Bustle Bride: Claire Hovater Jackson

Our newest Bustle Bride is Claire Hovater Jackson and we couldn't be happier! Claire and her husband Daniel began their forever together on May 6, 2017 at the beautiful Hargis Wedding Chapel in Chelsea, AL. 

Claire and Daniel's love story began long before they started dating. They grew up going to the same church and Claire was best friends with Daniel's sister, Erin, and their parents were long time friends. So Claire grew up around Daniel, but since he was a few years older, they didn't really know each other until she began working with his mom after she started college. Claire always had a little bit of a crush on him, and Erin knew so when Daniel moved back to Birmingham, she played cupid and would invite Daniel and Claire over for dinner at the same time at her parents house to get to know each other. One thing led to another, and one night in December Daniel told Claire he liked her. They started officially dating after that, and the rest is history!

We so loved being part of Claire's wedding gown decision. She was such a joy to have in the store, and she has the most genuine heart. She was nothing short of stunning in her Anne Barge strapless ballgown with full tulle skirt. We are swooning over her photos from her special day!

I was in my dressing room up until the wedding pictures and first look, and I didn’t go out of the dressing room in case Daniel saw me. But every time he would pass the room, someone would say “There goes Daniel, don’t let him see you!” in a playful way and my heart would skip a beat. Every time I thought of him the whole morning my heart would just flutter. When I finally saw him turn around at the first look and smile at me, I was so at ease and so happy that nothing else mattered. I was just so incredibly thrilled and grateful that I was getting to marry him and be with him forever.


Venue: Hargis Wedding Chapel

Photographer: Katie Jewell Beech

Cake: Telia Johnson

Caterers: John and Susan Brolund

Flowers: Elaine Hill

Makeup: Summer Burk with Gypset Beauty Co.

Hair: Michelle Schaefer with GlowPro

Bustle Bride: Laura Matthews Barman

Laura Matthews Barman and her husband, Michael, began their forever together earlier this year on a beautiful day in March! Laura's favorite moment from her big day was after the ceremony, "Our venue set up dinner in the bridal suite for just the two of us. It was a special time to slow down and enjoy our first few moments as husband and wife."

We are so thankful to be able to dress Laura from head to toe! She looked oh so beautiful in her Alvina Valenta lace v-neck gown which she paired with a blush veil with silver trim which complimented her bridal look perfectly!

Michael and I met when I was visiting our mutual friend Mallory in Atlanta for the weekend. The charmer that he is, Michael asked for my number and ended up visiting me in Birmingham the next weekend. I never thought we would end up doing long distance for almost 5 years, but it was definitely worth it.


Photography: Sweet Julep Photography

Venue: Mathews Manor

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

Hair and Makeup Artist: Danielle Ivy

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Catering, Cake, & Floral: Mathews Manor

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Calligraphy: Bess Booth

Ring Boxes: End Grain Wood Shoppe

Signage: RosaLilla and Flora South Designs

Videography: Woodnote Media

Bustle Bride: Mary Claire Crane Ansley

Today we're featuring Bustle bride Mary Claire Crane Ansley! It's a special day for Mary Claire and her hubby Hunter because today is their 1 year anniversary! This time last year they were saying "I do," at the timeless Old Car Heaven where they began their happily ever after. 

Mary Claire and Hunter met while on a blind date, and she knew he was the one. "He was my first kiss, first date, and first boyfriend. I immediately knew I couldn't see myself being with anyone else because we worked so well together, and it was like he already belonged in our family."  Mary Claire and Hunter and their son John Taylor make the sweetest family, and they looked oh so perfect on their special day!

Mary Claire was absolutely breathtaking in her strapless organza gown by Watters. She was such a joy to have in our store, and we're so thankful we had the opportunity to help her find her dream gown!

My favorite part of my wedding day was finally getting to see Hunter. I was so nervous and I just knew when I finally got the first look over with we could spend time together before the ceremony and make jokes (which is 90% of our conversations) and just talk to each other to get our minds off of being in front of so many people.  Another favorite was getting to see John Taylor in his wedding outfit. He’d just learned to walk a few weeks before so his legs were still super chunky and he was so excited to see me in a big dress. It was a very laid back day and couldn’t have been more perfect.


Ceremony & Reception: Old Car Heaven

Catering: Teresa's Catering

Cake: Magnificent Cakes

Photography: Sarah-Peyton Green Photography

DJ & Lighting: B. Brian

Bustle Bride: Rachael Thompson Panik

To kick off the beginning of the month, we have a new Bustle Bride to feature - Rachael Thompson Panik! Rachael and her husband William began their happily ever after on a lovely August day. 

Rachael and William said "I do," at the beautiful Faith Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. Our lovely bride looked nothing short of ravishing in her Romona Keveza Vneck satin gown. The pleated bodice and modified a-line skirt was the perfect style for Rachael, and we couldn't be happier that she found her gown at Bustle!

Our officiant was our pastor who has known us for a long time, so having him officiate our wedding was so sweet and joyous. It was wonderful to be totally surrounded by our closest friends and family members while we had a close friend and mentor help us recite our vows together. I also loved overlooking Birmingham during our wedding reception at Vulcan. We love the ‘Ham, so it was just perfect to have an amazing view of the city while we celebrated being married!


Planner: AK Brides

Caterer: Happy Catering

Photographer: Love Behind the Lens

Reception Venue: Vulcan Park and Museum 

Ceremony: Faith Presbyterian Church

Florist: Rita Weller Designs 

Favors: Church Street Coffee

Cake: Katie Moon

Linens and Draping: Decor to Adore 

Invitations: Annabelle's

Tuxes: Mr. Burch Formal Wear

Bustle Bride: Julie Hill Schall

Julie Hill Schall is our newest Bustle Bride! Julie and her hubby Clay exchanged vows on a beautiful June day at Stone Bridge Farms, and she looked nothing short of gorgeous in her Rafael Cennamo peplum gown.

Julie and Clay met briefly through mutual friends during their freshman year at the University of Alabama. However, a year later they ran into each other again in the library and Clay knew he didn't want to miss the opportunity to get to know his future bride, so he quickly asked Julie on a date and the rest is history!

My favorite part of the wedding day was right after we said I do. Clay and I slipped into a trance where only he and I were there, no one else was around and nothing else mattered. We took in each other and those special vows we made. All the details we had stressed about and all the planning that took place no longer mattered. We were Mr and Mrs Schall!


Venue: Stone Bridge Farm

Hair/Makeup: Danielle Ivy

Photography: Smith Squared Photography

Videography: Ramsaur Films

Dress: Bustle

Tux: Jos. A Bank

Floral: Stone Bridge Farms

Catering: Stone Bridge Farms

Guest Blog: Kathleen Varner

How to Get the Most Out of Working With Your Florist

Rachel and Noah Ray bride bouquet giant flower greenery natural

Most people have never worked with a florist before and it’s hard to know what to ask for to get the most out of your wedding day flowers.  Here are a few must-know tips before meeting with your florist:

1.     Come to the first meeting as prepared as you can. 

Be ready to share as much as you can about what you would like your florals to look like.  It’s ok if you do not know what the flowers are called (pinterest boards are always super helpful). There are so many directions to go and showing some form of inspiration, no matter how little, is a great jumping off point.

2.     Trust the florist knows what flowers will perform best for your wedding day.

We want your flowers to look amazing and hold up all day long.  There’s no worse feeling than ordering bunches of something only to have it come in looking frail and wimpy. While we are able to get more and more varieties year round, certain blooms hold up better during certain times of year.  Your florist also knows certain types of flowers that may only be available around your wedding date to make it extra special.

3.     Give them a little creative freedom.

Hopefully you have selected your florist because you like their style. Trust that they have your best interests in mind.  When you allow your florist some creative wiggle room they are more inclined to want to go above and beyond and deliver more than quoted.

4.     Let them know what’s important to you.

Flowers are expensive, and we want to give you everything you want and make it look like the pinterest board of your dreams.  If certain things are especially important to you to have, let us know and we can allocate the best for those and come up with less expensive solutions for others. 

5.     Think Big!

I love a big statement piece, or two!  Especially if you are working on a minimal budget, it’s important to spend your Monday wisely.  Rather than trying to spread your dollars to have something on every table, invest in one or two larger installations.  It will make a major difference in photos and wow your guests!


Kathleen is a Birmingham based florist and stylist.  Her business, Edna K, comes from her first name (Edna) after her grandmother.  With a background in prop styling, art direction and graphic design Kathleen brings a unique and artful perspective to her floral design. Visit her website for more information ednakdesign.com or email her at Kathleen@ednakdesign.com.


Bustle Bride: Heather Pike Tate

We are over the moon to announce that our new Bustle Bride is the beautiful Heather Pike Tate. Heather and her husband, Corbitt, began their forever together on a lovely June day. Heather and Corbitt said "I do," in Birmingham, Alabama at Bridgestreet Gallery and Lofts.

Football brings people together, especially in the south, and Heather and Corbitt's love story is no exception. Heather attended an Auburn and UGA football game with a friend who knew Corbitt and his family. They stopped by his family's tailgate, and he and Heather met and hit it off. Two weeks later they ran into each other again at a charity event and, as Heather says, "the rest is history.

Heather fell in love with a gorgeous Augusta Jones fit & flare gown, and she looked nothing short of stunning on her special day. We so enjoyed having Heather in our store, and we're so glad she found her gown at Bustle! She had such kind words about her Bustle experience. "The dress buying experience at Bustle was so easy and fun.  Meredith is a true gem of a person and got me as a person and my style.  I had the actual, "this is it" moment which is not my personality."

Everyone told me the ceremony was going to be a blur but I remember being very present the whole time. It was the best feeling ever, hearing and speaking the vows. The second and close second is watching Corbitt tear up the dance floor while Tim Tyler played, just like his college years. It was hilarious and so fun!


Dress: Bustle

Alterations: Hollow to Hem

Caterer: Savoie

Cake: Birmingham Breadworks

Stylist/Creative, Florist, Paper: Kathleen Varner

Venue: Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft

Makeup: Saige Mathews (@saigeolive)

Hair: Hannah Holmsomback

Photography: Meghan Murphy, A Still Breath Photography

Guest Blog: Wendy Dessler

The Perfect Destination Wedding Proposal

Photo courtesy of Jett Walker Photography

By now you have gotten to know this lovely person you are with and you have come to the conclusion that you want to spend the rest of your life with them. You want to propose, but you want it to be unique and unforgettable. The idea of a ring over the dessert plate just doesn’t do it for you. Here is an idea that will make your proposal one that will never be forgotten.

Instead of planning a destination wedding, suggest a luxury vacation to a romantic place like Hawaii. Set the date out far enough to allow you time to prepare. Order tour packages and all inclusive deals from places like Hawaii and begin your plan.

Enlist the help of a friend or family member to set up a free Plumfund account. Make sure the account is set-up to say it is TOP SECRET. Make your account for wedding expenses. Your guests can contribute to the wedding in lieu of wedding or engagement gifts. Things like hotel expenses, romantic dinners, the wedding gown, transportation, and activities are all listed and your guest’s chip in, as a way to wish you well.

Choose a romantic hotel, overlooking the sea. Plan your activities around romance and adventure. There are so many beautiful sites and experiences on the islands, you will not find it hard to do. Visit ancient volcanic, black sand beaches, enjoy a luau, or go diving.

Do some research on wedding packages that are available where you are going. A small wedding on the beach with a reception at sundown is beautiful. Ask your hotel what kind of venue and package they can provide.

Keep the number of guests low, as this is a private and personal event and people will have to travel to attend. As the time nears, choose a florist, caterer, baker and minister or official to perform the ceremony. You can start dealing with the wedding gown, however, purchasing one has never been easier. Select a designer gown, off-the-rack at Bustle, and take it home with you from the shop!

Roughly six months before the event, arrange a dinner or small party. The theme of the party is the “Hawaiian vacation”. Present your partner with travel goodies such as luggage, swimsuits, video cameras, gift certificates for tanning, and create a computer presentation of the wonderful adventures you have planned. At the end of your presentation, present them with a beautiful gift box that includes airline tickets, itineraries, and travel brochures. On top of the paperwork, place an engagement ring and a card that reads, “Let’s make this a vacation that begins forever. Will you marry me?”

You can review all the details later. The plumfund account will relieve any worries they may have. They have six months to finalize the details and get their wedding attire. Any money left over can go for the honeymoon.

By using the proper channels, you can have a destination wedding of your dreams for a lot less than you expect. This is going to be a once in a lifetime adventure and the beginning of a beautiful life together. Your friends and family will gladly cooperate in order to give you and your future spouse such a unique and wonderful gift.

With careful planning and patience, you can do this. It is worth the effort because your union is worth the effort.

Author Bio: Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Bustle Bride: Jacquelynn Myrick Dunn

Jacquelynn Myrick Dunn is our newest Bustle Bride! She and her hubby, Chris, began their happily ever after on a gorgeous fall day! On her special day, Jacquelynn wore a fit & flare gown that had the most stunning lace detail. She was an absolute dream when she said, "I do." We're so thankful we had the chance to help her find the perfect dress!

When Jacquelynn and Chris were planning their wedding, they chose 3 values that they wanted to plan, not only their wedding day, but also their lives around. First was a life abundant by worshipping Christ, the second was a life filled with family and friends, and lastly was a life characterized by fun and adventure! 

When I walked down the aisle with my dad I could hear the band playing the instrumental to my favorite hymn “Be Thou My Vision,” saw over 350 of our friends and family in the garden to support us, and giggled as I saw my groom squinting at me in the bright sunlight. Our first kiss as husband and wife was the most perfect kiss of my entire life! This moment encompassed everything I had hoped our wedding day and life would reflect.

Guest Blog: Tiny Weddings Bham

How to Have a Meaningful & Minimalist Wedding

At Tiny Weddings Bham, we are passionate about celebrating romance in the simplest ways. We take the traditional wedding experience and distill it down to the most important and memorable parts. We love big weddings just as much as the next person, but we understand that elaborate celebrations aren’t for everyone. This is where we have found our niche—providing high-end, minimalist weddings full of meaningful details, with some of the top wedding professionals around. For couples working with a smaller budget, or those wanting to keep things peaceful and intimate, we would love to share some of our tips!

A Minimal Guest List

Guest lists can be one of the most painful and stressful aspects of wedding planning. It is important to decide at the beginning how many people you want to have attend your special day. It gets easy for others to tell you who “needs” to be at your wedding - from old family friends, to fourth cousins, to high school friends. But we suggest only inviting those who you have close and meaningful relationships with as a couple. At Tiny Weddings Bham, we limit our guest lists to under 30 people. If that number is too small, just make a list of your closest family members and your closest friends. Even if the number is higher than 30, chances are it will still be south of average guest list of 120.

Meaningful Details

We are here to tell you that your wedding can be upscale and minimalist at the same time. The key is to focus on having beautiful details without going overboard. We encourage you to pick a couple of key areas that you want to emphasize, and do them well. Pick a venue that’s already beautiful, such as an art gallery or historic home. Many smaller event spaces need very little help to be gorgeous. At Tiny Weddings, our efforts go into having a gorgeous altar, a pretty cake table and drink station, and personal flowers—that’s it! We take a few focal points, and we expertly design them so that they really shine. Share with your planner, florist, and photographer your vision for minimal but impactful, and ask them to work their magic in your key areas.

Minimal Food

Food and beverages can easily become the most complicated and expensive aspects of your wedding. The easiest way to keep it minimal is to have your wedding during non-meal hours. Consider having your wedding around 10:00 AM and serving light brunch food like a fruit tray, mini quiche, and mimosas, or having your wedding around 4:00 PM and simply celebrating with cake and champagne! You might be surprised how beautiful minimal food styling can be.

A Minimalist’s Wedding Day Timeline

At Tiny Weddings Bham, we aren’t afraid of hitting the highlights. Our couples have a ceremony, cut cake, toast champagne, mingle with their guests, and then have a photoshoot with the photographer. It’s a simple and relaxed experience that lasts around 2 hours. Some couples host after-parties and we love that idea, too! A wedding day does not have to be a long, marathon day, it can be short and sweet and equally (if not more) intimate and special.

We hope these suggestions for how to have a meaningful, minimalist wedding have been helpful. If having a Tiny Wedding sounds fun to you, we would love to chat! You can contact us or learn more about what we do at www.tinyweddingsbham.com.

 Tiny Weddings Bham is a collaboration of Birmingham’s best wedding professionals, curated to give you an exceptional experience without the huge wedding price tag. We come together once a quarter to provide a short and sweet experience for couples to get married in style.


Tres Beau Weddings

Photos by Heart

Jennifer Woodberry Photography

Gold Leaf Floral

Studio Flower

Swan Lindsey Lettering


The Nest

Clubhouse on Highland

Décor to Adore

Bandit Baking Co.


Pastry Art Bake Shoppe

Savoie Catering