Markesha Skyes (34) & Brandon Murray (30)
THE ATLANTA ROYAL WEDDING
Location: Atlanta, GA
Wedding Date: August 16, 2019
Wedding Venue: Sacred Heart Cultural Center
Guest Count: 120
BIG BRIDAL SAYS: Plan a wedding that guests will talk about for years.
WEDDICULOUS SAYS: If your guests talk about your wedding for years, they are losers.
Markesha & Brandon's Story
Markesha and Brandon first met at a local Atlanta nightclub back in 2011. They hung out the entire night and spent hours talking after they left the club. Unfortunately, Markesha lived in Minneapolis and was only in town visiting a friend. When she went back home, she couldn’t stop thinking about Brandon! They continued to keep in touch and developed a strong long-distance friendship. She would travel back to Atlanta every few months to see him. Over time, their friendship grew into romantic feelings. Markesha officially moved to Atlanta in 2014, and the stars aligned for them to finally become a couple.
Just two weeks into their official relationship, Markesha and her now 13-year-old daughter Mikiah moved in with Brandon. Brandon immediately took to Mikiah and she instantly formed a bond with him. Brandon has been a father figure in Mikiah’s life since her real father has not been around often. They have a very close bond and Brandon really wants her to call him “dad” once they’re married.
Markesha has been waiting for Brandon to propose for a long time! In 2018, Brandon decided it was finally time to pop the question. He chose to do it at his mom’s 60th birthday party in front of everyone. When he got up on the stage, his mom’s boyfriend cut him off and proposed to his mom FIRST! Brandon was totally shocked. Markesha was instantly jealous that his mom got engaged first and stole the spotlight. Brandon ended up pulling Markesha outside and proposing to her in private the same night. They hope that she’ll let them have the spotlight on their wedding day.
Markesha has been married once before. Her first wedding was extremely cheap and a total disaster. She admits she didn’t marry the right person and made a mistake because she was too young. Her boyfriend and the Pastor at their church pressured her into getting married and they planned it in just two weeks! It was a cheap, Vegas theme with plastic cupids and an Elvis impersonator. Markesha had to get her wedding dress from a beauty supply store last minute and absolutely hated it. For someone who dreamed about their dream wedding since she was little, this was a total embarrassment.
Brandon and Markesha have been trying to have a baby already and Markesha is totally fine with being pregnant on her wedding day if it comes to it. This couple is so excited to get married that they have talked it up to be the Royal Wedding! Right now, their dreams are bigger than their budget and their guests are expecting this to be the event of the year. The stress of having it all come together perfectly is more than they can take and they need someone to desperately bring them back down to earth!
A Story - The Deep Dive
BACKSTORY: Markesha and Brandon are known by their friends as “the boujee couple.” They have matching Audis and live in a beautiful high-rise condo. Markesha was spoiled rotten by her mom growing up. Her mom says she showered her with gifts to make up for the fact that her dad was not around. Brandon, however, was raised by his frugal mother. He had to work hard for everything in life. He saves every penny and doesn’t like to spend his money on anything. They are total opposites.
Markesha wants their wedding to be over the top and extravagant. Brandon is stressing out over spending money and they are constantly butting heads about the budget. Markesha and Brandon have been at odds about whether or not to have alcohol at this event! Also, Markesha feels strongly about having a dry wedding because of her religious views. She doesn’t want to be in Jesus’ presence and have people drinking. Brandon on the other hand thinks they really need some type of alcohol – it’s a wedding after all!
These two need to learn how to compromise as they are disagreeing about almost all the details of the wedding. They have already promised this will be the Royal Wedding of the South and have extremely high expectations to meet.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie will reign in Markesha’s over-the-top spending and help Brandon ease up on the frugalness to find some sort of middle ground. She also helps the couple come to a compromise on the alcohol issue and creates a signature drink with them. Jamie and a mixologist do a creative tasting session in which Jamie pitches some concepts, everything from something easy like the “Markesharita” to something silly and Jesus-related like “From Water to Wine.” Jamie could gently cite Ecclesiastes 9:7 7 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
PAY OFF: Markesha and Brandon have the Royal Wedding they always wanted, without going into debt or driving each other crazy.
B Story - The Hand Off
BACKSTORY: Markesha has been extremely picky when it comes to picking out her dress. She has gone all over town to try on dresses, but can’t find the one because she’s been so picky. She doesn’t want a dress that looks like anything else she has seen. Also, Brandon has given her a very strict budget. She recently took a big risk by ordering a dress online and isn’t sure if it’s even going to fit! The dress has zero reviews so she has no idea what it will look like in person, by the time it arrives end of April, it’s going to be major crunch time for her to find a replacement!
Also, Markesha has been working out and trying to drop 10-15 pounds before the wedding day. She has been trying to cut out cheese and not eat fast food, but it has been difficult! She desperately wants to reach her goal so she feels confident on her big day.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie arrives for the unboxing of the dress. Markesha tries it on. If it fits, but Markesha isn’t satisfied that it’s original enough per her desire, Jamie can help her find a way to alter or accessorize the dress to make it one of a kind. A neon belt? A cool custom hemline addition? Lady Gaga platform shoes? Add a bustle? If the dress doesn’t fit, Jamie can help Markesha find something new in a pinch. They can start with finding something basic that fits - like one of those silk sheaths at J.Crew, and then similar to the above, use that as the dress’s skeleton...adorning or customizing it in a way that makes things special.
PAY OFF: Markesha looks and feels her best self on her wedding day!
Alternative Hand Off
BACKSTORY: Markesha wants to look like royalty on her big day and in fact she has ordered crowns and thrones for her and her fiancé.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie goes to see the venue and discovers a beautiful, gothic elaborate cultural center...that is perfect for a royal wedding. Jamie offers to help more fully refine and execute the royal theme beyond a random crown and a baroque chair. Jamie takes Markesha to a tasting of Turkey Legs -- should we go Medieval? Jamie and Markesha could visit a Renaissance faire or watch Cinderella for inspiration.
PAY OFF: Markesha gets to have an ornate and original wedding that no one in her kingdom will ever forget.
C Story - The Quick Fix
BACKSTORY: Markesha’s wedding singer Whitney has beef with one of the wedding guests. Markesha is desperate to keep the two apart as she cannot lose her wedding singer!
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie wants to diffuse any tension between Whitney and the wedding guest, especially since Whitney will be so in the spotlight with the singing. Jamie finds the wedding guest someone to be distracted by. Jamie finds out the wedding guest’s type, hires a hot dude to join the cater waiter team, to specifically flirt with the guest. Is this manipulative? No. It’s TV!
PAY OFF: Jamie keeps the two apart and the day goes off without a hitch!
Whitney is loud, over the top, and has a big role on the wedding day to be the wedding singer during the ceremony. He wants to be the star of the show and refused to do a duet.
He’s very protective of Markesha and is her self-proclaimed best friend. If anyone gets in the way, he won’t hesitate to put them their place.
He’s been giving opinions on what Markesha should wear, how she should do her hair, and the table décor, but his style is just way too eccentric!
Mother of the Bride
Christine is very opinionated and is living vicariously through Markesha when it comes to wedding planning. Her own wedding took place in her living room, so she wants this day to be perfect and is inviting everyone she knows.
She raised Markesha on her own for a while, and takes responsibility for turning her into a bit of a spoiled brat. She thinks her taste is just too expensive!
Christine and Markesha are very similar when it comes to their personalities. They are both stubborn and constantly butt heads, especially when it comes to this wedding.
Mother of the Groom
Carolyn makes her presence known and her nickname is “Ms. Carolyn.” She has a strong bond with Brandon since he’s her only son. It’s hard for her to share him with anyone, including Markesha!
She is a very dominant woman and often steals the spotlight. She is also currently planning her own wedding.