The Birmingham Bride » Birmingham Weddings

The Big Fake Wedding

We are so happy to share some gorgeous images from the 2016 Big Fake Wedding Birmingham.

The Big Fake Wedding is a bridal show alternative complete with an emotional ceremony, light bites and a dance-party reception. “Wedding guests” are brides-and-grooms-to-be who get to truly experience the wedding vendors in action.

The event was held on November 3rd, 2016 at Park Crest Events it featured some fabulous new vendors as well as celebrate the vow renewal of a sweet couple.

Take a look at this year’s challenge and see how these vendors brought it to life.


Band Just A Few Cats | Bridesmaid Attire Southern Bridesmaids | Cake Cakes by Kim | Ceremony Musician Jenn Brooker, Nontraditional Pianist | Ceremony Seating P.E.W.S. – Purely Elegant Wedding Statements Event Rentals Top Notch | Floral + Event Design: Bouquets + Boutonierres + Tables 4, 5, 6 BKWedevents | Floral + Event Design: Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 1, 2, 3 333 Designs “Your Event in Full Bloom” | Floral + Event Design: Head Table Thorne and Thistle | Floral + Event Design: Registration Table + Tables 7, 8, 9 ValiaRose Events | Hair + Makeup Gilded Beauty | Hotel Marriott Hotels and Resorts | Invitations Oliver Tell Studio | Linens I Do Linens | Menswear J. Hilburn | Photo Booth Facetime Photobooth | Photography A Still Breath Photography | Photography Cathrine Taylor Photography | Photography Southern Cotton Photography | Pie + Candy Bar Louise’s Cakes N’ Things | Registry Dinner 4 Two | Skin Care Rodan + Fields | Thank You Cards Weezie B. Designs | Travel Janelle & Co Travel | Venue Park Crest Events | Videography Threefold Films | Wedding Dress Divine Design Formalwear | White Wine Sponsor HALL Wines

Sarah & Bubba’s Swann Lake Stables Wedding

How did the two of you meet? Bubba and I met after one of my close sorority sisters got engaged. My friend was having a surprise engagement party and one of Bubba’s best friends was at the party and he introduced us. We immediately hit it off and the rest is history!

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding? The feel I was looking for with my wedding was timeless, white and clean. I wanted to look back at my wedding pictures and love every detail.

What was your venue and why did you select it? Bubba and I chose Swann Lake Stables as our venue site and reception site. The venue fit us perfectly. It has an rustic twist which was everything Bubba was looking for since he is a outdoorsman. Yet you can bring a romantic elegance to this indoor/ outdoor venue that I was looking for. This venue truly is a hidden treasure tucked within the city. We loved that we had never attended a wedding there and felt that we could make this venue our own. One key factor I loved was that this venue also has a upstairs loft where my bridesmaids and I were able to get ready and enjoy the day.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One vendor that we felt went above and beyond was Barbs Cakes. Bubba loves to turkey hunt and I wanted him to have a grooms cake that was special to him. We had Barbs Cakes design a turkey grooms cake and everything was edible, even the feathers! Barbs Cakes went above and beyond our expectation!

What southern traditions did you incorporate into your wedding? One southern tradition we incorporated in our wedding was to burry the bourbon. We had such a fun time together burying it and the pictures of Bubba digging it up is so fun! Also, the traditions lives up to its name because it did not rain at our wedding!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of the day was our first look. I will never forget how nervous I was. Our first look was down by the Cahaba River which runs on the backside of the property, which is beautiful! The pictures that our photographer Heather Durham captured are perfect and I love reliving that moment.

Where did you find your dress? My dress is a Kelly Faetinini gown and I purchased it from Carriage House in Homewood, Alabama. I highly recommend Carriage House!

Any advice for current Birmingham brides? Get a wedding planner. If you are feeling overwhelmed, work full time and have a lot on your plate a wedding planner can help. I highly  recommend Invision Events planner Courtney Wolf. My mom and I were so skeptical at the beginning of hiring a planner because we thought we had everything under control. In reality we were so overwhelmed. Courtney stepped in and gave us so much peace and enjoyment throughout the process. Not to mention the day of the wedding you can just sit back and enjoy the day!

What was the best advice you received as a bride? On the day of your wedding, take a step back, look around at everything, breathe the air and live in the moment. Everything goes by so quickly on your special day and you will want to remember it!


Planner: Invision Events | Photographer: Heather Durham Photography | Venue: Swann Lake Stables | Florals: Hot House Design Studio | Paper: Empress Stationery | Caterer: D’Armond Catering | Entertainment: Brother tu Brother via Music Garden | Bride’s Dress: Kelly Faetini via Carriage House | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited  | Ceremony Musician: Cahaba River Strings | Hair & Make Up : Emily Summerville

Margaret & Kevin’s Intimate Home Wedding

How did the two of you meet?  We met in college. We were neighbors in our freshmen dorms

How did he propose? He proposed at Mount Vernon in his home state of Virginia

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did you executed that? I wanted it to look simple, yet elegant. Like a garden party that we just threw together.

What was your venue and why did you select it? The venue was at my parent’s house and the home I grew up in. It was the obvious choice for me and I couldn’t imagine having it anywhere else.

What southern traditions did you incorporate into your wedding? I think that fact that it was an “at home” wedding made it uniquely and traditionally southern.

Planning + Design: Invision Events | Photography: Cameron Freshwater | Venue: Private Residence | Catering: Savoie | Florals: Susan Milner Design | Band: Act of Congress | Hair & Make-Up: Irrelephant | Bride’s Dress: Sarah Seven via Ivory & White | Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited | Lighting: Amerson Events | Bride’s Cake: Edgar’s Bakery | Food Truck: The Heavenly Donut Company | Getaway Car: Vintage Auto

Ally & Zach’s Avondale Villa Wedding

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 

Our story isn’t exactly the meet cute of storybooks. We were just two college sophomores living in the same apartment building on campus in our little beach town. My roommates and I were used to the (literal) open-door policy of our freshman dorm, and decided to make friends in our building not long after the semester started by walking around in search of any open doors. Between four floors we only stumbled upon one with the door propped wide, as if inviting visitors. It wasn’t long before my roommate and I were regular appearances in this apartment of eight guys, playing mario kart and getting to know our neighbors. Somehow it took me at least a month of friendship with this apartment to actually have a conversation with my husband, who was usually off studying. The first memory I have of him was laying on a nearby beach in the middle of the night, with at least five others talking and stargazing. Probably a week or so later, at one of the roommates birthday celebrations, the sparks began and a little over a month after that we were dating!

How did he propose?

This is my favorite story. We were spending the Fourth of July weekend at my aunt and uncle’s house in Fairhope, AL like I have for most of my life. The day before had been pretty normal. There was grilling by the pool, boat rides around the bay, and the usual load of family members sitting on the pier in the dark watching the fireworks all across the Mobile Bay. I actually remember telling him, with feet dangling over the water, that these types of perfectly normal moments were how I imagined us getting engaged. Little did I know! The next day before we left to head back to Birmingham, Zach mentioned wanting to head down to the pier one more time before we left. This was so normal, I even asked the room who wanted to join us! We walked to the pier with two of my toddler cousins and their dog in tow. While I watched the boys playing off to the side, we sat on a bench swing talking about all the memories that had taken place on that pier, especially those with my mom, whom we’d lost less than a year prior to ovarian cancer. When I turned to face Zach, he was down on one knee (already with tears in his eyes), asking me to be his wife, telling me there was no place he could imagine asking than this, a place where he knew I truly felt the presence of my mom. The boys had no idea what was going on, but a year and a half later they were the sweetest ring bearers in our wedding!

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did you executed that?

I really wanted to create a vintage and whimsical feel, which I think we accomplished through lots of string lights, draped fabric, old bottles, hardback reader’s digest books, candles, and our flowers and greenery. I collected pieces for over a year and a half and it all really came together in the end. I also wanted to find a way to celebrate my mom and grandmother, who I knew our day wouldn’t be the same without, as well as include our family and friends in our ceremony. I wrote the ceremony and included a hymn that makes me think of my mom, “For the Beauty of the Earth,” and in place of the usual unity ceremony, Zach and I went down the aisle lighting the candles of all of our guests while we sang this hymn. It was truly meaningful to acknowledge that we wouldn’t be the couple we are without the people that are part of our lives.

What was your venue and why did you select it?

We chose our reception venue, the Avondale Villa, first. We knew it was a beautiful space for an amazingly affordable price and we didn’t want to miss out. Choosing the wedding venue took us many more months and lots of indecision. We finally settled on the Avondale Brewery, with it’s gorgeous exposed bricks and rafters, and together it made for the loveliest little Avondale wedding.

What about your wedding was unique to Birmingham?

As two people who quickly fell in love with Birmingham, we tried to give the whole wedding a feeling of our city. But probably my favorite thing was spending the post-wedding hours with our out-of-town friends at Parkside, followed by late night eats at Al’s. Most people don’t want to spend their wedding night out until four in the morning, but for us it was perfect and so fun to show our friends our city!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?

We had amazing vendors working with us, although thanks to the help of my stellar wedding planner Stacia Baskin (Paper Swallow Events) we did most of the work ourselves. Our photographer Mary Margaret Smith, who captured every moment she knew would be special to us, was amazing to work with from our engagements to spending the whole wedding day with us. My favorite detail, however, was how hand-made our wedding was and felt, from the flowers we arranged the day before, to the cake made my my cousin and pies by my grandmother. Our wedding was put together by the most supportive and giving friends and family and I think that only amplified the feeling of joy and love that resonated throughout our day.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?

Without a doubt the best part of our day was this amazing, spontaneous dance circle that started at our reception. Our friends and family were already showing up in a big way on the dance floor, but somehow the song “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull got almost everyone off their feet. I have never laughed as hard as I did watching our friends (mostly strangers to each other) spinning (and doing the tango at times) and dancing with each other in the middle of this huge circle of our friends and family. It was priceless.

Any advice for current Birmingham brides?

My advice is to make sure your wedding feels authentic to you and your spouse. Our wedding took a lot of time and hard work to create the weekend we imaged at a price we could afford ourselves, but the result was something that embodied everything we are as a couple. Not only did we feel celebrated and excited throughout our wedding, but we could tell that our guests were feeling the same authentic joy that we were and that was something I couldn’t have planned for that meant so much to us.

Anything else that you would like to share about your day?

We couldn’t have had the weekend that we did without the help from our families (and many out of town guests who arrived early) and for that we are so grateful. We are richly blessed with the best support system there is!


Ceremony Venue: Avondale Brewery | Reception Venue: Avondale Villa | Photographer: Mary Margaret Smith | Caterer: Creative Catering | Event Planning + Design: Paper Swallow Events| Bride’s Bouquet, Boutonniere + Floral Crown: Hot House Design Studio | Bridesmaids’ Bouquets, Bride’s Hairpiece + Other Arrangements: Paper Swallow Events | Bride’s Makeup:Beauty Shock Salon | Bride’s Hair: Wheelhouse Salon | Cake: Marie Pasco | Donuts: The Heavenly Donut Co. | Pies: Bride’s Grandmother | Live Band + DJ: Patrick Reed + Goat Hill String Band | Rentals: Special Events Alabama