Planning An Engagement Party


The love of your life finally popped the BIG QUESTION and without hesitation you screamed with excitement “YES”. Everything seems so surreal but it’s finally happening, you are getting married!

At this point, you may have a million and one questions running through your mind as it relates to the next steps of preparing for a new chapter in your life. It’s ok…relax, breathe, start with something fun and plan your engagement party. The engagement party will essentially be your “kick off party” for the wedding festivities and begins the countdown to the BIG DAY.

Traditionally, this event is held within a few months of the proposal; during the blissful, easygoing, newly engaged period prior to getting down to business with serious wedding planning. Thus, the ideal time frame to have an engagement party is 9 to 11 months before your wedding date. However, in present time, some couples are more reluctant and will host an engagement party whenever they please.

Whether couples opt follow etiquette rules or not, an engagement party maybe planned flawlessly by simply following our guidelines:

Determine the host. By tradition, the bride’s parents are responsible for hosting the couples’ engagement party. However, the groom’s parents or anyone who is close to the couple are welcome to plan and pay for this event. Due to the fact that the bride’s parents have first right, it is important for other prospective hosts to communicate with the family.

Select a date. As previously stated, an engagement party is generally held within the first few months following the proposal while it’s still fresh and new. Therefore, select a responsible date within in the suggested time frame of 9 to 11 months before your actual wedding date.

Create a VIP guest list. To make life all so simple, the VIP guest list compiled for the engagement party should be the same list utilized for the wedding. Therefore, the host of the party should work collectively with the couple in order to obtain this information. If you are unsure as to how many people you would like to attend the wedding, it’s best to limit your guests to those you are certain will receive an invitation to the wedding.

Pick out a venue. Depending on the size of the party or the type of environment you’re seeking, an engagement party can be held in a private room at restaurant, a clubhouse, in a backyard or at a family member’s house.

It’s time to send out invitations! Keep it classy, but nothing too fancy! Your engagement party invitations do not, we repeat, DO NOT have to match your wedding stationary. Therefore, keep it simple and choose a nice classic design.

Plan a menu. Your menu can consist of delicious appetizers to a simple buffet style meal or if your event is being held outdoors you can never go wrong with having a cookout.

Display your love journey. This area is optional. You can select a theme or display something that represents your love story.


Choose a fit. Wear an outfit that compliments your party setting. Whether the party is outdoors or at an upscale venue, your fiancées’ outfit should nicely complement yours.
Happy Planning Beauties & Gents!

Stay Beautiful!

Gentlemen’s Edition: Turn down for what? Top 5 cities to host a Bachelor Party!

Hello Gents,

Of course we didn’t forget about you guys! The essence of the “Fling Before the Ring” sprung from Bachelor Parties that date back to 5th Century BC.  Spartan soldiers held a honorable dinner for the groom before his big day.  Since then times have surely changed.


Number 1: Party Central… Cancun, Mexcio

Cancun one of the top party destinations in THE WORLD! What better place to host your last hooray with your boys?!  Than in a spot on the Caribbean Sea, with international food, and international women!  Whether your 18 or 38 you will have the time of your life in Cancun

Places to Go & See

  • Maxim Pool Party
  • Nightlife Tour
  • Oasis Cancun
  • Jet Skiing on the Sea

Number 2:  Gambling Capital of the World…. Las Vegas, Nevada

las vegas

Fellas, be prepared to have the time  of your life in the gambling capital of the world…Viva Las Vegas!!! There’s never a dull moment in Sin-city, and every day there is a different experience. Big spenders, high-rollers, flashing lights, casino life, fancy cars and GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS! What more could you possibly ask for? Las Vegas is the ideal place to be celebrate the final days of living the bachelor life.

Places to Go & See

  • Sapphire
  • Spearmint Rhino
  • Crazy Horse
  • Pin Up
  • Marquee
  • PURE
  • XS
  • Hakkasan
  • Herbs & Ryan
  • Fremont Street Experience

Number 3: Empire State of Mind…. New York, New York

It’s hard to beat the city that never sleeps!  Just about everything you would want to eat, drink, see or do is available in this bustling city.  Catch a game at Yankee Stadium, peep the scene at a trendy night club, swanky cigar lounge or upscale gentleman’s club; better yet do it all.  This city is the next best thing to Las Vegas because it NEVER SLEEPS!  Whatever your budget you will find a fun filled unforgettable weekend in NYC!

Places to Go & See

  • Nite Tables
  • SoHo Cigar Bar
  • Sapphire New York
  • Wicked Pub Crawl
  • Mystique NYC Gentlemen’s Club
  • Coyote Ugly
  • Brandy Library
  • Barcelona Bar

Number 4: American’s Most Interesting City…New Orleans, Louisiana

New O’leans where the party literally never stops! You can wake up at 7am and hear the beats of Jay Z blasting through the corridor of Bourbon Street.  The diverse area of New Orleans gives you the best of both worlds.  Not only can you party non-stop, and drink your alcohol beverages in the street (just like Las Vegas), but you can do swamp tours, and charter fishing or even check out the Motorsports Park in addition to all the wonderful expected Bachelor Party festivities. Amazing food, amazing fun, and amazing culture this is the place to be for your bachelor party!

Places to Go & See

  • Anything Burboun Street
  • Swamp Tour
  • Charter Fishing
  • EssenceFest (if in July)
  • Mardi Gras (if in February)
  • La Habana Hemingway
  • NOLA Motorsports Park

Number 5: Magic City…. South Beach, Miami, Florida

Tony Montana said it best “Miami is like a great big chicken waiting to be plucked”.  With your buddy plucking one “chicken” for the rest of his life, don’t you want to send him off in style?! With gorgeous beaches, gorgeous nightclubs and gorgeous women, legendary strip clubs and sizzling night clubs, fishing, and well there is lots to do as I’m sure you remember from the Scarface movie.

Places to Go & See

  • LIV on Sunday
  • King of Diamonds Monday (literally LOL)
  • Hyde Beach at SLS Hotel
  • E11elven
  • Wet Willy’s
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Mango’s

Ladies Edition: Turn down for what? Top 5 cities to host a Bachelorette Party!

Greetings Beauties,

Through all your wedding planning you also have another party that you can plan or provide input to your girls on throwing your “last fling before the ring”!

You can always enjoy a night in your home town, but if you want to try something different, and get away for a weekend with your girls before the BIG day check out the TOP 5 cities to host a bachelorette party!

Number 1: Sin-City…. Las Vegas, Nevada

VegasThere’s nothing like turning up in Las Vegas with your girls. Endless casinos, partying, dining, shopping and more! In Vegas, the party never stops so be prepared to have the time of your life! And remember, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”

Places to Go & See

  • Rehab Day Pool Party
  • Tao Nightclub
  • Tao Beach
  • Chris Angel Show
  • Shops at Caesars
  • Chip-N-Dale

Number 2: Miami Nights…. South Beach, Miami, Florida

miamiMiami, such a beautiful place to be. Miami is notable for its glorious beaches and the people are stunning! Enjoy the scenery and weather, oh and the nightlife, we can’t forget the nightlife in Miami it’s INSANE! Please keep in mind, Ocean Drive is always live!

Places to Go & See

  • LIV
  • Arkadia
  • Wet Willies
  • Nikki Beach
  • Ocean Drive
  • Biscayne Bay
  • Lincoln Mall

Number 3: The City That Never Sleeps…. New York, New York

NYBright lights, non-stop entertainment, trendy clubs, and high-class fashion with an attitude to match it! New York City is a phenomenal location to stop, before you give up the single life and tie the knot!

Places to Go & See

  • Broadway Show
  • SoHo
  • LeBain
  • New York Yacht & Boat Charter
  • TAO
  • STK

Number 4: Let the good times roll…New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLANew Orleans, as known as NOLA, is famous for its vibrant culture and delicious Creole cuisine. It’s also the heart and soul of jazz, blues and rock n’ roll. There’s no better place to be when you can strut down the musical streets of NOLA with your team.

So ladies… “let the good times roll!”

Places to Go & See

  • Any & Everything Burboun Street (French Quarter)
  • Honey Island Swamp Tour
  • Saints & Sinners
  • Pat O’Brien’s

Number 5: Lights, Camera, Action? Glitz, Glam and Fame…. California

Dreams do come true in Sunny California.  You can have the best of both worlds by show stopping in LA with the celebs OR winding down in Napa Valley’s wine country.  There is always something to occupy your time (or not) in Sunny California.
Places to Go & See
  • Rodeo Drive
  • Napa Valley Wineries
  • Malibu Beaches
  • Getty Villa
  • Hells Belles Burlesque
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Playhouse Nightclub
  • W Hollywood
  • Roxbury
Cheers to you beauties having an amazing and fabulous Bachelorette Party…..Happy Planning!

14 Days of Love!

14 days of Love

14 days of love is just that, 14 days of love. We opened our doors on the World Wide Web February 14, 2014 and in celebration of this milestone Custom Designs is showing love by giving discounts on some products and services until the 14th of February.

And, even more exciting !!  Any order placed during the month of February will be entered to a drawing to win a bridal bundle or mommy bundle*.

Help us celebrate by telling your loved ones who have an upcoming milestone to use Custom Designs for their stationery needs.

Happy Planning Beauties & Gents!


*visit our website for more information

Wedding Stationery Tips

Good Morning Beauties & Gents!

We shared our Wedding Stationery Tips with all the brides and their entourages who attended the Great Bridal Expo in Baltimore. Everyone, from family members to guests, want to know when you are sending out your save the date and most importantly your wedding invitation.


As Soon As You Set The Date (and have a signed wedding contract)

Select and send your save the date cards to everyone on your wedding guest list.  Guests will appreciate having extra time to plan and make travel arrangements, especially if you’re having a destination or holiday wedding.  At the very latest 7 months before the big day.


3-4 Months Before The Wedding

Order your Custom Designs wedding invitations, enclosure cards, printed envelopes and thank you notes. Start addressing invitation envelopes as soon as you receive your order to stay ahead of schedule.


6-8 Weeks Before The Wedding

Put your invitations in the mail.  Have an entire invitation with all enclosures and envelopes weighed at the post office to make sure you buy the right postage



4 Weeks Before The Wedding

Now is the time to order your other printed items, like wedding programs, wedding favors, personalized napkins, menu cards, and more.


1-2 Weeks Before The Wedding

Contact any guests who have not sent back their response cards so you’ll have an accurate guest count.


Right After The Wedding

Start writing those thank you notes.  You have three months to send your thank yous, but don’t wait until the last minute.  Guests want to know you received their gifts, and that you loved celebrating with them.

Happy Planning Beauties & Gents,


The Great Bridal Expo

Golden 2015 Happy New Year Greeting Card With Sparking Spot Ligh

Happy New Year! We are back and excited about 2015!  So many beautiful new designs are available in our wedding stationery and baby stationery albums.


Sunday, Custom Designs had a booth at its first Bridal Expo.  The Great Bridal Expo was held at Martin’s Valley Mansion right outside of Baltimore.  It was icing and snowy out that morning so the 1 hour commute was eventful.  We were slightly afraid that the weather would dwindle the number of brides who came out, but that was not the case.  All the 2015 and 2016 Brides and their wedding entourages came out to gather ideas and join in the fun of The Great Bridal Expo.


We had a variety of samples displayed for all of the “fierce” feyonce’s who came out to the Bridal Expo. We also featured a chair draped with a place card which is a new unique option and displayed a ceremony sign stationed that said “Happily Ever After Starts Today” on a sheet of grass for the full effect.  All of the items we displayed are purchasable at our online store 
In addition to all of this brides and their entourage were given some very important Wedding Stationery Tips that I will share with you all on the next blog post.
Brides were asked to drop a raffle ticket into our card box for their chance to win an amazing card box filled with bride and groom flutes, bride and groom chair sashes, last fling before the ring drink holders, bride to be sash, bride to be tiara, and a few invitation samples.  We drew a winning bride during the fashion show.  The lucky bride featured below is @laurenageier on instagram ! We will be happily helping Lauren plan her wedding stationery for her big day!
From our interactions with the brides it appeared that October is becoming more and more popular for a wedding month, and LOTS of brides are loving the passport save the dates and boarding pass invitations. Destination weddings even if just a state away are becoming more and more popular.
The Great Bridal Expo was a fantastic time! It was a pleasure meeting all of the beautiful brides and their families!
Happy Planning Beautiful & Gents!

Say YES to the Dress!

Kim & Jarrett WEB SIZE (8 of 635)


Deciding on a wedding gown is almost as hard as deciding on the venue.  Both are one of the BIGGEST decisions you make throughout the entire planning process wouldn’t you say?  It’s more than selecting a wedding gown, it’s selecting a gown that suits your personal style, your wedding style, season, and most importantly flatters your figure.  All too often some of us forget how to dress our body types and select pieces that compliment our figures.  You want to feel beautiful and confident in your wedding gown. Everyone comes beautifully in different shapes and sizes.  Knowing how to compliment our uniqueness keeps us confident every time.



A-Line Gowns:  Perfect for any body type.  They truly compliment any body type and come with sleeves, without sleeves, strap sleeves, etc.  Lala Anthony & Eva Longoria both wore an A-Line Wedding Gown for their BIG Day, and both have very different bodies types.  Lala is more curvy where Eva Longoria is slender and petite.  Both women looked absolutely stunning on their wedding day.

2010-07-10  New York, NY  The wedding of LaLa Vazquez & Carmelo Anthony, location Cipriani's 42nd Street, NY.  Event designed by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants.EVALONGORIA










Sheath:  I love the sheath gown it is versatile like the A-Line, but not made for everyone, but great for the tall and slender and the short and curvy.  Ironic I know because both are complete opposites of each other, however, this particular style suits these two body types perfectly.  Piper Perabo wore a gorgeous unique animal print (YES ANIMAL PRINT) sheath wedding gown with a yellow veil and Kim Kardashian wore a beautiful lace sheath wedding gown in her 2014 nuptials.  Both women fit the indicated body types Kim Kardashian being short and curvy, and Piper Perabo being tall and slender.  Jennifer Lopez is featured next to Piper Perabo photo because she wore the same dress different colors at the Met Ball prior to Piper’s wedding.  Another great example of the two different body types wearing the same sheath gown.












Mermaid:  I love the Mermaid gown it is one of my absolutely favorites!  It is great for curvy and hourglass figured women. My wedding gown was a mermaid gown featured at the top of the blog.  Khloe Kardashian wore a mermaid gown with sash accent in her wedding to Lamar Odom and her sister Kim Kardashian wore a mermaid gown as dress number 2 at her wedding to Chris Humphries.  We featured her again because she also was seen in a Sheath Mermaid gown as dress #3 for the reception.  Which I wanted to feature to illustrate the look of a sheath combined with the mermaid look can be versatile (remember sheath is for my short/curvy and tall/slender brides).














Ball Gown:  I fell in love with the ball gown before going to try it on!  It is just stunning, makes you feel like a Princess just looking at one.  I strayed away from it primarily because they didn’t have the one I wanted in the store and I wasn’t buying anything off of the internet I have not seen on myself.  Not for a wedding!  And, the other selection of ball gowns was not what I wanted and I ended up falling in love with a Mermaid gown.  Nonetheless, the ball gown is the gown that makes us all feel like Cinderella perfect for fully busted, hour-glass, or apple-shape figures.  Victoria Beckham and Gabrielle Union both opt’d for the sleeveless ball gown on their BIG day and look absolutely stunning! look stunning in the ball gown’s they wore on their BIG day!

Victoria Beckham wedding      gabrielle-union-and-dwayne-wade-with-his-three-sons-and-nephew-aug-30-2014-lead











          Empire: Empire gowns are usually worn by our destination wedding bride because they are comfortable in the heat, great on the beach, and flow beautifully in the wind in pictures.  They are also loved by our mommy to be brides.  Empire gown is great for women with pear shape, petite, or small busted women.  Alicia Keys wore a gorgeous custom one strap empire gown in her nuptials to Swizz Beats.


Keep in mind when dress shopping that A-Line is versatile and can be worn by every body type,  Sheath is where opposites attract and it is great for the tall/slender & the short/curvy.  Mermaid is for curvy and hour-glass shaped women.  Ball Gown another versatile suiting the full busted, hour-glass, or apple-shaped women.  And, lastly the Empire gown great for petite and pear-shaped women, also a winner for the mommy to be brides!

It is also possible to find dresses that combine a few together like this Empire, Mermaid, Sheath dress featured below……


Happy Planning (or should I say shopping) Beauties & Gents,


Please note: Unless otherwise stated topic and topic content is that of Custom Designs. All respected artwork should link to it’s respected owners or Custom Designs; should we be the owner of that particular image.

Always a Bridesmaid…Never a Bride!


Are you in your mid 20s to early 30s watching your friends get engaged and married left and right?  Are you scoping out reception halls while toasting to the newly weds?  Everyone comes to a point in their life where it seems like everyone around you is getting married except for YOU — the day when your dreams are coming true for everyone around you.


Some of you ladies end up stealing the joy you should have for your friend or family member because of your own bitterness towards your significant other which is not fair to you, or to the happy couple.  Some other ladies are happy and single (or happily taken), toasting away, excited for the open bar, and the bachelorette parties to come!  Marriage isn’t all there is to life, but it is the happy ending most women want.

Being a Bridesmaid isn’t always a bad thing.  Most of the time it is the best decision a girl makes to stand by the side of her best friend(s), or family member(s) in support of their next chapter in life.  It also provides  you time to practice, learn negotiating skills (depending how involved you are) know what you want/don’t want prior to planning your own wedding, and how to remain calm when day of issues arise.

When I first came up with this blog topic I wanted to take it in a very different direction, and then it was straying away from the topic at hand.

So, we had to draw it back in, and after researching, interviewing with various repeat bridesmaids, and other unmarried women we generated a list of WHY some women tend to always end up the bridesmaid, with some tips on how to become THE BRIDE.



1. You’re not a Barbie!  On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter it is flooded with tons of profile pictures of women behind these masks with big Maxim Hair, Long Lashes, Photo Shopped images, and more.  Men honestly prefer their women naturally beautiful.  They don’t like all the extra fluff 24/7.  Tone it down a bit, and see how many heads (or how your man’s head) turns.

2. You constantly overdo it!  While this is a great quality for a bridesmaid because you will go above and beyond for your friends getting married — but you will constantly TOOT your own horn.  Nobody wants to marry a showboat.  You’re an over-giver, constantly giving can take away from your own dignity.  While this makes you a good bridesmaid take it down a notch so you don’t feel the need to toot your own horn.

3. You are self-absorbed!  If you spend the first 10 minutes talking about yourself in every conversation you have odds are there is no conversation to have after the 10 minutes.  You are a taker, and you only care about yourself.  Somehow you have managed to make people’s wedding events about you, and even supermodel look won’t get you brideship.



4. You don’t cook.  Few (and I mean FEW) men on this plant prefer a woman who doesn’t cook.  Domesticated women are HIGHLY sought after by men seeking marriage. Learn to cook, the way to a man’s heart is through his belly (so they say).

5.  You’re an IT girl.  Boisterous, loud, attention-slore personalities send men running the opposite way!  Like it or not, they prefer a flip my hair not whip my hair kind of demeanor.  Girlfriends (or “wifeys”) that actually become wives don’t go out of their way to get noticed or make scenes.

So, I guess in some aspects you have to tone it down, become reserved, allow the man to be the man and just enjoy the ride.

Happy Friday Beauties & Gents!



Please note: Unless otherwise stated topic and topic content is that of Custom Designs. All respected artwork should link to it’s respected owners or Custom Designs; should we be the owner of that particular image.

Have a BOOtastic Halloween Party!

Gather your friends and get creative for a night of Halloween fun!


Halloween parties are always a blast to see who comes dressed as who or what.  You can have the party all night long at your home or venue with dancing, food, costume prizes, games, etc.


Or take it next level and do haunted house tours, hay rides, corn maze, and pumpkin patches all in one day.  Whatever your scare, make sure to include

a489176c314d97e5696383834e1fcb7escariest invitations that are 15% OFF the ENTIRE MONTH of October 2014 with code: HALLOW15

HW741W Witches Cauldron with glitter



Happy Party Planning Beauties & Gents!



Please note: Unless otherwise stated topic and topic content is that of Custom Designs. All respected artwork should link to it’s respected owners or Custom Designs; should we be the owner of that particular image

Product of the Month: Get Creative with Custom Seal Tags



When you want something 100% custom and unique – we can help!

Our custom seals and custom favor tags can be printed with your artwork to match your wedding style and theme perfectly.

Order custom seals and tags to dress up your favors, gifts, centerpieces and more. You can even use them in creative ways:

• attach them to picks to identify desserts at your reception

• attach to stir sticks to name the drink you’re enjoying

• tie tags printed with a thank you message to your napkins

• personalize favors with seals and add tags with instructions (for example, if you’re giving mums as a favor at your fall wedding, add tags printed with planting/caring instructions)

Then get your ribbon, rhinestones and other embellishments, and start personalizing your wedding your way!

Want to see more?

Happy Planning Beauties & Gents!