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Step-by-Step Wedding

Planning Guide

Invitation Guide

Budget Brands

Bridesmaid Proposal

Gift Ideas

Rustic Wedding

Planning Guide

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Our First Words

I remember the day like yesterday. Approximately 10 years ago, a regular work day working at Xfinity wishing the day was over. I had just finished using the restroom, and my hands were dry from washing them. I returned to my new desk as the teams in my department were just changed due to schedule changes. I kindly asked my new work neighbor did she have any lotion that I could use. She kind of gave me a "don't bother me look", but obliged my request. I said thank you. Little did I know those words would be the first words ever spoken to my future best friend and wife

Ups and downs, breakups and makeups

Now it would be easy to say that the road from there was easy as a Sunday afternoon, but that would not be life because life is never just easy. There were road blocks, detours, wrong way signs, GPS fails, etc that were put before us during our journey to marital bliss. We both met at a time in our life after long and difficult relationships. We both had three kids each. All similar in age. We have watched them grow and go through life just as we have gone through twists and turns of our relationship. Through the years we have had ups and downs, breakups to make ups, and then on her birthday 2 yrs ago, I had proceeded to ask for her hand in marriage. She said yes to make me the happiest man alive. 

Mathematically Matched - we set the date!

Late summer of 2019 we had finally set a wedding date that she came up with 10/10/20. I must say its clever and easy so I'll never forget. As a man that is something we never do right? The clever play on the mathematical equation 10+10=20, the year 2020. I admit very cute. The one thing we didn't know is that we were not the only couple that wanted that date as we had found out searching for a venue to capture our day. Local venues around our area were already booked. We were referred to Art's Ballroom in Philadelphia, PA. Upon viewing the venue, I noticed a spark in the eyes of my future wife. Clearly indicating that this was the place. The date was open and the ballroom had a classy structure which included a beautiful stairwell, and side room for a cocktail hour. 

The Pandemic of 2020 had other plans

That was August of 2019. Now fast forward to January of 2020. None of us could have ever foreseen the event of Covid-19 coming and putting a halt on life in general, let alone a wedding. The devastation of thousands of lives lost, and forever changed was hard to bear. We still planned to have our wedding even though we did not know exactly how it would turn out. Month after month we had to deal with restrictions to the point that we seriously had to consider postponing to another day some time next year, which was frustrating due to the hard work put into acquiring the venue, as well as planning and organizing our event. 

The hardest thing ever

My wife to be had spent countless hours on organizing everything from the decor to everything that could have been needed to ensure everyone's health and safety. Then we also had to deal with cutting down guests from our list to meet restrictions. We went from a guest count of 120 to 80. Removing family and friends is really tough as we would have loved for everyone to attend. Through all the highs and lows I tried to remain positive which was not easy, but I am glad that I did. This was one of the hardest things we've ever done in our lives, but it was worth it. 

Not a dry eye in the building - our wedding day

The wedding day itself had challenges mainly with me leaving my wedding shoes at home and having to go get them before our 11am start time. All and all, I could not have asked for a better wedding considering the pandemic. My wife looked like a queen walking down the aisle. I remained cool on the outside, but was full of nervous energy on the inside. I had always dreamed of the day I would marry Kiyana not that long after knowing her for a couple of years. For the day to come to fruition was a blessing. 

The wedding was beautiful. Everyone that was there were touched by everything from the set up to the reception. Most importantly I wanted Kiyana to feel the love, and to be adored as a queen that she is. To see the million dollar smile on her face all day was worth everything we had ever faced. She is my queen forever. Whoever would've thought that this all began at work at Xfinity? Well with Kiyana in my life I am guaranteed to not have many dry times in life, from here into Xfinity (infinity).

The hardest part

The hardest part of the planning was picking a venue that we both loved and within our budget, deciding on the bridal party, guests, and then ultimately having to cut guests due to the pandemic. I advised the guests that were cut "Due to the pandemic, our venue, and state restrictions, we ultimately have to cut down our guest list for our wedding." We eliminated guests based on rsvp time... but some people declined anyway. 

We kept the bridal party parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, then eliminated until we got to our count. We had to go from 120 people to 80. Needless to say some friends were upset. We made sure to always update our website on wedding wire and it helped us to keep our guest count accurate for our final meeting with the venue.

This took the longest time to plan

The longest part of the planning was making the centerpieces, bouquets, wedding favors, guest gift bags, bridal party gift bags, putting the ribbon on the wedding programs, and figuring out how to transport everything to the venue without anything getting broken. We originally were going to have 12 tables of 10 people. But when we had to cut the guest list and social distance we then went to 16 tables of 5. Not all dollar tree stores carry the 9in vases so I was visiting different stores in my area to find the vases, candles, and votive holders that I needed since I wanted them to all be the same. 

What we did for gifts

For my wedding guest gift bags, I filled 1oz tubes with hand sanitizer that I ordered off Amazon. I also placed a mask and tissues inside which were also from Amazon. So each guest would have a mask on case they showed up without one. Buttermints were also in each bag. For the groomsmen gift bags we kept it simple. They received 2 pair of dress socks, boutonniere, and a black cotton mask that they could wear the day of the wedding (all from Amazon). The bridesmaids gift bags included a personalized bag with their name on it (from southernmysass on Etsy), a personalized robe (bridesmaidsworld.com), and either a personalized shot glass (nerdygirlcouture on etsy) or a tumbler (decoratedbliss on etsy).

Officiant received a mug (Amazon), fathers received boutonniere, socks, and a keychain (all from Amazon), and mothers received corsage, pins, and a gift of our choosing (Amazon & oriental trading). We ended up transporting everything glass to the venue in large totes lined with bubble wrap and inserted into foam pouches (Amazon). The bridal party gift bags were given the night before the wedding at our rehearsal. We did not have a rehearsal dinner afterwards. We decided on a morning wedding since it was cheaper than having it in the evening at our venue.

The easiest part

The easiest part of the planning was designing the website (weddingwire) and picking our wedding colors. My favorite color is purple and we both love gold. Wedding wire has a step by step to help you easily navigate their site and to design your own. Theknot was also helpful. I took tips and ideas from both wedding websites, etsy, pinterest, Facebook groups, and family/ friends to design my own and do my own decorations.

The most fun part

The most fun part of the planning was picking our date and taking our own engagement pics. We were guests at a previous event so we took it upon ourselves to do a mini photoshoot while we were dressed up. We later picked a photo to use for our save the date from the night. Vistaprint site is super user friendly. If you can't find a design you like, you can chat with a representative who will search the site for you and even design something for you with your wedding colors. I uploaded our picture and finished creating our save the date. I later went back on and ordered the invitations, rsvp cards, and envelopes were included. They always have a coupon code for discounts.

Most exhausting

Picking a dress was both fun and exhausting. I knew what I wanted to look like in my dress but my body type and budget said otherwise. Lol 😆 I tried on alot of dresses at different boutiques and shops and just couldn't find "the one" so, needless to say, I was so excited when I found my dress for under $200 on Amazon. It had everything that I wanted. I knew I wanted purple incorporated into my dress, a ballgown, matching veil, and off the shoulder. So this dress was perfect and within our budget! The seller was very responsive to my questions in regards to slightly changing the dress. I even had them add beading to my bust line and hem of the dress. In the end it all came together and we were happy with the results.


Creawoo Heart Holder Box Wooden Wedding Sign a Heart Drop Box for Guest Book. Amazon $11.99


Rhinestone 4 mm Acrylic Crystal 24 Rows Diamond Mesh 4.5" Bling Ribbon 10 Yards Roll (Gold) - Amazon - $11.99


MEEJOA Lot 24pc Clear Rhinestone Crystal Flower Brooches Pins - Amazon $16.99

A huge thank you to Artistson and Kiyana who are both absolute superstars for sharing  their wedding story along with the photos and supplier details for their 'Royal styled wedding on a budget'. Congratulations to both, you planned a phenomenal day and we all wish you the very best of everything from now unto Xfinity!


Efavormart 96 Giant Open Rose Bush Artificial Flowers for DIY Wedding Bouquets Centerpieces - Amazon