Tropical Wedding Styled Shoot at The Greystone Estate

This tropical wedding styled shoot was actual #goals. I had so much fun creating the invitation suite and working with some amazing Atlanta vendors. As the stationery gal, I rarely get to see styled shoots (or wedding days) in action. Being on the scene, I really got the chance to see how everything is brought to life!

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Jackie of Blooming Hites was the creative vision behind this tropical shoot. The Greystone Estate couldn’t have been a better setting – it’s a gorgeous, open venue in Ballground, Georgia with somewhat of a blank canvas feel, great for a wedding with any theme! The owner, Mary, is so sweet and works closely with couples who get married at the venue. Karen of Winey Blonde Events helped plan and style, while Schellie of Six Hearts Photography captured every detail perfectly. The entire list of this vendor dream team is included at the bottom of this post.

I designed the invitations with a tropical, fiesta feel in mind. When I think tropical, I immediately envision lush, greenery and knew I wanted to incorporate leaves into the invitation suite. To keep with the bright, colorful theme, I used hot pink accents and envelopes. This suite was printed on felt cardstock (my favorite!) and paired with a gold leaf envelope liner to give it some glam.

In a wedding, the invitation suite is the first impression yours guests get of your big day. It should really encompass the overall feel of your wedding and I really think this suite accomplished that in this styled shoot!

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Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_031

Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_074
Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_145

Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_015

Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_205

Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_208

Ball Ground The Greystone Estate - Atlanta Wedding Photography - Pineapple Styled Shoot - Six Hearts Photography_432

You can see this tropical styled shoot published on Bespoke Bride and .

Vendor Dream Team:

Photographer: Six Hearts Photography | Floral Designer: Blooming Hites | Planner: Winey Blonde Events | Venue: Greystone Estates | Invitation + Paper Goods: Oh My Designs | Cake Designer: Cake Envy | Model: Cheyenne Dowdell | Model: Mia Keel | Model: Estaban | Equipment Rentals: Event Drapery, Inc. | Equipment Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited | Event Venue: Greystone Estates | Dress Boutique: Ivory and Beau | Linens and Coverings: Connie Duglin | DJ: DJ CuttleFish | Hair Stylist: J.Denelle | Photo Booth Equipment: Robot Booth | Vintage Rentals: Silverleaf Interiors | Cinema and Video: SquidWed Films | Caterer: Talk of the Town | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Modern Gent | Equipment Rentals: Vision Expressions |



Are Save the Dates Really Necessary?

Are save the dates really necessary?

Do I really need save the dates?

Lately I’ve heard a lot of discussion about the need to send save the date cards. Understandably, when wedding planning you might have to pick and choose what is most important to stay within wedding budget. It seems that save the dates are debatable as necessary, but I’m sharing a few reasons why you might want to reconsider.

What are save the dates?

Save the dates have become a staple part of the wedding planning process. These cards, usually including an engagement photo, are sent about six months prior to the big day. A save the date is just that, a request for your guests to keep that weekend available for your wedding. Several years ago they became popular and I can’t remember the last time I received a wedding invitation without getting a save the date card prior.

Reasons to send save the date cards for your wedding

In the past, before the era of social media, couples had engagement announcements in the local newspaper. Since we as a society have somewhat forgone the whole newspaper thing, save the dates can be considered the replacement of the formal engagement announcement.

My favorite thing about save the date cards are the photos! You most likely spent money and time preparing for engagement photos and save the dates are the perfect opportunity to show them off. With technology, printing pictures is somewhat of a lost art. By using your photos on save the dates, you can send your friends and family a picture of one of your most special days.

Besides your wedding photography and dress, your wedding invitation is one of the only things you can actually keep from your big day. After the wedding is over, the flowers have wilted, the food has been eaten, the music has been played, but you can still hold your invitation as a keepsake to remember that special day. If you send save the dates, that gives you an additional physical reminder of the wedding! You can keep and display your save the date along with your invitation and other wedding day stationery.

Custom Save the Date by oh my designs

Save the dates are a great “test run” before sending out invitations. It’s a chance to ensure you have your guest list finalized and addresses correct prior to addressing the actual wedding invitations. Since save the dates are usually less expensive, you can account for any mistakes and get a general estimate of quantity to ensure wedding invitations are mailed perfectly!

Beyond the somewhat selfish reasons of showing off your engagement photo and having a wedding keepsake, save the dates are truly important to notify your guests. It is courteous to give your guests a heads up about your wedding plans. Telling your guests the information upfront, prior to sending the actual wedding invitations, can really help people make arrangements for attending your wedding.

If you have a lot of out of town guests, accommodations sometimes need to be booked before they will receive the invitation details. Including a website or general information on the save the date is very helpful in this case. Giving notice also lets guest have plenty of time to plan their trips and ask off days from work.


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Save the Dates

  • Save the dates should be mailed no less than six months before the wedding date. Plan on mailing earlier if you’re having a destination wedding, wedding on or near a holiday, or inviting a lot of out of town guests.
  • Order save the dates based on the number of addresses on your guest list rather than just the number of guests. Each household only needs one and by counting guests you’ll likely order way more than you’ll actually need!
  • Save the date cards should include the bride and groom names, location of the wedding (city + state is fine), and the date of the wedding. If you have a wedding website it can be added.
  • If you’re inviting a person and allowing them to bring a plus one, address the save the date that way. For example, Miss Susie Smith and Guest.
  • To make sure guests know that the save the date isn’t the actual invitation, you can state “invitation to follow” on the card.

I offer save the dates as magnets, postcards, and flat cards with envelopes. Check out some of my past designs here and get in touch for ordering information!

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Tips for Proofreading Wedding Invitations

Tips for Proofreading Wedding Invitations

During the design process, it is important to focus on proofreading along with editing the overall look of your wedding invitations. I include three rounds of proofs, or changes, to allow for any edits or corrections to be made prior to printing. I leave the final approval up to clients and ask them to carefully review each piece of their suite. Here are a few tips for proofreading your wedding invitations to ensure they are perfect before going to print!

Ask for Help

Have your fiancé, wedding planner, mom, or friend look over the proofs after you have. Between the designer and the client, there’s a good chance you’ve viewed these proofs a whole bunch of times. It’s good to get a fresh set of eyes to review everything before signing off your final approval.

Try Out Your Website Link

Often couples include a link to their wedding website to direct guests for further information about their big day, typically listed on the details insert card. Try typing the link you have into your browser to make sure it is correct – add or remove any prefixes as necessary.

Read Backwards

Sometimes when reading words in order, it can be harder to notice a spelling order. Our brains kind of “auto correct” and might skip a mistake because the words make sense together. By reading backwards you are isolating each word and are more likely to identify an error.

Check Spacing

Look over the invitation and insert cards carefully to make sure spacing is correct. When drafting up proofs, sometimes an extra space might accidentally get added. This can be a very small error, but checking closely can ensure all spacing is as it should be.

Confirm Venue and Address Spelling

When proofreading, you’re easily able to notice an error in your names or general words because it’s something you are familiar with. The venue name and address is more likely to get missed. Double check that the full name, street address, city, and state are spelled out correctly.

Review Etiquette

Read my post on what not to include in your wedding invitations. Some mistakes you might not even know you are making, like using abbreviations or adding unnecessary information.

Take your time in reviewing proofs and check everything during each round of the design process. Have any more tips to proofreading wedding invitations? Leave them in the comments below!


What is Included in Wedding Programs?

Wedding Program WordingAfter your wedding invitations have been mailed, it’s time to start thinking about “day of stationery”. I offer several different types of day of stationery including menus and name cards but by far the most popular is wedding programs. Like the invitations, the programs create a first impression of the ceremony. They are a great way to let your guests know what to expect during the ceremony and acknowledge your family and bridal party.

From chalkboards and mirrors to pamphlets and fans, there are so many variations of wedding programs to choose from. When considering what to use, you’ll have to factor in budget, timeline, availability, and resources. For example, in the case of a smaller wedding, it might be more cost effective to order printed programs. If you’re having a large wedding, hiring someone to write on a chalkboard may be less expensive than ordering a ton of programs. Of course, if you’re using a calligrapher for a large surface you will need to find someone local. However, I can ship paper programs anywhere in the US!

I’m sharing what to include in your paper program, as other variations may be different. Typically the wedding program begins with wording along the lines of “welcome to the wedding of” and the full names of the bride and groom. Include the date, venue or church name, and the city and state where the ceremony is taking place.

Next up is the order of events. This is a timeline of what will happen during the ceremony and traditionally lists out the processional, exchange of vows, pronouncement of marriage, and recessional. If there are any readings or songs, it is appropriate to include them with this portion of the wedding program. With many religious ceremonies, there is a specific template to how the ceremony events should be listed. You can view some examples on The Knot.

Daniela & Frank's Gorgeous Cambridge Mill Wedding, Anne Edgar Photography

Listing the names of parents and grandparents is common practice along with the bridal party. With the bridesmaids and groomsmen, you may note who is the maid of honor and best man. Some wedding programs include each person’s relationship to the bride and groom. For example, Bridesmaid Jane Smith is a childhood friend of the bride. Although this isn’t necessary, I think it’s a nice way to “introduce” these important people to your guests. If there are ushers or a flower girl or ring bearer, it is traditional to include their names along with the pastor or officiant.

Often in the double-sided programs I create, there is additional space after including all of the above. I’ve seen couples use this space as a “in memory of” section to name relatives who have passed away or as a general “thank you” to their family and friends for attending their wedding. It can also be used to tell the story of how the bride and groom met or display the wedding hashtag.

In the spirit of fun over tradition, I think the ceremony program is a place to get creative. There is no right or wrong way to word the wedding program and guests often appreciate seeing something different than the typical outline. I love new ideas and would enjoy helping you execute your vision!

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What to Include in Wedding Programs


Custom Designed Wedding Invitations: My Process

Custom Designed Wedding Invitations

So it’s time to order your wedding invitations and you just can’t find “the one”. Maybe you have visions of something that doesn’t yet exist or you want something created specially for your big day based on your wedding theme and inspiration. In either case, many designers offer the option to create a unique, from-scratch suite if you’re willing to participate in their process. Custom designs take time, collaboration, and bouncing ideas between the client and designer. It’s a constantly evolving process and I’m sharing what goes into creating custom designed wedding invitations!

1. Consultation and Inspiration

It’s important to find a designer who has a style similar to what you’re looking for since the custom design process is so collaborative. Both parties, the client and designer, need to enjoy this process and communicate openly. I want to do my best work and if I feel that I may not be a good fit for a potential client, will refer them out. I want to make sure this is a positive experience for everyone and creates a result you are so excited about!

In order to make sure I am a good fit for a custom job, I ask for inspiration from the client. I love to see images other than stationery – custom designs should begin with ideas from the overall wedding theme. I encourage clients to provide me with some descriptive wording about their theme, rather than just what they would like to see in their invitations. For example, if a bride describes her big day as “modern, romantic, and fresh” that gives me an idea of where to start.

If there’s a specific element of a stationery suite that a client really loves, I like to see that to incorporate into their design. However, I am unable to work with clients who request a reproduction of an existing design created by someone other than myself.

2. Color and Concept

Once receiving your inspiration, together we will look at color options as well as materials. The concept is how the final product will look, not including the actual design of the printed invitation pieces. Your concept might include envelope liners and twine or glitter and metallic paper. I will discuss different options, taking into consideration your budget for wedding invitations.

Custom Wedding Invites

3. Quote and Deposit

After finalizing a color palette and materials, I will create a custom quote including any and all options we have reviewed. I require a signed contract and $100 deposit to begin on custom designs, which is applied toward your final total. This is where the fun begins!

4. Design

Prior to designing your first round of proofs, we will discuss overall look, layout, and font choices. Together we will look at options for accents, graphic, and/or artwork for your invitation suite. I will create at least two versions of your invitation to get the design process started. Between the variations, I will show different options for layout and fonts.

Tropical Wedding Invitations

5. Revisions and Evolution

Based on the starter proofs, you will decide which design most closely fits your vision and can make any changes. With your feedback, I will revise the original proof for you. The process of creating a custom design is an evolution. With open communication, I will edit the design to match your specific vision.

After the invitation is finalized, I will create the remaining pieces to match. Revisions are included for these pieces as well, to make sure everything fits together perfectly!

Interested in working together for your custom design? I would love to chat about your inspiration and see what we can come up with together! Get in touch with me here.


Invitation Mistakes: What Not to Include on Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitation Mistakes: What Not to Include in Your Invitation Wording

The formal “rules” and traditional etiquette when it comes to weddings can get overwhelming. Some of it is outdated and some is straight up contradictory. When it comes to wedding invitations and wording, you should really do what makes you feel most comfortable and makes sense for your event. However, there are a few mistakes that I feel should be avoided in any circumstance, traditional or not.


This applies to everything on the invitation other than “Mr. and Mrs.” in the case of including parent’s names as hosts. Dates, including the day and year, should be spelled out completely. Times shouldn’t be abbreviated or include “AM/PM”. The venue name shouldn’t be shortened and the street address, city, and state should be in their full form.

Zip Code

For the love of all things pretty, please do not include the venue zip code on your wedding invitation. Zip codes are for mailing and should be listed on the envelopes only.

Information on Back

All wording should be contained to the front side of the invitation. Consider adding an insert card if you have extra information for your guests.


Should your registry be listed on your wedding invitations? Well, no.

It isn’t polite to include registry information on the wedding invitation or any of the accompanying insert cards. Even though it is expected for couples to create a wish list, putting that information with the invitations is considered a no-no.

The workaround? List your wedding website on the details insert, inviting guests to visit for more information. Have your registries linked there, along with other important specifics for your guests.


Whether open bar, cash bar, or no alcohol at all, this detail should be left off of the invitations. Guests will find this out at the reception and shouldn’t influence their decision to attend your wedding.

Another no-no: why you should leave off the “Reserved Seats” wording on your RSVP card.

If we work together to create your wedding invitations, I will gently guide you away from making any of these mistakes. However, the ultimate decision will be totally up to you!

Now that you know what not to include, check out my wording guide to get some inspiration and view wedding invitation examples done the right way!


Nine Ways to Save Money on Wedding Invitations

Tips to Save Money on Wedding Invitations

When it comes to planning a wedding, creating (and sticking to!) a budget is extremely important. Stationery is calculated anywhere from 3%-9% of your overall budget. This includes save the dates, invitations, programs, menus, and thank you cards. Why is your wedding invitation important? Not only is it one of the only things you actually keep from your wedding day, but your paper is the very first impression of your wedding to guests. The invitation sets the tone of the big day and should give your family and friends an idea of what to expect.

So, how do you make the most of your wedding stationery budget? No, I’m NOT suggesting an e-vite or to DIY (unless you REALLY enjoy that kind of thing)! However, I have a few tips to save money on wedding invitations.

  1. Know what you want. Do your research and find a designer who is a good fit for you. By finding an artist who has a similar style to you, you’ll know what to expect and limit the number of proofs, emails, and meetings. Have an idea of what you envision for your invitation from the beginning. Knowing what you want will definitely save you on time and stress, but also on cash. If you change your mind about colors, materials, or even quantity after the design process has begun, this can be costly.
  2. Modify an existing design. Rather than opting for a from-scratch, custom creation, choose to pick a design and modify it to fit your needs. Most designers are happy to work with an existing creation and change colors, fonts, wording, etc. If you want something new and completely unseen, expect to pay a custom design fee and allow extra time for your from-scratch design to be born!Tips to Save Money on Wedding Invitations
  3. Pick a focus. Must have a thick, luxe felt paper? Then skip the silk ribbon. Obsessed with those gold leaf envelope liners? Then let that be the focus of the suite. Decide what is the most important and keep the other parts simple. I love that each wedding invitation suite has it’s own focal point, but start adding too many and you’ll really begin to push your budget. Liners and twine and postage, oh my!
  4. Combine information to one insert card. Each additional insert card is an added cost. Instead of a directions, accommodations, and reception card, combine as much info as possible onto a single card.
  5. Have a wedding website. Following the above, leave the details to the website. Do a single insert with some general information on getting to the venue and add “for more information, please visit our website.” On your website, you can list extensive directions, suggested hotel info, and any other details your guest might need.
  6. Order early.This tip will most definitely save you on stress, but also money. Ordering early ensures there will be no late or rush fees added to the bill. Invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding and often need to be ordered 6-8 weeks prior to mailing.
  7. Remove or reduce postage. The typical wedding invitation comes with a response card and mailing envelope. It’s polite to pre-stamp the RSVP envelope for your guests to use. Choose to forgo the card and envelope and have guests RSVP online. (See hint Number 5). This will not only save you on postage, but also from purchasing the envelope! Another way to save is to select an RSVP postcard. Postcard stamps cost slightly less than envelope stamps and this also saves on the envelope.
    Monogram Wedding Invitation SampleFor the invitation itself, the US Postal Service requires a $0.70 stamp for any mail weighing over 1 ounce. Many invitations are well under an ounce, but some are not. If adding liners, ribbon, and multiple insert cards you are setting up to purchase the costlier postage.
  8. Limit the number of proofs. When you receive your proof, check over everything (spelling, grammar, information accuracy, spacing, etc) at one time. Then let the designer know what changes need to be made. Often, wedding invitation packages are set up with a specific amount of proofs. Additional proofs can be an additional charge, so make sure to make all necessary modifications in one swoop. Read my tips on proofreading your invitation suite here.
  9. Ask! Find a suite you love, but think it’s out of your budget? Reach out and ask the designer if there is any way to customize it to fit your price point. There are possibilities to save in ways you may not even realize!
 >> Click here to get a personalized quote for your invitations! <<

Have other tips to make the most of your wedding budget? Share by commenting below!

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Save Money on Wedding Invitations

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