Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?
I was a full DIY bride. I customized our bridal shower outfits, dress bags & Suit Bags, stationary, centerpieces, bouquet and Boutonnière, custom wax seal for stationery, hangers, picture frames, ceremony décor, donut wall, wedding sign, and all the small details.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We felt we deserved to celebrate our love our way, so we had a vintage-style wedding that was dripping in pearls! Royal Blue, Royal Purple, and Silver are our favorite colors, and they are colors that represent elegance, so everyone invited wore these colors.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Our first look while the violist played my favorite song. I love my wife’s custom suit. I hadn’t seen it before the wedding day, so our first look was so special. We were finally able to see what we had been working on. When we saw how similar we looked and accessorized we knew we were meant to be. Even separate we still match!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Venue – Instead of going the traditional venue route we decided to have a smaller wedding and utilize a private venue. We utilized PeerSpace and rented a private home in Brandywine Maryland. We rented per hour vs a set rate. We booked a reasonable hotel 15min from the home and did all pre-wedding prep in the Bride’s Suite. They decorated it with balloons and drinks, and we saved A LOT!!!! We only paid for the actual hours we needed and were able to add or subtract hours up until the event was over. We saved over $3,000 by renting tables and using the beauty of the mansion as free décor!
What was your biggest splurge?
The biggest splurge was our mini cakes. The mini cakes were individually contained for each guest. Each guest received one cake and one brownie but since it was also our wedding favor, it helped fit it into the budget.
What were your favorite details?
My favorite details of my wedding were the experience my friends and family had. We are a young same-sex couple. We were able to create an elegant experience for our friends and family and removed the stereotypes of a young gay wedding.
My second favorite detail was my dessert table. The naked cakes were beautiful and tasted delicious. Everyone loved the idea and the taste!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
DIY vs Buy list! – I learned no matter how much time you have everything shouldn’t be DIY. I purchased my wedding sign, but I made my own wedding sneakers. Consider how much time each project takes and then ask if it’s better to buy or take the time. Any project longer than 6hrs should be purchased!!
Pre-Made Drinks instead of Open Bar – We did multiple punches and infused water. Instead of a traditional open bar, we had 4 of our favorite mixed drinks (rum punch/ long island/ spiked lemonade/pineapple mint water, etc.). It saved on our bar, and it spread the drinks out all night. Additionally, we didn’t need a bartender because the drinks were premade and in a closed drink dispenser.
Share any additional details you’d like us to know about your event:
I lost my job due to covid while planning the wedding and Ashlei lost her father who was our biggest supporter but we would not let the negativity deter us!
Black young lesbians generally don’t have big weddings. We are told our love is different… not commercial… not interesting!!! Our love is perfect, and we want to inspire other women by showing; “we did it BIG and you should too!” Don’t compromise due to the opinions of family or institutions!