i’m back! if you haven’t noticed, i have been a lot more active on instagram.
paul and i are moving home to nashville in the next couple of months. and with that big move comes a big wedding. it has been stressful planning a wedding, but the stress has created great enjoyment.
recently, i made a relationship with a website called borrowed and blue. this site is a great resource for brides, because it give your real life examples and inspiration.
stephanie devaux of borrowed and blue reached out to me and hosted a q&a session. this was such a fun q&a to do because the wedding planning has been such a new experience for me. also, my wedding isn’t in birmingham, but it made me realize how much i have gotten to know this incredible town over the past 5 years.
here is the q&a session:
There’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to wedding planning, whether it’s in a tropical destination or in your own backyard. It’s important to know the ins and outs of the city where you’re saying “I do” so that you can go to the right people, hit up the right places, and incorporate the perfect locally-inspired touches. To help give local brides some advice on the process, Borrowed & Blue, the online planning resource that knows a thing or two about Birmingham weddings, came to me to get the low down on wedding planning from the perspective of a real life Bham bride-to-be.
“While Borrowed & Blue might have the best resources for where to go for vendors or which Birmingham wedding venues have the best rates, Parker is a Birmingham local, and truly knows the nuances of the city. Plus, she’s in the midst of planning her wedding as we speak, so that firsthand experience is an added bonus. As a savvy, experienced, and local tastemaker in the area, we’re coming to Parker as the expert on all things Bham.” – Stephanie DeVaux, Borrowed & Blue Market Specialist
Here’s my Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:
BB: First of all, congrats on your upcoming wedding! It’s so exciting planning what will be one of the happiest days of your life. Even though you’re planning a destination wedding, have there been any Bham wedding vendors that you’ve spoken or worked with?
FF: Thank you! Since my wedding is a destination, I have not used any vendors specifically from Birmingham. Through my blog, I have worked with TONS of wedding vendors in the Birmingham area. My favorite photographer in Birmingham is Eric and Jamie Photography. They are a husband and wife team and they really have a knack for catching your special moment! I am ALL ABOUT non-traditional wedding traditions. On the cake side, I don’t think you can get a better cake than Edgar’s Bakery. Not only do the make a gorgeous cake, they taste just as good as they look. If you are looking for a cake alternative, look no further than Magic City Macaroons. I lay in bed dreaming of them!!! If you are looking for a wedding planner, Candice Henderson at M. Elizabeth Weddings & Events is my favorite planner in town. She is creative and has fabulous taste. Your big day will be better than you ever expected!
BB: As a bride-to-be currently in the wedding planning process, what is the most stressful thing you’ve encountered?
FF: I got double booked at my venue! The issue came about during my 10 day hold period. A few days in, I got an email from the event coordinator at my venue saying she had made a mistake and the other bride was getting priority even though we were both within that 10 day hold period. As any bride with their heart set on a date and venue would, I offered to do anything necessary to get that spot. Luckily for me, the other bride offered to move her ceremony earlier, that way we could both use the space! It worked out well for me, but I highly suggest double, triple checking with your venue!
BB: Now moving onto Bham-centric advice: what are some of the must-see spots in Bham that couples can suggest to their guests traveling here from out of town?
FF: Birmingham is a booming town. I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and moved to Alabama for college. I like Birmingham because it is a small town with a city vibe, similar to how Nashville was ten years ago. Birmingham is growing and I think in just a few years, it will look completely different than it does today. I love the brewery scene in Birmingham. It is pretty unique. I also love the little neighborhoods around like Homewood, 5 Points, Avondale, and Vestavia Hills. It reminds me a lot of a miniature Atlanta. I highly recommend going to Pepper Place Market. It is my favorite spot in Birmingham.
BB: What about your favorite casual, local joints to eat in Birmingham? I’m talking about places that out-of-towners don’t want to miss!
FF: CARRIGAN’S PUBLIC HOUSE. I can’t stress that enough. I just went here recently for the first time for dinner and ended up staying until they kicked me out. It is such a laid-back, casual atmosphere. If you end up there, don’t leave without trying the corndog. It is so unusual, but you won’t be disappointed! Another must eat in Birmingham is Post Office Pies. They have been featured in tons of publications, but let me confirm, it is the best pizza I have had in the US. I lived in Rome, Italy for a while, and Post Office Pies is easily the most authentic pizza I have had here (excluding NYC street pizza). The sausage is imported straight from Italy and most of the produce is sourced as locally as possible. The quality of the pizza is one you can’t find just anywhere. Another fast casual concept that is quite new the Birmingham area is Miss Dots. I recently tried Miss Dots for the first time and was extremely impressed. The fried chicken has a lengthy marination process and it truly shows with the taste. They also have awesome drink specials every night. My favorite drink there was the Frozen Screwdriver! If you are dropping into Avondale Brewery, make sure to stop into Melt, which is right next door. They have a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. There is nothing like it! Saw’s Soul House was recently recommended to me, but I have yet to try it. It is top on my list! Finally, if you are looking for an Instagram picture that will cap out the likes as well as satisfy your tastebuds, RUN don’t walk to Feast and Forest. This beautiful food is delicious and fun.
BB: What restaurant is your first choice for a place to host a rehearsal dinner?
FF: I would love to have my rehearsal dinner at one of the breweries like Iron City or Avondale. I love the idea of supporting the local breweries and showing my family and friends a taste of the city!
BB: The best local bars to grab a drink?
FF: Here I go again with Carrigan’s Public House. Go there. That is all I will say. If you are looking for a more rowdy crowd, maybe try Innisfree. If you are looking for something more refined to grab a glass of wine, try Hot and Hot Fish Club, a concept by celebrity chef Chris Hastings. Get some appetizers and grab a cocktail, you will thank me later. For an incredible atmosphere, check out The Garage. You will be surrounded by cool people and interesting things without breaking the bank.
BB: For Birmingham brides, can you suggest any great spas or salons for some pre-wedding pampering?
FF: Wedding planning is stressful! The last thing you want on your big day is to wear your stress as an accessory. Treat yourself to a massage or a facial before your big day at Escape Day Spa in Homewood or the Spa at Renaissance at Ross Bridge. Keep in mind, if you are getting a facial, don’t do it the day of the wedding! Use a couple of days as a buffer in case you have a reaction or need extractions. For hair, I recommend Sanctuary in Homewood. They have been recommended to me many times.
BB: If you were getting married in Bham, what would be your dream venue?
I’m OBSESSED with The Tutwiler Hotel. It is so gorgeous on the outside as well as the inside. I also think it would be amazing to be married in the Alabama Theater. That building has so much history and the interior is so dramatic. My taste is historical and dramatic. So, as long as those two things are there, it would be a dream!
FF: What was the best piece of advice you received for planning your wedding?
BB: RELAX. The only thing stress is going to do for you is make you more stressed. Bad things will happen while you are planning your wedding. If you take a step back and breathe, you will be able to come up with a better solution as opposed to flipping your lid and becoming a bridezilla. This is the only time in your life you can do this. Enjoy every second of it. Also, when selecting your dress, have an open mind. I went in telling the woman I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t opposed to anything except a certain fabric and neckline. I ended up purchasing a dress in the fabric and neckline that I didn’t want. You never know what is going to look good on you, so try on everything that catches your eye. Don’t be afraid to buy the first dress you tried on, just try on others so you know that is exactly what you want. Lastly, don’t break the bank for your bridesmaids. Don’t ask them to pay for a trial for hair and makeup. Don’t ask them to buy a $500 dress. But DO pamper them and give them options. Not one person is in the same position and you never know what people can really do or afford.
FF: Any advice for the MOH?
When planning the bachelorette party, find out EXACTLY what the bride wants to do. Then plan that event for her, figure out costs per person, and present that to the rest of the bridesmaids. Not everyone is going to be happy, but ultimately, the event is for the bride NOT the bridesmaids. It is best not to really give many options, because we all know women can’t make up their minds. Also, be an effective communicator. I suggest using a tool such as the app GroupMe to keep in touch with the bridesmaids.
BB: What would be your one piece of advice to couples, whether in Birmingham or not, who are just getting engaged?
FF: Be a team. My fiance is just as much a part of the planning process as I am. If your fiance doesn’t want to be a part of the planning process, find a way for him to get involved. The more opinions your fiance gives, the more special your night will be. To a man, picking out napkin colors and salt shakers may seem silly. But, make sure to get his input because it will make him feel important and will ultimately strengthen your bond as a couple.
There you have it folks! Now go check out Borrowed & Blue to plan your own fabulous wedding!
stay tuned for more wedding posts to come!
thanks stephanie and borrowed and blue <3