Monday, November 28, 2011

'Chute' me to the moon

What an exciting weekend?!?!  I ate more Turkey than one person should, and had my fare share of pie, and stuffing.  Time to detox until Christmas.  I also made it onto Pinterest this weekend, and I don't mean I got off the waiting list, I mean one of you savvy smart brides to be posted a picture from my wedding and  I have had LOTS of inquires about the lovely parachute that was hung from the ceiling during our reception.

Good News: The Parachute, and black drapes are alive and well.
Bad News: You have to live, or want to get married near Springfield, TN.  The venue we rented for our wedding owns the parachute, they are "The Center."   They rent out all their items ala carte style, so the drapes and parachute were two items we took advantage of.  
How can you get your hands on a parachute? You might try and see if your local Armory or Air National Guard have "retired" parachutes in storage you could rent or borrow.  They hung the parachute with string on each line of the "chute" The venue was a gym before it was transformed into a wedding reception venue!  

Please message me and let me know if I can help you plan your big day in any way.  And keep checking my Wedding Board on Pinterest for more FUN Wedding finds :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jammy Grammy!

Do you have a grandmother or family relative that LOVES to make canned preserves?  Bribe, and beg them into whipping up these cute little favors?  You can even talk that girl friend with the 6 month old into saving all her baby food jars so you can use them! 

Aren't these precious?!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have become slightly obsessed with My Fair Wedding, David Tutera is a GENUS and I wish I had a pinkie nail of his creativity. Have you read his book? "The Big White Book of Weddings" Buy it here

Brides to be sign up HERE to be on the show and have an unforgettable day!

Davids Weddings are the grandest, and the most amazing look through his weddings HERE

Here is a Tip from David on how to give a Toast:

Who goes 1st?
1. Bride’s parents (typically, the father of the bride will give the toast)
2. Groom’s parents (note: if the groom’s parents are hosting, then they should go first)
3. Best man and maid of honor or matron of honor
4. Bride and groom
Remember: toasts do not equal speeches! Each toast should be kept short and sweet, preferably under three minutes and absolutely no more than five. ✽ The toasts themselves should include, in this order: a welcome, a thank-you, and a special heartfelt sentiment.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pinterest helps you plan your wedding!

Have you discovered Pinterest yet?  I like to refer to it as a time warp.  You will spent HOURS in there before you know it. What the heck is it?
from the website:  Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
I have started a Pinterest site, and invite you to take a peek at my wedding board, I have crammed lots of great ideas for your big day on there!  So sign up, log in, and ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Country Royalty!

Have you seen or heard of Fontanel?  It is the 27,00 sqft Mansion formerly owned by Barbara Mandrell.  It is located just north of Nashville and hides perfectly in the woods.  You may have heard of Mansion tours and the Concert series, but did you know you can get married out there too? 
They have Multiple rooms to choose from, they have the Mansion with various rooms, The Studio Gallery which is like a giant blank slate, and then they have the Woods Amphitheatre that they use for their outdoor concert series.

Specs on the Mansion:
  • Can accommodate 120-136 guest for a seated dinner
  • Can accommodate 150 for a standing cocktail reception
Specs on the Studio Gallery:
  • Can accommodate 200 seated guest for dinner
Specs on the Woods (outdoor amphitheatre)
  • The sky's the limit on your guest count!
Breakdown: From what I can tell you can have access to their inventory of tables and chairs, on-site venue supervisor, housekeeping before and after the event, Parking Attendants or Valet Service for groups over 100 people, and on-site Shuttle Service from the parking area to and from the Mansion.
Catches: You have to use their caterer and other recommended vendors so you can spend $$$ quick
They have no prices listed on their website, but you can call 615-876-4636 for more info or email them at

The very talent Joe Hendricks shot the photos above, and captured a wedding here recently check them/him out HERE

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do Over!

I have been asked 100 times by other brides and curious people what I would change about my wedding day.  To be honest, I loved my wedding, it was my perfect day that I put together in 100 days, but it was a HUGE affair, and I feel I short changed my guest by not speaking to half of them. 

That being said, if I could do it all over again, I would elope, save the $ take a fabulous vacation and have a great party when I got back.  

Feel like doing the same but are short on cash, You can do it right here in Nashville

The Rhinestone Wedding Chapel is in the heart of music row. It is all things Nashville and fabulous.  Check them out ceremony's start at $200, you can even have Elvis as your officiant!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day of Coordination!

Still need a day of Coordinator for 2011?  Fall dates are filling up quickly.  If you are still looking for a Coordinator for the day of your wedding let me know ASAP. 

Need a client testimony?  Let me know and I can refer you to previous clients and Happy Brides!  

email me at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is that a fish?

Someone shared these center pieces with me, and I did a little research and was blown away with how man LIVE FISH centerpieces are used.  I hope they find a good home after the I Do's are over or PETA is going to be ticked! LOL

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Need a Tea, Shower, Luncheon Venue?

A friend of mine introduced me to this little gem in Gallatin, TN.  It is called The Chocolate Covered Strawberry!!!  Sounds good right?  Of course anything with a name like that has to rock!  I love supporting local business and they have special rooms for your Bridal Tea, Bridal Shower, Bridesmaid Luncheon, or Baby Shower.   Take the short drive out to Gallatin and check them out Monday thru Saturday 11am-3pm!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So I had a baby this weekend...

I may be a little MIA for a while, but I promise to come back with some new links, bloggy love, and frugal bride help!  Until then, sleep for me :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You're FIRED!

Sooooo. Remember all those fabulous engagement, and wedding pictures my photographer took of our wedding?  Yeah, I was one of the lucky few, who actually GOT their pictures.    I have endorsed my vendor to NUMEROUS clients, and friends, and it makes me sick to endorse anyone who doesn't deliver.  I feel I have failed them more than the vendor them self.

 So, today, I take it back!  I take back the nice things I said, the endorsement, and I now WARN other brides to RUN like the wind from this vendor.  

Matthew Vietti at  your pictures are great, but you can't take over $2,000 dollars from a bride, and only deliver a handful of engagement pictures, and NOT deliver a SINGLE wedding picture for a bride who's wedding was on AUGUST, 21, 2010, and had been paid in FULL!!!!!   This is unprofessional, and absolutely unacceptable.  You should be ashamed. There is too much talent in this town, and too much competition to run a business like this.

BRIDES if you need a wonderfully talented Photographer email me, I will give you the name of trust worthy photographers, but I don't want their name associated with this post!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Need those perfect vases?  Picture frames?  Old books?  Center piece ideas?  Let one mans trash be your treasure this weekend!!!

The Jr. League of Nashville has their annual Twice as Nice rummage sale THIS WEEKEND at the Tennessee Fair Grounds.  Don't miss it, Friday and Saturday only!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I have a Dirty little secret!

want to know what it is?  Well, I have been married for 18 months, and I haven't cleaned or preserved my wedding gown.....There I said it out loud!   I told my mother yesterday, I have to do this ASAP, this is ridiculous.  Here I am 9.5 months pregnant with a daughter who may, or may not want to wear it someday and I haven't cleaned my dress or preserved it! OUCH, life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it?

To that, my mom told me a HORROR story this weekend about a customer of hers whose daughter took her dress to a cleaners and they RUINED IT. Can you imagine?  To add insult to injury, this was not a budget bride, this was a $5K and up dress, that was RUINED, it was a one of a kind, gone, poof just like that.  I tell you this not to scare you, but so you ask for a reference before you go through with it.  Ask friends who they trusted their dress to and ask LOTS of questions.  

Here is how the cleaning and preservation process work:

  • Find a dry cleaner that advertises expert cleaning of wedding gowns. Ask the cleaner if he/she uses different solvents on gowns than on regular clothing. Standard solvents are too harsh for wedding gowns. These gowns must be cleaned with the gentlest cleaners in an acid-free environment.

  • Ask if you can see the dress before it is packed. That way, you can see for yourself if all visible stains have been removed prior to storage.

  • Wedding gowns should be stuffed with clean, acid free tissue. Acid-free tissue placed between the folds of the dress and stuffed in the bodice will prevent permanent wrinkles and folds as well as help stabilize the environment of the box. 
  • All shoulder pads, perspiration shields, and anything else made of foam should be removed from the gown. These materials don't have a good shelf life, and when they deteriorate, they can ruin the material next to them.

  • Also, avoid packing your gown with plastic or metal buttons, pins or buckles. You should NEVER keep mothballs or crystals near your gown, since the chemicals in these products can ruin the fabric over time. The gown may be wrapped in muslin and folded neatly into a cardboard box.

  • Never hang your wedding gown for long-term storage and never seal the box completely. The gown will need proper air circulation. Once your gown is cleaned and boxed, store it in a closet or under a bed.

  • Don't put the gown in a hot attic or a cold basement. Extreme temperature changes can also damage your gown.

  • Don't be afraid to take your gown out of the box and look at it from time to time. That way, you'll be sure the most important dress of your life is successfully standing the test of time. The gown should be refolded to prevent permanent creases and white cotton gloves should be worn while handling the gown to prevent oily fingers from making contact with the fabric.

  • The cost of professionally cleaning and storing your dress can range from $75 - $600, depending on its size, fabric and detailing.

    No other garment will ever mean more to you than your wedding gown. Whether you choose to pass it on to your daughter or simply keep it as a permanent record of your wedding day, your gown deserves special attention. By cleaning and storing it properly, you will have a lasting and well-preserved memento that you can treasure forever.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ripped from the Headlines!

Goodwill plans second annual wedding gala!!!

The event will be held Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Goodwill store in Rivergate.

The Wedding Gala is a fun event and an opportunity for brides with varying budgets to find the gown of their dreams for a fraction of the cost. In addition to wedding gowns, bridesmaids' dresses, mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses, flower girl dresses and even prom gowns will be for sale. All of the gowns, most of which have been donated by bridal salons throughout middle and west Tennessee, will be priced under $400.

Street Tuxedo has also donated tuxedos for this year's event. Last year, more than 500 people attended the event in its inaugural year, some traveling from as far away as Missouri. To see some of the dresses and tuxedos that will part of Saturday's sale, visit Goodwill's Wedding Gala Look Book


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hot Hair!

Have everything planned?  Good, have you scheduled your run through for your hair yet?  NO?  Good, here are a few trends in 2011 Wedding Hair.

There are no clear trends in hair styles, although wearing the hair in long romantic waves or loosely pulled back are popular choices for brides with long hair. Hair ornaments such as hairpins, brooches, and hair vines made with crystals, pearls, rhinestones, and/or silk flowers are also popular.
Beautiful tiaras and combs made with either rhinestones, crystals, or pearls have been the trend for many seasons and seem to be getting smaller as more crystal-embellished dress styles take center-stage. Some brides are placing their veils directly on their hair or using a single silk flower for a simple, classic look. Visit this hair gallery for hundreds of hairstyle ideas.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

FREE photos!!! No for real FREE!

Do you want FREE photo's at your wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, or maybe your Photo Booth?  Yes! you say?    How you ask?  Well my good friend, Nashville's own, Whitney Walter is your woman!   She is kicking off her photography business and wants you to be her subject!!

Give her a holler today @

P.S.  She can even hook you up with a great deal on centerpieces using 100's of glass vases and flowers

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Brides, take it from her!

My friend Stephanie is not only stunningly beautiful but she is brave!  She braved the Tennessee Spring elements and created a beautiful back yard wedding, with all the eloquence of country club wedding.  Read her story here  to see how she coped with tornado sirens, heavy rains, and MUD, all while wearing a Monique Lhuillier gown!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I do take two?

Thinking about renewing your vows?  Or having that wedding you never had?  Here are a few etiquette rules you should read up on from I DO! Take two!
Vow Renewals are not second weddings.

This an opportunity to reaffirm your marriage vows and love of one another, or perhaps a chance to have your marriage blessed by the church.

Bachelor / bachelorette parties?

These parties are typically thought of as your “last night out as a single person”, so, as tempting as it may sound, the fact is that the last hurrah ship sailed a long time ago. You are a married couple.

Shower with love, not with gifts.

When it comes to vow renewals, encourage friends and family to shower you with love and support, rather than gifts.

 Let your hair down.

The renewal ceremony is more of a simple, understated, private affair. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you are recreating your original wedding ceremony, all bets are off.

 Attendants become attendees.

Did you realize that attendants are basically witnesses? it is better to simply invite them as guests.

The only thing given away is your love.
Fathers typically walk the bride down the aisle during weddings, this doesn't seem appropriate for vow renewals because the couple is already married.  When it comes to reaffirmation ceremonies, the husband and wife could walk the aisle together or she should walk alone. While the couple’s children and grandchildren accompany her down the aisle, a procession is not necessary for this ceremony.

The traditional reception dances will be different.
The father/daughter dance just doesn't seem right, does it? After all, the wife has been living with her husband for some time. So, while you many not want to include all those traditional dances as part of your reception, you could still dance a couple’s first dance which will signify the first dance of the next phase of their life together.

Not so much a wedding cake as an “anniversary’ type cake. 

The reaffirmation cake is sometimes recreated from the couple’s wedding, including the topper.  However, this should be more of an 'anniversary' type cake.  So, including writing on the cake would be appropriate.

Toss out the garter and bouquet toss.

You’re not alone if you find these traditions more than just a bit silly for a married couple.  Would you believe that both of these customs began as a way to keep wedding guests from tearing the bride’s clothes?!  It was viewed as good luck to snatch a piece of her clothing. Perhaps you can create a new tradition of your own, instead.

 ***Read up on your renewal, or second wedding before you start planning, you may be budgeting for things you just don't need! 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boro Bridal Ball!!

Do you read Ms. Cheap?  You should!  She is a lover of weddings, I have sang in both her daughters weddings with the Concert Choral of Nashville, and she looooves to promote FREE events for brides.

Yesterday she posted:
Stones River Coun­try Club and I Do Wed­dings are host­ing the sec­ond annual Boro Bridal Ball Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 26 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.  This free event is open to the pub­lic and will fea­ture some of Mid­dle Tennessee’s pre­mier wed­ding and event ven­dors. For more infor­ma­tion see

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Warning PSA post!

Do you live in Nashville?  Have you seen the folks on the street that are selling newspapers?  The paper is called the Contributor.  What you may not know is these folks are NOT homeless, they used to be.  They are not selling free papers, they had to purchase them for .25 cents and they sell them for $1.00 and the profit is theirs to keep.  

Here are a few more things you may not know about these folks:
  • The Contributor is sold for $1.00 and they can not solicit tips, or solicit donations for The Contributor by any other means.
  • They agree to stay off private property without permission
  • Their badge, sign, and official contributor gear (bags, aprons, shirts etc.) are the property of The Contributor and must be worn at all times.
  • The Contributor strives to be a paper that covers issues surrounding homelessness and poverty – while providing a source of income for homeless and formerly homeless individuals.
  • While vending, they agree not to sell any other goods, services, or products
So, next time you see one someone selling these papers, think twice about that moring latte and help put a smile on their face! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

No flowers? NO Problem!

Want to shave a few THOUSAND dollars off your budget?  Then knock flowers off  your list.  Now, you will still need a bouquet, corsages, and boutonnieres, but save THOUSANDS off your budget when you for go flowers in your centerpieces.

Also, some centerpieces can even double as favors.  Rummage through goodwill's tea cups, and plant your own home grown centerpieces today!!!!

Here are a few ideas:  (PS i love the birds nest)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Google your wedding!

I mean you have 'googled' youself, your fiance, his family, your family, etc.  Why not google your wedding?  Google has broken into the wedding world, they just do it all!  Their website has lots of tool to help you save time, stay organized, and plan your big day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Its here Cupid's big day!  I'll leave you with some slammin' Valentines Day inspiration boards.

P.S. don't you love the Chocolate brown with the deep red in board #2.  That is a combo I would have never thought to put together, but it is beautiful!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentines Day!

Beth @ Eat.Drink.Smile posted these earlier this week, and I think you should make them for your honey this Valentines Day!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Makes approx. 3-4 dozen. Recipe from Love and Olive Oil.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz dark chocolate candy coating


Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating in microwave according to package directions. Using toothpicks as a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thanks William and Kate!

To be a 2011 bride is rough why?  Because you wedding is going to be held to the same standards and a couple other folks getting married this year.  You know Prince William and Kate Middleton. Since William and Kate's wedding will leak little to no detail before their big day, there is noway to know if you are copying their style, dress, reception, etc until April 26th. 

So what's a bride to do?  Nothing, you can take it all in stride and keep these things in mind.

>Obviously William and Kate are going to have a grand, big do.
>Your wedding will have the same meaning.

>I don't think it will steal anyone's thunder.
>Your supposed to be the princess, and now you have a real princess to compete with.(eye roll)

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm Baaaaacccccckkk!

So I didn't fall off the face of the earth totally just logistically. I have been stuck in the black hole of the United States (Arkansas) and finally made it home Friday night.  What a trip.....Let's just say no one should make a pregnant lady fly anywhere at 32 weeks where there isn't food service!!! 

Being stuck without food got me thinking about all the fun "food trucks" we have in Nashville.  Think about incorporating them into your laid back couples shower, rehearsal dinner, or reception. 

Here are a few favs in the Nashville area:

1. The Grilled Cheese Truck (you're excited right?)
a gourmet grilled cheese truck serving anything from their turn on the classic sandwich to delicious soups and salted caramel pudding cups
2. Mas Tacos (The Nashville Original food Truck)
a truck that delivers delicious Mexican street fare to your East Nashville or 12th South neighborhood
3. Pizza Buds (Nashville’s one and only pizza truck)
 Nashville’s one and only pizza truck, serving up warm slices and pies using veggies and toppings from Nashville Farmer’s Market. 
 4. Jay Jay's good food truck
Chef Jason McConnell, who also owns the popular Red Pony Restaurant and SOL Restaurant in Franklin, is bringing the popular concept of a food truck to Middle Tennessee.
5. Mere Bulles Catering Truck (the restaurants on wheels)
 massive kitchen (by food truck standards) and can churn out piping hot food right there and then so everything is even fresher and tastier.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am working with a close friend and Bride to Be on her November nuptials.  She and the Groom have decided on a very intimate 100 person wedding to celebrate their big day.  The Hermitage Golf Course just a quick hop from Nashville looks to be the perfect place for them.

Here are some quick facts about the Hermitage Golf Course:
  • The indoor banquet room will seat 150 people. (Included in the rental are 18 60" tables and 150 black and gold chairs. Also included are 6' banquet tables for cake tables, gift tables, etc.).
  • The outdoor covered pavilion will seat up to 200 people. (Included in this rental are 18 60" tables and 150 brown wooden folding chairs as well as 6' banquet tables for buffets, gifts, DJ's, etc. This area also comes with a wood burning stone fireplace).
  • The Rose Garden is a fully landscaped 40X40 area designed for wedding ceremonies. (It comes with 150 white chairs. A tent is available for rental).
  • Also included with your rental; use of the house PA system, Bridal party and groomsmen changing area, access to areas of the golf course for photos. 
For pricing and more detailed information contact: Kara Torphy 615-847-4001 ext. 101

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Summer Time!

Its cold outside, lets talk Summer Weddings and the trends for 2011.

2011 is full of flirtatious, feminine energy. Dresses feature layers of tulle over other fabrics, creating a softer look and toning down the luster of glossy materials such as satin and silk. Dresses with one-shoulder necklines and shorter lengths are hot, especially when combined with wrapped styles and origami details.

Wedding Gown Trends:

Eco-friendly wedding dresses are increasing in popularity. Pick up a used wedding dress from a thrift store or an online source such as, and add your own unique touch. Turn a strapless dress into a one-shouldered style in a few simple steps. Add a layer of tulle, or embellish your dress with your favorite beads, rhinestones, or charms.

Colors Trends for Summer 2011 are:

Icy Blue
Pale Yellow

Bridesmaid Trends:

Flower motifs Rose embellishments (ranging from petal accents to large, flowered skirts.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spring Awakening

Do you have pending Spring Nuptials? Think you are all set? I have several friends with upcoming April weddings, here is where they should be this close to the big day, and where you should be if your wedding falls in this time line.

2-4 Months Before

  • Find out what your state's requirements are for obtaining a marriage license and get blood tests done, if required
  • Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen
  • Meet with your caterer to discuss the menu and your bar/liquor needs
  • Meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony details, wording and wedding vows
  • Select wedding readings
  • Order your wedding cake
  • Buy thank-you gifts for your attendants, flower girl and ring bearer
  • Shop for a gift for your new spouse-to-be
  • Select and purchase your wedding rings, and have them engraved if desired
  • Coordinate and choose a location for the rehearsal dinner
  • Contact vendors for tents, tables, arches, etc. if necessary
  • Book any other specialty services – ice sculptures, photo booths, etc.
  • Purchase luggage and other travel necessities and attire for your honeymoon
  • Order/renew passports if necessary, leaving ample time for them to be sent back to you
  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you'd like to have your teeth whitened or cleaned before the wedding
Did this list leave you in a tizzy? Don't panic, one item, one day at a time!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do I save the date?

Are Save the Date Cards Necessary?

While they are not necessary in all situations, they are a wonderful way to generate excitement and, most importantly, allow your loved ones plenty of time to make arrangements to share in your special day. Especially important for friends and family who will be traveling to your wedding location, Save the Dates encourage travelers to take advantage of travel deals, book flights, and make any other necessary plans sooner than later.

If your wedding date falls on or around any holidays, or if it's taking place at a popular vacation or destination spot, you should consider sending out your Save the Dates at least five months in advance. In these situations, your guests will likely be thinking of your event as a vacation and will appreciate having the time and information to plan accordingly.

When should Save the Dates be sent?

Think of your Save the Date cards as a preliminary invitation to your wedding. They should be sent at least four months before the wedding date. Formal invitations should follow about two months later.

If you are asking guests to travel a great distance, take time off work, or travel during peak seasons, the sooner you can let them know the better! In these circumstances, it's not uncommon to send Save the Date announcements as much as twelve months in advance.

Do I need to send a Save the Date to all my guests?

No, you are not required to send a Save the Date to everyone on your guest list. Many brides cut costs here by sending Save the Dates only to those guests who will be traveling or who will likely need to make arrangements far in advance. Of course the benefit of sending a Save the Date card to every person you are hoping will attend is that you are increasing the likelihood that they will reserve that date and will, in fact, be able to attend your special day. If, for whatever reason, you do choose to send Save the Dates only to a select number of guests, there is just one rule to follow. Make sure they are sent to all people who have any reason to interact with each other. Imagine how hurt your cousin Sally would be if she visited your aunt May and saw your beautiful Save the Date hanging on her refrigerator, only to realize she had not been sent one and have no idea why.

It should be noted that a Save the Date is just that. It's doesn't do double duty as an engagement announcement to everyone you know...and therefore should only be sent to those people you will absolutely be inviting to your big day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Totally Cheating!

This has been a helluva week at work, so I am falling behind on the blogging. I want to "re-blog" this post about finding the perfect florist. I promise new brides it is HELPFUL!

How to Pick the perfect Florist:

Word of mouth is always your safest bet. If the florist's service and work comes highly recommended, chances are they will do a good job for you. Do your research by going to bridal shows and looking at online pictures from your store's website. Make appointments to visit at least 3 different florists.

When you visit each florist, look at pictures of their previous work and look around their shop.

* Do you like the arrangements that you see in the shop's displays?
* Do the flowers in the pictures look fresh or are the petal edges brown?
* Are the pictures dated or are they following the current trends?
* Is the designer willing to work with you or are they telling you that your idea won't work?
* Make sure you speak to the florist that will do your arrangements.
* Do you feel comfortable with your florist?
* Is your florist paying attention to you while you're talking and does he/she seem interested?

When To Book Your Florist

6 months before your wedding is a good time to start your search. Book your florist approximately 4 months before your wedding date.

What To Bring To An Appointment

* Pictures of flowers and arrangements that you like (magazine clippings or websites)
* Picture of your wedding gown - swatches of material from your bridesmaids gowns - if available, a picture of your reception room
* If you are supplying the containers for arrangements, bring those too.
* Bring quotes you've gotten from other florists.
* Bring a list of all the flowers and arrangements you need and who they are for, so that the florist can label corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets, with names or titles. Example: on a bouquet a stapled piece of paper reads "maid of honour". This way everyone gets the right flowers.

Questions To Ask The Florist

* When viewing photos of past work, ask if the flowers where arranged by the same person that is doing your arrangements.
* After giving your florist your ideas, ask for their opinion or ideas. You don't have to take their advice but at least take the time to listen. You never know, you might like their ideas better then your own.
* Is there a delivery charge?
* Is there a setup fee?
* Do they have rental supplies?
* Do they need a map for the different delivery locations?
* Can you change your order if you have another idea? What's the cut off date for new ideas?
* What times will the flowers be delivered to each location? This question can be asked 1 month before your wedding.
* Will the florist transport ceremony decorations to the reception location? Is there a fee?
* Can they make a sample of your bouquet and centrepiece? Some florists will, some won't.
* Will they write you up an itemized quote? Some won't in fear that you will bring it to other florists for a better deal.
* Are the flowers you've chosen in season? What flowers are in season for your date?
* You're on a tight budget, can the florist work with a mixture of silk and fresh flowers?
* Are there any additional or hidden costs?
* Is the florist familiar with your reception and ceremony locations?
* 1 month before your wedding date, call the florist and ask them if they can get the type and color of flower you wanted?

Things To Keep In Mind

If your wedding date is around the time of a flower giving holiday (mother's day, valentine's,etc) you're going to pay more for your flowers. The florist will also be very busy during this time and you can't expect to be the centre of attention. Meet and speak to the person that will be making your flower arrangements.

If you choose flowers that are not in season and have to be shipped, you're looking at a bigger expense and you don't know what effect the shipping will cause on your flowers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not just here to hold your flowers!

I have blogged about choosing attendants before (read here), but I just want to share that with the newly engaged.

Choosing Your Attendants
Your attendants do a lot more than just stand next to you on the day of the wedding, now is the time to get them involved. You may opt to have 0 attendants at all, especially if you're having a casual event, most choose between 2 and 12 members of the bridal party.

Look over these lists of responsibilities for bridesmaids and groomsmen before you make your final choices. If they live nearby, its nice to ask someone in person, but a phone call is fine for those who live far away.

Now get to plannin'

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Budget this in!

Who is paying?

It used to be that the bride’s father pretty much paid for everything. These days it’s far more likely to be a family affair with the bride, groom and both sets of parents chipping in to create one wedding fund.

Will you need to compromise your ideas?

Taking a cue from either set of parents is great. Just be sure they don’t think this means they have a much bigger say in your wedding plans than you want. It’s hard to say you want workmates rather than relatives on the guest list if it’s your parents’ cash you are spending.

Is going it alone an option?

It’s becoming increasingly common for couples to pay for their own wedding, using their own money – and it’s the only way to ensure complete freedom of choice. If the cash isn’t readily available, seek advice about saving and cost-effective borrowing.

Budget planning

Lots of couples do pay for their own wedding and it’s perfectly possible to have an amazing wedding on just about any budget. You simply need to start organizing from the word go.

Start saving

Saving 10-20% of every pay check during your engagement should be your aim. Try a few cost-cutting measures every month like taking a packed lunch to work, staying in with friends rather than eating out, and delaying major purchases or expensive outings until after the wedding.

A wedding account

Whether or not you are receiving parental contributions, a separate wedding account is a good idea since it will make tracking what comes in, what goes out and what’s left to play with much simpler. Agree at the outset how much you will each contribute to the fund, taking into account your differing salaries and any other debts you may have.

Get financial advice

If you need help with the wedding fund and are thinking about a loan, get advice on the best way of borrowing. A small loan may be worthwhile, providing you can pay it back without being in debt for years to come – not even your wedding is worth that! And forget putting wedding expenses on a credit card; it’s expensive and is usually a recipe for financial misery.

Do it yourself

Think carefully about whether you can do some things yourself rather than employing others to do them: check out craigslist for wedding bargains – new and ‘once-loved’; look out for sample sales at your local wedding dress shop; get on to your PC and design your own invitations, thank-you cards or seating plan.

How will you spend the cash?

50% - Venue and catering: food, beverages and tips
3% - Ceremony officiant
10% - Music
10% - Photographer
10% - Flowers
10% - Bridal gown and groom’s attire
3% - Invitations
4% - Transportation

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Venue for you!

Probably the first thing you should reserve is your wedding venue, or venues. Here is a list of some of my favorite venues in Middle Tennessee, and a few that I have found along the way that may fit your individual wedding needs!

Venue Type: Rustic, exposed brick walls and a blank canvas:
  • Marathon Village-Capacity: 225 Cost: $1250 (note lots of stairs NO elevator)
  • Cannery Ballroom-Capacity: 300 (for banquet style) Cost: $2,500+
  • Houston Station-Capacity: Banquet - up to 340, Cocktails - 450, Cost: call for pricing
  • Aerial- Capacity seated dinner: 150. Cocktail reception/buffet: 200
Venue Type: Chic skyline views
Venue Type: Down on the Farm
Venue Type: Home sweet Home

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Does this make me look fat?

How many times have you asked this question in a fitting room to a sweet friend who said "no, you look great" LIAR, LIAR pants on FIRE! I had the self esteem booster of a life time this weekend, I went and tried on a Bridesmaid Dress for a my BFF's wedding that is in April (2 weeks after my due date). Ladies, let me tell you NEVER, NEVER try on a dress for a wedding when you are 27 weeks pregnant, it is not the uplifting experience your emotions need. The dress is beautiful, me in it, well that is another story. Since I was there by myself, I had to wait 5 minutes or so for the lady to zip me up each time I tried on a dress. While I stood there bewildered by my figure, I couldn't help but notice how many BRIDES were trying on dresses that were NOT right for their shape, but had family or friends saying "NO YOU LOOK GREAT", again LIAR, LIAR pants on FIRE!

Ladies if there is one time in your life you need to GET REAL with the REAL YOU, it is when you try on a wedding dress. We are all unique in size and shape, and for that there are 1,000's of dresses for just your shape alone!

Here are some tips to help you find the right dress for YOU, and YOU ONLY!

  • Ball Gowns
    Ball gowns work for:
    Thin and tall brides, triangle or rectangle figures, slight pear shaped figure, slim hourglass figures.

    If you are tall and slim with a well balanced shape, a classic ball gown can work great. If your figure is less than perfect, try a less defined waist or a less full skirt with perhaps some ruching to soften the look

    Ball gowns won't work for:
    Petite figure, pronounced pear-shaped figure or larger hourglasses.

    While often recommended to disguise a pear shape, this is only true of the hips are just slightly wider than the shoulders, those with larger hips will find it disguises nothing but emphasizes the hips instead. These are statement dresses and can overwhelm small brides.

  • A-Lines (most popular style)

    A-Line will work for:

    Petite or full-figured brides, short waists

    The simple lines of an a-line dress can make a small bride look taller and a full figured brides one slimmer. It is also flattering for the pear-shaped, especially with a lower waistline.

    A-Line won't work for:

    Thick waists, hourglass figures.

    If your waistline is large, the dress will end up looking straight - effectively losing the a-line that gives it it's name, and will emphasize your waist. While hourglass figures can wear a-line dresses, they will not be making the most of their curves if they do.

  • Empire Waist Line

    Empire line works for:
    Petite figures, larger waist, small bust

    Brides who don't want a figure-hugging dress should consider an empire line. It is good to conceal a larger waist. Tends to elongate the body, giving an appearance of being taller.

    Empire line won't work for:
    Curvy, pear-shaped or full figures.

    Tends not to work with a larger bust, and the line of the skirt emphasizes larger hips.

  • Column or Sheath Dresses
    Column dresses work for:
    Slim, tall brides, rectangle and triangle body shapes

    Column dresses have a very sleek modern look and can be stunning.

    Column dresses won't work for:
    Curvy, pear-shaped or full figures. Short brides.

    A column dress hides nothing - it follows the body contours, wherever they are! They can make a short slim bride seem insignificant, especially if the groom is tall.

  • Mermaid or Trumpet Dresses

    Mermaid dresses work for:
    Slim but curvy or hourglass figures

    Very good on an hourglass figure, showing off the curves of the body to perfection.

    Mermaid dresses won't work for:
    Pear-shaped or full figures. Curves need to be in proportion and a waist which is noticeably smaller than the hips or shoulders is essential for this style.

Bottom Line ladies, take your overly honest mother, your blunt friends, and the people who's option you trust and admire. Also BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, you know what your body looks like better than anyone else.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Congratulations on your Engagement! Now what?

Now what you ask? Well here are a few helpful links to get you started on the road to Marital BLISS!

Set that Date:

Before you take one step towards a bridal shop, bridal show, or "dream location" set a date. You can be flexiable, but have a date "range" in mind before you leave the house. You want to get married on 11-11-11? Good luck, those date have long been booked up. Why set the date before you leave? Easy, you are going to need LOTS of vendors, and their availability, and venue availability will differ from place to place.

Bridal Shows:
  1. Wedding Planning Boot Camp by Ashley at Ashley's Bride Guide.
  2. Nashville Woman's Magazine is champagne social featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres and a fashion show introducing you to the best in the business
  3. Studio Wed is that one stop shop in Franklin It houses an exclusive collection of Nashville’s finest wedding professionals available to you in a fun and modern studio. They are having an open house January 11th.
  4. Enchanted Brides semi-annual show Thursday January 6th @ Hutton Hotel.
  5. Weddings the Bridal show (this is the biggie) will take place January 16th at the Nashville Convention Center.

Trunk Shows:
  1. Lazaro Bridal Trunk Show Fri, Jan 14 - Sat, Jan 15 , 2011 10-4pm @ Faccio Bridal
  2. Jim Hijelm Trunk Show Thu, Jan 14 - Sat, Jan 15 , 2011 11-6pm @ Faccio Bridal
  3. Bridal Warehouse is having a ton of trunk shows in the upcoming weeks, check them out HERE

Helpful Link's I love:
  1. Jessica always has WONDERFUL tips and tricks at The Budget Savvy Bride
  2. Louise will always make you laugh even when you feel defeated by the planning process. Check her out at the 30-something Bride
  3. You need a photographer? Of course you do. Then you need to check our Joe Hendricks, he is a not only SUPER talented, but he and his wife Rhonda are a pleasure to work with.
  4. Honeymoon deals? Check out my list of killer deals here
Happy Planning! If it all becomes to much, take a break, this is suppose to be fun!!!! I am always available to help or answer any of your wedding questions, or give a vendor reference.