5 Reasons Why Couples Should Plan a Wedding

Engagement season is well underway and I can’t be the only one who’s excited! It’s such a wonderful time of the year as it signifies new beginnings and a truly life changing moment in the lives of many couples. Some of these couples dive head first into planning while others may be leaning towards a quick trip to the Justice of the Peace. However, I think everyone should plan a wedding- even if it’s just a small intimate celebration with a few family members and friends. Here’s why:


1. Planning a wedding will give you a glimpse into how your partner behaves under pressure. Wedding planning is a time to learn about your partner’s temperament. It’s the first big event you’ve hosted together and I promise, everyone else will know how you should do it, who should be there, what you should wear, and what should be served. How do you, as a couple deal with that? How do you manage deadlines? Spending? Is your partner demanding? Selfish? Spoiled? Are they an active participant in the upcoming nuptials? Are they excited? Whatever their behavior, you’ll get to witness it and decide how it makes you feel before you get married.




2. You’ll be forced to talk about finances.  Although talking finances is a no-brainer if you intend to be married, if you have to plan a wedding, finances are not a conversation you can skip. If your families aren’t footing the bill, how will you pay for this wedding? What can you two afford to spend? What happens if you go over budget? Will you use credit? Do you even have credit to use? *boop*



3. It’ll help you navigate the relationships with your in-laws. The wedding is the moment when two families become one. Of course, your families will want to be involved…maybe even more involved than you would like. #weddingproblems Who’s going to tell his parents they can’t invite 60 people? They’ll be upset. How will you two navigate this? And when your brother doesn’t like him, but you want him to be a groomsmen, how will you bring it up? What if the groom says no? Whatever the decision is, for best results, you’ll have to approach it as a team. It’s good practice for marriage.


4. Which brings me to….compromise! There will be lots of it. All the time. For the rest of your life. Might as well get started in the beginning. He doesn’t like pink. It’s your favorite color. He wants fried chicken at the reception, and you don’t consider that tasteful. You want a barnyard, he wants a ballroom. How will you make your partner comfortable without completely disregarding your own feelings? Compromise! I promise this will come in handy when you’re decorating your first home.


5. Finally, it’ll get you prepared for real life hardships. If you don’t think wedding planning is a hardship, ask anyone who’s every done a guest list.





When all is said and done, you’ll feel so accomplished. #TeamYall

Kate Spade Acrylic Bridal Shower Invite by Ijorere

Invitation Inspiration AND Tips for Being a Better Guest

Last week, we shared some innovative and FUN invitations and talked a bit about what you could do to be a better host. You can check out that post here. With wedding season approaching and there being far more guests than hosts, we figured we’d tackle the other side as well. So here are some tips to be a better along with some equally fun invites to get you inspired for your next event.


Always read (and decode) the whole invite: The invitation will explicitly give you some of the event details. Others may be just a clue. For instance, if it says cocktail party, that means cocktail attire is expected, drinks will be served, there will food, but no full meal. If it says backyard BBQ, then chances are it’s a more causal event, food will be in abundance, and heels may not be the best option. If you’re not sure, ask.


Always respect the occasion and your host: If an event says formal, DRESS UP. If it’s a pajama party, where pajamas. Costume party, wear a costume. Ugly sweater? Wear one. Parties are much more fun (and it’s so much easier on your host) when everybody participates. On this same note, parties are not the place to be anti-social. Be kind to other guests. Bring a great attitude. Mingle. Twerk. Have a drink. Put your phone down and make a friend! Be on your (mostly) best behavior. Don’t embarrass your friends by causing drama at their event. Don’t get sloppy drunk. Remember, the way you behave is often seen as a reflection of the person that invited you. Make them look good!


Mirrored in Reverse Invitations by Kenneth Cole

Mirrored in Reverse Invitations by Kenneth Cole


Be on time: Who likes to wait an hour for an event to “really” start? I did a little research on this and one post was very specific. If an event is to begin at 6:00pm you should arrive between 6:00 and 6:08pm. Your host will probably be preparing up until the very moment the party begins. Showing up too early may throw a wrench in their plans and cause them to slow down to accommodate you during this valuable time of preparation. However, if you are meeting a group at a restaurant, being on time is important as many establishments will not seat a group until most, if not all of the party is present.


Stay until it’s over, but don’t overstay your welcome: Try to stay until the end of an event, but don’t hold your hosts up either. Consider this, your host has spent weeks or months to plan a party. It’s a little hurtful when suddenly, you have things that are more important than staying at this well planned event. Alternatively, when the night is winding down, unless you’re helping, don’t be a straggler. Your hosts may very well be tired and want to wind down and clean up after what has been a long day.


Don’t neglect to RSVP: Unless the invite specifies, let your host know YES or NO before the specified deadline. If you really want to go, but don’t want to commit to a full evening or if you already have another event, it’s completely appropriate to say so when you RSVP, because NOBODY likes it when you eat and run.


Wooden Layered Invitations by Scripted Ever After

Wooden Layered Invitations by Scripted Ever After


Bring a gift: Although I do think gifts are nice, I’m the kind of host that will take care of everything when I invite people over, which means I expect that when I come to your house. Our friends host lost of events and rarely ask us for anything, so in return, we like to host things for them. However, bringing a little something for your host is a nice gesture.  My personal suggestion would be wine or chocolates. Just enough for the host and their family to enjoy. This way, when they done, they don’t have to figure out where to put this or that. I’m not too taken on having my house full of random useless items.


ALWAYS ask if it’s okay for you to bring a guest (or kids): FYI, a wedding invite does not mean an automatic +1. Unexpected guests can make it difficult to plan for food and could completely disrupt the seating arrangement. Try to avoid these uncomfortable situations by simply being considerate.


Neon Lion by Bliss and Bone

Neon Lion by Bliss and Bone


Say hello and goodbye: Please don’t leave without saying goodbye or saying thank you to your host.


As always, have a fantastic time and enjoy your family and friends.

Featured image from Ijorere.

$200 Wedding Shared on Twitter Sparks Discussion on Marriage and Finance

We all know the internet really isn’t a safe space for anybody. You’re ridiculed for what you do. You’re ridiculed for what you don’t. As with all things, you can’t please all the people all the time…or any of the time for that matter.


Despite this knowledge, there are some things that just grind my gears. I saw this post on Facebook earlier today:


I think this is cute. I don’t have a problem with it. Get married how you like and be sure to get a great picture of guests throwing petals while y’all walk down the aisle. Do you. What I do have a problem with are the comments that suggest that this marriage (or any other that doesn’t include a comma) will last because they didn’t spend a lot of money or because the couple chose not to go into debt over a marriage.


Let’s get a few things straight:

  • Everybody who plans a BIG fancy wedding ain’t broke. A $10,000 wedding isn’t going to put everybody in debt. The same is true for a $50,000 wedding. And though the tides may be changing with more couples footing the bill for their own big day, that is not always the case. You don’t know how this wedding is being financed. It’s not your business and it’s not your problem.
  • Everybody planning a small or less fancy wedding ain’t broke. Some people just don’t want all that. They may enjoy intimate events (like myself). They may prefer to go on a lavish honeymoon instead. Just because they want to spend less on a wedding doesn’t mean they are doing it because they are smart or responsible. They may not be saving for a house. They may not be focusing on minimizing debt. Maybe they just don’t want a BIG fancy wedding. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true.


Most people are unaware or just strategically forget that the majority of wedding spending is done on the reception (the celebration) not the ceremony (the marriage).




Proof. About 13% of the budget is solely for the enjoyment/use of the bride and groom.



Large venue to accommodate two families and friends? For the guests. The choice of two meats and a vegetarian option? That’s for the guests. Open bar? The newlyweds may not even have time to drink. That’s for the guests. Programs? Favors? Invites? All for the guest. Granted the couple may have made selections based on their personal tastes, because a good host/ess goes above and beyond to create a nice experience for their guests, but make no mistake about it, the majority of the money spent on weddings is to ensure that the guests have a wonderful experience.



Bottom line, y’all have got to stop criticizing  people for how they choose to celebrate their marriage (with you). You can’t judge one couple for hosting the party of the century while simultaneously making fun of another couple for making a more fiscally responsible choice by getting married in the projects apartment courtyard. If that’s too much of a task, stop being a part of the problem. The next time you get a fancy invitation in the mail, don’t even bother getting excited or commenting on the hand written address, the texture of the paper, or the beautifully coordinated envelope liner. Do not be swayed by the luxurious event venue or the promise of a steak and lobster dinner at no charge to you. Promptly remove the RSVP card, select no, and mail it back. By choosing not to attend, you’ll be saving the couple an average of $200 and according to some of you, maybe even their marriage. Matter of fact, when you see the announcement, don’t even send your address. Say congrats, send a gift, and call it a day. If that’s not something you’re willing to do, then maybe you need to reevaluate your issues with expenses, because clearly it is not a concern when it comes to what you’ll be receiving.





Color Me Suite

Color Me Suite: How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Event

Every detail you choose for your event conveys a message to your guests. Everything. Right down to the color scheme. So how do you know if you’re choosing the right colors for your event?


Well a quick lesson in color psychology may do the trick. Determining what colors say may help you decide which colors to choose, because going with your favorites isn’t always the best choice. I found the following chart on pinterest via Burnett’s Boards and I thought I’d share.


Color Psycology Chart


Another thing to consider is color combos and seasons. For instance, red,white, and blue may suggest 4th of July, while orange and black scream Halloween. Pastels generally evoke feelings of spring while bright colors make us think of summer. Your choices can really take your theme from bland to #suite by simply making the right choices. Of course, this is just a guide, but it’ll give you a good idea of what your guests may be thinking and feeling during their time at your event.

Color Psychology. Rainbow Theme

I personally love jewel tones. Ruby red, regal purple, royal blue, and peacock teal. What are some of your favorite colors?




Pink Green and Black Party Theme

Pretty. Private. Pink. BFF Brunch

Everything good is worth celebrating and anything worth celebrating deserves your best effort. That includes spending time with friends. It’s always a great time when the girls can get together, but life oftentimes stands in the way. If you’re like me and entire states separate you and your BFF, then when you two can finally get together it’s a big deal. Why not mark the occasion with a #fancy brunch to catch up?


What are my suggestions for a great date with your bestie? Pick a spot that’s private…away from the boys and the kids. Bring out your good linens and fine china, so she’ll know it’s special. #aaaaawwww Make something yummy (and decadent) like this praline pecan monkey bread. Serve it with bacon, fresh fruit, and a drink (or 2) like a mimosa, or this apple cider sangria. Have a fantastic time with your unbioligical sister.


Here’s how I set up my table:


BFF Brunch, Pink Green and Black Decor

BFF Brunch, Pink Green and Black Decor

BFF Brunch, Pink Green and Black Decor

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Pink and Green Collage


I was inspired by this graphic pink and green fabric Absolute Travel Addict shared with me from one of her trips to the Motherland. It made for a fantastic runner and added a lot of visual interest to the design. The pink roses were the perfect feminine touch. Doesn’t it scream, no boys allowed? 🙂


For more tips on planning brunch for you and your BFFs, check out this article at girlfriendology.


Keep Calm and Get Married 2

Keep Calm and Get Married: Advice from Your Wedding Planner

On the morning of your wedding, you will most likely wake up in a strange bed in an unfamiliar room. It will probably be in a luxury hotel you’ve never been to before. You’ll spend the morning alongside your closet friends romping around in matching robes and dancing to your favorite songs while waiting for your glam squad to arrive. You’ll have champagne for breakfast. At the specified time, a hair stylist and make-up artist will come to your suite and meticulously contour each of your faces, accentuating your best features and concealing any minor blemishes. By lunch time, just as your lashes have been perfectly placed and lips properly puckered, the photography crew will come in to document you stepping into your fabulous gown and later being draped in jewels and crowned with a sparkling tiara or stunning veil to finish off your look. Once the entire team is dressed and beautified, you’ll pass the time waiting for your chariot or limo to arrive by participating in a photoshoot in which you are the star! You’ll be whisked away to a cathedral nearby to exchange vows with the love of your life. After the I Dos have been said, you’ll share your first kiss in front of family and friends as they erupt in a grand congratulatory cheer. They will stand and photograph your exit as the two of you make your way outside. Later, you’ll dance the night away with everyone who loves you and eventually head to a hotel suite where you’ll collapse in exhaustion- likely too overjoyed to consummate the long awaited marriage.


In the morning you’ll wake beside the love of your life. You’re married! It may not feel real. In fact, it may feel like you just woke up from the most wonderful dream. A dream filled with an abundance of flowers, romantic candles, beautiful people and the most deliciously large cake you could ever imagine. Except you see your gown, slung haphazardly across a hotel room chair and your sparkling crown tossed on the floor alongside the most gorgeous sparkling pumps you may never wear again. Of course yesterday was real, but we’ve all heard other brides say how quickly it goes by and how they don’t remember much of the day. “It’s all just a blur.”  This is common and maybe even the norm. And I’ve always thought that it probably feels that way, because that’s how it was planned to feel. You wanted a fairy tale and a dream wedding and that’s exactly what you got. Something that’s so utterly perfect and so extremely exquisite that it feels as if it didn’t happen. You wanted it to be so special and so perfect that you don’t allow it to be a real moment in your life.


I know it’s probably odd coming from an industry professional, that I’m not willing to promise a perfect wedding. And that’s not saying that I am not capable of giving you awesome service and an event you can be proud of. The truth is I want your wedding to be awesome…almost as much as you do. Suite14A depends on your satisfaction. I want to help you plan and design a wonderful celebration to welcome you and your love to married life. I want it to be fun. I want it to be memorable and beautiful and a shining example of who you are as a couple. But I also want it to feel real and authentic. I want you to be able to give yourself permission to enjoy your wedding day even if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. I want you to understand that the day is only special because you made it so by choosing it to take your vows. I want you to be cognizant enough to understand that it is perfect because of those vows you made and not because there were no incidents.


It will be grand. It will be lovely. It will be fun. And you’ll wake up in the morning beside the love of your life knowing for sure that you got married and it was more than just a dream. It was real.

What's Your Party Style

What’s Your Party Personality?

Thanks to Shawntel at the SOA Brand for this post.

She went on a Pinterest frenzy a while back and I picked up a few gems, including a pin prompting me to “Find  Your Party Personality?” Ever the curious one, well actually I just want to see if it’s accurate (have you guys noticed a quiz trend with me?), I clicked it to take the quiz.

Drumroll please…………… It turns out I’m a Family Style Feaster!

*big gasp* But, how do these people KNOW ME!? There are only three questions! How could it be so accurate?!?!!? So accurate, that I actually considered serving family style at the wedding. It’s like a wonderful mix between a seated dinner and a buffet. I find that it’s a far more intimate kind of dining and I suppose that’s why I favor it so much, especially for larger groups.

Once your party style has been discovered, the site will also pull some suitable themes and menu items for you to try. How convenient! Mine had things like lasagna night, a rustic wine tasting, and a pot luck. Now, I can’t say I’m all too excited about potlucks, but maybe I just don’t have the right friends, or know the right people. Ina Garten makes it looks so easy. Then again, Ina does all the cooking and her friends bring things like flowers and wine. I may give it a go once I get over my potluck anxiety.

Find out your party style on marthastewart.com and host your own little shindig.

Move Toward Your Goal -Bruce Lee

Don’t Let Your Head Explode

When I really get into my work, I’m thinking so much I start to feel like my brain will melt and begin to ooze out of my ears. Then I try to sleep and end up spinning in bed, wrestling with my thoughts. Missing my glue gun, rolling over to make notes about the timeline in my cellphone, grabbing a pen from my bedside and sketching table designs. It’s great for business, but bad for sleep. Bruce Lee knew this about me and in his Bruce Lee wisdom, left behind this little tidbit for Husband to find and share with me.

He’s right, of course. Thinking is EXHAUSTING. Doing is rewarding. Action frees up so much brain space- turning massive tasks into little to-dos that are easier to manage. Trust me. Listen to Bruce Lee. Don’t let your brain explode. Give thinking a break and put your hands to work. Do something!

Focus on the Good

Focus on the Good

I remember when Mommy died, because well it wasn’t even two years ago, and whenever I got flustered or upset, I’d say or think (depending on the situation)… “my momma is DEAD.” Nothing was more serious than that. NOTHING. And for that reason alone, I gave myself permission not to deal with anything else if I didn’t want to. About 75% (a vast majority) of my energy was for figuring out my life without my mother, which meant living alone for the first time, altering my daily life which no longer included cancer, asking myself questions like “what now,” and trying not to be sad while frying chicken.

Whatever energy I had left was for me. It was for date nights, and “too much food” Tuesdays, and firsts, and cleaning my house, and whatever else I wanted to do. That means any negativity brought into my life was QUICKLY shut down and/or met with the harshest attitude, even if I didn’t mean it. I wasn’t able to approach certain things with the gentleness of a woman who had her mother available. But, somehow, most of the time I genuinely felt happy. Despite my loss, I was happy. Maybe because before Mommy died, about 90% of my energy was devoted to “my momma is dying”and I finally had some energy to spare, but I believe some of the reason why I did so well is because I chose what to give my energy to.

At the time it was because I didn’t have any energy to spare for negativity and high stress situations, but now it’s because I like it better this way. I haven’t gotten it down to a science just yet, but I know that it works. I just have to remember to use it. I feel better about life and I feel better about me. I get more stuff done. I know what and who stresses me out and I try my best to avoid or limit my interactions with them. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to ignore things that are important or time sensitive, like your dissertation, but I am saying don’t spend too much (or any) time with people who irritate you. I’m saying not to say yes, when you want to and should be saying no. I’m saying don’t pressure yourself to create a four course meal every night. Give yourself a break.

Then with all the time and energy you’ve spared yourself by avoiding things that may upset you, do something that gives you pleasure. Take a walk. Plant a tree. Enjoy a movie with your boo thang. Cuddle. Have a bowl of ice cream. Take a nap. Do something good. Quietly count your blessings. Focus on the good things that are happening in your life and if you can’t think of anything today, that’s what memories are for. Remember the good. Count the good. Focus on the good and sure enough, it’ll become easier to see.

SATC: Fancy for No Reason

I understand that what I’m about to say may set me up for judgment, but be kind. I have never really been a fan of Sex and the City. Whenever the craze started, I wasn’t available to take part. I’ve seen a few episodes, but I missed out for the most part and I was okay with that. However, I have seen the movies, thanks to DirecTV and I know, from reading, that they aren’t the best representation of what the series was really like, but I can enjoy it for what it was to me: A very long commercial for fashion products that I’m not willing to afford right now.

The movies were stunning. Just all around pretty. These women, the fashion, the locations, and the entire films were a testament to it never being a bad time to look better. I was completely and utterly SLAIN when Carrie decided to go to an outdoor walking flea market in THIS ensemble.

Carrie Bradshaw in Christian Dior at the Street Market

I shouted at my tv. REALLY? Why dress so nicely to walk in an alley to buy fruit?

I’m obviously no Carrie Bradshaw, because I’m a firm believer in not wasting an outfit. You know what I mean, right? Going somewhere regular and wearing your nice clothes or wearing a nice outfit and you don’t have an opportunity for anybody to really see you shine in it. Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe we should ALWAYS opt for the nice outfit. Maybe we should always try to look a little better, no matter where we’re going. I wouldn’t say do it with the intention to be seen, but do it to feel like you want to be seen. That wouldn’t hurt anybody.

Truth is, I’ve been veering towards this path for a long while. After the freshman year “I can really wear pajamas to class?” ordeal, I’ve been making it a point not to dress “comfortably” when I have the option to dress to the 9s. Or at least the 7s. Ok…just choosing something better.

Challenge: If you go out this weekend, try to over do it for something you wouldn’t normally give your best look. Now, I’m not saying rock your wedding gown to the mall, unless you want to and if that’s the case, please send me THOSE pictures, but maybe wear heels to a matinee when you’d normally wear tennis shoes or flip flops. Wear your super sparkly earrings with denim before 5PM. Just kick it up a notch, for no other reason than because you can. Go forth and be fancy!

I’m going to try it over the weekend. I have an event to go to and although I’m not the guest of honor, I’ll try to figure out a way to dress something up without stealing the show. I’ll post a photo on my instagram. If you participate, share your photos with me using #SATCFancy