5-reasons-why-every-couple-should-plan-a-wedding

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.

 

bridezilla-beauty

 

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*

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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.

 

 

guest-list-politics

 

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

Teshieka and Derrek's Wedding

The Bridal Suite: Teshieka & Derrek’s Real Wedding

Zeta brings me so much business! But she also brings me great friends. I was referred to this beautiful bride by my undergraduate advisor and her line sister. The bride was in Columbia, SC, but she asked if I’d be willing to give it a shot. Given the referral and the fact that it’s not too far from ATL, I decided Suite14A could make it work. I called her once. She asked me a few questions. Now we’re friends. 🙂

 

Before Teshieka and I were able to meet in person, we had a couple of meetings via Skype. Later, she planned a trip to our home office to discuss details. Y’all…I was SICK! Not a cute lil runny nose and a cough sick. I had the fever all day, body aching, don’t make me get out of the bed, flu. I felt terrible. I wanted to be excited and chipper, but instead when she showed up, I was wrapped in a blanket and refusing to hug her for fear of spreading my germs. But she was so gracious. She pulled out her wedding planning notes, spread them on my floor and we spent the entire evening planning.

 

That one day set the tone for this entire journey. Teshieka and Derrek were so much fun to work with. I could not believe that they seriously wanted to invite one million 500 people to their wedding, but after meeting their friends and loved ones, it’s easy to see why. They really love them individually and as a couple and couldn’t imagine not being present for their big day.  This ginormous wedding was a huge test for Suite14A, but everyone was really happy with the way things turned out. Including me.

 

We had settled on a vintage, but modern look with a charcoal grey, sparkly silver, and Tiffany Blue color scheme.

Inspiration Board

All the stationery for the event was done by Scripted Ever After. I proposed a newspaper program that the bride loved, so we worked backwards from there. The entire suite featured this pattern that Jamie replicated from some linens she saw on our Pinterest board.

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

Scratch-off Telegram Save the Dates

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

Invitations

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

Newspaper programs w/ matching hashtag pencils

The ballroom at the Columbia Conference Center proved to be a perfect blank space. It had all the room and equipment (and FANTASTIC menu) that we needed, but it didn’t quite have that pizzazz required to meet the bride’s vision. So A Touch of Drapery draped the entire ballroom in white and we decorated everything in silver and charcoal.  Perfect Entertainment provided the uplighting that created the beautiful Tiffany blue color she wanted throughout the space.

 

before-and-after

At the bride’s request, the only flowers present were the bouquets and boutonnieres from By Design and the small bunch or rose petals I sprinkled at the altar. Instead of traditional floral centerpieces, we opted for an abundance of candles and chic white lamps for a more romantic ambiance.

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

With over 30 members, I’ve affectionately named the bridal party the Pugh Mass Choir. They were a great group and they came to PARTY.

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

DJ Perfect seriously had everyone on the floor the entire night, including our photographer Trevor Mercer, who couldn’t stop talking about all the fun he had. We took a quick break in the action for a special presentation by the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Omegas and Zetas

When your wedding planner slides through for the sorority photo w/ no make up on. #shame lol

 

curtis-pugh-wedding-cakes

Bonnie Brunt put BOTH her feet in the cakes, which is fitting given the grooms cake being a fresh new pair of gold boots. They were probably more delicious than they were beautiful, if you could believe that.

At the end of the night, the couple chose to share one last dance with all their guests and stayed behind to say goodbye and thank everyone for coming.

 

Teshieka and Derrek, by Suite14A at Columbia Conference Center

Check out the groom’s reception shoes. They were customized with the wedding date on the soles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great night and I’m so happy I was able to be a part of it. Check out my portfolio here to see the full wedding album.

 

A very special thank you to all the vendors who made this day a great success!

Event Planning and Design: Suite14A

Photography and Video: Trevor Mercer Photography

Venue: Columbia Conference Center

Stationery: Scripted Ever After

Cakes: Bonnie Brunt Cakes

Bridesmaids Gifts and Vinyl Monograms: Designs by Ashlee’

Hair: Creme de la Creme Hair Gallery

Makeup: Lifted by Lady K

Bridal Gown and Bridesmaids Dresses: Carolina Couture

Bride’s Second Look: Brides by Nona

Drapery: A Touch of Drapery

DJ, Photobooth, Uplighting: Perfect Entertainment

Dancefloor and Chair Rental: Party Reflections

Flowers: By Design Holiday and Events

Monogram Sign and Acrylic Card Box: Ten23 Designs

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

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.  

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

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.

With David Tutera @ YWE Atlanta

YWE Atlanta, Meeting David Tutera

I was recently given the opportunity to design an exhibition booth for the Glenn Hotel, Ventanas, and Legacy Catering & Events for the David Tutera Your Wedding Experience bridal show. Honestly, with the turn around being so quick and my staunch desire to give my very best, I almost didn’t take it. Well lucky for me and you…I did. Here’s proof that yes, I can do it (whatever it is), even with limited time. #callme

We were working with a mixed metal color palette.

Mixed Metallics Collage

It started off really warm with lots of gold and bronze with touches of silver, but it ended up working the other way around, which ended up being perfect for the show. All of our rentals were provided by Atlanta Lifestyles Furnishing including luxurious tufted chairs, the fab sofa, faceted tables, champagne colored ottomans, and plush area rug. The chairs were the shining stars of the booth though with lots of guests stopping by just for photos.

Booth Set Up

After setup, but before our food and signage arrived.

 

 

Flowers for YWE Atlanta

Atlanta Lifestyle Furnishing

Atlanta Lifestyle Furnishing

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Symone Lakes of Suite14A

I couldn’t miss out on the action. I even had to display my ring like a newly married woman.

 

We saw David far more than I had actually anticipated. He was there during set up. He walked through the exhibition area and even stopped to comment about our chairs. He was also stopping to take pictures with the vendors and the guests. Which included me and one of my 2016 brides, who also happens to be the sales manager at Glenn Hotel. #shefancy

 

This was definitely a different experience than any other bridal show I’ve been to. Brides, planners, and David Tutera fans in Houston and Philly are certainly in for a treat when YWE comes to their city.