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Honeymoon Planning Webinar This Thursday, Oct 23 at 6pm: Top Caribbean Destinations

Monday, October 20, 2014

Have you started planning your honeymoon?  Have you started but haven't finalized?  2Travel Anywhere is Nashville's go-to honeymoon planning service.  It's free and takes the stress out of finding the perfect post-wedding getaway.

Get free help.  This Thursday, Carlie, owner of 2Travel Anywhere will highlight the top Caribbean destinations via an online webinar.  RSVP at 2travelanywhere.com.

honeymoon planning advice workshop nashville 2 travel anywhere

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Honeymoon and Post Wedding, 0 comments »

Erin Gets Married! What Being the Bride Taught a Nashville Wedding Photographer (Part 2)

Friday, October 17, 2014

You think you know all about weddings until you get engaged and its your money, your emotions, your family!  It really doesn't matter how many weddings you have helped plan, attended or even worked.  Things change when you are the bride, starting with your perspective.  Erin of The Collection found that out very fast.

If you missed part 1 of Being the Bride, start by clicking this link.  Otherwise, keep reading more insight from Erin Gets Married...

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

Let the Pros Be Pros

I asked if she traveled with her cake.  She said yes!  And she said it was delicious and arrived without any harm. But, she was prepared just in case there were issues.  What I love most about her cake story is that Juanita, of Dulce Desserts, recommended a "messy buttercream, 2-tier cake" that would travel well.  It would be ok if it got bumped.  Gotta love Nashville wedding pros!  They are so talented, knowledgeable and always willing to help make weddings wonderful.

Receiving great advice is one thing, but as a wedding pro herself, she accepted advice from not just Juanita but her arsenal of wedding pro friends.

Photos Last a Lifetime! 

When It came to photographer, let's be honest, she had her choice selection, which is a luxury generally afforded to celebrities.  The dynamic team that is Dove Photography aka Peter and Whitney (for whom Erin has worked for seven years) could not let Erin down.  

But even with the best photographers, Erin knew that certain things were still on her.  Hair and makeup!  That was a splurge item.  As a photographer she knew the importance and hired a local pro to ensure she was camera ready.  Unfortunately, she did not do a trial run but it all worked out.  In hindsight, she would have made sure she had a trial run.

She also planned her wedding weekend so that she would have plenty of time for photos.  The more time they have, they more wonderful shots photographers can get.  If you only give them a small window, they can only do so much.  Erin allowed for 90 minutes for portraits and their first-look and couple photos all around Savannah.  Then she and Taylor took photos with every family and guest (totally 45 people) and allowed ample time.  She made a list so no one was forgotten.  This eliminated all of the one-off pics that guests would normally request that pull you away from the moment.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

dulce desserts two tier wedding cake

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

 

Shop Around

Erin was most surprised by her wedding dress because it was something she never would have picked - strapless.  She planned to find a dress online and keep it simple.  One day, she found herself trying on dresses and none looked good.  A sales person suggested a strapless gown.  She gave it a try and it was the one!   She ended up adding straps, something she also had never considered as an option.  She found the style, added the straps and the dress was perfect.

She recommends trying on a broader range of dresses, even the ones you are sure you won't like.  You might just be surprised.  (Other brides I know would agree!)

Be Yourself

Erin isn't big on flowers, pomp and circumstance.  She decided to keep the decor simple and within reach.  She purchased flowers placed them in pots and the table decor doubled as favors.

Keep It Simple

Erin said she didnt want the stress of certain things.  Instead of a formal rehearsal dinner, she and Taylor had pizza with everyone on the same deck we had the wedding on the next night. I wanted to enjoy the deck since we thought it could be downpouring the next day.  They kept it easy and just ate on the rooftop.

As a photographer and now bride, Erin wants you to know that something always goes wrong.  Be ready.  Professionals can help you deal with it, rearrange things and give you more quality time to enjoy your family, big day and your significant other!

Being a wedding photographer helped her reduce anxiety because at every wedding, something has gone wrong but every couple has left married.  It always works out.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

All incredible photos courtesy of Dove Wedding Photography

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Destination Weds & Honeymoon , Florals, Details & Design , DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Photography, Real Nashville Brides, 0 comments »

Erin Gets Married! What Being the Bride Taught a Nashville Wedding Photographer (Part 1)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Anyone who knows Erin of The Collection, knows that when you chat with her, it's always enjoyable.  She's smart, aware and full of wit.  But, she's also 100% candid and unafraid to speak outside of being politically correct, which is so refreshing.  She's too smart and good-hearted to offend; but she knows so much about cultures, ethnicities and is so comfortable with everyone, that I always leave promising to spend more time with this delightful gal.

So, imagine our conversation, shortly after she got engaged, when she confessed that her engagement has allowed her to better understand being a bride.  Up until now, Erin, who has shot hundreds of weddings, has served couples from a great photographer's perspective.  But, once you are engaged, your view changes on just about everything.  And you start to appreciate how easily normal women become bridezillas!

Erin and I had two conversations, nearing three hours of conversations about her wedding plans.  I will do my best to summarize her hilarious and insightful wedding details.  But before I do, I will warn you: Erin is one of the most rational, laid back people you will ever meet.  She never came close to being a bridezilla (no offense 'zillas) but her approach may still help many of you stay sane.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

 

Erin's Wedding - The Highlights

Erin and Taylor decided to get married in Savannah, GA at a rooftop venue that doubled as a condo where their guests could lodge.  They then invited a small group of family and friends to celebrate with them all weekend.

Their wedding ceremony was held in the beautiful Forsyth Park where they were officially married.  This took place before most of the guests arrived.  Only a few family members were in attendance.  With the formal ceremonly behind, the couple were less anxious.  When their larger ceremony took place two days later, in front of all of their guests, Erin and Taylor could just have a fun filled, no stress day.

For their reception, they headed to the roof to take in the Savannah sights.  Their sole goal was to have a night to remember with loved ones.  

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

Above photos: The day of the official wedding ceremony 

 

~~~

What Erin Learned:

There's no way I can summarize all that she learned or even all that we discussed.  However, here are my key takeaways that I think you will appreciate.

Location, Location, Location

There were many reasons that Erin opted for a destination wedding.  Erin and Taylor knew most of their guests would have to travel and they wanted them to have a vacation.  She also knew if they came to Nashville, she might be stressed wanting to be their tour guide.  

Another major reason was she wanted a destination wedding was that she wanted a wedding that was unique to her.  She'd photographed so many Nashville weddings and in her mind, they all belonged to one of her couples.  Erin wanted her big day to be all hers, without the memories of what other brides had done in that same church.  Plus, Savannah is gorgeous! It fit the idyllic style that Erin and Taylor envisioned for their day.

Based on Erin's experience, I too say find a place that you love & get married there - whether it's Nashville, your hometown, a favorite city, childhood church or magical venue, it should be a place that speaks to you.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

 

Manage YOUR Expectations

Erin planned her wedding in less than 6 months.  How did she do it?  By prioritizing and managing expectations, especially her own!  She was realistic and did what she could, asked for help and accepted help.  

She had to care less.  She had to realize that much was out of her control and to focus on what was.

When Erin decided on an outdoor ceremony and reception, she knew weather might not be on her side and that she didn't want to spend money on a tent.  On her wedding day, there was an 80% chance of rain!  Weather was out of her control.  She accepted whatever might happen.  In fact, her friends didn't have the reception fully setup until 30 minutes before the reception because of the high winds.  She let go of some of her wedding design details and focused on what was most important.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

 

 

Pick Your Priorities

You can't buy everything, hire everyone, do everything.  In life and in wedding planning, you have to prioritize if you want to keep your sanity.  Here were Erin's priorities: Photos, Hair & Makeup, Destination Wedding; Rooftop Venue.

Planners Are Invaluable

Erin worked with Nashville wedding planner, Sara of Fete Nashville.  Sara helped Erin devise a plan and created an exhaustive checklist that included items that Erin would have never considered, like linen, cake server, napkins.

With all of the help from Sara, Erin still needed someone local.  In fact, based on my conversation with Erin, one of the most stressful aspects of her wedding planning was finding a local officiant.  She called all around the city, randomly, until she found someone!  A local expert can help you navigate weddings in their city and do the heavy lifting so you can enjoy your day.

She had to organize everything in Savannah so she put a couple of friends in charge. She drew up a timeline when everything should be done and drew out diagrams of what it should look like just so it would be easier for them. They did everything the day of, including working with guests to clean up after the reception. 

Erin also advises that if you do not have a planner, that you designate someone as the main point of contact.  Think about it, do you really want to be in charge on your day?  Everyone - from bridal party to vendors - should have that person's info so you can turn off your cell phone off without worry. 

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

 

Guest Count Me Out

You cant talk to everyone at your wedding, especially if you have a large guest count.  For Erin and Taylor, spending quality time with family and friends was important. With only 45 guests, they were really able to interact.  Plus, guest count is the easiest most effective way to reduce your expenses.  You can give guests a more meaningful experience when there are fewer to feed!

Erin notes: Don't think a destination wedding is a way to reduce your guest count.  It may not.  Be realistic about how many people you want to attend and only invite those people.  Don't invite people and hope they will not come because many will; people like a vacation.

Budgeting & DIY - Everything Has a Price

One of Erin brides gave her glass drinking glasses and other decor items from her wedding.  Nashville wedding pros jumped in to help Erin and Taylor with planning, photography, cakes, florals, and lighting from Bright Event Productions.  Some items were gifted, others discounted.  Their generosity allowed them to stick to their budget and maximize the result.  Even still, Erin ran into the challenges of any bride and had to prioritize to make the most of their dollars.  They traveled with just about everything they needed for their wedding, flowers, cake, decor, dress.  She DIY'd many aspects wedding and kept to a small budget.

What's important is this all goes back to expectations.  Erin had to accept that as a non-paid customer, she couldnt demand anything.  When you hire friends and family, know there is no contract.  You can't reasonably expect anything. You have to know your friends too.  Some will care and help out, others will not.  It's not their job.  Be respectful of anyone you ask for help.  

Same with DIY.  Projects that you do on your own will almost always cost more time and money than you estimated.  Even worse, DIY projects sometimes cost MORE than hiring a pro.  Erin said that her DIY projects took more time and energy than she expected, and that was with pros helping her pick the right projects and giving instruction.  She didn't get to see Savannah like she wanted because she was putting together her DIY projects.  

Hillary, friend and owner of Brocade Designs, helped Erin figure out what flowers to buy, how many vases to put on the tables and in what groupings, and most importantly how to keep them alive. Erin even called her at one point to figure out what the right temperature for the refrigerator that would store the flowers at their venue. She also made Erin's bridal bouquet, which no one could DIY bouquet!

There was no money for a DJ so she spent a lot of time creating a playlist.  Pro DJ's not only create music playlists but they also monitor the crowd and keep the energy high so people want to dance.  She knew that without a DJ, her guests may not dance.  It's something she had to accept.  The result, the playlist didnt go smoothly.  A friend tried to manage but it wasn't the smoothest transition from song to song. But again, the couple was completely ok with it all.

Without a local planner, she had to organize everything in Savannah so she put a couple of friends in charge. She drew up a timeline when everything should be done and drew out diagrams of what it should look like just so it would be easier for them. They did everything the day of, including working with guests to clean up after the reception. 

Erin also advises that if you do not have a planner, that you designate someone as the main point of contact.  Think about it, do you really want to be in charge on your day?  Everyone - from bridal party to vendors - should have that person's info so you can turn off your cell phone off without worry.

If it has to be right, Erin's advice: hire a pro.  Period.  Only DIY or use friends for things that don't matter and won't ruin your day.  Hire a pro for everything you can.

If you still want to DIY, let go and be ok with the outcome.  You simply can't sweat the small stuff.

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

nashville bride goes has destination wedding savannah georgia, dove photography

All incredible photos courtesy of Dove Wedding Photography

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Destination Weds & Honeymoon , Florals, Details & Design , DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Real Nashville Brides, 0 comments »

Two Bridal Events in Metro-Nashville This Weekend: Invitation Fun & Here Come the Brides Bridal Show

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The ladies of Something Detailed and paperKuts Studio are hosting a night of fun, cocktails, and giveaways this Saturday, Oct 18th.  RSVP via this link and learn the dos and donts of inviting guests to your wedding.  While there, check out paperKuts, a super cute stationery studio in East Nashville.

wedding invitation east nashville, something detailed, paperkuts studio

The Here Come the Brides Show is Sunday, Oct 19th!  This show, at the Factory in Franklin, TN, is free and is always a great afternoon of casual bridal shopping.  Simply print the flyer below or register via this link.

nashville bridal show here come the brides franklin factory

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Bridal Shows & Events, Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

Budding Wedding Trend: Fresh Floral Crowns & Hair Accessories for Bride, Flower Girls

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Nashville brides are opting for flowers in lieu of traditional headpieces.  This is a trend that we love, especially on the flower girls!  

Hair flowers can be used to dress up your wedding hair, dress down your classic event style, add a romantic flair or even create a fun, bohemian look among an otherwise formal event.  It all comes down to the floral style and that's where Nashville's Enchanted Florist can help.  

Owner and lead designer, Caprice, has worked with local brides to create floral hair designs for them and their bridal parties.  Here are some of her recent floral hair crowns and floral hair accessories.

floral crown flower girl nashville enchanted florist

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

feather hair bridesmaid nashville enchanted florist

Photo: Caley Newberry

floral crown flower girl nashville enchanted florist

Photo: Streetlight Republic

floral crown flower girl nashville enchanted florist

Photo: The Collection

bridesmaid nashville floral crown wedding enchanted florist

Photos: Frozen Exposure, Jen & Chris Creed

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Florals, Details & Design , Makeup, Hair, Health, Beauty , 0 comments »

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