanfare

Regal, Sophisticated and Vintage


By Vintage, do you mean old? 


While my style is more like this:

Modern, Quirky, Fresh

Modern, Quirky, Fresh



I get vintage, but you get fresh? My design preferences are vintagely-fresh. 



So how did we do it? After literally 3 months, we got so frustrated that Ciara gave up and let me pick whatever I wanted. (And this, my friends, is a lesson in and of itself. Don’t go back-and-forth on something as simple as an invitation. Just do what will make your spouse happy.)  🙂 BUT being the good future wife that I am *brushes shoulders off*, I refrained from choosing my favorite design and picked one that we both liked.


I should mention that it isn’t that we couldn’t find ANYTHING we both liked. It’s just that some of the really good designs just didn’t fit in our budget or took too long to print up.  I mean, imagine paying $4.00 for the invitation ONLY (not including RSVP cards, etc). If you need to send them out to 100 people, you’re already looking at nearly $500 on invitations! It isn’t impossible, but I just really couldn’t see US spending that much on invitations. (Nope! There was NO way that we were going to pay $500+ for invitations. I could draw our wedding invitations for $8.92.)


Some things that might make your invitation search easier are:

  1. Having a theme – I know it sounds cheesy but if you have a set theme like “Paris” or “Travel”, it is easier to search websites for those keywords and only browse a few options rather than a couple thousand!
  2. Knowing your colors ahead of time – you can also search many websites by color or special features like glitter and foil.
  3. Ordering catalogues and samples early on – many companies send out a catalogue or samples at no cost so you can see what colors look like. Minted.com sent us a GREAT kit that had all their paper types,  printing types, colors and popular designs in it FOR FREE. It was high quality stuff. David’s Bridal sent us free samples in the colors we were debating on so that we could be sure about the printing before we ordered. (There are approximately 2,947,493.4 shades of purple, y’all)
  4. Know your personal style as a couple. We couldn’t find many designs we liked on certain sites because they just catered to a different style. Some were very muted tones and others were very lacey and traditional.
  5. Talk about the value of the invitation. For some couples, the invitation is the first glimpse you get of the wedding style itself. And if you have a theme it will be important to carry that into your invites. But for others, it isn’t that big of a deal. Either way is OK. Having a conversation about this early on will help you set a realistic budget and stick to it.

So, basically, if you are EVER planning on needing wedding invitations, do yourself a favor and start a Pinterest board NOW. Like RIGHT now. Stop what you are doing, ask your boss for a 15- minute break and make that Pinterest board! And then add me, we’ll pin together. 🙂


Hope this helps!



Vendor Spotlight: Carolina Cake Artistry

Contact Person: Dayna and Tim

Email: dayna@carolinacakeartistry.com

Services Provided: Baking goods, specifically cakes and cupcakes

Website: http://www.carolinacakeartistry.com/


How we met Dayna and Tim

We were first introduced to Carolina Cake Artistry at the Carolina Bridal Fair in Concord, NC. There were many bakeries represented at this fair, but few left a lasting impression. Carolina Cake Artistry was different. As we approached their booth, Dayna greeted us with a smile and took a genuine interest in learning more about our wedding cake vision.

And the best part was…

Everything we sampled was SO good! You just couldn’t try one thing, you had to try it all. Well, at least that’s what Ciara did. She tried every single sample and raved for weeks about how good it was. When she wasn’t raving about the cake bites, she was trying to convince me that we could have a pumpkin cake for a July wedding (Ciara here- Let it be known that a Thanksgiving-themed wedding in July would have been unique and… well… memorable)

Fast forward a few months…

And our close friend, Mara, mentions a local bakery that she’s worked with before. Guess who it was? Yep, Carolina Cake Artistry! Mara connects us with Dayna and immediately we remember meeting them at the Carolina Bridal Fair. After exchanging a few emails, we scheduled our cake tasting.


The Cake Tasting

We wrote about our cake tasting experience a few posts ago, as a refresher, check it out here.

Setting Up Our First Wedding Registry

Where we’re registered: Target


I don’t know if it was due to the recent death of Amendment One or just the fact that it was a Saturday night but I drug Ciara out of the house at 8:30 PM to set up our wedding registry! Like many engaged couples, we thought Target would be a great place to start. When we walked up to the registry desk I made sure to say that “we needed to set up our wedding registry” to avoid any awkward moments or confusion. The customer service lady didn’t bat an eye. While we were setting up our registry on the red phablet (Phone/Tablet, think iPhone 6+) there were options to designate ourselves as “bride”, “groom or “partner”. It seems small, but I was really touched by that. To me, it meant that Target was ready for us and we didn’t have to “explain” anything. We could just walk in, get scanner training and be on our way to a happy marriage. So, the customer service lady gave us a quick training on how to scan as well as what things we should and shouldn’t scan. So by the end of the training we were pros! The customer service lady sent us off with a heart felt (and kind of loud) congratulations and we were off,  determined to scan until our hearts were content, but there was only one problem…

We didn’t know what we needed

Let us explain… We have been together for 5.67 years (according to Melinda’s calculations) and have lived together for the majority of that time. So we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Last year, we moved into our first house together and purchased a lot of the items you traditionally ask for as newlyweds. Now that we’re getting married, we just didn’t know what to ask for. Seriously, are you supposed to get stuff that you would never buy for yourself because of the cost, or things that you keep forgetting to pick up, or just things that you REALLY need to survive, or just stuff that you want for fun? What are the guidelines, here? 

So we had a few moments like these… 

Ciara: Babe, I think we should ask for SoniCare toothbrushes

Melinda: Really, toothbrushes? 

Melinda: Oh! Maybe we should ask for a pack of air filters, we are getting low on those…

Ciara: Um, I think we can handle that expense. 

Ciara: Can we put a big screen TV on our list? 

Melinda: This is not a Christmas list, babe

So as you can see, your girls were struggling… 

But it wasn’t long before we snapped into our wedding registry groove. We shifted our approach to not only think about items we needed, but items we wanted as well. I think we developed a good system by asking for things that just “say” Ciara & Melinda. Things that you all would know were connected to our collective and individual personalities. So, we were finally able to shed the discomfort of asking others for something and started our voyage down each aisle.


Eventually the scanner shut down and a message popped up that said, “Ya’ll are doing too much.” JUST KIDDING. This didn’t happen. All in all, we had a great time and no big screen televisions were added to the registry. Yeah, it was a lot of fun! It kinda felt like that moment when you have an extra paycheck in the month and you feel like you can get WHATEVER you want (muahahaha) and then you walk into the store and can’t really find anything you REALLY want to buy. So our Target Wedding Registry is pretty random and kind of light, but never fear, we are developing several options for your shopping pleasure! 

Next up- The honeymoon registry…