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the wedding scoop

Brianna & Brandon’s Vintage Chic Wedding At Nashville Zoo Proves Love & Fun Are A Great Mix

Friday, November 21, 2014

When’s the last time you heard of a bride and groom who used a carousel as one of the focal points at a wedding? It’s likely you haven’t and it’s one of the many reasons why we love Brianna and Brandon’s wedding! The couple wanted to host their wedding at a venue that both reflected their style as a couple, but one that would also be an interesting experience for their guests. They chose the Nashville Zoo for their September wedding. The outcome was superb and lovely, two words reserved for a flawlessly executed wedding. Read more about the couple’s wedding day:

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

Brianna & Brandon 
Wedding Date | 09/13/2014
Ceremony & Reception Venue | Nashville Zoo
Budget | $40-50K
Guests | 140

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design


Wedding Team

Planner, Floral Designer & Lighting | Sarah Goude, Regalo Design
Frozen Exposure Photography {+} Cinematography | Frozen Exposure
Gown | Stephen Yearick, The White Room Lebanon
Bride’s Headpiece | The White Room
Brides Jewelry | Dillard’s
Men’s Attire | Suits, Street Tuxedo
Ties & Pocket Square | Tie Bar
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Online boutique
Bridesmaids’ Jewelry | J.Crew
Hair-| Blowout & Co
Makeup | Angie Lima
Paper Goods | Betsy White, Etsy shops
Caterer | Taste of the Wild
Cake Artist | Sweetest Day
Ceremony Harpist | Deanna Lovelace
Reception DJ |  Brian Snyder Entertainment
Rentals | Southern Events
Transportation | Black Diamond Limousine

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design


Wedding Details


How would you describe your style as a couple?

We’re a pretty a laid-back couple who love to laugh and have fun.  We love all things vintage and shabby chic and definitely wanted our wedding to be a reflection of that.

How did you incorporate that style into your wedding (e.g. décor, colors, details or even picking the venue)?

Brandon and I chose the Nashville Zoo because we wanted something different and interesting for our guests, but still fit our personalities.  Very few people even realize that the Nashville Zoo is an option as a wedding venue.  We were able to have the best of both worlds at the zoo. We had the vintage aspect, with our ceremony under a tree in front of the historic Croft house, then a fun and unique cocktail hour around the carousel, where our guests had the opportunity to mix and mingle as well as take a ride, and ended with dinner and dancing at the Jungle Terrace.

I wanted our wedding to feel romantic and dreamy, so we chose light pink and mint with neutrals mixed in.  We chose cross-back chairs, and barn wood tables to give the reception a rustic feel, with beautiful floral arrangements and burlap and lace table runners to incorporate the romantic side.  I love Champagne, so instead of wine, we had a “Bubbly Bar” with “Mint to Be” Champagne Mojitos as our signature drink.  Brandon has a major sweet tooth, so we offered our guests a late night snack of warm chocolate chunk cookies (his favorite) to indulge in. We also love cornhole!  As a wedding gift my brother gave us custom-made “McGowan” cornhole boards that our guests got to enjoy.   Sarah and her team at Regalo Design did an outstanding job making our vision a reality and making sure our day was a reflection of us.  I could not have been happier with the way everything turned out. It was truly stunning!

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

zoo nashville wedding gorgeous design

nashville zoo wedding planner regalo design

What was your (or your guests’) favorite aspect of your wedding? I think our guests really enjoyed the carousel!  Everyone had a great time riding it from my young cousins, to my grandmother!  It was definitely a hit!  As for Brandon and I, we enjoyed everything about the day, but most importantly, getting to celebrate the beginning of our life together with all of our amazing family and friends.

Where did you splurge?
My biggest splurge was probably my gown. I loved the top of one Stephen Yearick gown, and the bottom of another, so we combined them and added a bow and pockets :)

Where did you save/DIY?
I ordered our invitations online, and lined the envelopes myself, with Rifle Paper Company wrapping paper.  I also ordered a DIY printable from Etsy for both our programs, and menus and had them printed at Office Max.  They all turned out beautifully, and were pretty inexpensive. 

Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?

There is honestly nothing that we would change.  We had an amazing time planning our special day with minimal stress (mostly in part to having an amazing planner and design team).  Our day was truly magical, and I don’t know about Brandon, but I wish I could relive it all over again :)

What words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?

Take a step back and enjoy the process and the day itself.  Remember to have fun, and don’t worry about the little things!  People told me for years how fast it would go by, and boy, were they right!

nashville zoo wedding planner regalo design

nashville zoo wedding planner regalo design

nashville zoo wedding planner regalo design

nashville zoo wedding planner regalo design

Posted by Newlywed Leah | Filed under: Wedding Style - Vintage, 0 comments »

Busy Nashville Brides: Let Chef’s Market Cater Thanksgiving, Holidays

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's no surprise that Chef's Market is one of our favorite wedding caterers and one the best in Nashville.  (They recently won the Tennessean's Best Nashville Caterer award so we'renot making this up.) They are incredible!  

If the holiday cooking has somehow landed on your to-do list, or if you are looking for your "item to take" to the family feast, you'll appreciate this:  Chef's Market has holidays covered with their takeaway menu.  

Keep to your planning and let Chef's Market handle not only your wedding day catering but your holiday meals too. Here's the link to their Thanksgiving menu.

chefs market best nashville caterer thanksgiving christmas menu

herb crusted turkey chefs market nashville

Herb Crusted Turkey - Yum!

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Food/Catering, 0 comments »

Caring for Your Wedding Gown: 6 Tips from Certified Wedding Gown Specialists

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your wedding gown could very well be the most expensive garment you've ever purchased.  Mine sure was.  You definitely want to take care of it, before and after your big day.  While some gown care tips might be common sense, many may surprise you.

clean preserve wedding gown nashville tips


According to the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, there are 6 tips for caring for your wedding gown:

1) Always . . . hang your wedding gown by loops inside your wedding gown that are connected to the sturdy side seams, never by the fragile shoulder seams that can stretch or sag under the weight of your gown

2) Always . . . avoid storing your wedding gown in a plastic bag (even a clean sheet is better than a plastic bag) or in a vacuum-sealed, plastic-wrapped container because plastic bags emit fumes that can yellow your bridal gown and shrink-wrapped containers trap moisture that can mildew your wedding gown

3) Always . . . ask what precautions the Specialist takes to protect delicate trims and decorations on your wedding gown and how the cleaner guards against latent stains on your wedding gown

4) Always . . . choose a Specialist who will process your bridal gown in the Specialist's own facility, never one who sends your bridal gown away to be cleaned

5) Always . . . ask to inspect your wedding gown personally before it is put into the container, which should be a completely acid-free, archival-quality wedding chest lined with fabric or acid-free tissue

6) Always . . . avoid storing your bridal gown in the attic or basement where there are extreme changes in temperature or humidity

Oakwood Cleaners is the only wedding gown specialist in the Nashville, TN area.  If you value your gown, Oakwood is the cleaners to trust.  They have 3 locations.  Learn more via their website,

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses & Accessories, 0 comments »

Crystal’s Cake Story: Signature Cakes by Vicki, Fantastic Artist with a Heart for People

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Patience and attentiveness is what you want when deciding the design of your wedding cake, and that’s exactly what Crystal and Anthony got when they worked with Signature Cakes by Vicki for their July 12th wedding at the Hutton Hotel.

During a previous experience with another baker, Crystal felt rushed and unimportant. With Vicki, she felt comfortable and heard, working closely with Vicki to create a vision that would incorporate elements of her dress into the cake. Learn more about Crystal’s experience and why she continues to rave about her cake.

african american wedding hutton hotel nashville

african american wedding hutton hotel nashville


What was the vision for your wedding?

Modern / Elegant / Romantic

How did you find Signature Cakes by Vicki?

Through my wedding planner: Tijvana Young of Young Etiquette, Inc

What inspired your cake?

I love flowers and wanted to incorporate my wedding colors: lavender, silver, white

african american wedding hutton hotel nashville


How did you approach the design for your wedding cake?  Did you take pictures to Signature Cakes by Vicki did you meet with her and answer questions about your dress, etc?

I reviewed Vicki's website and was really impressed with her work.  She welcomed me, my husband, and 4 other family members into her home/business for a cake tasting and cake design.  After the cake tasting she continued to communicate with me through emails and phone calls.  We were able to collaborate on the color scheme and even incorporate details that resembled my dress.  She was very receptive to all of my suggestions and did an excellent job of carrying out my vision.

What did you want most from your cake - great design, taste? specific details?

A beautifully designed cake was very important to me, but I also wanted my wedding guests to really enjoy the taste of the cake.

What surprised you about the experience of designing your cake?

Before meeting Vicki I had a terrible experience at another cake tasting.  I felt rushed, unimportant, and devastated that the other cake company could not understand my vision.  I was extremely surprised at how patient and attentive Vicki was.  She treated me and my family as her own.  She also took the time to sketch my vision out on paper as I described it.  I knew after that meeting that she was a fantastic artist that truly has a heart for people and her business.

african american wedding hutton hotel nashville


I absolutely love that!  I am glad you were able to find Vicki, who provided the level of service that everyone seeks.  What were your cake flavors?  Did you have them custom designed or were they standard?

Coconut, chocolate mocha, banana, and caramel.  They were standard flavors for Signature Cakes.  My favorite was the coconut and we made it the flavor of the top layer.  We have it in the freezer and I can't wait to eat it again at our 1 year anniversary.  My husband's favorite was the banana.  He says it tastes just like banana pudding (one of his favorite desserts)!

What did you like most about your cake?

The fact that the entire design was created with icing!  I loved the gorgeous flowers and how they cascaded down and around the cake.  Vicki says that purple hues are very hard to create with icing, but she did an amazing job!

Photos: George Street Photography

african american wedding hutton hotel nashville

Posted by Newlywed Leah | Filed under: 0 comments »

Need a Nashville Wedding Planner? Meet Rene of Next Step Event Planning

Monday, November 17, 2014

It’s always nice to run your wedding planning ideas past someone who’s been through it all before. For Rene and her team at Next Step Event Planning, that’s one of the things that makes them so special and such a valuable resource to brides.

For brides who are looking to ease their stress and hand over some or all planning tasks to the professionals, Next Step Event Planning might just the team for you.

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene


Tell us about what services you offer to brides.

We offer full planning, month of coordination and design and decor options. We can also help with florals and candy/dessert buffets. As part of our design packages, we can coordinate the lighting, draping and linen rentals.  We want our brides to not be overwhelmed with different vendors so we try to be the only source they need for planning and decor, which saves them from the need to explain their vision to multiple vendors hoping everyone understands what they want.

How did you get your start in your business and in the wedding industry? 

In the past, I worked for Marriott Corporation as a meeting planner and loved my job. When my daughter got engaged eight years ago, hers was the very first wedding I planned and I knew I had found my calling.


nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

brooke kelly photography nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene


What makes your services unique?

We can handle everything the bride needs from planning, decor, lighting, draping and florals.   For the services we don't provide, we have a multitude of contacts in the industry that offer services at various budget levels. I don't like to see brides stressing over their weddings. I try to make sure our brides enjoy their wedding, both the planning and the day, while knowing that my team and I are behind the scenes making it all come together.

Why do you love weddings and working with Nashville brides?

I love the newness of weddings - a new life together and new creative ideas. Nashville brides, and the destination brides I've helped, have a definite understanding of what they do and don't want for their day. I love that decisiveness. However, when I get the bride who has no clue what she wants, that is when my creativity really comes through.


nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene

nashville wedding planner next steps planning rene


What’s your advice to brides who are just beginning the wedding planning process?

Before you pick a venue, before you pick colors, before you set a budget, hire a planner.   Some brides think they can't afford a planner but you will be amazed how much money and stress you actually save yourself. Beyond that, don't forget to have fun.

Contact Info:

Company Name: Next Step Events
Main Contact: Rene Robinson, Owner / Designer
Phone Number: 615-768-9823
Email Address:

Posted by Newlywed Leah | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, 0 comments »

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