The Birmingham Bride » Birmingham Weddings

Julie Bunkley of Invision Events

What is your favorite part of planning? I think of myself as a problem solver/logistics lover before anything else. Figuring out how to make something work and flow just right is an endlessly gratifying challenge. When we dream up an elaborate piece to a wedding, it’s the figuring out of how to make it work that puts me in a happy place.

What are some of your favorite new wedding trends? After years of more casual settings, I love that brides are moving into the refined formal style again. Being in the outdoors is great, but I love when we get to use that as the accent to a formal tented reception. Formal doesn’t mean stuffy and uptight!

How do you unwind after a wedding weekend? My husband and I have a never ending list of projects that we work on outside of our work projects that we do together. It’s fun to take a Sunday after a beautiful wedding weekend to do our personal projects: home renovations being a top project.

What makes Invision Events different? We have worked hard to base Invision’s viewpoint on weddings as a classic and timeless style that transcends trends. We want a southern bride to be at home with us as much as someone from New York or California or beyond. We love being able to stretch our style and get to know new types of people.

Maggie & Will’s Cathedral of St. Paul Wedding

What was your venue (church and/or reception) and why did you select it?

We were married at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Birmingham, and the reception was at The Clubhouse on Highland. We selected the Church because the priest, Fr. Bazzel was Maggie’s high school religion teacher, and we selected the Clubhouse for its warm atmosphere and great location.

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

We are so happy we chose Kelli and Daniel Taylor photography. We absolutely love our Wedding pictures, and Kelli and Daniel were incredibly artistic, professional, and a joy to be around. They helped everyone stay on time, and made what could have been a stressful process easy. They guided us every step from the beginning planning stages to the big day.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?

One of my favorite moments was dancing with my dad to a song we always danced to when I was a little girl.

Where did you find your dress?

Something Blue Shop in Hartselle, AL

Any advice for current Birmingham Brides?

Have fun and enjoy the planning process because the day flies by.

Church: Saint Paul’s Cathedral | Venue: The Clubhouse on Highland | Photography: Kelli and Daniel Taylor Photography | Hair and Makeup: Celine Russell Hair and Makeup | Wedding and Groom Cake: Dreamcakes Bakery | Wedding Planner: Molly White | Stationary Printing: Frost Printing, Huntsville AL | Calligraphy: Carol Faust, Birmingham AL | Flowers: Dorthy McDaniel’s Flower Market | Catering: Classic on Noble | Valet Service: Apex valet | Rentals: Aabco Rents Party and Events

Bustle Gowns hosting Watercolor Workshop

Join artist/teacher Abby Little at Bustle’s charming little shop for a day of learning and creating. Whether you’ve never held a paintbrush or if you’re rusty at this fine art, you’ll fit right in!

What you’ll learn: Basics of watercolor techniques with an emphasis on botanicals and a study of some classic watercolorists and illustrations.

Monday, April 18 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Snacks and your supply kit will be provided. | Join us at Taco Mama, just a few steps away, during our lunch break for a little table talk about the creative process and being an artist in Birmingham (optional).

Space is very limited, so purchase your spot today.

Sponsors: Bustle | A Still Breath Photography | BK Wed | Full Pantry | Alabama Art Supply

Sign up here.

Tori & Michael’s American Village Wedding

Venue: American Village | Catering: Happy Catering | Photographer: Stacy Richardson Photography | Wedding Planner: I do, I do! Wedding Planning | Florist: Mandy Busby | Band: Floyd the Barber | Videographer: Harned Films | Ceremony Musician: Elisbeta Warden | Hair & Makeup: Allison Strickland and Rachel Griffith | Live Painter: Joy Varnell | Transportation: Steel City Executive Transportation

How did the two of you meet? 

We both worked a political campaign in 2012. I had just moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from Birmingham, and Michael was living in Greenville, North Carolina. We happened to work the same event in Greenville in September and found excuses to see each other for “work” in the months following. 

How did he propose?

There was a park near my condo in Raleigh where we liked to take walks after work if the weather was nice. Throughout our relationship, we also enjoyed reading the newspaper (yes, the printed kind) on slow Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons. I had just had a really stressful day at work, and we were supposed to go meet some friends out for dinner. When Michael came to pick me up, he suggested we go take a walk with the paper. I obliged thinking it was a little strange because I was hungry, but I thought he just wanted to help me de-stress after a long day. When we got to a favorite bench, we stopped and started reading the paper. After a few minutes, Michael passed me the Classifieds section and pointed to an ad that said “Mid 20’s Male Seeking Bride to Be Named Tori”. The ad said the most adorable things, and after he read it aloud to me, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so excited I didn’t notice the friend in the bushes taking pictures. After a few minutes, several of my girlfriends came from behind the trees and our friend (who doubles as a photographer) jumped out from behind the tree. Michael had arranged for our families and more friends to surprise us as the Busy Bee Cafe downtown after the initial excitement wore off. It was truly a perfect day! 

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

Natural elegance. We wanted our flowers to look natural and include plenty of greenery, but also match our venue space. Our venue was classic and traditional which helped to balance the natural look for the black tie optional attire. Our florist, Mandy Busby, was incredible at taking my general ideas and translating them into the flowers for our wedding. 

What was your venue (church and/or reception) and why did you select it?

We had our ceremony and reception at the Chapel and Ballroom at the American Village in Montevallo. Michael and I both share a love of all things Americana, and we felt like it fit us well without being over the top with American flair. 

What about your wedding was unique to Birmingham?

The geographical location of our wedding was a bit of a pain point. I’m originally from Orlando, Michael is from Charlotte, and we lived in Raleigh. We were asked over and over, why Birmingham? Great question. I went to Samford and absolutely fell in love with the city. My grandmother and Dad’s family have lived there most of my life, and it is rich with family history. I thought I would live the rest of my days in Alabama from the first day I moved to Birmingham my Freshman year, but the Lord had other plans for me. It was such a special place to me that Michael grew to love it as well. (When Michael came to visit me before I moved to Raleigh permanently, we said “I love you” for the first time at Vulcan Park overlooking the city.) We knew wherever we chose to have our wedding, we would have a significant amount of guests who would need to travel. The more we thought about it, the more we loved the idea of choosing a place that was special to us as a couple.

As a result, we wanted our guests to experience everything we loved about Birmingham. The welcome bags included a booklet with restaurant recommendations and the best places to visit – and why they were important to us. Michael and his groomsmen were able to play basketball at Samford the morning of our wedding which was just a special, ironic detail for me. Our rehearsal dinner was catered by Jim N Nicks, and my bridal luncheon was at the Rucker Place. And, of course, no Birmingham wedding would be complete without an excellent rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama”. 

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

One thing Michael and I really wanted to do was to hire people we cared about to be involved in our wedding. 

We asked Augusta Cole with Artistry by Augusta to help with many details of our wedding. Having her involved pulled together all the little design details from the welcome baskets at the hotel to the moment guests walked into the Chapel to the time they picked up rose petals to throw for our exit at the end of the night. She also sketched the beautiful exterior of the Chapel where our ceremony took place. We had guests sign around it as a guest book, and it hangs in our dining room today! We love it. 

We also loved using Amy Morrison with A Paper Wedding in Lynchburg for all our paper needs! Amy and I went to high school together and have remained friends over the years. We got married two weeks apart, but she was able to make all the little details perfect from our invitations to the programs and the seating chart at the reception.

Other Samford shout outs: Alan Harned was our videographer who was exceptional, and Allison Strickland was my killer hairdresser who was committed to make sure I was completely happy with my hair. I’m particular about my hair, but she was wonderful at making sure I loved every square inch of my hair!

Each one of our vendors helped make our day so special and intentional. 

What southern traditions did you incorporate into your wedding?

Our wedding blended so many various parts of the south. Originally from Florida, I married a North Carolinian in Alabama. As with most southern weddings, we had a strong emphasis on family. We come from two long legacies of love, and we wanted to honor that in our ceremony. We celebrated the new union of our marriage with a unity candle during our ceremony, and we asked our grandfathers to read scripture during our ceremony. We asked our young cousins to be a part of the wedding as flower girl and ring bearers. Each of our siblings were in our bridal party, and Michael asked his dad to be his best man. As something old, I wore my Mom’s pearl bracelet and garter. To honor our new home, we gave away Chapel Hill Toffee to every guest – one of our favorite North Carolina sweet treats! 

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?

Michael and I decided not to see each other before our ceremony. We were both so nervous about the whole day, but walking down the aisle to him was so special. One of our favorite hymns is “Be Thou My Vision”, and I walked into the rendition played by the string trio. We both regret the looks on our faces because we were both trying hard to hold back tears! 

Kallie & David’s Spring Brunch Wedding

We love this beautiful spring brunch wedding from Kalee Baker Events. Rucker Place was the perfect back drop to this intimate affair offering historic charm, quaint gardens and a view of the city.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at the annual October BestWurst Fest at Redeemer Community Church which at the time was hosted in the pastor’s backyard. It was a rainy day. He was in line in front of me and my roommate. I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself (because I knew he was new to the church…and cute).

How did he propose? He totally surprised me. I thought we were going to pick out a Christmas tree with my roommate and her boyfriend. So naturally I put on flannel because that is the appropriate attire for Christmas tree shopping, but when we got back to my condo after a brunch at El Barrio and study session for him at Church Street Coffee neither of them were home. Instead I walked into a home covered in candles and flowers. I didn’t even know that he had talked to my parents and it wasn’t until I saw a little porcelain box that he could only have gotten from my mother did I really know what was going on. My knees went weak and all I really remember saying was “is this happening?”. He is still so pleased that he pulled off the surprise!

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did you executed that. We really wanted an intimate setting that felt like we were inviting friends and family into our home. That is one of the main reasons we choose Rucker Place and a morning brunch as reception. We also assigned seats which allowed us to think through who would be great as table mates. We also created a crossword puzzle on the back of the menu cards placed at each persons seat, the clues and answers were fun facts about us as individuals and our time dating. We wanted to generate a lively competition and hopefully give any guests that didn’t know each of us personally a little insight into who we are.

What is the one detail that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was a children’s librarian for a period of time and choose a children’s picture book as the guest book. I love that we will be able to display our guest book under the guise of a coffee table book. I also loved having the congregational hymn printed in our program, it seems like such a small detail but it allowed everyone to sing along and in the setting of the tent it really made for an amazing time of worship.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Singing the hymn with all our guests. We asked them to stand and it made the tent feel like the Big Top from David’s work at JH Ranch. It was definitely a tear filled moment for both me and David.

Where did you find your dress? My dress was my grandmother’s, my mom’s mom, and I have always known that it was the dress I wanted to wear. I haven’t seen many like it and we didn’t have to alter it at all. It made the perfect compliment to a morning wedding too being tea length. And it twirled beautifully.

Any advice for current Birmingham Brides? The weather for our wedding day was not ideal for the outside seating we originally planned and meant some last minute adjustments including setting up a tent in the back patio. And while this is not at all what I had envisioned it so completely did not matter. My advice would be to have a go with the flow attitude. Once I locked eyes with David everything else completely disappeared, we could have been standing in the middle of a construction site for all I knew and that is what was most important, to focus on him and the covenant we were making.

Did you do anything special for out of town guests to make them feel welcome to Birmingham? Most of our guests were coming in from out of town. We put together canvas bags with items that would be sweet treats and sustenance. My mom was adamant that we get big water bottles, apples, and her home made cheese straws. We had a friend make cookies in the shape of AL and included maps of the city and a note from us listing some of my and David’s favorite places in the city.

Planner: Kalee Baker Events | Floral Design: Lillie’s | Photographer: 509 Photography | Paper: Empress Stationery & Amy Kross Design | Venue & Catering: Rucker Place | Rentals: Decor to Adore | Coffee Bar: Neighborhood Brew | Cake: Pen and Pastry