Music, warmth, and family are the first three words that come to mind when I reflect on Ashley & LaVelle’s wedding. Even with over 200 guests, there was an atmosphere of romance and intimacy, and the whole room was flooded by the shine of their love.
Venue: The Addison Farm, Elon
Planner: Beauty & the Budget Events
Photographer: Jeffrey Lynn Media
Officiant Gregory Milton
Videographer: Honey Dew Films
Caterer, Rentals: Dessert & Things by Cookie
Baker: The Bride’s Cousin
DJ: DJ Darrell Smith
Musician: Darrell McLean
Hairstylist: A New Look Hair Salon
Makeup artist: Silent H Makeup
As guests arrived at the beautiful farm venue, they were escorted around the barn to the ceremony space on the back patio. A mirror welcome sign greeted them, along with a welcome table holding a birdcage for cards, the guest book, and a basket with bubble bottles for a ceremony sendoff. The patio was serenaded by live musicians, including a keyboardist, vocalist, and saxophonist. The ceremony space overlooked rolling hills, and we decorated the wooden arbor with drapes and artificial flowers; a cocktail table sat under the arbor holding three jars for a sand ceremony. A fan program was placed on each seat, and in the front row, two chairs were draped in white with flowers and photos for two special loved ones lost.
The ceremony began with “Smoke & Mirrors” by Josiah Bell as the family processed from the barn to their seats. Inside the barn, the bridesmaids and groomsmen stood in separate lines, facing the doors on either side of the grand fireplace. “Marry Your Daughter” by Brian McKnight Jr. began playing for the wedding party, and, one pair at a time, they walked through separate doors and met their partner in front of the outside fireplace before walking down the aisle. With everyone in their places, a friend of the bride sang “The One He Kept For Me” by Maurette Brown Clark as Ashley walked out the side door, met her father at the outdoor fireplace, and together walked down the aisle. Another friend sang “Forever” by Jason Nelson during the sand ceremony, and once Ashley & LaVelle were pronounced husband and wife, they danced – and I mean DANCED – down the aisle to “Wifey” by Next.
Ashley & LaVelle wanted their day to look and feel like their fairytale romance, so with navy, burgundy, rose gold, and blush, we designed a day with simple decor that created space for love to shine through. And there was definitely a touch of magic on their wedding day. During setup, the vendors were keeping a close eye on the weather and considering backup plans as a storm began building through the morning. As the afternoon vendors started arriving and telling us about the storm they drove through, we kept glancing at the sky and wondering… somehow, the venue was the only part of the county that didn’t see rain, and the rainbow that came out during cocktail hour was worth the extra nerves.
Through our nerves about the outdoor ceremony, we were happy to continue the indoor reception setup as normal. The sweetheart table was centered on the fireplace, with a custom decor keepsake placed on the mantle above them. Long tables stretched on both sides of the couple’s table, providing a king-style head table for their wedding party. The sweetheart and head table combo was decorated with votives and cracked gold goblets, creating a romantic candlelit atmosphere.
Guest tables were a mix of round and rectangular tables, featuring ivory linens and navy table runners. The centerpieces were DIY trumpet vases, and place settings consisted of rose gold chargers, white plates, burgundy napkins, flatware, and a water goblet. For dessert, they had a glamorous 5-tier cake with navy, blush, ivory, gold, and burgundy details, and a cutout with their names and date. Alongside the cake, they served candy apples and chocolate-covered strawberries in their wedding colors.
Since music was such a big part of their celebration, they started the party off with a great lineup. The wedding party entered the reception to “Friends” by The Carters (Beyonce & Jay Z), and then Mr. & Mrs. Alvin “LaVelle” Bigelow entered to “Mood 4Eva” by Beyonce & Jay Z. The first dance and parent dances followed, featuring “You by Jesse Powell, ft Gerald Albright, “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith, and “Mama” by K Camp. After Ashley danced with her dad, she had a special surprise – when her sister got married, she didn’t have a chance to have her daddy-daughter dance, so Ashley wanted them to finally have their dance.
The rest of the evening followed with a blessing over the buffet dinner, sunset photos after the couple greeted guests at their tables, and toasts by the maid of honor, matron of honor, and best man. Ashley & LaVelle cut their cake, tossed a bouquet and the garter, and opened up the dance floor for a great party.
Everything about their day turned out beautifully, but as with any fairytale, there was also a touch of tragedy that left its mark on the day. A couple of months before their wedding, one of LaVelle’s best friends and groomsman passed away. Not only did this shake their lives, but there was now a feeling of grief mingling with their wedding plans. The friend’s father had agreed to DJ the wedding, and it was a showing of love that he was still able to participate while seeing the place where his son should have stood. During the ceremony, a flower was laid on an empty chair for him, and when the evening was ending, I made a comment to LaVelle about how beautiful the rainbow had been during cocktail hour, and he responded with, “He was here today.”
“Stephanie and her team helped keep stress at bay from day one! If you want things to go off without a hitch then beauty and the budget is the team for you! Stephanie and her team are top tier, and awesome at making sure your wedding day is completely stress-free!” – Ashley & LaVelle, Partial + Design