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?

 

 

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

FearLess: Don't be Afraid to Begin Again

Don’t Be Afraid to Begin Again

I wrote this in a blog post from Nov. 2011:

Imagine being born again, with all your memories from this life. Except this time, you’re born in another country. You remember how to talk, and you try, but nobody speaks the language. Everything you thought you knew is different. It’s like having a wealth of useless knowledge. You have a little experience, but it’s starting to feel a little irrelevant. Some days, that’s just how I feel. I have chosen to give up what I know to do something new and all the previous knowledge I had isn’t really helping with what I’m trying to do now. I’m sure it’s helped with the transition, but when you’re starting from scratch, a little help doesn’t always seem like much. I am having fun, but a little progress would be great for team morale.

This is, I feel, my third time starting this blog. Not starting over, but I’ve had two long breaks to regroup and I’ve come back from each of them with a renewed perspective. Suite14A is actually my second blog, and if we count my wealth of Facebook notes, it’s my third. I wanted to come here to Suite14A and do something completely different from what I’ve done in the past. Because, honestly, I’m different now and if you’ve been following my work since the Facebook days, you’re different now too. We’re growing up and we have grown up things to deal with. Sometimes that means letting go of the familiar and stepping out to try something new. Sometimes, that’s hard…even for a superwoman like me. It takes quite a bit of gumption to give up something you’ve worked hard on or put a lot of effort into, only to start over again with something unfamiliar. But we cannot be afraid of the “beginagains.” You know, when plan A (or B or C) doesn’t go that well or it’s not all you thought it would be and then you have to start over? Yeah, that’s the beginagains. And if we’re always afraid to give them a go, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to flourish under these new circumstances. Fear will keep us from a new venture, or relationship, or vegetable, or even a new haircut. If we let it, it will chew us up and then spit us out into a dark corner, where we’ll spend the rest of our lives huddled up rocking and crying into an old t-shirt. Don’t let that happen.

Go rafting with your husband (Symone). Zip line (It was FUN). Try asparagus (YUM). Paint the walls blue. Cut off your hair! Stop being beaten by the what ifs. What if everything goes well? What if you enjoy it? What if it’s delicious? Perfect? Chances are you won’t die trying. Instead, you’ll feel accomplished. Fearless. Strong. Try an adventure every now and then. Don’t be skurred.