Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I am overjoyed to present a new and revived AshleysBrideGuide.com to you all! I feel so honored Ashley chose me to fill her shoes (and they are big shoes to fill!) as the owner of the blog and I have many exciting plans and ideas to take AshleysBrideGuide.com to a new level.
My history with ABG goes all the way back to 2008. Ashley hired me as a freelance blogger and social media manager for AshleysBrideGuide.com. We’ve kept in touch over the years - and most recently in the past 3 years in my position as Marketing & Design Manager in the Nashville wedding rental industry. Needless to say, I have an understanding of the blog that is very unique - as both an employee and client. Through the past 8 years, Ashley has become someone I respect in the Nashville wedding community. I know we will all miss her fabulous posts, but I’m excited for the future (and I hope you are too!).
Although there will be some branding, cosmetic and backend changes to the blog, please know that my main goal is keeping the blog’s local feel. As the new owner, I’m not a big company using this platform as a way to promote myself or any specific business. I’m a local Nashville blogger with a passion to keep the focus of the blog on what it has been for the past 10 years - bringing you exceptional content 5 days a week by showcasing Nashville weddings and helping Nashville brides plan their weddings. If you gather anything from this post, please know that this is my ultimate goal!
Through this transition and always, I am open to hearing feedback - good and bad! I’d love to hear any ideas you may have on how to improve the blog and what you are looking for as a bride or Nashville wedding professional.
I look forward to posting some new and innovative content for all of you and I hope to meet you through this process! Please feel free to keep in touch - you can reach me at email@example.com.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Many of you questioned my last blog post, wondering if it was an April Fool's Day joke. It certainly was not a joke and saying goodbye became more bittersweet after reading post and post from all of you readers, brides, moms, wedding pros sharing ABG's impact on your business or wedding planning experience.
I really thought that would be my last post on ABG. But, as it turns out, it's not!
I am elated to share news that will surprise you as much as it did me. After much thought and consideration, I decided to sell the blog to long-time wedding industry friend and fellow blogger, Alyssa DiCicco.
Alyssa and I met back in 2008 when I hired her as a freelance social media manager for ABG. Since then we have kept in touch and crossed paths most recently in her role as Marketing & Design Manager in the Nashville wedding rental industry. Her years of blogging and social media management along with her strong connection to the Nashville wedding industry made her a great choice to continue on with the blog. Alyssa plans to carry on the legacy of the blog by staying dedicated to the local Nashville wedding scene. And she has innovative plans to take the ABG blog and our offline bridal community to a new level!
Thank you again for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support throughout the years. You are in great hands with Alyssa. For the next few months, she and I will be step-in-step, making sure all of our readers and site partners notice very little difference in what you've come to love about ABG. Once the baton is fully passed, you'll experience the all new ABG.
Friday, April 1, 2016
After nearly 10 years, AshleysBrideGuide.com has come to an end. Today is our last feature. While our blog is known for showcasing perfect wedding photos, today, I have no wedding photos to share, just words from my heart to yours.
From marketing manager to Nashville wedding expert?
In 2006, I started AshleysBrideGuide.com with the sole goal of helping busy Nashville brides plan their wedding online. I was engaged, trying to plan a wedding while juggling a full-time job. I spent my workdays behind a desk doing marketing where most of my time was spent online, generally researching, but often surfing MySpace (yes MySpace), The Knot and other national wedding blogs. There was not a single online website devoted to Nashville weddings: our engaged couples, our wedding venues, our creative wedding pros, our Southern culture.
The more I planned, the more I realized that there needed to be a way to research Nashville weddings online, find vendors, get inspiration, and see photos. I put together a plan and started attending wedding industry events, and conducting informal research. When I shared my idea, people thought I was crazy, especially seasoned wedding pros. Brides won't plan their wedding online; that's why we have bridal magazines and bridal shows. "They'll never use the internet for wedding planning." (Actual quote from a current, Nashville wedding vendor.)
To be fair, what did I know about weddings? Yeah - I'd gotten married, fallen in love with the wedding industry and wanted to immerse myself in weddings. Get in line!
Back then, I really didn't know much about weddings. They were right. I didn't even know how great Nashville weddings could be. (Nashville now ranks as a top wedding destination!) But here's what I knew: Brides would (eventually) plan their weddings online, and they would need a local insider to help them plan their local wedding.
You don't have to know it all...
Did I know that the energy responsible for creating Nashville's killer music scene was the same spirit that birthed uber-creative event geniuses? Not at all.
Did I imagine that the Internet would revolutionize weddings and that weddings would then drive technology creation? Nope.
Did I know that magazines would eventually be less read than online content? No.
Could I have imagined that Nashville wedding pros would rely on AshleysBrideGuide.com to build their brand, tell their story and support their families? No way.
Would I have guessed that buying "local" would become a huge movement and that a local website would participate in keeping dollars circulating in Nashville? What?! No.
Did I know that our daily advice and yearly wedding boot camp would change the way couples approach wedding planning and marriage building? Unreal.
Did I realize that our website would be the launchpad for up-and-coming writers, wedding planners, and wedding pros who would use ABG to get a foot in the industry? No.
Who could have guessed that we'd be named one of Nashville's top 3 blogs?! And not just among wedding blogs but top blogs in the city? You gotta be kidding!
Did I realize that 10 years later, we'd be the single largest repository of Nashville weddings online, with nearly 500 couples featured, and the longest running weekly newsletter devoted to Nashville weddings? No!
...You just have to trust that the universe conspires with the child who tries
There was so much that I could not have fathomed in 2006 when I launched ABG. With a team of freelance writers, devoted readers, and supportive wedding entreprenuers, we accomplished something spectacular with every word we shared, every show we attended, every tweet we shared, and every interview we held.
I am thankful for your support and the incredible journey that you have taken with me.
Today, please allow the success of a small startup like ABG to inspire you to chase every. single. crazy. dream. When others don't understand. When you're ahead of your time. When you are an outsider. When you know that something could be better, greater, easier, tastier, bigger, smaller, prettier, more creative... whatever your improvement or thing is... give it to this world. Don't neglect your visions. Live to see your dreams come true. Don't settle for what's easy, comfortable, convenient, or safe. Try over and over. Don't be afraid to fail.
ABG was my leap. It was a beautiful gift that was born after my own wedding in 2006. For 10 years, I have lived, slept, and breathed Nashville weddings, and while ending ABG is bittersweet, it's time for my next leap. If you know me, you know this is not goodbye. This is "see ya later." I can't wait to share my next venture and I pray that you come along for the ride with me, yet again.
"Leap and the net will appear”― John Burroughs
Current advertisers: Contact me if you did not receive an email regarding next steps.
Everyone else: Connect with me via LinkedIn! Discover great wedding finds by visiting EnchantedBrides.com.
Photos: Zipporah Photography
Thursday, March 31, 2016
As one of Nashville's premier wedding planners, Regalo Design knows the stress that planning a wedding can cause couples. Their number one goal is to help couples plan the wedding of their dreams with minimal effort. Think it's not possible? It certainly is! In fact, here are "5 Ways to Take the To Do Out of "I Do!" from the Regalo Design team. It's a must-read for all of you that have taken on way too much and know it!
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
It's no surprise that Kristen and Adam's Nashville wedding mirrored their social butterfly lifestyle: comfortable, focused on friends and family, and welcoming.
The couple picked an all-star wedding team who understood and respected their vision, and then they stepped back and allowed the weddings pros to execute. The result was a day filled with laughter, great food, and a warm atmosphere. And while "stunning" wasn't a top priority for the couple, they got that too! Their day, from beginning to end, was absolutely breathtaking.
Kristen + Adam
Wedding Date: October 10, 2015
Ceremony Venue: St. George’s Episcopal Church
Reception Venue: aVenue
Budget: $20,000 – 30,000
Venue | aVenue
Planner | Grey Boroff from Randi Events
Photographer | Erin from The Collection
Gown | Romona Keveza from b. Hughes Bridal
Men’s Attire | Tuxes owned by groomsmen
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Bella Bridesmaid
Hair + Makeup | Jen of OneTen Makeup
Stationery | Jess Foley
Caterer | Chef’s Market
Cake Artist | Dulce Desserts
Floral Designer | Friend
Ceremony Musicians | Members of St. George’s
Reception Musicians | Bueller Band
Rentals | 12th Table
Transportation | Nashville Trolley
How would you describe your style as a couple?
We are both very laid back and I would say an inviting couple. We are big social butterflies. Neither one of us have met a stranger. Our typical evenings involve wine and conversation with friends at someone’s house.
How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?
We wanted our wedding to feel like a big, welcoming party. I didn’t want anything too elaborate or fancy. We wanted the occasion and the guests to be the main focus. I loved the idea of the exposed brick throughout the venue and beautiful flowers throughout with simplistic centerpieces. We had a “lounge” type area in the center of the receptions with a couch, rug, and coffee table. Made you feel like you were just hanging out with your friends at someone’s home.
What was your (or your guests’) favorite aspect of your wedding?
We made a great decision with the band. The band Bueller did an amazing job getting everyone to dance and come together. One of our favorite parts was when the band was playing Journey’s “Faithfully.” A large group of our friends circled around us and sang loudly. It was a very special moment for all of us.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
I would say we were pretty economical about most things except the photographer. It was very important, for me especially, to have pictures that really captured the moment and that were beautiful. We knew the day would be a whirlwind and we may not remember everything, so to have pictures you can look back on is so important to us. We saved money on décor. We did not DIY, but we really didn’t go crazy on décor with draping, etc. We wanted it to feel clean and open.
Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?
It went so smoothly and turned out so gorgeously that I really don’t have anything I want to change. The wedding planner did most of it, so it was kind of nice to walk into the venue and see everything for the first time.
In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Enjoy it and do not sweat. People want to celebrate you and do not care about your centerpieces and drapery.