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Multicultural, African-American weddings

Natu + Phillip’s Tanzanian Downtown Wedding Weekend by Music City Events

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wedding weekends are the way to go as of late - especially when you're planning a destination wedding! Everyone is already there the whole weekend, so why not make a non-stop party out of it? And that's exactly what Natu + Phillip did last April right here in Music City. The Atlanta natives spent the weekend celebrating through a traditional Tanzanian followed by a classic American wedding! Mary Anna Davis with Music City Events helped the couple design and plan their day with special details throughout the weekend. From a colorful and bright celebration to a classic black and white soireé, Natu + Phillip gave their guests an incredible experience right here in Nashville. Check out all the photos from Gregory Byerline and read about the wedding from planner, Mary Anna's perspective! 


Natu + Phillip

Marathon Village | aVenue

4.29.16 + 4.30.16

Wedding Team:

Wedding Planning + Design | Mary Anna Davis of Music City Events

Venue | aVenue

Photographer | Gregory Byerline

Videographer | With This Ring

Dress | Winnie Couture

Shoes | Sam Edelman

Officiant | Ralph Griggs

Ceremony Music + Emcee | Brad Ford of Snyder Entertainment

Live band | William Davenport

Calligraphy | Mary Ann Prosise

Flowers | Enchanted Florist

Draping | Visual Elements

Lighting | Nashville Event Lighting + Nashville Audio Visual

Rentals | Music City Tents and Events, Over the Top Linens

Catering | Dream Events and Catering

Wedding Cake | Dulce Desserts

Groom's Cake | A Frosted Affair

From the planner, Mary Anna Davis: Natu and Phil met and dated for 10 years before tying the knot in Nashville, TN! As Atlanta natives, they fell in love with the charm of Nashville and decided to host their two day wedding weekend in the heart of downtown. They are both doctors and got engaged in Paris! They are self-proclaimed foodies and have the biggest hearts of gold.

The two day wedding weekend kicked off with a traditional Tanzanian wedding ceremony at Marathon Village. Nashville Audio Visual provided the drapery and lighting and a family friend catered traditional Tanzanian food.  The next day brought rain and an elegant black, white and gold American wedding ceremony at aVenue downtown. Nashville Event Lighting created custom Edison lightbulb chandeliers for the aisle and Dream Events and Catering designed a delicious menu for these foodies!

Thank you so much for sharing Natu + Phillip's wedding weekend with us, Mary Anna! You can find out more about Music City Events on their website here. And be sure to give them a follow over on Instagram here! I absolutely love when couples + planners put so much thought into the big day. If you have a wedding you think would be a fit for Nashville Bride Guide, head over to our submissions page here

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Destination Nashville Weddings!, Multicultural, African-American weddings, Luxury Nashville Wedding Finds, Real Nashville Weddings, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, 0 comments »

Melody + Chris’ Modern Glam Wedding at Global Events Center by Paige Brown Designs

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

When it comes to glam, hip and sophisticated weddings in Nashville, TN, Paige Brown Designs is the perfect choice for your wedding designer! Paige's designs never cease to amaze me and she continues to come up with the most innovative and breathtaking wedding designs for Nashville area brides. And she definitely delivered on style and innovation for couple Melody + Chris! Their modern glam wedding at Global Event Center wowed all 350 wedding guests. From the custom built flower wall to the extravagant draping designs, Melody + Chris now have lasting memories of their day that guests will talk about for years to come. Take a look at all their stunning wedding photos below from photographer By Jarquise!



Melody + Chris

West End Church of Christ + Global Events Center


350 Guests

Wedding Team:

Planning, Florals, Design | Paige Brown Designs

Rentals | Liberty Party Rental

Lighting | Bright Event Productions

Draping | Southern Design Works

Photographer | By Jarquise

Tell us about the couple.

Paige Brown: Chris and Melody are very laid back and super fun to be around!

Tell us about the couple's vision.

Paige Brown: They were pretty non-chalant about the design details, which is obviously every designer's dream come true. I was able to come up with a design with no creative restrictions.

What details were used to create their theme?

Paige Brown: Their wedding colors were plum, silver, and white. We used a ton of textures, lucite, and mirrored elements to give off the modern look we were going for. We also incorporated a gorgeous 8'x8' foot floral wall that served as her ceremony and sweetheart table backdrop.


Can you share any special moments or highlights of their wedding day?

Paige Brown: Their first dance was super fun. They started with a traditional first dance and then broke into "Ju Ju on the Beat." I love that they were committed to being themselves the entire day. Super fun!

Did they have any special requests or unique challenges that you had to work together to overcome?

Paige Brown: It was pretty difficult transporting and building an 8'x8' foot wall, but it turned out so great! This was also the largest space we've ever transformed, accommodating 350 wedding guests!

Congrats to Melody + Chris on such a beautiful wedding! You can find more of Paige Brown Designs' portfolio on her website here and also be sure to give her a follow on Instagram here



Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Florals, Details & Design , Multicultural, African-American weddings, Luxury Nashville Wedding Finds, Real Nashville Weddings, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, 0 comments »

Shabnam + Alan’s Wedding: Mixing Persian-American Traditions with Natural Elements at The Lodge

Friday, August 19, 2016

Today we have a VERY special real wedding... and I say this because it's one of ABG's long-time contributors, Shab's wedding! Many of you may know her from reading her posts - she's offered up some great advice on planning your wedding. Needless to say, she knows the Nashville wedding business like the back of her hand. And this is how she kept her budget in check! We're loving the world and travel theme - mixing Persian and American traditions with their love of nature gave guests an experience like no other. So from the bottom of our hearts, congrats to Shab on a very beautiful wedding - we wish you the very best!

Shabnam Etemadi + Alan Brady

March 20, 2016

The Lodge

200 Guests

Budget | $10,000 - $20,000

Wedding Team

Venue | The Lodge

Day of Coordination | Lottie Brady of Just Lottie’s Weddings

Photographer + Videographer | Bear Wallow Film Co.

Gown | Oleg Cassini

Bride’s Accessories | French Cathedral Veil for Ceremony and Turkish Hair Jewelry for Reception.

Earrings were my something old from my childhood in Iran, Bracelet from my husband that was his grandmother’s--my something borrowed.

The theme for jewelry for the wedding was all Persian Gold.

Men’s Attire | Men’s Wearhouse

Bridesmaids’ Attire | David’s Bridal, Vera Wang

Hair + Makeup | Unique Johnson

Stationery + Invitations | Developed by Bear Wallow Film Co., Printed by Midtown Printing

Calligraphy | Amore Hand Lettering

Program Design | YourLifeStoryDesign on Etsy

Caterer | CJ’s Restaurant & Catering

Cake Artist | Constance Grant

Groom’s Cake | Homestyle Bakery

Floral Designer | Margaret Flowers

Bridal Bouquet | Emma’s Flowers & Gifts

DJ + Photo Booth | F.A.D.D.S. Entertainment

Guest Accommodations | Hampton Inn Suites

How would you describe your style as a couple?

Shabnam: Our style is God, Family, & Travel. We knew we would have a huge wedding because we have a lot of family and friends that are pretty much family. We simply wanted to have a beautiful, but fun wedding, our Big FAT Persian-American wedding.

Where did you get your inspiration?

Shabnam: Our inspiration for style, décor, and colors for our wedding were our personalities mixed with both of our cultures. We have and are still traveling the world together and we love hiking! Our venue focused on nature for us and we chose to have a travel-themed wedding. After all, Alan did propose to me in Venice, Italy. 

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?

Shabnam: We chose favorites, such as purple, gold, and orchids. We wanted a Spring wedding because Persian New Year is always on the first day of Spring representing a new beginning, our marriage. We made sure to have a Persian and American ceremony honoring both of our cultures. We had a Persian “Sofreh Aghd” and we jumped the broom. Combining our 2 cultures with our love for travel & nature was a priority in celebrating our big day.
We fell in love with the Lodge because it is nature-focused by the lake and trees.  

What was your (or your guests’) favorite aspect of your wedding?

Shabnam: Our guests all have told us that the cultural component of having a Persian and American ceremony with African traditions were their favorite aspect along with all of the DANCING we did. Everyone told us it was one of the most fun weddings they had attended, which is what we wanted…to dance the night away with our guests!

Where did you splurge?  Where did you save/DIY?

Shabnam: We didn’t splurge on one single thing. We budgeted incredibly well with all vendors and décor. I highly recommend attending wedding shows! I won half off a couple of vendors by doing so, which helped balance our budget. We saved on centerpieces/linens. It was more affordable for us to buy them than to rent and to use Etsy for our travel-themed place cards and programs.


Who were your favorite vendors and what made them exceptional?

Shabnam: We were so blessed with so many amazing vendors! One that was with us for our entire wedding process was our photographer & videographer: Bear Wallow Film Co. They did so much for us starting with our engagement photos. We recommend every vendor we used. They were all reliable, professional, and made our day exceptional!

Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?

Shabnam: No. We did the best we could with our crazy schedules. My husband was the best teammate I could have asked for in planning our special day.

In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?

Shabnam: Be sure to have a day of coordinator and remember this celebration of love is about you and your soon-to-be husband/wife and no one else.

Thank you for sharing your day with us, Shab! 

If you love Shab's wedding, check out Trista + Doug's Art Deco Wedding!

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Multicultural, African-American weddings, Real Nashville Brides, 0 comments »

Rojeen + Hamza’s Vibrant Multi-Cultural Downtown Hotel Wedding

Friday, July 8, 2016

My heart skipped a beat when I saw Rojeen and Hamza's wedding photos by Stephanie Sorenson. A gorgeous couple in a gorgeous downtown setting - what more could you ask for in a Nashville wedding? I'll leave it to Rojeen to tell the rest of the story:

Rojeen + Hamza


Venue | Hutton Hotel

Photographer | Stephanie Sorenson

Rentals | Liberty Party Rental

Lighting and Draping | Nashville Audio Visual

Cake | Nashville Sweets

Flowers | Weddings by Kayln

Bride's Makeup | Artofficial Makeup

Bride's Hair | Babe Beauty Bar

Wedding Gown and Hair Piece | Olia Zavozina

Groom's Suit | J.Crew Mens

Tell us about you as a couple.

Rojeen: Hamza had no idea walking into the YMCA at Green Hills three years ago would change his life forever. He walked in, as he routinely did, to do some cardio and lift some weights. He had no idea that his future was waiting for him. He saw me working out and immediately knew there was something different about me. Three years later, we are married! I am a Kurdish-American kindergarten teacher. I loves many things, but my true passions are teaching (in any form), family and of course, fitness. Hamza is a Pakistani-American med-school student. He hopes one day to become a surgeon. Hamza loves to be in the hospital, watch and play sports and spend time with his family. We both still go to the gym together, go mountain biking, and enjoy sushi on the weekends. We have shown a commitment to each other within the last three years that many people do not get to experience in a lifetime. We were lucky to find each other that day at the gym and have never looked back.

Tell us about your vision.

Rojeen: The vision was to unite three cultures into one! We had to implement part Kurdish, Pakistani and American culture into the wedding to truly make it a night we could enjoy that represented us. At first, this seemed impossible. All three cultures are so vibrant and have their own intricacies in respect to weddings. We tried to find similarities between all three to try and tie them all together. I think we did an amazing job finally finding a great mix of all cultures. It was a night to remember with all the cultures coming together as one. Just as Rojeen and Hamza did.

What was their theme and what inspired it?

Rojeen: The theme was a combination of Kurdish/Bollywood and a traditional American wedding all tossed together. Dancing is a huge part of all cultures, but especially Middle Eastern. It is how people celebrate for the bride and groom. So the arrangement of everything had to be dance-friendly. We tried to have an elegant theme with a modern touch.

Can you share any special moments or highlights of your wedding day?

Rojeen: There were so many special moments. To list a few, I would start out by talking about the first time we walked in as a couple. It was grand! Everyone was around us cheering and dancing. It was definitely a special moment in a very happy environment. I think the speeches were also a very special moment. They were not rehearsed and from the heart. Those are always the best. All in all, the entire night was amazing! It was all one big highlight. I danced all night, so many pictures were taken, it was just a magical evening.

With 3 absolutely stunning dress changes, a beautiful city backdrop and soft, elegant decor, Rojeen and Hamza's wedding was definitely a night to remember! 

All photos by Stephanie Sorenson Photography.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Multicultural, African-American weddings, Real Nashville Brides, 0 comments »

Spectacular Wedding at East Ivy Mansion Celebrates Beautiful Couple’s Love and Culture

Friday, February 19, 2016

Paige Brown Designs seems to have come out of nowhere and created a beautiful wedding factory full of elves.  Seriously.  Every wedding that Paige touches is breathtaking.

She attracts couples that are unafraid to let her design magical weddings, full of sparkle, shine, and color.

Take Saida and Kenny.  Their wedding really requires no intro.  They are undeniably a beautiful couple, but there's so much more to love about their wedding: décor, photos, food, culture, tradition, attire, colors, drapery, venue (East Ivy is one of our favorites)- even their cake is understated and elegant.  Their wedding wasn't just wonderful to behold; they were clearly enjoying every moment.

We'll shut up and let the absolutely incredible, artful photos speak for themselves.  Oh, and Saida was nice enough to share the details so, after you swoon, circle back and read about her day and top-notch team.


Saida + Kenny 
Wedding Date: September 5, 2015
Ceremony + Reception Venue: East Ivy Mansion
Guests: 120
Budget: $40,000 – 50,000


Wedding Team

Planner + Floral Designer | Paige Brown Designs
Photographer | Stephanie Sorenson
Videographer | Peerless Weddings
Gown | 1st dress: custom gown, 2nd dress : Oleg Cassini
Veil | Custom by Jaxie Bridal
Men’s Attire | Street Tuxedo
Bridesmaids' Attire | Glitz
Hair | John Lane Studio
Makeup | Charlene Northington
Stationery Menu Cards | Print Pray Love  
Caterer | A Dream Come True Catering
Cake Artist | Devyne Delights
Reception Musicians | Premier DJ
Rentals | Liberty Party Rental
Lighting | Nashville Audio Visual


Wedding Details

How would you describe your style as a couple?
We both love fashion, and we wanted our wedding to be stylish, but remain timeless.  It was important for me that our wedding have aspects of my Swahili culture.  Our wedding favors were custom-print African bags made by a family friend in Malindi, Kenya.

Where did you get your inspiration?
I did have a Pinterest board for inspiration, but a lot of ideas were what had I envisioned in my head.  My planner, Paige Brown, did a wonderful job of making it all come together so beautifully.

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?
We wanted a venue that was intimate and different from the typical wedding venues.  The historical East Ivy Mansion was exactly that!  We loved that it was intimate, but still spacious, giving our guests a feel that they can just walk around the grounds and take in all the beauty.

Our colors were gold and purple because we felt that these colors were regal.  We wanted our wedding to have a royal, but not stuffy, feel, since it was held outdoors.

What was your (or your guests’) favorite aspect of your wedding?
The entire day was a magical experience and one I can never forget!  The music was also important because we wanted to be sure to incorporate both of our cultures. The DJ did a great job playing American, African, and Arabic music for everyone to dance to.

Our guests loved the photo booth.  Everyone enjoyed getting in there and taking pictures.  It was also a great additional wedding favor.

Where did you splurge?  Where did you save/DIY?
We are both big foodies, and we wanted to have extremely tasty food.  We took some dishes from some of our favorite local restaurants and had A Dream Come True catering remake them as our dinner entrée.  We also wanted the eating to be a fun experience, so we had two chef-manned stations.

We saved money on transportation, since our venue allowed the option for us to get ready there and also stay the night.  We didn’t find it necessary to have transportation.

Who were your favorite vendors and what made them exceptional? 
My planner, Paige Brown, really helped in taking care of so much for the big day.  She was always available and made me feel like I was in good hands.

Stephanie, our photographer, was a no-brainer for us to work with because she did our engagement photos.  We knew our pictures were going to come out exceptionally great!

Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?
There isn't much I would change about the planning process, other than maybe to enjoy it more.  Time goes by so fast, and before you know it, the wedding day is here!

In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Remember that this day should be a reflection of your love for each other, so never lose sight of that!

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Multicultural, African-American weddings, Real Nashville Weddings, 0 comments »