The 4th is upon us and we'll be sporting our red, white and blue all weekend long! And because of the holiday, we decided to put together some red, white and blue wedding ideas with a twist. This year's Pantone wedding colors can come into play with variations of the patriotic red and blue. Instead, try dusty blue and burgundy wedding colors to touch on this year's trends. Take a look:
With dozens of wedding venues, dressses, cakes, photographers and more to browse, you'll have no problem assembling your #weddingteam. Not only will you browse from booth to booth, you'll have an opportunity to view a live bridal fashion show with this season's hottest wedding dress trends. Plus, every single bride who walks in the door will receive a tote bag - and if you're one of the first 100 brides, you'll receive a swag bag with goodies from PWG vendors. And you'll have $1,000 worth of PWG Bucks to spend on wedding products and services (which will help tremendously with your budget)!
How much more free can the show get? Well, I have some great news for you! PWG is offering all Ashley's Bride Guide readers FREE ADMISSON to the show! (eek!) Use the promo code "TICKET" and get not 1, but 2 free tickets to the show! Click here for the tickets.
If you're going downtown for the 4th of July fireworks display this weekend, then you may notice the new kid on the block: The Valentine. Located in the previous home of The Boot Factory, The Valentine houses multiple event spaces on 4 stories right on Broadway in downtown Nashville. The space features areas for live music, a restaurant, a patio and a rooftop deck overlooking the beautiful downtown buildings and riverfront. What more could a city bride ask for?
With easy access to many of Nashville's tourist attractions, your guests will have a ball exploring the downtown scene before and after your wedding. Heck, you might as well make a wedding weekend out of it!
We're loving The Valentine's indoor vintage, ecclectic and industrial look. You'll feel as though you've traveled back in time to the 1920s prohibition era! And as you walk up to the rooftop deck, you feel as though you're at an outdoor cabana overlooking the Cumberland River.
And if you're in the market for a wedding venue with a view of downtown Nashville, The Valentine is definitely a contender!
When I found out Oakwood Cleaners was a certified Greener Cleaner, I wanted to learn more! I'm all about choosing products and services that are healthy and better for the environment. And if you're a green-focused bride, Oakwood is the very best option in Nashville to clean your wedding dress. Plus, you can bring your groom's suit in for a fresh and natural clean at the same time! I rounded up a few questions from Rhonda about greener dry cleaning, so take a look below!
What made you decide to open up a greener dry cleaning company in Nashville?
What does it mean to be a certified "Greener Cleaner"?
Rhonda: Ever wonder why the clothes you bring home from conventional dry cleaners have a strangely sweet odor? That’s the smell of petrochemical residue. Most people find it distasteful, but some people who suffer from asthma or odor sensitivities find it can make them sick. Clothes dry cleaned with GreenEarth have absolutely no odor. Your clothes are fresh and clean right out of the bag, so there’s no need to let them "air out” (though you should take them out of the bag before hanging them in your closet—if humidity gets trapped inside the bag it is not good for clothes).
Skin friendly. GreenEarth solution is so safe you could rub it on your skin. In fact, you probably already do. That’s because GreenEarth solution is pure liquid silicone, the same base ingredient found in everyday shampoos, conditioners, skin lotions and antiperspirants.
Allergies or sensitive skin? No worries. GreenEarth is non-allergenic and non-irritating. Best of all, it leaves fabrics silky smooth, with no static. Wools aren’t itchy. Sweaters feel soft. Fabrics drape nicely again. Clothes just feel good.
Store friendly. People who work in or live near dry cleaning stores often worry about the dangers of exposure to perc (short for perchloroethylene, the petrochemical used by most cleaners), with good reason. According to the EPA, over-exposure to perc can lead to headaches, dizziness, skin and eye irritation and other health effects, including an increased risk of cancer. Seniors, young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. People who work in or live near a GreenEarth dry cleaning store have absolutely nothing to worry about. GreenEarth is safe to work with, safe to dispose of and safe to breathe. Employees especially love working in an odorless store!
What ingredients are in the GreenEarth dry-cleaning product?
Rhonda: GreenEarth is a greener dry cleaning process that is completely safe. It has no hazardous chemicals. No perchloroethylene. No petroleum. So there’s no risk to the air, water or soil. GreenEarth cleans with pure liquid silicone. In essence, liquefied sand. The same natural sand the earth has been creating for over six billion years. GreenEarth's silicone is clear, odorless and gentle. In the environment, it simply returns to its three natural elements: sand (SiO2) and trace amounts of water and CO2. It's a clean you can feel good about.
Describe the process of greener dry cleaning.
Rhonda: Dry cleaning is not dry! It is a liquid solvent that does not use water. In our case it is GreenEarth, liquified silicone. It goes in a machine similar to a washing machine. The machine has several different settings depending on what is getting cleaned and after it is cleaned in the green earth it is then dried in the same machine! There are times though that our production manager is manually control the cleaning process and the drying time.
How is a greener dry clean different from a regular dry clean?
Rhonda:Petroleum-free. Regulation-free. GreenEarth is so safe, the EPA doesn’t regulate it. Neither does OSHA, RCRA or CERCLA. In contrast, the petroleum-based solvents most dry cleaners use are heavily regulated. That’s because they can be extremely hazardous to the earth and people when they aren’t handled properly.
Most dry cleaners (about 80%) use a synthetic chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent known as perc (perchloroethylene). It has been classified by the EPA as a toxic air contaminant, a hazardous, likely carcinogenic substance and one of the top four contaminants found in drinking water. It can enter your body when you inhale its vapors or touch it. Perc can irritate your skin, eyes, nose or throat, and affects your brain much like alcohol does (e.g. dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of balance or coordination, etc.). California has recently banned the use of perc; other states have proposed similar legislation.
Beware of "green washing"! The second most common type of solvent used in dry cleaning is hydrocarbon, also petroleum-based. Hydrocarbon is sometimes marketed as "organic”. Beware! There is nothing "green" about organic dry cleaning methods. Scientifically speaking, anything with a chain of carbon can be accurately labeled organic, but that doesn’t mean it's environmentally friendly or chemical-free. Gasoline is organic, but you wouldn’t want to wash clothes with it.
Breathe easy. Hydrocarbon solvents are classified as volatile air contaminants (VOCs), meaning they can vaporize into the atmosphere and contribute to smog and global warming. But GreenEarth is not classified as a VOC by the U.S. EPA. It’s good for the clothes you wear and for the air you breathe.
Can any garment be green dry cleaned or are there restrictions?
Rhonda: Most garments can be cleaned in our GreenEarth Cleaning agent. There are, however, some items that say do not dry clean. Those have to be dealt with differently.
How is green dry cleaning appealing to brides?
Rhonda: Brides can be rest assured that their gowns that call for dry cleaning will be cleaned in the most gentle cleaning solvents on the market. Green Earth is actually good for fabric and has no odor.
I don't know about you, but I just learned so much about greener dry cleaning! And wow - I never knew the dangers of a regular dry cleaning. Sticking with GreenEarth is the way to go!
You can visit Oakwood Cleaners in 3 different locations - Nashville, Cool Springs and Hermitage.
I was overjoyed hearing the news that my friend Valerie got engaged to her teen sweetheart John! They are an adorable couple - and they've weathered much of their relationship long-distance. And after 8 years of dating, John popped the question! It was a special day and I have Valerie here to tell the rest of their love story...
Valerie + John
Proposal Date: December 5, 2015
Wedding Date: September 25, 2016
Wedding Location: Belle Meade Plantation
How did you get engaged?
Valerie: On Saturday, December 5, John asked if I wanted to have a 'date day'. I really didn't suspect a thing! We had a leisurely brunch at Marchè, saw Christmas lights at Cheekwood, and picked out our very first live Christmas tree.
In the midst of our date, my sister, Laura, texted me about a double date she was planning with one of our best friends, Meegen. She asked if I'd like to get ready with them before my dinner date with John. Meegen is one of the top hair and makeup artists for country music celebrities, and every time she works her magic on me I feel like a queen. I excitedly joined in the fun. What a treat! Laura and Meegen sat me down and insisted I get ready first, saying that their dinner reservation was much later than mine.
Over a wonderful dinner at Margot, John asked if I'd like to see the Christmas lights at Opryland later that night. We had been talking about this for weeks and I really did want to go. Naturally, I sent texts to our friends asking if they wanted to join. I didn't hear back from anyone - which was very strange. I hadn't even heard from Laura in hours.
The traffic heading to Opryland was at a near standstill. I suggested maybe we go another night - the traffic wouldn't be so bad and our friends would probably want to go too.
John was really adamant about going to Opryland. He's usually pretty flexible and likes to go with the flow - but he was insistent about this. Then his phone pinged with a text - and he tried to hide the screen. Not soon enough! "ETA?" from Laura Howard. What! She was supposed to be on a date and still hadn't answered my text asking where she was going for dinner.
We inched along on the exit ramp to Opryland and everything started coming together. My nails were manicured, I looked glamorous (thanks Meegen!) and all of my friends were hiding from me. Something was up - my nerves shot through the roof!
As John marched through the maze of lights at Opryland, I followed behind in a daze. I don't think I saw a single light. I was anxious, excited, nervous, over the moon, terrified and head over heels in love. The first thing I really did see was Laura, standing in front of the lit up gazebo. Her eyes were huge, realizing that we were making eye contact. She turned quickly and practically dove into the bushes.
When we got to the gazebo, John got down on one knee and we both started crying. After 8 years of dating, this boy I met at Starbucks when I was a 16 year old barista was asking me to be his wife forever!
We’re bringing people on one at a time for our budget's sake.
What’s your wedding style?
Valerie: Fun, whimsical and rustic.
What’s your most fun purchase/hire to date?
Valerie: All of them!
Bright Events: John actually worked at Bright Events when he first moved to Nashville. He loved the team and he especially loved working for the owners, Clint and Abby. During his time at Bright he set up lights for a lot of weddings. He got to see first-hand how great lighting transforms each venue. When we got engaged, John knew exactly where he wanted to get married and that Bright could create a perfect atmosphere for the wedding. Bright was the first vendor John wanted to meet with and so far they have taken incredible care of us!
Actual Food: I met Dan Forberg because he does a lot of artist’ catering for tour rehearsals. I fell in LOVE with his food, but also him as a person. He uses as much local products as he can and all fresh ingredients. He is a game changer and I begged him to do the wedding!
Yummy Cakes: Jackie Lewenski, She is a therapist by day, and a baker by hobby. For every cake she makes, she donates a cake to those who can’t afford a birthday cake. She gave us a huge list of cake flavors, icings, and fillings and we chose 5 flavors to have a variety of cupcakes. She is also baking a smaller wedding cake for us to cut!
Libby Barnes and Meegen Pearson: They are the best of the best hair and makeup artists! I have never felt more confident or beautiful then when I am in their presence. They are also some of the funniest people I know.
And of course Anna Rebecca Weddings: We knew we wanted to work with her from the moment we met her for an introductory coffee. She immediately put us at ease, talked us through our dreams and fears, and worked with our budget. She is everything we could have dreamed of in a photographer.
What aspect of being engaged has surprised you the most?
Valerie: I had no idea how much closer John and I could get throughout the process of planning a wedding. All of the decisions that have to be made are daunting, but it has been incredible learning how to make decisions with someone else. I’m a very independent, strong willed person, so learning how to be interdependent has been challenging and super rewarding.
What have you most enjoyed about being engaged?
Valerie: I LOVE how much our friends are involved in planning the wedding. John and I are so lucky to be surrounded by the best people and it has been so fun to see their love intertwine with ours.
Tell us about your engagement session. Where did it take place?
Valerie: She was absolutely incredible! We felt like we won the lottery working with her. She had an amazing eye for detail and provided so much direction (which we really needed haha).
What did you like most about the session?
Valerie: We felt completely spoiled. Libby Barnes did our glam and came with us to all of the locations. John and I felt like we got to give everyone a peek into our normal lives (except with a professional makeup artist and a great photographer following us around, haha). It was so personal and so sweet. Anna encouraged us to be us - which is competitive and fun.
We really had a power team. Libby and Anna Rebecca provided great insight and direction, but they also kept reminded us to soak every bit in.
Would you recommend the photographer and why?
Valerie: Absolutely. Anna Rebecca has an incredible way of mirroring your personality and bringing the best out. She is encouraging, hilarious, and great at providing direction. She asked what our favorite things were and where we wanted to shoot, and then she picked everything else. She is extremely fast at finding where and how she wants to shoot to capture the best lighting. We felt confident and comfortable in her hands!
Thank you so much for sharing your engagement story, Valerie + John! We love how she incorporated many Nashville hot-spots to make the photos truly "them"! We cannot wait to see photos from their wedding!
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