Thursday, July 25, 2013
Most of the brides that we feature are super brides, who are obsessed with weddings long before their big day or typical brides who quickly start to enjoy wedding planning once they are engaged.
And then there is Julie. Julie describes herself as "least like a bride." She's never had an interest in weddings, not the TV shows nor the pretty gowns, and getting engaged didn't change any of that for her. She obviously wanted a beautiful wedding but the steps to get there were of zero interest to her. What did she do? She hired a wedding planner, Michelle of Burlap and Brooches, whose vendor recommendations she followed exactly to create her wedding "army" and she let her pro team take it from there.
We'll feature Julie's wedding day details tomorrow. Today, I'd like to share her day at the hair salon as I'm sure her experience will help any of you who need hair and makeup for your big day.
Finding the Right Stylist
After learning that her own stylist didn't do up-dos and was too far from her East Nashville wedding venue, Julie turned to her wedding planner for a recommendation for a salon closer to town that could do the hair style she wanted. Her planner directed her to Julie, co-owner of J. Bangs, a comfortably chic salon in Nashville's Green Hills area.
Julie contacted the salon and scheduled a trial session with Julie. During her session, she appreciated Julie's attentiveness and willingness to modify the few things that she wanted to change about the style. Pleased with the service, Julie scheduled her wedding day hair and makeup appointments and reserved a few appointments for her bridesmaids.
Wedding Day Starts at the Salon!
Julie's wedding day started at J. Bangs Salon. She arrived at the salon at 10 am and her services began. Katie, her maid of honor and sister, brought champagne and the bridesmaids began to arrive for their services and to celebrate the beautiful bride.
Julie wasn't picky about most aspects of her wedding, but she did want professional hair and makeup. As a girl who loves makeup, and even works in the makeup industry, she wanted a pro to give her a good foundation for her wedding day. The last time she had her makeup applied professionally was prom, and it was a horrible experience. She gave a pro another shot because she really wanted a good primer, false lashes, and a look that would last most of her wedding day.
Julie of J. Bangs gave her the foundation and the extras that she couldn't do on her own, and Julie was pleased. There were no surprises. Her look was very similar to her trial run and included the changes that she requested. She was really happy with how her hair and makeup looked and so were her bridesmaids, who had never been to the salon but trusted Julie's recommendation.
Julie says, "everyone did a great job" and luckily, her wedding photographer, Ian Riley, was there to capture the sweet moments of the morning and all of the fabulous bridal hair and makeup!
This bridal styles are timeless and certainly pinterest-worthy! Enjoy.
Julie, a no-fuss bride, allowed each girl to decide if they wanted pro service and which style they wanted. Three of the four maids decided they wanted their hair professionally done and one opted to do her own hair. Clockwise: Jenny, Ashley (did own hair), Ashley, Katie, Bride Julie
To see Julie's wedding day, click here for part 2.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The Nashville Venue Crawl will take place on Sunday, August 4, 2013. The crawl is an opportunity to see 4 of the most creative event venues Nashville has to offer, in a single day: Houston Station, Oz, The Bridge Building, Ruby Nashville. It could take weeks to schedule tours and to visit each venue to see if it's a fit for your wedding. Instead, make a day of it, visit all 4 venues and know by the end of the day which is right for you.
To make the deal even sweeter, each venue will have reception decor (to give you an idea of how the space can look), food, cocktails and transportation to the next location.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and online. $40 – Individual Ticket, $55 – Couple Ticket. Here's an ABG tip: You can save $20 per ticket by liking our friends at Houston Station on Facebook and then grabbing the coupon offer from their Facebook page.
You must be 21 to attend.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Who doesn’t love saving a few bucks? Especially when you’re planning a wedding; an event packed full of budgets and expenses.
When I was planning my Nashville wedding in 2012, I utilized several money saving opportunities – bridal show promotions, online discounts (particularly those found on Ashley’s Bride Guide), friend referrals and Groupon.
Over the years, Groupon has become a recognized and trusted resource for restaurant, mini-golf, hair salon and even Starbucks deals (to name a few), but should you trust them with your wedding?
At the start of peak wedding season in the Fall of 2012 and Spring of 2013, Groupon created a ‘weddings tab’ and featured many cost saving opportunities on items such as photo booths, invitations and thank you card stationary, jewelry, decorations and attire.
Each of these deals were at least 50 to 60 percent off standard prices. They all offered tiered purchase options (pay $25 for $50 worth of stationary or pay $50 for $100 worth of stationary, for example) and noted on every deal were a few disclaimers and an expiration date. As with any Groupon deal you purchase, it is important to read the fine print and make sure you understand every detail you are committing your wedding dollars to.
Sometimes these deals can seem almost too good to be true. An engagement photography package for $75? How fast can I click BUY? But, you have to be mindful of exactly what your savings might end up costing you.
My groom and I purchased a Groupon for a photo booth, set-up and operated by a local photographer, at half the price. We were excited about our savings and called the individual right away to book our date. This was the first call of many that would lead to no answer, poor responses, limited feedback and worst of all – a no show at a face-to-face meeting we’d scheduled weeks in advance. I didn’t want to seem like BRIDEZILLA but when we were less than two weeks away from our wedding with no sign of confirmation, we decided to take another route.
Fortunately, once we explained the situation to Groupon they refunded us the total amount we’d paid. However, we were refunded entirely in Groupon bucks (lucky for us, we were honeymooning in New York City, so we were able to apply these Groupon bucks to activities in the Big Apple), so this is something to keep in mind.
When using Groupon for your wedding, my advice is:
~Stick to immediate or online use Groupons.
Say yes to the Blue Nile Groupon, for example, because you receive an instant discount code that you can apply immediately to the website with little or no communication issues.
Go ahead and purchase the Groupon for your thank you cards, but make sure to check the expiration date (even if you forget, and it expires, the corporation will still honor the total amount you paid).
~ Shy away from Groupons that are offering services at a discounted rate.
Some service vendors have a hard time keeping up with the high demand that their Groupons generate. They are excited to get their names out there, but they might not have prepared for the mass growth in customers that Groupons have the ability to generate.
You never know exactly what kind of service you will receive if the vendor is only taking in a third or a fourth of its usual rate, especially during peak season for its industry. You may fall in line behind the vendor’s full price paying customers; and while planning an event as important as your wedding you don’t want to be last in line.
Consider other ways to save
When it comes to bridal show promotions, I can say that I had much success receiving discounts outlined on the various flyers I gathered at each bridal show. Kayla Slater (formerly Kayla Jenkins), a local bridal hair and makeup artist, honored her advertised package price. She was prompt with follow ups and helped create a stress free environment for my bridal party, the day of my ceremony.
I also utilized the savings offered on Ashley’s Bride Guide with ease, and was very pleased with the recommended vendors. Cosmo Creations, a local DJ company, came through for us less than a month before our wedding when we found out our wedding band was no longer a band. We informed Brent Cantrell, the owner, that we discovered Cosmo Creations from Ashley’s Bride Guide and he honored his advertised prices.
When trying to save money during wedding planning, it’s important to make sure you’re securing deals you feel good about. Relationships with vendors are very important, since they will be there to support your big day. Make sure to respect yourself, your budget, and your vendor with any discounts you consider.
Ashley adds: When you shop for your wedding vendors, always remember that you get what you pay for. Occasionally you will win. More times than not, you will be left with disappointment.
Photos: SheHeWe Photography
Monday, July 22, 2013
After two bridal shows last week, I'm waking up this morning with one thing on my mind - wedding cake! As one of the best things to see and taste, cakes are undeniably the sweetest thing about a bridal show.
Signature Cakes by Vicki is always a show stopper, and Vicki didn't disappoint at Sunday's show. Her cakes range from classic to extravagant, and she offers just as many designs in buttercream as she does in fondant.
If you weren't able to attend the bridal show, here are a few of Signature Cake's classic, fondant cakes. They will give you a great idea of what she can do.
New Classic Cakes
What are new classic cakes? According to Vicki Nelson, owner and lead designer for Signature Cakes, classic cakes are those with soft elements and monochromatic colors - think white on white, ivory on ivory - that will stand the test of time. She predicts that classic designs made with fondant will be the "new classic cake". She doesn't see fondant going out of style anytime soon because of its versatility.
The new classic fondant cakes shown today are all designed by Vicki for 2013 Nashville weddings. These ageless wedding cakes are not only en vogue now, but they will not date your wedding photos in 20 years!
Friday, July 19, 2013
Mint Springs Farm is one of Nashville's newest wedding locations but it's quickly becoming one of my favorites. A quick look at the photos by Krista Lee Photography and you'll see why. It's dreamy, all-inclusive and full of rustic details. It was Deborah's wedding splurge and one that she doesn't regret one bit and I can see why.
Deborah & David
Wedding Date ~ April 14, 2013
Ceremony & Reception Location ~ Mint Spring Farm
Budget ~ $20-50k
Guests ~ 200
My Wedding Details
How would you describe your style as a couple?
Dave is anything camouflage. Deb is shiny objects and Audrey Hepburn. We compromised at "Vintage Classic".
How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?
I designed my vision around my birdcage veil. That's the one piece I have been set on for years. Other than that, it was pretty flexible. We went with Cala Lillies (my favorite) and tulips with hydraenga and rose accents. My dress was somewhat vintage looking and the wedding pavilion and reception barn are so versatile. Mint Springs did such a great job of making everything look so classic with lace, lanterns and mercury glass.
What was the favorite aspect of your wedding?
People are still talking about the venue and the food. Instead of a wedding cake, we had them set up an ice cream bar. Usually cake I can take or leave, but don't dare get between me and ice cream! They set it up with all kinds of toppings and syrup. it was great!
The other thing that was really important to me is honoring where we came from. We had pictures all around of family weddings, our parents, our mothers' wedding portraits, and our grandparents' wedding photos. Neither of us have grandparents living, so having those photos around made me feel like they were still part of the day.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
The venue was kind of a splurge for me. I only had 100 days to plan my wedding. It was all inclusive, and having a wedding planner available and taking care of things was such a help. It also made it easy in that all the coordination was already done. Everyone kept asking me if I'm sure I was getting married so soon because I was so calm. I told them "I don't need to panic. That's what I have a Brandy for!" The farm wasn't cheap, but I truly believe they are worth their weight in gold. The food and floral arrangements were incredible!
My jewelry was either my own already or borrowed. I also called a local salon school to see if they had students who would be willing to come do hair and makeup for the wedding. That worked out well. I got hair/makeup and they got hours of practice. I tipped of course, but it was no extra cost. We also did our invitations ourselves. We bought the cards at a craft store and I designed and printed them. Try to remember just one invitation you received to all the weddings you've attended. I bet you can't! Since they're basically just information, I put the basic need-to-know items on there, and directed everyone to our website for further details. The Knot gives you one for free.
Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?
Actually, no. Brandy at MSF handled all the details and I put complete faith in her.
In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Honor those most important to you because everyone has a story and you came from somewhere.
My Wedding Team:
Planner: Mint Springs Farm / Brandy Lester
Photographer: Krista Lee Photography
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero from Glitz Bridal
Accessories: borrowed and already owned
Men's Attire: Men's Warehouse
Bridesmaids' Attire: David's Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Paul Mitchell school
Stationery: Michael's and printed ourselves
Caterer: Chef Penelope
Cake Artist: B. Jackson's (groom's cake)
Florals: Mint Springs Farm / Lynn
Ceremony Musicians: College Grove Strings
Reception DJ: Brian Snyder Entertainment