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By Invitation Only- Event and Wedding Planning

 Picking a wedding planner, just like picking the venue, can be a daunting task. In South Carolina a beautiful little business has taken root over the past ten years and has become one of the most talked about planning companies.  Melanie Murphy’s, By Invitation Only, is a power house when it comes to coordinating events. From weddings to baby showers, Melanie and her team are passionate about helping their clients feel like family and helping them have the event of their dreams.

 South Carolina's Wedding Planner {Invitation seen above were created via Paper Birch Designs
Facebook @ Paper Birch Design Facebook 
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I was able to interview Melanie (ask her the tough questions- for all the curious brides out there) and she let me in on a few secrets and a wealth of wonderful information. As she was inspired by the idea of helping a friend piece together a few miscellaneous things for her wedding, her interest was sparked; “I have always loved the details and etiquette of weddings ~ I accidentally fell in to the business in the beginning -but after helping through an event that was on shaky ground, that did not have a coordinator, I began to think about it and how much I love it - so I began researchingMelanie Murphy every aspect of wedding planning.” Her passion transformed into a wonderful career. “I slowly eased my way in to it with small events first, never biting off more than I can chew and climbing my way up. I developed a company that provides full event planning and design for couples looking to have custom and unique events.  We help couples and families through the process of planning this most amazing day so that they may relax and enjoy the process as well as having an event that speaks solely of them, their personalities and their desires. We want to take the stress and guess work away ~ we look to take an event that next step in to greatness!”


As we talked, I realized that utilizing the wonderful team at By Invitation Only, can help relieve the stress so many brides feel when they begin wedding planning. As excited brides- to- be begin the process of “planning," some of us start by creating a vision board, imagining with our friends when we are fifteen years old and for the modern bride, we pull out our cell phones and hop on Pinterest for a little pinning! Consider this instead.
      That special someone has just slipped a sparkly ring on your finger and has asked you to spend the rest of your life with them, the wedding planning adventure begins! The next morning, you call Melanie and make an appointment to meet with her and her small team of three. Upon your arrival, you are greeted by a happy team of people who love what they do and who’s passion pours out, through every fiber of their being. You tell them of the proposal and then you “get to work,” sharing your hopes, dreams and desires for your big day! You talk about your budgets, your ideas about themes, color schemes and your bridal dreams. 

Skip ahead to the day of your wedding; you are standing in a small room with your bridesmaids and your wedding planner comes up to you and says they are ready for you. She gives you a hug and leads you toward the lantern lit isle, you see that special someone at the end of it, flowers dance in the soft breeze and your favorite song is played quietly by a local guitarist. Your ceremony is a fairy tale and after you’re led into your reception, greeted by guests and family while the dream of barista lighting and the glow of lanterns with ornate candles come to life before you, you realize this is your dream wedding. There is no stress, you move without a care because you know that the amazing team behind, By Invitation Only, is there. They make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Your bridesmaids mini drama over the dresses they were going to wear was swiftly handled by your third party mediator, Melanie (she has your back). Your vendors have been paid, your DJ knows which songs to avoid, and the lights have been dimmed without you thinking about it, the list goes on and on. And at the end of the day you, the radiant bride, have had a fairy tale wedding with little to no stress.  

That is what your life would look like with a great team behind you.

The wedding/event planners at By Invitation Only become your close friends, who shed a tear or two when you make your way down the aisle. They are your mediators, when your bridal party or your in-laws want to be a little dramatic. They are your saving grace when you have forgotten to plan something, fail to think of the last details they come to your rescue. They transform into part of your family. Melanie and her team have happily helped over six-hundred couples in the South Carolina region celebrate their happy union.  (You can see the beautiful couples through the wonderful the company's Facebook Page). They are set to travel to the Dominican Republic and when questioned whether or not they were up for any future traveling (for clients), they gleefully agreed and said that they would “LOVE TO!”   

    We briefly talked about the design aspect of their planning and from what you can see from the gorgeous photos from past weddings, they strive to decorate and design each wedding specific to the couple. With custom center pieces you can’t find on Pinterest to decorative floral arrangements that drip from the ceiling. Their design quality is truly outstanding. Just like no two people are the same, neither are their designs. {Because, at the end of the day, you don’t want your wedding décor to look like your best friends- right?!}
By Invitation Only Event Planning
A helpful tip to understand, The By Invitation Only team wants to help you make the most out of your big day. They are honest, respectful and brilliant. They have your best interest at heart! When it comes to fees/budget, when it comes to hiring them as your planning firm, they will be open and up front with you. If their services, don’t exactly align with your budget, they will not shut the door on you and leave you high and dry-they, like I said, are truly interested in helping you as much as they can- in order to create the wedding of your dreams. 

A few tips, they wanted me to share;

  •  Don’t wait- Don’t wait to hire or even talk to a wedding planner. If you feel lost- call them! If you just got engaged- call them! Don’t wait! Things can get stressful and they are there to help you!
  • Don’t feel bad! When you are calling venues, vendors, florist, caterers- DO NOT feel bad for asking questions! It is there job to answer all of your questions! If they make you feel ashamed for the questions you have- move on!

 Flowers Forever & By Invitation Only

How did we learn about the lovely Melanie Murphy and her amazing team? Well, years ago, after Melanie got married, the team at BellaBeads and Flowers Forever were able to create a gorgeous, custom pressed flower design with Melanie's wedding bouquet, the groom’s boutinner and their wedding invitation! For those local to the Columbia, South Carolina area, this is a wonderful way to preserve your special day! Melanie still has her pressed design on display, years later! 

Pressed Wedding Bouquet Design


 By Invitiation Only

Location: 701 Whaley St, Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone Number:(803) 467-9822
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