Wedding Planning: Venue

Ever since I started doing makeup professionally I’ve learned so much about the wedding industry and how it all works. Many of my brides have taught me so much as well. So when Matty-Cakes and I got engaged, I knew the venue was the first thing to book. Well, besides Richard of course (If you read my last post, you know what I’m referring to)!

We knew February would be a good month because it’s right before Matt has to start traveling again for his job in NASCAR. Like I’ve said before, I’m every typical girl that dreams of her wedding day. Especially with addictive websites nowadays such as Pinterest and Etsy. I had an idea in my head of where I wanted to having our ceremony and reception, I just never disclosed the location with Matt until he put a ring on it! I grew up with movies. I even have a talented brother who’s living his lifelong dream working for Disney Animation. I wanted our wedding to have an “Old Hollywood” feel to it. I knew I wanted our colors to be black, ivory, and deep red. Very classic. Feathers, bold fonts, lots of candles, pearls, lace, etc. I knew this “little” hotel in south Charlotte would be perfect for my Old Hollywood wedding………..


So one Saturday morning in February my parents, Matt, and I were off to the glorious Ballantyne Hotel and Spa. We were welcomed with champagne to toast to US!! The sales rep, Monica, then took us on a tour of all of the different rooms that are offered. Guest rooms, bridal suites, presidential suite, etc. She showed us the gigantically miraculous Ballantyne Ballroom. It’s almost 7,000 square feet!! We could split up the ballroom and have the ceremony on one side and the reception on the other. She then took us over to the Carolina Room where we could easily have our ceremony with up to 150 guests. It was gorgeous!!! Floor to ceilings windows looking over the golf course, guests entering through the outside terrace, dim candle light up the aisle at sunset in the cold winter. It was perfect! Next she took us upstairs to the smaller Fairway Ballroom. It took me a minute but Matt fell in love with it first. It also has floor to ceiling windows looking over the golf course along the back wall. I think why I wasn’t thrilled with it at first was due to the lower ceilings (I know it’s not much.. 11 feet compared to the Ballantyne Ballrooms 16 feet but still!!). But as I thought about it, we could drape the walls to make the ceiling seem higher and give it drama.

And then the favorite part of the tour happens….. Monica takes us to lunch at the hotels restaurant. As we get to the table there are little cookies in the shape of a wedding cake with Matt & Casey written in frosting!! I was SOLD!! Monica was so sweet, answered all of our questions, and went above and beyond great customer service. We had a great lunch and decided on an official date…. February 1st, 2014!! Once we realized that it falls on the day before the SuperBowl, Matt and I thought it would be best to wait and leave for our honeymoon on Monday the 3rd. My Atlanta Falcons could go up against his New England Patriots and dammit, I’m not missing that!!

I had a rather easy and seamless experience as far as booking our venue. So here’s a few pointers for you future brides:

1. DON’T set a date first!! You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to find a venue that has your date open.

2. Go look at venues before you do anything else if you don’t have a wedding planner. This way, you’ll know more of what you want as far as decorations and such.

3. Are you inviting a lot of out of town guests? If so, think of a venue near hotels. Or do like me and book a hotel for everything!

4. Go over budget for the wedding beforehand so you know about what you can spend.

5. Remember, no question is stupid!! Make a list for the sales rep!! Ask about catering, beverage, decoration policies, preferred vendors, penalizations for using outside rentals (Trust me, they do this!), do they provide tables and chairs, etc!

6. And most important, were you blown away with your experience touring the venue?! If so, go with your gut!


I LOVE doing an Old Hollywood look for brides and models!! Red lips, winged black eyeliner, thick lashes, soft pink blush. You could do it for anything! Work, out to dinner, out on the town with your girlfriends, anytime!! Here’s some good products to play with for this look:



1. MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

2. Benefit They’re Real Mascara

3. NARS Orgasm Blush

4. Dior Lipstick in Cherry Red


Hope everyone got something out of this! Til next time!



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