A Blogger Turned Bride: Meet Mackenzie of Design Darling

To simply state that Mackenzie of Design Darling is ah-dorbs would be putting it mildly. For not only is she as sweet as a summer peach, but she’s got style for days and her love story? Well, it’s truly spellbinding. From their Tinder beginnings to their walk down the aisle, our newest blogger bride will be sharing every bit with us and we’ve got the engagement story waiting for you below!

From Mackenzie of Design DarlingHi, fellow brides! I’m so excited to get started as Style Me Pretty’s newest blogger bride. My name is Mackenzie and I own Design Darling, a lifestyle blog and online boutique. I launched my blog as a junior at Bucknell and my boutique a few months after graduation and recently moved from New York to Dallas, where my fiancé Will grew up. We are currently planning our Nantucket wedding for Labor Day weekend 2017 and can’t wait to share the process with all of you!

Will and I met on Tinder of all places! For a while I begged him to come up with a different story to tell our family and friends but now we just own it! I wrote a whole post about it here if you’re interested in learning a little more about our relationship.

Will proposed on Christmas Eve while we were walking our dog during a trip to Maine with both of our families. It meant the world to me to walk back inside and be able to celebrate with our parents, my Grandy, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins — it truly couldn’t have been a more perfect or personal moment!

I’ve known from the time I was a little girl that I wanted to be married on Nantucket. My family has owned a home there since the 1890s and my parents were married in the same chapel thirty years ago! It’s such a special place to me and my family and of course one that Will has come to love as much as I do since we started dating.

We decided on a longer engagement because many of our favorite spots on the island were already booked for the summer of 2016 so we decided we’d rather wait until 2017 and get everything on our wishlist! I know a twenty-month engagement isn’t right for everyone but honestly it’s been perfect for us — I have loved having a little extra time to make decisions and enjoy the planning process without feeling too stressed.

We hired Cameron & Kelly Studio as our photographer after hearing rave reviews from friends of ours who had hired her to shoot their wedding a couple years ago. Cameron has a knack for capturing happy candid moments which is a must as far as I’m concerned! I couldn’t wait to take her out to Nantucket for the first time to shoot our engagement pictures. She definitely did not disappoint!

We wound up shooting three looks in four different locations. My favorite pictures feature this MDS Stripes skirt at Sankaty Lighthouse and on Broadway in ‘Sconset — I just love how graphic the navy stripes are against the red stripe on the lighthouse! We chose one of these shots for our save-the-dates (which we sent out this month — a little early but we wanted to give our guests plenty of time to plan their travel!). I live in stripes practically year-round so this outfit was an easy choice. We kept Will’s outfit blue and white to coordinate without being too thematic.

Then we chartered our favorite sailboat for a few more pictures. It’s one of our favorite activities on the island and something we’ve done together every summer since we started dating! I wore an off-the-shoulder sweater from Club Monaco and high-waisted navy sailor shorts by Finders Keepers. This was probably the most challenging of the three looks we shot because it was so windy on the boat (you can probably tell my hair was going crazy!) and we had to wait for the right lighting. I’m so glad we tried the sailboat pictures because they feel so “us” but I’m also really glad Cameron suggested shooting a couple outfits on land as well.

We did both of those shoots on Saturday and then woke up Sunday and shot a more casual outfit on the beach with our dog Rory and a few in town just to show Cameron more of the island. I know most couples don’t spend a day and a half taking their engagement pictures but I really recommend taking as long as you need! It was such an amazing way to get to know our wedding photographer and help her get a better feel for Nantucket so that we’ll both be more comfortable next September.

I hope you enjoy our engagement pictures as we love the way they turned out and I’ve been so excited to share them! I can’t wait to have them turned into a hardcover book for our coffee table and hang a couple of them around our home in Dallas. I know my Grandy is already hounding me for a couple copies! :) I hope you’ll stay tuned over the next year as I share more of our Nantucket wedding planning process!

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Photography: Cameron & Kelly Studio | Clothing: MDS Stripes skirt | Clothing: J.Crew silk camisole | Clothing: Club Monaco off-the-shoulder sweater | Clothing: High-waisted shorts (similar) | Clothing: Saint James striped shirt |

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Top 10 Wedding Registry Items At Macy’s

Curating your registry is, hands-down, one of the most exciting parts about planning your Big Day. You’ve found the one, now it’s time to build a life together and the perfect place to start is your wedding registry. While there are literally thousands of amazing items to choose from, Chie of Inspired Bride has rounded up the most popular 10 registry items below – and they’re all available at Macy’s (we’ve included links to help ya’ out – does it get any easy!?)!

Top 10 Wedding Registry Items
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Top 10 Wedding Registry Items
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#SMPWedding101 – Calligraphy Pricing Decoded

We’ve stumbled upon some confusion when it comes to calligraphy styles and pricing but thankfully Carla Hagan is here to help sort it all out. You see, not all calligraphied envelopes and escort cards cost the same – it depends on the style you’re choosing for your big day. Carla Hagan Designs recently conducted a survey and her results (below!) helps it all make more sense – because we all know, mixups are one thing we don’t need when it comes to wedding planning.

From Carla Hagan DesignsIn July 2016, I conducted a business pricing survey with over 233 professional calligraphers, asking them to share their pricing structure. Participants in the survey included members of calligraphy guilds, The International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH), and various professional forums. While conducting the survey we found a considerable difference in price structure between “modern calligraphers” and calligraphers classically trained in traditional styles such as copperplate, spencerian and Italic script.

We also found that many blogs and online magazines post prices for calligraphy more consistent with “modern calligraphy” versus traditional hands. This is causing conflict throughout the calligraphy industry where brides have unrealistic expectations for the cost of traditional calligraphy based on these articles.

I’m excited to share some of the key points from our survey:

Modern Calligraphy

Twenty-five percent of the participants in the survey classified themselves as Modern Calligraphers. Modern Calligraphy is a unique, script style using free-form, mix and match lettering.

Base Envelope Average Price: $2.70
Range: $2.00 – $4.00

Return Address Average Price: $1.50
Range: $1.00 – $2.25
Custom Ink Color: $0.40
Range: $0.25 – $0.75

Inner + Outer Envelopes
Black Ink: $4.00
Range: $3.00 – $7.00
Gold/Metallic Ink: $4.43
Range: $2.00 – $7.25

Place Cards
Black Ink: $1.45
Gold Ink: $1.78

Escort Cards
Black Ink: $1.80
Gold Ink: $2.05

Rush Fee: 25%
May be applied to orders needed in less than 10 business days.

Seating Charts
100 Lines: $200.00
Chalkboard 100 Lines: $190.00
Mirror 100 Lines: $200.00

Traditional Calligraphy

Set Up Fee:
$40. 00
* Unique to traditional calligraphers
Range: $25.00 – $50.00

Base Envelope Average Price: $4.30
Range: $3.00 – $7.00

Return Address Average Price: $2.10
Range: $1.00 – $2.50
Custom Ink Color: $0.50
Range: $0.25 – $0.75

Place Cards
Black Ink: $2.25
Gold Ink: $2.50

Escort Card
Black Ink: $2.65
Gold Ink: $2.86

Rush Fee: 40%
May be applied to orders needed in less than 10 business days.

Seating Charts
100 Lines: $400.00
Chalkboard 100 Lines: $400.00
Mirror 100 Lines $400.00

*These are results from a broad survey, not guaranteed pricing for all calligraphers within the wedding industry. Please note that pricing will vary by artist and business. 

Ready to invite your guests? See our tips below!



We’re excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don’t miss out!


For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

For our Southwest Brides… Don’t miss upcoming trunk shows at Lovely’s in Dallas, Phoenix and Houston!

For our New England Brides.. Discount from Long’s Jewelers

For our Tri-state Brides… Discount from Femina Photo + Design, giveaways from NST PicturesOLLI STUDIO and Twobirds Bridesmaid, and don’t miss the Anna Campbell and Rue De Seine trunk shows at Lovely NYC location Oct. 28th – Oct. 30th!


Congratulations to our The Heritage House Resort & Spa winner Macye!

Congratulations to our Jenny Yoo winner Melanie E!

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Calligraphy Information: Carla Hagan Designs

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A Big Island Hawaii Wedding All About Color

For Katherine and Tim, choosing to wed on the big island of Hawaii was a no-brainer. The natural beauty just speaks for itself and would serve as the ultimate backdrop for their five-day celebration, leading up to “I do.” Moana Events was behind all the beauty and you can see each moment through the lens of The Happy Bloom.


From The Happy BloomKatherine and Tim decided to wed on the beautiful big island of Hawaii. They wanted to shower their guests with sunshine, fruity cocktails and one heck of an island getaway! Katherine is Filipino so adding that special element to their traditional Hawaiian ceremony was extremely important. Ceremonial items in Filipino weddings include the arrhae (a gift of money), the candles, the veils, the cord, and wedding rings. The ring bearer acts as the holder of the rings while the coin bearer acts as the keeper of the arrhae until it is offered and given by the groom to his bride. Among the wedding sponsors, three pairs – each pair consisting of a male and a female – are chosen to light the wedding candles, handle the veils, and place the cord. Sponsors are important people to the bride and groom such as relative, close friend or godparent.

Moana Events created an incredible arch for their ceremony. Flowers, flowers, flowers! That was definitely the motto for creating this stunning piece. Our favorite moment of the day was when Katherine surprised Tim with a traditional wedding hula dance. The moment was so intimate and sweet. Tim was so surprised and loved every moment.

From Moana EventsKatherine and Tim hold the Hawaiian islands close to their hearts and could think of no better place than to invite their guests for a week of festivities than on the Big Island of Hawaii. When Katherine approached us to do her five-day affair the wedding day was to be the highlight of the week. We designed a romantic, coastal inspired event with pastel florals, French blue linens, vintage milk glass vases, capiz shell details, and white washed farm tables. Breezy dining canopies were the perfect outdoor seating for the guests and they danced the night away to a live band on the custom wood and white patterned dance floor.

From the Bride… We met online…E-harmony. At the time online dating at our age was very awkward. I was convinced by my peers to get out there and make myself available. Tim at the same time was doing the same. I took this challenge as a social experiment, while Tim’s outlook was to meet people. Come close to a year of online dating, we were both at the end of the experience. After a long day, I checked my inbox, pop up 5 matches. None of them were interesting enough for me to poke or wink at. So I decided to scan outside my pool of matches. The first one was Tim. His profile resonated with me when he wrote “ my children are my inspiration.” So I sent him a wink.  

When I saw Tim for the first time our eyes locked and the room closed in on just the two of us as if we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were giddy like high school kids for weeks, months and even still. I soon met his children after a year. From then our relationship was out in the open. It bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. I must admit, not having kids of my own, sharing my life with Tim and the kids has been amazing. I can honestly say, they were the best gifts Tim has ever shared with me.

Our vision for our wedding day circled around these words “family, friends, love and experience.” We took some time to look at venues in California, but nothing seemed to resonate our vision. We loved Hawaii, and were drawn to its beauty and serenity. We picked the Mauna Kea because of our love for their beach. Every time we went there, we always said we should invite so and so and so and so to share the magic of the place. The love and commitment Tim and I have for each other wasn’t for just us. We wanted to share our love in hopes that those that came to our wedding experienced love of all levels and inspired to carry that with them to share with others. 


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Photography: The Happy Bloom | Cinematography: Techy3 Studio Production | Event Planning + Design: Moana Events | Floral Design: Steven Boyle Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Makeup: Muse Agenci | Hair: Luxe. | Band: Elan Artists | Venue: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Bula Akamu Trio | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Sound: Hawaii Sound & Vision | Tent Rentals: Big Island Tents

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