Words cannot begin to express how thrilled we are to introduce you Birmingham brides to our new best friend, Courtney Wolf. Courtney is the Wedding Director at Invision Events & if you're smart, will soon be your very own go-to girl! With her huge heart for people & a love for organization and planning, Courtney brings so much to the Birmingham wedding world. As you can see from these stunning images below, she knows a thing or two about elegance and class, while still being able to put a fun, trendy spin on things. So my friends, enjoy getting to know this wonderful Birmingham wedding planner, and make sure you have her and Invision Events helping you making your wedding day all the more special!
What led you to wedding planning in Birmingham?
My love of people, tradition, and organization makes wedding planning the ultimate dream job for me. I have always been a party planner. It took root in high school and especially while at Auburn – War Eagle! I planned and organized official tailgates for my sorority and other campus organizations, as well as open houses and various social events like twenty-first birthdays and graduations all while paying close attention to every last detail. However, it was my own wedding that led me to join forces with Julie Bunkley of Invision Events. Friends, family, and vendors alike spoke up and pushed me to pursue my passion after pouring my heart and soul into my fall 2012 wedding. Our wedding photographer, Julie Lowry of Chanterelle Photography, was kind (and smart) enough to set me and Julie Bunkley up. The rest is history!
How do you recommend couples personalize their Birmingham weddings?
Well, if you know me then you’re aware that I have a special place in my heart for monograms. I absolutely love when a couple chooses to design a custom monogram and then use it across so many different wedding elements. Not to mention, it’s great for stationery, linens, cocktail napkins, and all sorts of goodies after it’s all said and done. I especially love when couples personalize their wedding through menu selections, specifically by incorporating their favorite dishes, a family recipe, or even items produced in their hometown.
Another way I encourage couples to add personalization is by including family heirlooms, such as a brooch for the bride’s bouquet, a special veil, a generational Bible, and even special serving pieces, such as a cake server or toasting flutes. I love the tradition and meaning that comes with using familial pieces. And lastly, simply having anything that is special to the bride and groom, maybe a band or DJ that played the night they first met or a nod to their occupation or a favorite hobby is always fun.
If you could style any celebrity's wedding, living or dead, whose would it be?
Well, I’ve always been a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, the old-school, classic Marilyn, not the over-the-top Marilyn. I also love Reese Witherspoon to pieces. She is such a breath of fresh air and yet still timeless. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love Kate Middleton? I know that she prefers a British planner, but I could be convinced to make the move across pond to work with her!
What do you love most about your job?
I love the details and cohesiveness. I love being able to work with a bride on her vision and carry her style and aesthetic throughout the entire event from her save-the-date to a late night goody bag. For me, less is more. You can say things without S A Y I N G them. I also love the celebration, the joy of a new beginning, and all the firsts that a marriage brings. We work with brides of all styles and budgets and one of my favorite pieces of a wedding is not only seeing the heart of the bride and groom, but also the love of their family and friends and guests taking part in the experience. Treating them to a night they will remember forever through careful thought, planning, and behind-the-scenes logistics is a true thrill!
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What is your advice for a couple on a strict budget?
We all know budgets can get squirrely. However, it is possible to befriend it. The obvious recommendations are always to reconsider your guest list and bridal party, as these directly affect so many other pieces. Sometimes it’s not that easy and you have to get creative. The best advice I give clients is to really think about what their wedding means to them and to identify their priorities. Everybody’s are different. Maybe you’re more of a minimalist when it comes to floral and décor, but you and your mister aren’t willing to budge on that Zac Brown cover band. Beer and wine is always a great option over a full liquor bar, and a last call an hour or so before the reception ends isn’t going to hurt anyone either. I also advise couples that they can pull certain elements and use them as inspiration for the look and feel they want to achieve but with a planner and a little dirty work, we can find suitable, less expensive options to execute with. Additionally, and especially here in Birmingham, there is so much up-and-coming talent that couples aren’t required to use the same vendors as everyone else. With the help and connections of a planner, artists will abound for every bride’s budget.
Can you share with us three of your favorite images from some Birmingham weddings you've planned?
This picture is from the very first wedding I planned, designed, and orchestrated… my own. Of course I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. But more than that, it will always have a special place in my heart.
This picture is from the first bride and groom I worked with at Invision. Christi and John are a couple with such genuine and pure hearts, and it was an absolute joy working with them. I adore this shot because I can just feel the warmth and depth in their relationship.
This last shot is from a Valentine styled shoot I recently styled. It was my first time in Birmingham directing a shoot, and it was a fabulous experience! I love how we were able to carry out the Valentine theme without going too overboard.
What's your favorite romantic movie? And what dessert are you most likely to be munching on while you watch?
Hands down, Serendipity with Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, who are two of my all-time favorite actors because of this film. I’ve probably seen the movie at least a hundred times. My poor husband...I think he saw it twice while we were dating, what a keeper! As far as dessert goes, well anyone that knows me knows I have a gigantic sweet tooth. I love sweets and treats of all kinds. I don’t discriminate. But if I had to pick, red velvet cake does it every time!
In your opinion, what's the best restaurant in Birmingham?
Oh gosh, this is a toughie; there are so many good ones! Probably my all time favorite would be Chez Fon Fon in Five Points. It’s so comfy and casual and their fare is absolutely delicious. Their menu changes daily, but they usually offer up their own twist on a classic Bellini, it’s a must!
When you're not planning gorgeous weddings, what's your favorite activity in Birmingham?
Birmingham is such an up-and-coming spot with so many nooks and crannies. We love living and exploring here! When we aren’t busy, my husband, Greg, and I love trying new restaurants. Some of our favorites are El Barrio, Bottega, Little Donkey, Saw’s, Dram Whiskey Bar, Veranda on Highland, Flip Burger, Steel City Pops…really the list can go on. My hubby has also recently taken up photography, and we have really enjoyed our “field trips” (as we call them) around the city. He loves to shoot architecture, landscape, and nighttime photography. This hobby has allowed us to appreciate all the history and stories that are to be told in the Iron City, and we look forward to making some of our own here.
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