I'm not the type of girl that has been planning my dream wedding since I was a little girl. In reality, I'm very practical and sensible, which meant there was no way I was going to have myself or my family go into debt over this milestone in my life. Luckily for me, I grew up in a family where I learned the value of money and it's something that has taken me very far in life. One thing that's important to understand when planning your special day is that you don't have to break the bank in order to have a perfect wedding. It just needs to reflect who you are as a person and who you are as a couple. For my wedding, I stuck to my laid back personality throughout the entire process and it reflected beautifully at our event!
Below I've detailed every little thing about my wedding from the venue and flowers to the favors and vendors to help you start planning your perfect day! Whether you use my ideas for inspiration or copy my exact style, feel free to let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts. A special thank you to my parents for hosting such a beautiful wedding for me - I love you both more than you will ever know!
Venue and Vendor Information
Venue - La Belle: One of the most expensive aspects of a wedding is the venue itself. Not only do you have to pay for a space, but you also have to factor in linens, tableware, decorations and the list goes on and on. I discovered La Belle on Facebook right after I got engaged and I think I would have lost my mind if I hadn't come across their venue. In fact, they were the only venue we took a tour at and we both instantly fell in love with the property and all that they offered.
The value of services and overall quality that you receive is incredible and why I will forever recommend this venue to any engaged couple I meet. For a guest count of 100 people, you pay a flat rate of $6,000. This rate includes the venue, day of coordinator, officiant, photographer, appetizers during cocktail hour, full dinner, all of your decorations, bridal suite and groomsmen suite. The only additional items that you have to take care of are a DJ, cake and alcohol. They now also offer a package that includes a DJ for a total of $6,600.
Weddings can be super stressful but I was so relaxed for the majority of it due to La Belle. They take care of every little detail leading up to your big day so that you don't have to do anything. When I sat down with Phyllis, the owner, at my design appointment 2 months before my wedding, I really didn't know if she would be able to understand my vision. However, she absolutely nailed it and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful set up!
To learn more about La Belle, click here.
Photographer - FarMore Photography: As I mentioned above, this venue includes your wedding photographer. There are several photographers to choose from and after studying all their photos, I chose Jerrica with FarMore Photography. I can't say enough wonderful things about her and I really hit the jackpot when I picked her. She was so great to work with, so helpful and was a professional at making sure everyone was comfortable. From making sure my dress looked great at all the times to sending me sneak peek photos the night of my wedding, I really can't say enough good things about her. The photos that she captured put such a smile on my face and I can't wait to use her for more events in the future.
To check out FarMore Photography, click here.
Caterer and Bartender - 3 C's Catering: The catering company was another service included with my venue, but an amazing vendor nonetheless that I would highly recommend. Through La Belle, you are given three different menu options (Italian, Barbecue or American) to select the type of food you want to serve. If you're unsure of what particular type you want to have, you can schedule a tasting with 3 C's where they'll let you try large portions of the different menus. We chose barbecue to fit our rustic theme and it was absolutely delicious! My guests were raving about the slow-roasted pulled pork for days.
We also utilized 3 C's Catering for their bartending services. Heather was fantastic and made sure we had a drink the entire event. The minute we walked out of our ceremony, she was there to hand us a drink. I never even went to the bar myself because she was always right there to refill my drink! At an affordable price with fantastic service, you really can't go wrong with this company.
To learn more about 3 C's Catering services, click here.
Wedding Cake - Publix: If you're from the south, you not only know Publix, but you love Publix in a way that's hard to describe to those that don't have a Publix. I don't know what it is about their bakery, but they consistently create the most delicious sweet treats. I knew when I chose Publix I wouldn't have to worry about taste, appearance or quality and as always, they didn't let me down.
My wedding cake was a two-tier semi-naked vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. With my cake, we also incorporated platters of our favorite Italian treats such as fruit tarts, cannolis, eclairs and chocolate-covered strawberries. Everything tasted so incredible and for the first time I've seen in a long time at a wedding, all of the desserts were eaten!
To find out more information about Publix and their bakery platters, click here.
DJ - JR Malone with Elite Entertainment: My husband and I have been to plenty of weddings where the DJ just doesn't seem to have a clue how to get the party started or how to keep it going. JR Malone was recommended by Phyllis at our venue and from the moment we met him, we knew we didn't have to worry about this being the case. We met with him only once a few weeks before our wedding and he completely understood what type of music we wanted and how we wanted the night to go. He offered suggestions along the way and helped us create a timeline for the day. Throughout the evening of our wedding, JR made sure there was never any awkward silences or pauses. He read the crowd perfectly and knew when to switch up the music. Everything ran so smoothly and his attention to the crowd was fantastic.
I highly recommend adding the photo booth option to your DJ package. JR created a customized strip based on our wedding invitation and it was such a hit at the wedding. At the end, they compiled all the strips in an album for you that people signed throughout the night, which was such a sweet added touch!
To learn more about JR or to book him as your DJ, click here.
Hairstylist and Make-up Artist - April and Kate from Classy Styles Hair & Makeup Artistry: Word of mouth is actually how I discovered Classy Styles Hair & Make-up Artistry and after hearing so many good things, I decided to contact the owner, April. She was so quick to respond to all of my messages throughout the entire process and made me feel at such ease. Since I had no particular hairstyle in mind, I last minute (as in 4 weeks before my wedding) decided to schedule a trial. April fit me into her schedule right away and I briefly described what I liked, literally putting the ball completely in her court. Not only did she nail the hairstyle for my trial, but she also blew it out of the water on my wedding day when my hair was 4 inches shorter!
Kate, the makeup artist that works with April, also did an incredible job with my makeup. Like my hair, I had no makeup look in mind. I didn't even schedule a trial for this but April assured me that Kate knew her stuff and could easily create any look that I wanted. On my wedding day, all I told Kate was that I like my makeup simple but I want to have a smokey look and overall glam. When she showed me the final look in the mirror, I couldn't believe it was me or that she had created the look I wanted but didn't know how to explain. Both of these ladies are so talented and I'm so grateful that they were part of my special day.
To book Classy Styles Hair & Makeup Artistry for your wedding or to see more of their work, click here.
Flowers - Something Borrowed Blooms: With Something Borrowed Blooms, you can take a breath of fresh air because you're about to save a lot of money and cut back on stress with premium silk flowers. The flowers are rented to you for your wedding for a fraction of the cost of a traditional florist, saving you up to 70%! In fact, I spent under $300 on 2 bridesmaids bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, 2 corsages and 9 boutonnieres.
For my wedding day, I selected the Jane Collection, which featured lots of greenery with all white roses and peonies. It was perfect for my style and wedding vision. Something Borrowed Blooms offers a variety of collections to choose from with various styles, colors and shapes to fit just about any wedding theme or color pallet! Selecting Something Borrowed Blooms was honestly one of the best decisions I made for my wedding. Not only was it easier on our budget, but it took away so much unnecessary stress and I got the exact arrangement that I wanted.
To learn more about renting flowers from Something Borrowed Blooms, click here.
Links and Details to Bride, Groom and Wedding Party Attire
Wedding Dress (Bella and Bloom Boutique)
Unfortunately, my exact dress is not available for purchase anymore. However, this online boutique has a large selection of other beautiful dresses! People were shocked when I told them I spent under $100 on my dress and it's something that I don't mind sharing with others. I would've never dreamed of picking another dress because this one fit me beautifully.
To browse their other dresses, click here!
Bridesmaid Dresses (Azazie)
Suits (The Groomsman Suit)
These were purchased from the same company that the bridesmaid dresses were purchased from, so the color matched perfectly.
Links to Random Items Purchased for theWedding
Vow books (Amazon)
Ring box (AliExpress)
Cake Topper (AliExpress)
Cake Flowers (Hobby Lobby)
Toasting Glasses (Amazon)
Jordan Almonds (Amazon)
Favor Bags (Amazon)
Bridesmaid Pajamas (Amazon)
Garment Bag for Dress (Amazon)
Rehearsal Dinner Dress (Lulus)
Wedding Koozies (Totally Wedding Koozies)