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?

 

 

$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).

 

 

The+Ultimate+Budget+Guide+|+WeddingWire+SPRINGBOOK+2014:

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.

 

 

 

 

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