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Share Your Love Story for a Chance at a $1000 Prize Toward Your Dream Wedding

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

wedding games nashville win money for wedding

Note: This is a guest contribution from our friends at Nfocus and the Nashville Scene

Congratulations on your engagement! We know every bride can use a little help when planning her wedding. Wedding Games presented by ilex for flowers, and brought to you by the Nashville Scene and NFocus Magazine is here to help. Your love story is one of a kind; share that story here and you'll be registered to win a prize valued at $1000 or more from one of our Wedding Games wedding professionals. Once you've shared your story, tell all of your friends to vote! The story with the most votes each week will be named that week's winner. In addition to selecting your prize, you'll be featured in the Nashville Scene.

Our first winning bride was featured in the January 10 issue of the Scene, and she will be working with Liberty Party Rentals to make her day extra special. There are some fabulous prizes still available from our wedding professionals including flowers from ilex for flowers; dresses from Modern Trousseau, Olia Zavozina, or Karen Hendrix Couture; transportation from Matchless Transportation Services; venue space from Loew's Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville or the Commodore Ballroom; and catering from Copper Kettle or Famous Dave's. Wouldn't it be amazing to cross one of these items off your wedding to-do list? We thought so too.

Submit your love story now through January 31, 2013. One winner will be chosen weekly through February 8. Visit the Wedding Games site for more information.

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Contests, Giveaways, Specials, Engagements & Proposals, 0 comments »

Street Tuxedo’s Tan Suit: for Farm, Garden, Beach or Casual Nashville Weddings

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Street Tuxedo's tan suit. It's the most popular suit chosen by Nashville grooms and brides for their casual weddings. Think Southern farm, rooftop dessert reception, Franklin garden brunch, historic East Nashville house, or Cabo beach. No matter where you wed, if it's casual, the tan suit is probably a great option for grooms and groomsmen.  

What makes the tan suit great is its surprising versatility. While it is more casual than a black, blue, or grey suit, it can easily be dressed up or dressed down. How? Many Nashville grooms have paired it with the jacket, pants, and vest. Others have left the 3-piece look for the groom while the groomsmen wore a newsboy hat, sleeves rolled up with pants and suspenders. Still others have gone with a vest, pants with the white shirt and bowtie. Shoes also make a difference - for dressier weds, brown leather works. Other grooms completely flip the look by rocking brightly covered Converse, cowboy boots, or something more eclectic.  

Nashville couples having beach weddings often go for a linen colored suit instead of the tan. The linen colored suit is lighter, less fitted, and has a fuller leg. It looks great with a pop-color necktie, barefoot with pants rolled up.

country wedding outdoor chic tan suit

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

wedding suit nashville khaki tan linen farm outdoor wedding attire

wedding suit nashville khaki tan linen farm outdoor wedding attire

wedding suit nashville khaki tan linen farm outdoor wedding attire

Photo: Jessica Holloway Photography

Unless noted, photos: Street Tuxedo Facebook page

Visit Street Tuxedo, which is Nashville owned and operated and has four VERY convenient Nashville-area locations (so there's no reason to run to a mall-based, chain location when there's a superb Nashville company to style you). They are also offering a great January special: groomsmen who pay in full by January 31 get 10% off their suit/tuxedo. Like them on Facebook to learn more.

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Attire - Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses & Accessories, Contests, Giveaways, Specials, Grooms, Groomsmen & Tuxedos , 0 comments »

Feed the Giraffe. Kiss for the Elephant. Wild Engagement & Wedding Photos, Only at Nashville Zoo

Monday, January 14, 2013

For all of my recently engaged gals, engagement photos are a great opportunity to take professional photos of you and your beau to send out to friends and family to announce your engagement while giving your photographer a test run. If you are thinking of taking photos now, while it's cold outside, you may want to consider a venue like Noah Liff Opera Center, which is an indoor beauty. But once it warms up, and spring fever kicks in, you will no doubt be itching to reconnect with nature. That's where the Nashville Zoo comes in.

The Nashville Zoo is a very popular location for brides as it serves as the perfect, all natural backdrop for engagement photos and bridal portraits. And, it doesn't matter if you plan to get married there or not. They have photo packages that allow you and your photographer to come in and get snap happy.

zoo nashville wedding photos

Photo: Kevin Wimpy

Two options for bridal photos at the Nashville Zoo:

Option 1- General Admission
Rate- $15/adult + $5/car
This economical rate simply allows you to pay general admission to walk the zoo and take photographs at your leisure as a zoo guest.

Option 2- Bridal/Engagement VIP Package Rate- $150 for two hours
~ Admission and parking for up to 4 people (all day admission)
~ Golf cart and Zoo staff member to drive photo party to photo locations
~ Access to Wild Animal Carousel, Wilderness Express Train, and Lorikeet Feedings
~ Access to Botswana Camp a private rental area overlooking elephant yard (Additional golf cart escorted hours billed at $50/hr)

Add On-Giraffe Photo Opportunity Rate- $250
~ Access into the giraffe yard with feeding and photo opportunity with the giraffes (only available with Bridal VIP Package)

Obviously the below aren't engagement photos but I thought I would include them too. You are creative - you get the idea of how fabulous the Zoo could be for all types of bridal and engagement photos!  

wedding at nashville zoo

keoni k wedding photographer planner advice nashville

keoni k wedding photographer planner advice nashville

Photos: Keoni K Photography

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Engagements & Proposals, Photography, 0 comments »

Budget Nashville Bride Gets Married in Her $139 Wedding Gown from the Goodwill Gala!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ashley, a budget Nashville bride, was married last Fall and was one of the lucky brides to find her wedding dress at a steal at the 2012 Goodwill Gala, after reading about it right here on Ashley is a sweetheart and was kind of enough to share her story with me, and you, to help other Nashville brides discover the deals that are available at the Goodwill Gala and how to navigate this incredibly unique event.

budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress

Ashley and Grant
Wedding Date ~ October 7, 2012
Guests ~ 85
Budget ~ $3 to 5K


Ashley wasn’t sure if she would find her dress there but definitely thought it was worth checking out.  

She’d tried on a few gowns at David’s Bridal and found a few styles that she liked and also determined the size that she wore in bridal gowns. What she didn’t know was that what she learned at David’s Bridal would help her for the shopping adventure of a lifetime.

Ashley and her "true friend" camp out at the Goodwill Gala!

Ashley arrived at the Goodwill Gala at 11pm with one of her girlfriends, who she calls "a true friend." They camped out, sleeping on the sidewalk until two more friends joined them at 5am. Ashley’s then fiancé, Grant, brought Ashley and her faithful crew coffee and donuts and the girls turned the campout into their own little party.

The doors opened – at 6am sharp.

And the madness ensued! It was hectic and fun. There were people grabbing everything and she was so happy that she’d enlisted her friends for help. Ashley and her friends grabbed every gown they could, within her size and created a human fitting room to cover her as she tried on gowns.  Her girls pulled dress after dress over her head. Luckily, she was prepared, only wearing a body suit, which made it easy for things to fit over her without being completely…naked... in the middle of the store! The scene was insane.

budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress


Then she found it…

There was no mirror in this human dressing room but the moment she put it on, It felt right. Then she saw the look on her friends’ faces, which said it all. As she walked to find a mirror, strangers complimented her on the dress even asking if they could have it if she decided against it. But that wouldn’t happen because when she saw it, she was 100% certain that it was the right dress.

Arriving at the gala, Ashley didn’t really have a budget for her dress. No gala gown is priced over $400 but she wasn’t sure she would like anything she saw at the Gala. But she did! She found the perfect dress. It was clean. It didn’t need to be altered. She did decide to turn to a seamstress friend to reinforce a few seams but other than that, it was the deal of a lifetime.

…she paid only $139 for her dress at the Goodwill Gala!

budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress

budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress


Wedding Vendors
Dress I Goodwill Gala
Photographer I Nathan Morgan - Website & Facebook
Venue | Montgomery Bell State Park


Ashley’s big day

Ashley and Grant’s goal was to have a simple, casual wedding with personal touches; they were also determined to stick to a budget ranging from $3000-5000.

Along with 85 guests, Ashley and Grant got married on October 7 at Montgomery Bell State Park. She kept it simple by having her ceremony at their chapel, with its cute stained glass windows and then proceeded to their lake side pavilion for their sunset reception.

She splurged some…

Sticking to her budget was important but she also wanted to make sure her guests had a great time and ate well. Even with her modest budget, Ashley was able to serve her guests a full buffet dinner, thanks for the affordability of catering at Montgomery Bell State Park.  

... and saved some

Buying her dress at a fraction of the cost at the Goodwill Gala wasn’t the only way Ashley saved. She also bought much of her wedding décor from Goodwill, including blue glass bottles that she collected over several months. She also made her own wedding signs and display boards. She found her photographer online and thought he’d be way out of her price range. But, because he’d just moved to Nashville, he was willing to work with her and gave her a great deal. In fact, Ashley asserts that she loved working with Nathan, her photographer, and he and her dress find were the two things that she never doubted.

Ashley highly recommends that budget brides check out the 2013 Goodwill Gala. “I like saving money and it was an adventure that added to my wedding experience. Plus, I received many compliments on my dress and on our budget wedding. No one could believe the dress came from Goodwill for $139!"

budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress

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budget wedding nashville goodwill deal dress

You never know what you will find at the Goodwill Gala. This year's takes place on Saturday, March 16 so mark your calendar and prepare to save!  

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Attire - Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses & Accessories, Contests, Giveaways, Specials, DIY & Budget Wed Finds, Real Nashville Weddings, 0 comments »

What is PhotoJournalistic Wedding Photography? Joon Powell Photography Helps Us Figure It Out.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joon Powell is a photojournalist with more than a decade of experience. She has a passion for visual storytelling and her unique skills in photojournalism and portraiture have made her adept at documenting extra special days. Joon’s work has been published by The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Virginian-Pilot, The Tennessean, The Nashville City Paper, AARP, Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine, as well other professional periodicals. Many of Joon’s local clients include non-profits which focus on helping the homeless and those without health care.

Who would know better how to describe the photojournalistic style than...a photojournalist! I reached out to Joon of Joon Powell Photography to help you sort things out.

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photo journalist nashville wedding photos

photo journalist nashville wedding photos


How would you classify the types of wedding photography today? How does photojournalistic photography compare to those? 

Joon Powell Photography: When I look at contemporary wedding photography work, what I see often falls into either the fashion category or the photojournalism category. To me, the former is more about how things look on a wedding day while the latter is about how things feel on a wedding day. Obviously there are shades of grey between each approach but to me, these are two very different ways of thinking about photographs.

What type of bride/groom is most attracted to a photojournalistic style? What should engaged couples know about photojournalistic style/photojournalists?

Joon Powell: If you hire a photojournalist to shoot your wedding, you can expect fewer posed pictures and more candid moments: a tear rolling down dad’s cheek during the ceremony, the knowing look on a grandmother’s face as she sees her granddaughter all in white, the joy a couple exudes during their first dance. These are all very beautiful moments, and I believe a couple will be more likely to capture them and have them forever if they hire a photojournalist to document their wedding day.

Which photos of your work best illustrate photojournalism?

Joon Powell: If you hire a photojournalist, you will have more time to spend with your family, your new husband/wife and your guests, because a good photojournalist will be quiet, observant and only instructive when it comes to portraits. Also, photojournalists are used to working with diverse pools of clients, so I think they are more likely to take an active interest in the things and practices which make a wedding unique to that particular couple and their families and friends.

I've included a few photos which I feel are pretty exemplary of my approach to photographing weddings.

photo journalist nashville wedding photosnashville wedding photographer chicago wedding african

photo journalist nashville wedding photos

photojournalist wedding photos nashville

Posted by Ashley King | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Photography, 0 comments »

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