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.

Clutch Invitation By Eleven Note

Invitation Inspiration AND Tips for Being A Better Host

As a very popular couple, we’re never without somewhere to go. That being said, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly as far as invites go. I really enjoy being a guest, but there are a few things that grind my gears about being invited by a less than stellar host. Though we commit to making every event a fun one, things would run more smoothly if only everyone had read this first.

 

Send an appropriate invitation: The invitation sets the tone for the event. While a text message may be cool when inviting a group to join you at a movie, it’s probably not the best option for a bridal shower. Be mindful of what your invitation says about your event. A text message may scream formal and “it’s no big deal,” while a printed invite with 3 coordinated enclosures says the exact opposite. Tip: A digital invite can be sent via text message. It’s super convenient and packs more punch than a typed message.

 

Invitations Monopoly

Monopoly Themed Wedding Invitations by Paper Truly

 

 

Allow your guests TIME to clear their schedules: It should be considered that weekends are prime time for events, so it’s only right that they fill up more quickly, especially when juggling the obligations of a growing family. With that being said, be kind enough to give your guests ample time to ensure that you’re first on their calendars. I’m here for spontaneity, but if it’s your birthday and you’d be sad if I couldn’t attend, please make it easy for me to say yes.

 

Give all the information: Be sure to give your guests every indication of what is expected of them as guests – what to wear, where to go, what time to get there, if there are any costs associated with parking or entry, or if guests are welcome. No one likes to be surprised about unexpected expenditures, or instructions after they’ve already arrived at the event.

 

"Exploding Box"Chanel 90th Birthday Invites by Your Unik Xchnage

“Exploding Box”Chanel 90th Birthday Invites by Your Unik Xchnage

 

Be READY and PRESENT at the start of the event: If that means leaving an hour early and getting to the restaurant first, always be prepared to receive your guests. It’s never fun to beat your host to their own event.

 

Be on call: In the time nearing the event, be near a phone so that guests who may be having trouble with directions or parking can get in touch with you. This is especially important if you all are going somewhere new or obscure in that there’s no big sign out front. Also, in the event of a wedding, make sure your vendors have a contact number for someone who is not the bride or groom and vice versa.

 

Thank your guests for coming: They could have been anywhere else (pajamas and Netflix are serious contenders in this day and age), but they decided to be with you. Be sure to express your thanks.

 

Be Gracious: Yes, even when someone shows with an unexpected guest. I know it will be tough, especially for dinner parties and other things where the count matters, but no need to embarrass them. The unexpected person may be just as uncomfortable as you are. This is a faux pas of the guest, not the person they chose to bring.  Here’s where you work your dazzling hosting skills by making the most of this situation.

 

Fashion Week Invitations from Dries Van Noten

Fashion Week Invitations from Dries Van Noten

 

BONUS: Give guests a heads up about other guests if that info will beneficial to them. For instance if someone’s ex is showing with a new date or one of your guests has three heads, a gentle FYI relieves everyone of awkward situations. Trust me.

 

Be sure to check out the next post for tips from the other side of the invite. That one also includes some dope stationery options.

*Featured image by Eleven Note

Bride with Afro and Floral Crown

Celebrating #AfroApril with these Bridal Looks

It’s #AfroApril y’all! I’ve been waiting all much to set my hair free and I’m so excited that the time is finally here! Though it was not my plan, I began my 3rd transition back to natural hair shortly before our wedding. Despite a few dedicated years of not cutting my hair for the wedding I didn’t know I was having, about 5 months into planning it started to fall out. *sad face*  I ended up having to cut what was left from my back up to my ears. #BUMMER

I did the big chop a few months before I took my bridal portraits on our one year anniversary and settled on an assisted updo that was similar look to my original wedding look. But these brides! Wedding dresses and puffs on fleek. I’m so happy to see more brides choosing to rock their big hair on their big day. So let’s kick off this celebration of #AfroApril with some pics of lovely brides willing to let it all hang out!

 

First up, from the feature image is Atlanta photographer Bri McDaniel seen below with her hubby. Not only did I love her hair, but she chose to rock a floral crown AND a sparkly gold wedding dress. Isn’t she gorgeous??

 

Bride 3

Photo by Michelle Scott Photography

 

I stumbled across this lovely Ethiopian bride on Offbeat Bride. Swing by and check out the original post. She actually changed her hair by adding some traditional braids for the reception.

 

 

Bride with Afro and Floral Crown

Photo by From the Hip Photography

 

 

 

The images from this beach wedding featured on Chic Brown Bride were beautiful. I remember when I first saw them, I was all smiles. “Look at her hair!” The elegant pearl comb made the perfect accent.

 

Natural Hair Bride with Afro

Photo By Shoreshotz Phototography

 

 

This bride’s crown was accented with a delicate crown of it’s own. I know it’s styled, but her smile is authentic. I just couldn’t pass it up.

 

 

 

Bride with an Afro

Photo by Sawyer Baird

 

BONUS: This fro’d out flower girl has maxed out the cuteness meter with her wedding day style. She’s been on the internet so much, I couldn’t find an original source. #shesfamous

 

Flower Girl with Afro

 

 

So let’s hear it. What do you think of these looks? Would you rock a fro on your wedding day?

 

 

Bridesmaid Luncheon Inspiration by Suite14A

The Bridesmaid Luncheon: Should You or Should You Not?

A wedding can sometimes feel like an endless stream of events. That’s great for event planners (yay!), but it can be daunting for the average couple. You have the engagement party, bridal shower(s), bachelor and bachelorette parties which can sometimes span an entire weekend, and the rehearsal dinner all before the awaited trip down the aisle. It can seem like a lot, but there’s one more event that you should consider adding to the pre-wedding event queue. The bridesmaid luncheon.

 

Bridesmaid Luncheon Inspiration by Suite14A

 

 

What exactly is a bridesmaid luncheon? 

 

Traditionally, the bridal luncheon is a party that’s hosted by the bridesmaids for the bride which is completely separate and different than the bridal shower. This event is often considered a send off to the bride and is usually held a short time, often a few days or hours, before the wedding. The bridesmaid luncheon, however, is hosted by the bride, sometimes with the help of her mother, to honor the bridesmaids for all their hard work and contributions over the course of the wedding. This event is often held as a more modern alternative to the bridal luncheon.

 

Bridesmaid Luncheon Inspiration by Suite14A

 

As with most things involving traditions, we always suggest that you can take what you want and leave the rest behind. Forego a luncheon and  host a brunch, dinner, or a trip to the spa instead. It’s up to you.

 

 

Why should I have one?

 

This doesn’t have to be an elaborate event, but it’s definitely worth it to try to squeeze it in. Here’s why:

 

1) Given that the event is so close to the wedding date, everyone’s already in town, so it’s a great time to schedule something that’s convenient for bridesmaids both near and far. It’s especially nice if a maiden couldn’t make the trip for all the other bridal festivities.

 

2) The time right before the wedding can be hectic. This bridesmaids luncheon could be a much needed time to just relax with just you and your closest friends/family before the big day.

 

3) On the day of the wedding, time is valuable and all the focus is usually on the bride. Why not honor your maidens on a day especially for them? A bridesmaid luncheon will provide a special time to give those good speeches along with the gifts. Bonus: You won’t have to worry about ruining your make up.

 

Bridesmaid Luncheon Inspiration by Suite14A

 

 

 

Is it just for the bridesmaids and the bride?

 

According to Emily Post, the bridesmaids, flower girl and her mother, the brides mother, the grooms mother and of course the bride should be invited. However, it’s considered a nice gesture to also extend an invitation to the grandmothers and any sisters of the bride and groom who are not a part of the wedding party.  I say, do what you like! 🙂

 

Bridesmaid Luncheon Inspiration by Suite14A

 

Being a bridesmaid is a selfless job. I think this is an awesome way to show that you appreciate all their hard work. I hope to see more events like this in the future. Mostly because I love girl time, but I’m also a BIG believer in thank yous.

 

Did you have a bridesmaid luncheon? Would you consider having one? 

 

All photos from The IvyArts Gallery. Styled by Suite14A.  

The Mbali Experience

The Go Generation: Mbali Experience, South Africa Destination Launch Event

Referrals are EVERYTHING! About seven weeks ago, we got a text from a friend who had a friend who needed a planner. The very next week, we had a new client. #BOOM Six weeks later on a dark, stormy and sleet-filled night,  a group of brave women (and men) traversed the Atlanta city streets to attend the inaugural event for The Go Generation where we celebrated the launch of the Mbali Experience.

 

 

When we first got the call, we did a little research to see what The Go Generation was all about. What really got us interested was that they’re a lot like us! The Go Generation focuses on Luxury Experiential Travel, where they custom design individual or group trips based on your personal travel dreams! How cool is that?! #SOLD So, I called the owner, Jason Elliott, to get the deets about the event. He explained that it would be centered around the Mbali Experience that was designed specifically for ladies “seeking a deeper connection with a destination, its culture, and its community in the company of a small group.”

 

Three things that guided the style and theme for the event were

 

  1.  Mbali means “flower” in Zulu
  2. The first destination for the Mbali Experience is South Africa
  3. This beautiful inspiration image featuring a field of yellow flowers

The Mbali Experience

 

Well, it was obvious that yellow was a must have in the color scheme. We decided to pair it with a rich charcoal grey, champagne gold for a bit of sparkle, wood grain for a natural element, and feathers for texture. Here’s the inspiration board:

Suite14A: Mbali Inspiration Board 2

 

Here’s the before picture of the room:

Before

 

Now, let’s see the transformation:

 

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The venue for the evening, Trees Atlanta, had a sculptured tree built right into the center of the room. It was a gorgeous addition to the design. It really gave the impression that guests were having dinner outside under beneath this beautiful tree.

 

Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta

 

The buffet featured an abundance of deliciousness, including some South African themed items that coordinated with the event theme including Biltong, a S. African jerky and chicken skewers with a spicy peri peri sauce.

 

Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta
Keeping with the theme, the guests were treated to a wine tasting with some of the best from South African wineries.

Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta

Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta

 

 

And each guest received a complimentary Mbali wine glass to remember their Mbali Experience here in Atlanta.

 

Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta
Suite14A for The Go Generation at Trees Atlanta
Before the event was over, Jason shared a little bit more about his company and the Mbali Experience. You can watch part of the presentation video and find out more information here.

 

Suite14A w/ The Go Generation

 

You check out more photos in the event gallery in my portfolio.
Before it’s all done, we couldn’t have done it without our SUITE vendor team:

 

Planning, Florals, and Design: Suite14A

Venue: Trees Atlanta

Photography: The IvyArts Gallery

Catering: Zest Atlanta

Lighting: Uplighting America

Drapery: A Touch of Drapery

Audio/Visual: Pro Sound Rental of Atlanta

 

 

 

Smoke Bomb Wedding Photo

Septima & Tremelle: Art Inspired Styled Shoot in Atlanta

I’ve been waiting an entire month to share these photos with you and now it’s time! I teamed up with some wonderful vendors and a lovely couple (who happen to be friends) to create this colorful styled shoot.

 

Naturally when choosing a theme for our shoot, I decided to go with something close to my heart. Art! Being able to have it in the Castleberry Hill historic arts district was an added benefit as it houses a number of art galleries within its century old buildings and we also had our own wedding in this area. Yay for memories! It’s not just the art inside the galleries that inspire me though. The streets of Castleberry Hill have lots of art of their own, including beautiful architecture, incredible murals and even some graffiti. I know some people may not think graffiti and city streets make for a beautiful wedding, but I can’t say I’m like most people. I love pairing nontraditional elements, including the way the harsh city streets pair with the delicate lace of a wedding gown. So, I whipped up this inspiration board, sent it to a few vendors and a few short weeks later, we were together making magic.

 

Intimate event styled by Suite14A at Coze Atlanta

 

Keep scrolling for a look at some of my fav photos from the shoot, including the art work painted by yours truly.

Couple Collage

 

Art Themed Wedding

 

Art Themed Wedding

 

Art Themed Wedding

 

 

 


Art Themed Wedding

Pink and Navy Art Themed Wedding

Art Themed Wedding Inspiration

 

That’s a wrap folks! All the way from inspiration to completed inspired look. It’s the Suite14A way! If you want to see more photos, head over to Chic Brown Bride to see our feature which includes an interview with our real life couple who, though young, are celebrating 10 years of marriage. #relationshipgoals #committment

 

Big shout out to our vendors. All of you were wonderful and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Planning, Design, Florals: Suite14A

Photography: Matthew Druin Photography

Venue: Coze

Invitations, Place Cards, Place Card Holders, Cake Topper: Scripted Ever After

Gown and Accessories: CTO Bridal Boutique

Groom Accessories: Beau. Ties, LLC

Cake: Apple-Butter Bakery and Custom Cake Shoppe

Make-Up: Jillian Nicole

Art: SYM1 Did It!!!

Featured on Chic Brown Bride

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?