helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

When Shug Avery belted the words “I’se married now,” in the Color Purple, it was an exclamation of joy and triumph.  Post-wedding, I understand exactly what she meant.

It’s been almost a week and I’m still floating high from my nuptials last Saturday. To be completely honest, it was a rocky road getting there. For months, I’ve dealt with a medical condition that kept me in bed many days; and the week of the wedding, I left my job and completed my move from DC to Atlanta, all while planning/organizing my DIY wedding, tying up loose ends at work and saying good bye to the DC friends and extended family I’ve made over the past several years. It was emotional; it was tiresome; and now, it’s done.

At this very moment, I’m doing well health-wise, cuddled up on the couch with my husband :) while catching up on some TV shows we missed out on over the last couple of months. Life is good. I stressed about a lot of things along the way…things I know now that I should never have stressed about at all. The rain threatening our garden wedding, the projected street closures due to the filming of Being Mary Jane in the area immediately surrounding our venue, and completing a million Pinterest inspired DIY projects.

There was some rain, but it held off for most of the day and throughout the ceremony. The street closures threatened one too many important events taking place on the same day and time as my wedding so the powers that be forced filming to be rescheduled. This was nothing short of amazing and I have to thank my fellow BSB bloggers, friends and family for praying over it and helping me hold my composure during what was a very difficult day. And the funny thing about the projects I worked so diligently on is that many were never set up because the friend I asked to decorate according to the vision I’d been working on for months fell through…but it didn’t even matter. Why? Because everything turned out beautifully anyway AND most importantly…I’se married now!

The Olmsted did an amazing job!! Amazing!! Along with our wedding coordinator, they pitched in to execute my vision to the best of their ability and the results were outstanding. We were told over and over again how beautiful everything was and our guests continue to rave about how great the food was.

Olmsted Wedding (Atlanta)

Olmsted Wedding (Atlanta)

In the next couple of weeks, I will post a full breakdown on our centerpieces including inspiration and process pictures. I’m so excited to share everything I learned with you. DIY flowers can be daunting, but they don’t have to be, so stayed tuned for tips.

The bouquets we carried were inspired by the picture below and Atlanta Wedding Florals delivered exactly what I asked for. I fell in love with the combination of anemones, tulips, blue thistle, and greenery, and Nanci gave me just what I wanted.  My pictures do her work no justice, but indulge me for a bit until you get a look at my photographer’s rendering.

Flower inspiration
Source: Oleander Florals & Events

Atlanta Wedding Flowers

The B-Hive looked absolutely stunning in their black convertible gowns from Light in the Box.  Depending on the sale, the prices the girls paid ranged from $75-125.  The flower girls were cute as lil’ buttons in their floor length gowns (purchased for $39 each). We weren’t sure on sizes so I bought a roll of slightly embellished black ribbon to accentuate the sewn-on black sash—it was perfect!

A few months ago, I told you about my dress selection process and asked if you could pick my dress from a line up. Laura guessed it and Crys hoped it for me. I chose dress number 1 and had the beading removed. The dress alone only cost $200 and the beading removal was so cheap it’s barely worth noting. I also mentioned that LITB gifted me their suggested veil and petticoat, which as a repeat customer, in no way influences my opinion about them. If I’d bought the items as planned the two items would have cost $40. Not bad, right?  I got so many compliments on my dress and was even asked by a high-end industry on-looker who the designer was.

Dress

The low wardrobe costs gave me room to splurge on my makeup.  I went with professional makeup artist and YouTube sensation, Alexandra Butler, who is nothing short of amazing.  I’ve followed her career for years and was happy to finally get to work with her.  She took care of the makeup for the entire bridal party and made us all feel like Queens.  Every woman deserves to feel as good as Alex made us look.  The entire experience was a lift to my girls and still, days later, the ladies of the B-Hive are reveling in the experience of feeling as beautiful on the outside as they are inside.

LITB Convertible Dress and Alexandra Butler Makeup
The B-Hive photographed with one of our helpers.

My husband :) and his groomsmen were sharply dressed. They rented their tuxes from Savvi Formalwear and their lapels were decorated with flower lapel pins generously gifted to us by Harrison Blake. The owner came across an earlier post I wrote about flower lapel pins and asked if they could send us some pins in exchange for photos to use in promotional materials. It was an easy ask and the owners were so sweet about it all. More to the point, the lapel pins looked GOOD on them!

Harrison Blake Lapel Pins
Row 1: Sherrod adjusting the pin on his father as his brother looks on. Row 2: Sherrod with his father and brothers/best men Row 3: The remaining groomsmen donning their pins during the ceremony.

DJ Fadelf got the party started early and folks stayed on the dance floor until the very end…and that’s not an easy feat for a dry-wedding. One of the highlights stemmed from the Halle Berry comparisons that started during our first look at the hotel, when a woman insisted that I had to be Halle and asked if she could get my autograph. DJ Fadelf caught wind of it and had me and Sherrod come to the dance floor so he could get us to dance to “She’s Fine” (the Halle Berry song) by Hurricane Chris. If you’re not familiar with the song, humor me and check out this YouTube clip of Halle Berry dancing to it on Ellen. Sherrod is usually a bit on the reserved side and I have never been much of a dancer, so our friends and family were surprised to see us cut loose, as well as, learn that I’d actually perfected a meeeeaan two-step. :)

Sherrod and I dancing to "She Fine"
Sherrod and I dancing to “She Fine”
From the Wobble to the Nae Nae, it all happened here.
From the Wobble to the Nae Nae, it all happened here.

As far as photography is concerned, Barbara worked high and low to capture every angle. She didn’t let anyone get in her way and has a strong creative vision. Within 24 hours, she’d already posted a sneak peek. And her photos are nothing short of amazing…I can’t wait to see the final results!

Barbara B. Covington Photography
Source: Barbara B. Covington Photography

We couldn’t be happier with our vendor selection. Everyone worked overtime to please us and I can’t thank them enough.  They allowed us the space to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves, knowing that all would be taken care of.  There were plenty of happy tears throughout and lots of sweating on the dance floor.  In my estimation, I say we pretty much covered all the bases for a good wedding.

Now that the veil has been lifted, it’s just us enjoying one another. No pressure; just good living…

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive breakdown of what was spent overall and the final results on whether we maintained our budget of $15K or busted it.

Note:  All of the photos contained were taken by friends and family unless otherwise noted.  The upcoming budget breakdown will include a professional photo review as captured by Barbara B. Covington Photography.
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About Bianca

I’m Bianca, a Washingtonian transplant from Chicago’s Southside. During the day, I work for the people; after hours, I moonlight as an artist and avid DIYer. On May 10, 2014, I’ll wed my love of 4 years in Atlanta, GA and add a few letters to my list of achievements…M – R – S.

Connect with Bianca
  • Martha

    It all looks so beautiful, I cant wait to see more and get more ideas! Congrats again!

  • Monique

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL… you and your wedding! I love it! You look stunning and I love the ‘do! Those earrings with that dress… modestly breathtaking! I’m so in love with all of this. I can only hope that I’ll look that great. This gets me so excited for my wedding… especially the Wobble & Nae Nae bit LOL. I also love Atlanta and hope to move there one day. Enjoy the married life! …oh, and the Halle Berry comparisons are right on… *sings ‘Halle Berraay, Halle Berry’* :)

    • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/bianca Bianca

      Thanks so much! I’m sure everything will perfectly for you! ;)

  • Richard Taylor
  • Sarah

    Gahhhhh I love everything!!!!!

    • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/bianca Bianca

      Thanks Sarah! Your wedding was beautiful too and I hope to see more pictures.

  • Ashley

    Everything looked beautiful! Congratulations again, Bianca! I’m so happy for you. Welcome to the wives club ;-)

    • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/bianca Bianca

      Thanks Ashley! We should plan a lunch date soon. :)

  • Crys

    Wow, you look absolutely stunning! Congratulations! And I’m glad you picked the dress I loved. I was actually looking at dress # 3 for myself as my wedding in at the end of July.
    Please come back with all you diy Pinterest projects, and also let me know how your dress held up throughout the night.
    Enjoy married life sweetie!

  • Chantia

    Just beautiful!

  • Keisha

    The wedding accessories are beautiful!!! Which wedding veil did LITB send you. I’m having a difficult time between a statement necklace, statement veil or both.

    • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/bianca Bianca

      Thanks Keisha!! I believe LITB sent me their “One-tier Tulle Chapel Wedding Veil With Cut Edge.” For starters, I decided that I only wanted one statement piece. Sometimes, brides look like they’re playing dress up when they put on too much, but what’s “too much” is a judgment call. When in doubt, go with less is more.

      I struggled with the decision between statement necklace and statement earrings so I bought everything: a statement necklace with complementing stud earrings and statement earrings with complementing bracelet (no necklace). I waited until I was able to see everything together to make a decision–the moment I was about to put on my dress. I chose the statement earrings and bracelet which totaled approximately $35 at Macy’s. And when the wedding was over I returned the items I didn’t use. I think statement veils are beautiful and I wish I had considered it as an option. BSB blogger, Dana, bought a BEAUTIFUL statement veil. However, if you wear a statement veil during your ceremony, you probably won’t wear it during your reception. How do intend to keep that wow-factor going? Will you change your dress and/or jewelry? No matter your choice, you’ll be beautiful and the focus will stay on you. Just be happy!